Are you scared of social media marketing? Well, you’re in good company, because many small business owners I have spoken with view it warily. You know you need to do it, but….
You don’t know where to start. You don’t have time. You don’t understand it. You’re completely confused by all the information out there, some of which sounds contradictory.
All of the above reasons are why we’ve decided to start offering social media marketing services to our clients, and we are pretty excited about it. In talking to people, we keep hearing how hard it is to find someone who does social media marketing well. Because we are content experts and do our own social media marketing, and because content is the foundation upon which every single marketing strategy rests, it only seems natural to jump in and offer it to you.
But of course you can still do it yourself! Here are the only social media marketing tips you need to succeed:
Remember that your audience comes first.
What would happen if you walked up to every single person at a cocktail party and immediately launched into a monologue about how awesome you are – without even saying hi? While interrupting other conversations? And without even asking one question of another person?
I know that sounds ridiculous and you would never do it, but people act like this on social media ALL. THE. TIME. No!
Social media marketing is NOT about you. It’s about your audience, their interests, their challenges. It’s about providing information that is relevant and valuable to them.
For example, if your target market is made up of Millennials, you’ll want to touch on the values that are relevant to them: happiness, passion, diversity, sharing, and discovery. That approach won’t work for Gen Xers or Boomers.
Remember, your audience always comes first. Always.
Choose your social media networks wisely.
The good news is that you don’t need to be on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Periscope, Vine and Snapchat. You only need to be where your target market is, and the best way to figure that out is by 1) listening, and 2) doing competitive research.
This will take time, people! But it’s better to know where your market is than to guess (and waste a lot of time, money, and effort in the process).
Listening is pretty straightforward. When you land on a social network, go to the little search box and type in a keyword that you want to be found for. See what people are talking about in relation to that topic. Are the conversations relevant to you and your business? Do you have something to add to it? Great – that’s one social channel to use. Now go to another social network and do it again.
Next, look up your competitors. What social media channels are they active on? Where are they getting the most engagement? What are they posting that is resulting in comments and shares?
Now you know what social media networks you should be on, and you have a pretty good idea of what you should be sharing.
Put together an editorial calendar, aka your Social Media Marketing Bible.
Because you need to post every day (yes, every day), this is the only way to stay organized – trust us! Your goal is to share an 80/20 mix of curated content and original content/company news.
Curated content will include blog posts, articles, videos, memes, etc. that you read and love – and that are relevant to your target market and their interests. You also want to make sure you’re sharing your blog posts and other valuable company-related content, like client stories.
Integrate keywords into all posts.
Everything on social media is indexed by search engines and therefore contributes to your search ranking. You must know the keywords you want to be found for, and you must integrate them into your social media posts.
Stick with it!
Social media is not a one-and-done. It takes months to see results, so don’t get discouraged if your first couple of months are really suck-y. Commit at least six months, but preferably a year, if you want to see solid results. Stick with it!
Track your results and measure your ROI.
Social media marketing is an investment, and it absolutely should provide a return.
Set aside time to review analytics once a month. Look at channels, content, and engagement (especially comments and shares) to see what’s working well. Then look at quarter over quarter revenue to measure ROI.
Monika Jansen’s business, Jansen Comminications helps startups, tech companies, and professional service providers grow by creating the content, from website copy to blogs to other marketing materials. Since launching in 2009, Monika’s focus has been on creating fresh, to-the-point, and engaging copy that tells a story, creates a connection, fits in nicely with one’s overall marketing strategy, and positions an individual as an expert. You can view her profile HERE.