Social media marketing can be a challenge for small businesses. Keeping up with the ever-changing world of social media can appear time-consuming, intimidating, and exhausting.
These tips will help you develop a social media marketing plan that will ensure your efforts get started on the right foot and continue to benefit your business for years to come.
Do Your Homework
Homework starts by defining your target audience and finding the social media network that best reaches them. Create a persona for each segment of your audience based on age, gender, interests, profession, etc. Expand on and refine the demographics for each persona, and write them down.
After you have done that, create and write down three key marketing messages you want to communicate to that audience. Then take the time to find out which social networks they frequent. As an example, if you are trying to reach baby boomers, Facebook would be better than Twitter. And if you are trying to reach other businesses, LinkedIn is more suitable than Facebook.
There are hundreds of social networks to choose from, and you will burn out quickly if you try to target all of them as once. Start by picking the one or two platforms you have determined your target audience prefers, and post content related to the messaging you previously determined.
You can incorporate social media into your daily routine by setting aside dedicated time to managing your accounts. At first, you’ll probably only need 15 or 30 minutes a day. A really helpful feature of Facebook, and social media management tools such as HootSuite, is the ability to schedule future posts. This is a huge time-saver to small businesses who may not have employees dedicated solely to managing social media.
Build and Nurture Relationships
Social media is about having conversations and building relationships. Some brands can get away with only publishing content about themselves, but this is not the true meaning or value of social media.
Imagine having a conversation with another person, during which they only talk about how great their product is, and then, halfway through the conversation, they suddenly offer you a 20% discount on that product—followed by a statement about how great their product is. This would be a fairly boring, self-centered conversation, right? If you only talk about your brand on social media, this is the type of conversation you are having with your current and potential customers. Remember to share content and links created by others. A little goodwill can go a long way.
After you publish your content, it is important to listen and respond to comments, mentions and feedback, even if it has a negative vibe. You will foster relationships when you respond to comments, and even if it is negative, you never know when you can turn that negative into a positive.
Creating content and knowing when and where you will post it can become messy quickly if you don’t take time to plan, so it is essential to create a simple editorial calendar. An editorial calendar outlines what, when, and where you will share your content as well as any future promotions you would like to run. This will save you time and headaches later.
Measure Your Results
It is important to track, measure, and analyze your social media marketing efforts. At the end of the day, you want to know that what you are doing is successful. You may have heard the quote from 19th century businessman, John Wanamaker: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
You will want to track factors such as the number of likes, followers, page reach, and engagement. By tracking your performance data, you will be able to ID which tactics are working and which are not working. Try to recreate what is working and tweak to improve what’s not.
Social media marketing is not hard, once you have spent time thinking about who your target audience is, found out which social media networks they are on, and created the message you think will resonate with that audience.
How Can I Help You?
Are you still wondering if you’re doing social media marketing right? Contact me for a social media evaluation.