Ask SCORE: Improve social media marketing results in ’23

Published 8:40 pm Tuesday, January 3, 2023

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Ask SCORE by Dean Swanson

Most small business CEOs tell me that they are using social media for marketing purposes. As a matter of fact, according to multiple published sources, 30.57 million businesses in the U.S. alone are using social media for marketing in 2022, and that number is only expected to increase in 2023. But most CEOs are not satisfied with their results. This is my third column on this topic designed to give you some suggestions on how you can best utilize social media marketing and get better results.

Dean Swanson

Whether you have created an account on every social media platform already or you’re just starting out, here are some suggestions that will help you achieve success with your social media marketing efforts in 2023.

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Define your metrics for success. Now that you’re ready to strategize how to make your social media marketing stand out in 2023, how will you do so? It’s pivotal that you define what success looks like for you.

Up until this point, how have you defined success for your company’s social media? Many small business leaders might honestly answer “just by having the social media and remembering to post on it.” There’s nothing wrong with starting out with simple goals like this, but without clearly defined metrics of success, your efforts may become disjointed, and growth will be difficult. In 2023, if you really want to see success with your social media, you need to figure out what that “success” really is and give it a clear definition.

At the end of the day, social media needs to be delivering results. But sometimes, the path is not so direct. Start by recognizing any roadblocks within your company as a whole and ask, “How can social media help us navigate this?” For example, perhaps a roadblock you frequently hit is customer confusion, and you are always educating customers on your product or service. How can social media marketing help? Maybe by creating short- and long-form video content on social media that addresses common questions and educates people on the product or service. So how would we measure the success of that effort? Probably through metrics like the number of videos posted, the amount of engagement those posts receive and a decrease in the number of questions coming your way. Assign some specific numbers to those metrics to create your goals, and now you’ve got somewhere to go.

Create a cohesive social media presence. The try-anything approach can often happen when a company is trying to jump on every trend and posting without defining the metrics for success. Maybe they just want to post daily to check off that task, but they aren’t being strategic about the quality of the content posted. What results is a discombobulated collection of content that looks unprofessional and tells the audience a whole lot of nothing.

Having cohesive social media is important because it’s part of your branding. When someone taps into your business’s Instagram profile, does it look curated and organized? Can they tell instantly who you are and what you do? Do they pick up on your branding? They need to be able to view it as easily as your website, where they can find all of the information they need with very little effort.

Cohesion with video content is also important. Try to think of your brand voice and the brand values you want to communicate. If your brand voice is young and fun, you might shoot a lot of your video content with an iPhone and do some TikTok trends such as “POV” and situational comedy to communicate with your audience. If your brand voice is more professional and polished, you may want to set up a dedicated recording space where someone can sit at a desk and address the audience directly. Either way, establishing this early will help you have cohesive content that matches your brand.

In my next column, I will discuss how often you should post and end this series with a specific suggestion for marketing with social media in the new year.

Dean Swanson is a volunteer certified SCORE mentor and former SCORE chapter chair, district director and regional vice president for the northwest region.