1. Strategic Approach
If you’re running social media platforms for a business WITHOUT having completed the key strategic steps upfront, then you aren’t doing social media marketing – you’re just ‘doing’ social media.
So what goes into a strategy? I use a 10-step strategic approach which includes setting social media goals, customer profiling, competitor review, tone of voice and audience and content segmentation.
Don’t forget you need a different strategy for each social media platform you are on!
2. Know your Audience
Everything in social media comes back to your target customer so you must know them inside out. Not just their demographic but think about their lifestyle and their work life too – what they like and dislike, what they read or watch on tv can all help you to find your customers online.
3. Which Platforms?
How many social media platforms are you using to market your business? – if you are a small business with limited resources I would advise you not to use more than 1 or 2.
To run a channel successfully you need around 5 hours per platform a week.
So how do you pick…consider your target audience, your business, your time and budget and that will help you find the right platform.
4. Sociable Brand
Social media isn’t a one-way marketing channel, it’s a conversational space. You wouldn’t walk into a networking event and just start talking about yourself – so don’t make that mistake on social. Make sure you add value, build relationships and establish trust with your target audience and turn them into loyal customers.
But what do I talk about? I use a pie chart to find the sweet spot between your business and your customers which then helps you with content, hashtags and influencers.
5. Quality Content
Always post the best content you can. There are optimum levels of posting for each platform – but be realistic, it’s better to be consistent with your posting with good images and content than posting every day with poor quality posts.
6. Be Authentic
The buzzword in social media at the moment (even for the last few years) is “authenticity”. At every social media event I have attended recently the biggest message has been to be genuine on your channels. But it’s more than just a buzzword, brand authenticity can create real business impact. Just think about the brands or influencers you follow on social media, why are you following them? I expect it’s because they are authentic, consistent and add value to your life. If your business is authentic then is should get higher engagement, more followers and therefore a higher ROI.
7. Use all of the social media platform
If you’re on Twitter – use lists and Twitter chats.
If you’re on Instagram – use stories.
If you’re on Facebook – join groups.
8. Forward plan
Make a content calendar and plan out your posts and what you want to talk about with important dates for your business and also use any national or international awareness days that relate to your business (but use sparingly!)
Try and do a batch of posts in advance – for example sit down on a Monday and plan the week or two if you can and pop them in a scheduling tool and let them go out when you audience is online.
9 Engage with your customers
If you’re a SME or a start-up you’ll probably have a very small, if any budget for your social media marketing. So you’ll be looking at being successful using organic social media (not advertising). This is no quick fix to making millions but it is possible with the right techniques. One of those is, you MUST engage with your audience both reactively and proactively. Don’t just post and walk away….stay online and talk to your potential customers, other brands and influencers this will help you build trust, your brand awareness and in time make sales.
10 Engage with your customers
It’s so important I’ll say it twice – spend 10 minutes a day joining in and making conversations!
Good luck on your social media marketing journey.
Emma Peries, Digital Mother
If you need any help or training to run your channels successfully please get in touch