Do you think I need a website? That was the big question… just a few years ago. Clients who wanted to increase their marketing efforts but weren’t sure if a website was right for them. Now as a innovative marketer, this question drove me slightly nutty! Of course you want a website, why wouldn’t you want a piece of media that you control and your current clients and/or future prospects can pull up on demand?
Enter social media. The same… only different.
Do I need social media? Can my brand benefit from social real estate we control (mostly) and can use to speak to and engage our fans.
Of course you do!
Here are 9 simple steps to maximize social media marketing:
1. Learn How it all Works
People often think because they are on social personally they can handle social professionally. This is not always the case. There are many differences and changes to social platforms can sometimes happen by the day. It is important to learn the ever changing digital landscape.
There are tons of social media marketing tips available online, everything from free content on websites like Sexy, Savvy, Social to full-blown courses you can work online at your convenience Like the Seth Godin MBA.
The best place to start is to learn how social media marketing works specifically for your business or niche. Although the fundamentals are often similar, businesses must customize their strategies slightly to capture the attention of their target audience. If you dont have any time or interest in handling social yourself, hire someone to do it for you.
2. Set Goals
It is important to set goals for your social media activities. Whether you want to build brand awareness, increase participation, engage current customers, prospect future customers, increase conversions or a combination of each, each social media post should address your goals.
3. Have a Plan and Create an Editorial Calendar
Once your goals are set you will need a plan. Start by creating an events and editorial calendar. List your marketing campaigns, sales events, local events, National events and holidays. It’s a good idea to create themes within your calendar. Whether it is for the week, or even a month which will offer a consistent starting point for each new post.
Pay attention to any odd or obscure holidays that are relevant to your business. For example a gym may want to include a post on Personal Trainer Awareness Day (Jan 2) or focus on Bike Month (may). This is a fun way to harness the energy and momentum of “national days” to drive awareness to your business product or services.
4. Offer Social Specials & Incentives
Give your customers reason to seek you out on social media. Engage current and future clients with “Social Specials” to include discounts or freebies. Ask fans to like, post, and share for special perks or cool swag. Invite customers to like you on social and make it worth their while by offering exclusive benefits, contests, and content.
Social media is not a broadcast platform, it is a conversation. Use social as a customer service tool, and allow your customers to have a voice. When they come to you with complaints, address them promptly and with empathy. Thank supporters for any encouragement or kind words and their positive reviews. It is about creating a community and giving your customers reason to interact with your brand on social media. Actively engage with your audience and turn them into satisfied customers
Your customers are talking about you on social. Whether of not you are there listening. We have analyzed many brands to find that their was a ton of social chatter about the brand, some good and some bad, but no - one was listening! Learning to listen to your audience will provide valuable insight. Engaging your followers allows you to uncover problems or issues other customers might be experiencing as well. Then, you can be proactive and address those issues quickly before they turn into fires that are difficult to put out. When your communication lines are always open, you will often discover problematic situations before they spiral out of control.
7. Automate (lightly and strategically)
To create raving fans and loyal supporters you must provide value! Don’t simply blast out promotional and sales pitches, rather use social media as communication tool to connect with your audience. The key to successful social is consistency. You must stick with it! Automation can come in handy to help keep you on track, but you must avoid “spam” at all costs. Software applications, like Sprout Social and Hootsuite, can increase social efficiency. By scheduling posts in advance, you will have more time to reply and engage followers.
8. Create Quality Content
Social media marketing should be an important part of your marketing plan, and a major component is content. You must create engaging and exciting content to attract new fans and keep your current fans’ attention.
It's easy for social to get lost in the mix, but the key is to post regularly. Keep a steady flow of content streaming! Without content social media following will not grow.
9. Track, Measure and Analyze (Everything... Always) To really know if your social efforts are paying you must have clear goals and benchmarks. Constantly optimize and test your efforts. Data helps to paint a clear picture and shows you what is working and what is not to guide you to make necessary changes to your campaign.
Do you need help with your digital marketing effort. Contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation.