Two common questions come up when I meet clients about social media marketing for the first time: 1) Do I really need to be on social media? 2) What social media platform is best?
Now, this is a bit of a loaded question, since the answer depends on so many factors, such as who are your trying to reach, what are you trying to achieve, and what kind of value do you have to offer your audience. Despite this, let’s answer all of the questions as best we can.
Should My Business Have Representation On Social Media?
The answer is typically yes. If your business is trying to connect to people, then you should be on social media. That’s everyone, including sectors that don’t sell any products or services to individuals, such as industrial companies or mines, for example. Mining companies don’t sell to the individuals but can use social media to connect with people for human resource initiatives or to help with reputation management. Social media can play a role in any industry, for any business.
How Can I Grow My Company With Social Media?
Typically this is what I get asked the most. Most businesses want to grow. Grow their customer base, grow their sales, grow their profits. Social Media can play a very active role in this; the trick is to choose the platform where your customers are.
Here are my general recommendations:
If your B2B, LinkedIn is likely your best bet.
If your selling products or service to the public, Facebook, Instagram are your two new sales, brand, and reputation management channels.
If you are targeting teens and young adults, SnapChat may be an excellent medium for you.
If you have stunning visuals, you can leverage Instagram and Snapchat.
If you’re focused on local business, then Alignable may be a great asset.
If your a celebrity, politician, artist, writer, opinionated person, or simply have a lot of things to say — then Twitter may be a great fit.
How Many Often Should I post? What Should I Post?
How many times can you offer something of value in a week? It does not have to be original content or earth-shattering ideas — but every post should provide value to your audience.
A great way to figure out how often you should post is to post whenever you have something of value to share for a month to three months. If you look at your analytics, you will notice a few different things — a natural frequency of when you had value to share (1 post a week? 3 posts a week? etc.) & which kinds of posts received great engagement (what does your audience want). Using these stats, you should be able to plan out a general frequency of how often you should be posting and what kind of content it should be.
How Can I Plan For Success On Social Media?
The key to success with all of the platforms I’ve mentioned is the same, have a good Marketing Strategy, action plan, make it a routine & most importantly ENGAGE!
All of your marketing efforts should lead to one overall message or goal. The fly by night business that buys ads for a quick buck is not going to last — they’re business typical does not stand for anything and has no overarching message that instills them into your mind.
Consider your marketing efforts a fight; it’s a battle of your company against competitors, fighting over who gets the customers. A marketing strategy is your battle plan — it’s how you’re going to win the war. A company with a plan is much more likely to succeed than a company who does not. It’s the idea of proactive marketing vs. reactive marketing — don’t react, plan.
When you have your marketing strategy in place, it should consider every marketing channel your company has available to it. For each channel, there should be an action plan — a manual for how you’re going to use this channel to reach the objectives of your marketing strategy.
Think about companies you admire, the ones that stand apart from their competitors. Now look at their social media channels, are they consistent? Are they posting high-quality material? Do they follow a script or a template with their posts? Do they get engagement? Likely the answer to all of these questions is yes. That is the power of an action plan. It keeps your brand message tight, it keeps quality high, it keeps users engaged, and it’s consistent — in fact, it’s routine.
Make it a Routine:
Something that I’ve found difficult to explain to many clients is that social media marketing more of a marathon than a sprint. It’s the long game — it takes months if not years for an active profile to start paying dividends on the time you put into it. Making social media part of your routine, be it daily or weekly or even monthly, is the only way you will succeed in the long run. Make your action plan part of your routine, and over time, your business will thrive on the platform.
ENGAGE! The Key to Securing Influencers:
Marketing Strategy, Action Plan, and Routines are the best way to plan for success, but you should also engage as much as possible with your audience. Social media is not a channel for one way communication — it’s a two-way street! Your audience will engage, comment, like, share, and directly message you — DO NOT IGNORE THEM! They’re connecting, be it for positive or negative reasons, you should always respond and be representing your brand. Deal with problematic messages as if your reputation depends on it because it does. Converse with fans, make them feel welcomed and loved — because anyone can be a social influencer in this day and age.
That Sounds Like A Lot Of Work! Do I Need To Do This? Can’t I Just Make A Profile And Wait For The Magic To Happen?
It is a lot of work. That’s why almost all companies who are successful in social media hire either in-house marketers or agencies to manage the workload, keep up the quality, and guide them along the path to success.
To be honest, you don’t need to be social media. No, simply making a profile and asking for leads or make two posts a year will not make any magic happen — at best it will do nothing, but it can harm your brand, make your company look foolish or unorganized. It can be a great asset if done right, it is worthless if done wrong. My honest opinion is to commit to doing it well, or don’t do it at all.
— Want to chat more? Find me on LinkedIn, I’d be delighted to chat and learn about you, & your work!