Small Business: Social Media Strategy Risk

One big push I had to start Generative Steward in the world of small business consulting, was witnessing how many of my close friends were receiving the same social media marketing strategy. Social media marketers have similar packages and promises. To boost web traffic, optimize search results, drive customers to action and keep them coming back for similar actions. Recommended routes to these outcomes are all eerily similar. Blog, video blog, post your blog links to social media, incentivize customers with giveaways and click bait, invest in a website revamp providing online tools you must develop, harvest emails and execute campaign mailers. So why and where, is this cookie cutter strategy coming from? Certainty not from misaligned goals; consulting firms want to deliver results, but what they leave out is validating their analyzation of your data, which I will explain below.

How can I say this after you just reviewed all the data surrounding SEO optimization and web traffic? It makes perfect sense to tailor your media and online content to what customers are searching for. Including SEO hot words, in blogs and as topics of videos, will boost traffic to those articles and videos. Anyone can build a blog, post videos and gain traffic from doing so. The bottom line about a customer’s online habits is: activity does not mean action. Driving more people to a website that is not retaining them or converting them already, is the same thing as a bakery in Wisconsin making dozens of eclairs because demographics in Atlanta show eclairs on display bring more customers. The bakery will spend more money into producing a new product for display then the revenue generated from any new customers that noticed the éclair display. It will also take months of metrics to validate the new product and doesn’t consider any data around what customers in Wisconsin are doing.

To yield more transactions and revenue from social media, deep analytics of an industry, market, economics and performance of a company, is required first. Establishing metrics around the performance of campaigns is vital to tracking their value. After a deep dive on business strategy, a scaled social media strategy aimed at target customers, using current resources should be rolled out. Optimize what is working, provide a scale plan for the AI or big opportunities for after revenue is generated, from current traffic being converted to customers. If the perfect customer experience is a “horse” and the quantity of customers engaged is the “cart,” then creating a high quantity of customers without a perfect experience to “pull the cart,” will result in more effort and money put into the same rate of transaction. Only most businesses are left with a degenerative process that will take a bigger ratio of (maintaining social media campaigns) input: output (the revenue yielded.) Proof of concept and resource maximization are commonly left out of social media strategies and many small businesses do not have data analysts in house to cross reference social media consultants.  

Another hole in small business, social media metrics tends to be validating data. A key take-away for businesses to have: Data that is correlational is not causational; unless you have metrics that are causational in relation, do not attribute actions to results. A chart detailing (x axis) quantity of customers/traffic you receive, with number of days after launching a social media campaign (y axis,) will contain multiple measure points that reveal effectiveness of strategy and relationship building of your brand but would not be causational.

Multiple variables are left out in a correlational relationship, data evaluation. Information can be gleaned from correlational data sets, but decisions should never be made on them alone. A lot of metrics pulled from Google Analytics and SEO optimization apps are correlational in relationship. For example, traffic sourced from Facebook is often not broken down to person or post but accumulated to campaign/pay to boost post. An example of a data variable that is commonly left out of social media analytics, your social-media-star cousin sharing your campaign post, as the real driver to the posts traffic and not the effectiveness of the campaign. Or perhaps the webpage that Facebook was directing customers to before your social media website revamp, had a broken web form or error, after the error was fixed the traffic and activity on the page resumed but this is attributed to the social media campaign and not the web page correction. Multiple scenarios can attribute to social media success and they all need to be explored before value can be assessed.

If you have any questions about your social media strategy, please reach out! I always answer general questions and am happy to provide resources or a consultation on your data.

Land Use: Residential Homestead Example

Client Name: Desiree Hoolahan


Desired Use: Homestead and Blueberry Farm

Parcel Number: 0825069052

Address: 6009 204TH PL NE Redmond WA 98053

Lot Size: 110,642 Approx. 2.6 Acres

Zoning: RA-5; Rural Area; one dwelling per 5 Acres, not in urban growth zone

Tax Classifications: Open Space; N 340 FT OF FOLG-E 325 FT OF W 650 FT OF SW 1/4 OF SE 1/4 LESS N 330 FT CLASSIFIED AS OPEN SPACE “OPEN SPACE” PURSUANT TO RCW 84.34. If you are to clear the trees or build a detached unit on this property it may affect the tax classification (and require back tax) and/or classification modifications may be needed.

Near Boundaries: Environmentally sensitive areas to the South East and West, Landslide areas to the West/SW

Easements: None found

Watershed: Sammamish River Watershed; Evans Creek is the local drainage basin that this property feeds

Topography: 5% or Less slope approx 2/3 of property, 25% or less slope approx 1/3 of property

Access: Private road, no public access

Drainage: Great

Soil Profile: Alderwood gravelly sandy loam (AgC)

Recommendation: Perfect location for a private blueberry farm and homestead; Public facing blueberry farm is not feasible with the private access roads and lack of parking-accessibility for fire and aid units. Evergreens, particularly Cedar, are desired mulching for Blueberries, keeping healthy forestry habits will also benefit your crop.  Soil here is perfect for blueberries. Plot blueberries in a full sun location to the East of the property would be ideal, if clearing trees is needed for sun exposure it will be less impactful to landslides and the environment on this side. Planting trees and erosion preventative vegetation would be beneficial for the West side/steeper slopes. Home is situated above landslide hazardous areas to the West. Keeping this space wooded, adding rain gardens/small ponds and reducing the number of impermeable surfaces will help slow erosion and water flow through the steep sloped areas below. Drainage should be ideal, soil compaction and site variables may cause some water pooling at the surface during mass rain events but should drain over 24 hours. Contamination may come from groundwater to the North from Parcel: 082506-9037, ensure no toxic waste or chemical use is being applied to that property.

Sources: King County iMap, King County Parcel Viewer, NRCS Soil Web Survey