back to social media basics
"I've tried social media, it just doesn't work for me."
Sorry but that's just a lame bullshit excuse.
“I’ve tried social media, it just doesn’t work for me.”
Sorry but that’s just a lame bullshit excuse. If I had a fiver for every time I’ve heard this excuse, I’d probably be driving around in a better car. The reason it didn’t work for you is that you didn’t use it correctly.
I get it, social media isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, not everyone knows how to do it, it changes so often and so fast it’s challenging to keep pace. Even for people like me who live and breath social media, it’s challenging to keep pace.
Let’s start by cutting the BS out and face facts, if it didn’t work the first time around, then maybe it’s time to get back to basics. Social media can be highly profitable for business growth, so brush yourself off, and let’s see where you went wrong the first time around.
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1. Choose which social channels to use
With so many social media platforms to choose from, its a hard choice to decide which you should be on? Should you be on them all?
Simple answer. No.
Don’t just jump onto any old social platform without first doing a spot of customer research. As the title of this blog states, GET BACK TO BASICS. This includes revisiting who your target audience is, ask yourself if it has changed since you first determined who to target? Who are they and where do they hang out? If its B2B then LinkedIn is your probably your first port of call. If your product is a visual product like food or drinks, then Instagram and Pinterest is the place to be. Targeting the younger generation, is Facebook the right place to be?
My target audience doesn’t look anything like the people that I first started to target. With the changes all around us, its probable yours has changed too.
As this is going to be your first serious attempt at using social media for business, I recommended that you limit it to just the one social channel.
It is better to be good at one channel than crap on several.
2. Populate your profile listing
Search engines love consistency, and one of the problems with listing your business everywhere is keeping things consistent. Why do you think that most places that you have your business listing or citation with insist on asking you the exact same thing?
When it comes to your social media profile, keep it consistent. The only difference when it comes to your business information on your social media profiles and online business directories is branding. On social media, you often get to add your touch of branding, colour schemes, images, brand creatives. Still, the content itself should be the same.
Whatever imagery you use, ensure it is optimally sized for the platform you are posting on as all social platforms have their own preferred measurements. Images should be of good quality, clear and not grainy. Avoid posting quick unedited snaps as these look unprofessional.
3. Social Network
Don’t just do social – be social! Being social means being active in different groups, pages and interacting with other businesses and people. Reply to questions, compliments and critics (there’s always a critic in one form or another) and get a discussion flowing. Being social does wonders for your credibility and builds your subject authority. No matter what industry, job or hobby you do, there is a group related to it – and if there isn’t… make one!
4. Social Monitoring
When using different social media channels, maintaining active monitoring can be timeconsuming if you have to log into each platform individually. Consider using a social media monitoring program which brings all of your social channels together in one place.
There are numerous different platforms which provide this system, most come with a free limited version and a subscription service for premium functionality. Each comes with their pro’s and con’s, so I would recommend you try out several different systems to see which works best for you. Subscribe to my blog page to find out more as I test several platforms for usability later this month.
5. Get Organised
Okay, your social profiles are all set up, and you’re ready to go. Put them to one side for a moment, and let’s crack on with the important stuff.
Posting willy-nilly is not recommended, if that’s what you do then I’m sorry to say, you’re going to flop. Social media isn’t rocket science, but there is a nack to it, and it all starts with getting organised.
When getting organised you need two things;
First, a marketing strategy – how are you going to do it, for instance, when are you going to post? Daily, bi-weekly? What are you going to post, is it going to be listable’s, blogs, content re-purposed from other people? How are you going to measure success and failures by?
As an example, last month, I focused most of my social media efforts on website design. This month I will be focusing on helping people with getting more out of their social media. Next month SEO and the month after PPC.
I tend to block six months, organising monthly campaigns, weekly or bi-monthly blogs and daily posts. Okay, not everyone is so efficient, it certainly helps if you have a touch of OCD.
Secondly, a content calendar – a content calendar allows you to plan and schedule your posts ahead of time.
When it comes to working the algorithm, I find consistent posting works best for me. For instance, a charity whos Facebook page I manage, I post at 6am and 3pm Monday to Friday. The morning slot is usually a motivational image and quote focusing on the benefits this charity provides to children and the evening post focuses on what the charity is doing and providing for the children that it cares for.
Since maintaining this ridged structure, engagement and recruitment are up despite Corona Virus, with a positive knock-on effect for the charity.
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6. Brand Identity
If everyone was the same, it would be rather dull, wouldn’t it? Imagine a social media site populated with millions of Agent Smith’s from The Matrix, It would be as flat as LinkedIn. There’s a lot of people out there selling the same things as you, there’s little to differentiate from one to the other unless you step out of your comfort zone. I hold my hands up to this, I am at times guilty, saying the same old things as everyone else in my field, its hard not to. Website design and digital marketing aren’t sexy…. But it can be – it’s all about how you package it up and feed it to your customers. Push your brand, through trial and error, find what works best for you, what gets people interacting with your brand the most? Find your voice and build on it. Ultimately, be natural, be yourself – be different from all the rest.
7. Promote Your Social Brand
Now we’re talking! When it comes to promoting your social brand, do it everywhere you can. If you don’t tell people about your business, then they will never know about it. So share it, share it online, offline, through paid advertising, even on your business cards, flyers and website. If you have access to a rooftop – get up there and SHOUT.
8. Monitor Your Marketing Goals
That’s all folks, you’re up and running, so all you need to do now is monitor your growth with analytic reports. Most platforms have their own built-in analytics.
Say the results you expect do not arrive, change your social approach and monitor.
A common problem for the majority of the service industry and high-value sales is that online marketing campaigns promoting their goods and services often result in offline purchases. Purchases can be made either on the phone or in-person, which makes it difficult to track the success and failures of the marketing campaign within analytics.