Where do I start with social media marketing?

Business owners are continually being bombarded with encouragement to throw themselves wholeheartedly into social media marketing.  “It’ll reinvigorate your market profile” … “It’ll drive sales” … “It’ll connect you with a whole new audience”.  These things are all true (though not for all businesses) but the question we are still all too often asked is “Where do I start with social media marketing?”

We will be answering this question in this blog and, we trust, give you what you need to get started with social media marketing.

1. Choose the right platform

There are a lot of sites out there – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Vimeo – but which do your customers/clients actually use? 

A lot of this is common sense.  For example, a traditional professional services business is probably more suited to LinkedIn (of Facebook if they service people or specific geographies rather than industry sectors) whereas a hospitality or more brand led business is probably more suited to Twitter or Instagram.

The reason this step must come first is that if you get it wrong you could end up wasting a whole lot of time, effort, and budget on something that will never deliver the return you want.

2. Agree who much time you will spend on social media marketing

It’s easy to spend hours on social media every day (particularly as once you get into it, you’ll find it’s a limitless interconnection of different things you can waste time following!). 

We’d always suggest you set time limits to cover what you need to do and work these in to your/your team’s working week.

3. Set clear goals for your social media marketing

Once you know how much time you’ll spend, set clear goals around what you want social media marketing to achieve for you.

Do you want to generate leads?

Do you want to influence new demographics or markets?

Do you want to uncover new partnerships or people who can increase your profile via their networks?

Once you know what you want to achieve, choosing the right tactics and measuring progress will be infinitely easier.

4. Set out your tactics

There are hundreds of different ways to approach social media marketing tactically.  None are better than the next, but you need to work out which is best for you given your goals.

Are you going to be a news feed?

Are you going to be a thought leader?

Are you going to be a chatty friend to your followers?

Are you going to be a sharer of relevant information from other sources?

And once you choose your tactics, stick to them.  As with all forms of marketing, success is massively dependent on consistency.

5. Invest in your social media profiles

Every social media account starts with a profile.  This needs to include a bio (that clearly spells out what you do for who), a link to your website, and a relevant image. 

And your profiles should clearly match up with the other profiles on your other social media accounts on the same or other platforms … again marketing success is massively dependent on consistency. 

6. Observe and monitor

Often the best way to work out what you need to post is to watch what established and successful users are posting.

Before you get going take time to observe and monitor not only the content people are sharing but also the types of images, links, and hashtags they’re employing in their posts.  Once of the strengths of social media marketing is you can immediately see what works through the like and share stats.  Use this insight to your benefit!

7. Use a social media marketing dashboard

Dashboards like HootSuite and TweetDeck will help you plan and manage your social media output more efficiently.

You can –

Set up alerts and notifications to give you a steer on current trends.

Create groups.

Skim relevant activity quickly.

And most importantly, schedule updates in advance so you’ve always got stuff going out even when you’re too busy to send it out.

8. Use more than words

With so much going out on social media every minute, you need to stand out.  This means using more than words. 

You need attractive, unique and eye-catching images (or to use the proper marketing term, ‘tiles’).

You also need to experiment with video whether that’s motion graphics, infographics, or a very short talking head style piece. 

If you’d like to chat through your approach to social media marketing – including the production of bespoke social media tiles and new videos – please get in touch today and we can set up a very informal first meeting.

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