Social media marketing is like opening the Pandora’s box. We could have the best team trying to crack the code with budget in mind. We knew exactly the power of social media but at the same time, we know how much they can burn a huge hole in our wallets. Not to forget, social media marketing takes up a lot of our time and efforts. In most cases, we felt like drawing in the sea. Dozens of social media platforms with so little time, it certainly doesn’t look great for us social media managers. The most common problem for businesses is they are using social media as the only powerhouse for leads, traffic, sales and revenue. Yes, we know the power of the Internet; a single click of the button can reach potentially millions of people. Social media is meant to compensate what native marketing isn’t able to perform but surely not the only means to achieve the targeted goal. So today, we will be talking about simple ways to get social media working for business, a.k.a. work for you! Here are 5 very simple and actionable tips you can do for your social media marketing today. #1. Straighten up your goals Before you even: Think of using social media Writing down your action plans Finding a piece of paper or turning on your notepad application Do this – define your goal(s). Regardless, if it is to create a brand awareness, doubling your traffic or increase social engagement, you need to have a clear and defined goal. According to Wikipedia, a goal is a desired result that a person or a system envisions, plans and commits to achieve. You may have a dozen goals that you want to achieve, but having lesser goals to achieve at one time is always better. Trust me. Plus, goals ensure that you are inline with the ultimate target. There’s no denial that having multiple goals is good (for multi-tasking) but if you have limited manpower, having multiple goals isn’t the best move at all. #2. Define which social media platforms to use Social media can go south real fast if you don’t have a good target audience mindset….not to forget, burning holes in your wallet and failing your KPI (Key Performance Index). You can also waste ample time when focusing on the wrong platform. With over two dozen social media platforms to choose from, go with the top 3 or top 5 (even one is awesome as well) platforms that fit your needs. If you have no idea which platforms work better for you, practice the spaghetti strategy. Using the spaghetti strategy is really simple. All you need to do is to spend between one to two months (you could do lower but I do not recommend that) engaging in various social media platforms of your choice. After the test period, determine which gives you the best traffic, revenue and engagement. Still need a guideline? Here are mine: Facebook – Video and image sharing which links back to your website Twitter – Image sharing and quotes work best LinkedIn – King of discussion and forum methodology Pinterest and Instagram – When images are your only asset When it comes to choosing the best social media platform, forget about following others. It is all about focusing on yourself, your brand and business (not to forget your followers). Discover ways to define your target market and follow by understanding their social patterns. The rest? Pretty much history! #3. It is NOT about the numbers I hope you are not chasing numbers but I don’t despise it either. Numbers of fans help a lot in branding and visibility but if your fans are NOT your target audience, you are literally throwing hard work right down the drain. Don’t chase for the number of followers you can gain in the shortest time period. Instead, chase for die-hard fans who will support your brand for years to come. Building a fan base is more powerful than anything else in the planet (besides money). Need some success stories? Watch how Noah from AppSumo does it perfectly. Their main (and only) goal during the early startup phrase is to create a fan base – as big as possible. Why? Not everyone would be interested in his product BUT, fans who signed up for his newsletter would definitely be interested in something he had previously offered. Make sense? #4. Automate if you can’t, but don’t push it over Social media automation helps you to save a lot of time and trust me, it works like wonders. The problem starts when businesses are using it to automate everything they do on social media – and that’s really wrong! Automation tools Buffer and Hootsuite are great to help you simplify your tasks but you would need to use them correctly. For example, Buffer is an awesome tool to schedule your posts while with Hootsuite, social listening is never easier than that! #5. Should you be ‘shopping’ on social media? Paid advertising – that’s what I mean. The answer is “yes” and “no”. If you are running a business and need some serious traffic or branding, paying for social media advertising can actually multiple your reach and success opportunity the whole 9-yards. If you are just trying to leverage social media for the sake of it, then the answer is simply no. Social media marketing isn’t cheap but it is not the worst either. Advertising on social media is really powerful and you are pretty much guaranteed to get a good return of investment (ROI) with the right strategy but it is certainly not cheap. For example, you would need to spend at least $5 a day on Facebook ads just to reach to sufficient people to have an impact on your business. If you are looking for some actionable tips to use in 2015, here are 60 tips to make social media marketing work for you. Over to you What’s your take on social media? Is your company playing the long game with social media? Let’s take this further in the comments area! Images: “Social media on hand with blue background /Shutterstock.com“ ______________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. Today, it is part of the Small Biz Trends stable of websites and receives over 300,000 unique views per month. Would you like to write for us? An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator.