I have written about social media before, but lately more and more small business owners have been asking me about it as they are unsure where to start or how to use social media marketing effectively for their business. Since I am a practical marketer by nature, I thought I would put together a bit of 101 to Social Media Marketing including a few simple tips, tricks and tools to get you started.
However, since anyone who knows me will tell you, I talk in detail and write the same way, so I am going to do this as a two-part series. This first blog will start with all the basics and how to get a good start. In my next blog I will take it to the next level giving you some more specific tips and tricks on the marketing side of social media.
Firstly, let me preface this by saying social media marketing isn’t simple. It is complex and ever changing. By its very essence, the digital marketing space is multi-layered and multi-faceted. So there is not going to be a one off simple solution.
You will have to continue to work on your social media marketing and continue to learn about the new products, changes, trends, etc. And like all marketing, you need to continue to review your metrics and optimise your marketing.
However, as the saying goes, you eat an elephant one bite at a time, so let’s find a few simple bites for you to begin with.
1. Who are you talking to? – I can’t say it enough in marketing. Take some time to map out specifically who you are targeting, what it is that is driving them, what they are interested in, where they going to find out about things and how your product benefits them ie. what are your key messages to them. This will help you target your effort and your budget. You can do other targets as stage 2 and 3 etc but you need to pick your number one priority to focus on. Ultimately you would develop a target market persona or profile. Here’s a template to help you do that – Hubspot Buyer Persona.
2. Don’t try to do all social media platforms – Don’t try to do all the social media platforms. You will just find yourself drowning in them and probably wasting time and money on platforms that your target market is not looking at:
a. If you’re B2B (Business 2 Business), consider LinkedIn and/or Twitter, though I have to admit I lean towards LinkedIn. Here is what some stats on what other B2B marketers use.
b. If you’re B2C (Business 2 Consumer) look at Facebook and/or Instagram. Facebook is my normal go to but Instagram is really starting to get some traction. Here is an interesting breakdown on B2C social media that you might find useful.
Look at where your target market are spending most of their time and then pick your poison. If you’re time and resource poor then put your energy into doing that one platform well rather than trying to juggle multiple.
3. Build Your Page –
a. Appeal to your market – people like a page that has a favourable brand image to them so they believe your brand image aligns with their image of themselves or it is favourable to them and further enhances their own image. For example Mercedes has the luxury market, premium, exclusive appeal so people who drive one enjoy that cache. If you don’t have a brand strategy at least think through your brand image and develop a brand snapshot outlining your tone of voice, image style, types of posts etc. You want to consistently represent your brand and appeal to your target market encouraging them to engage and promote you.
b. Banners and Profile Pics – firstly, these need to represent your brand. Imagery is emotive. I don’t just mean having a picture of a wrench if you’re a car mechanic, you should be portraying the feelings and essence of your brand, i.e. good old fashioned service or modern, innovative, etc. Unfortunately, on social media just pasting in your logo doesn’t work. All the images and banners need to be at specific sizes to be optimal. If you don’t know a great graphic designer and have a limited budget then try Fiverr, there are lots of folks there that do this. Here is a link that provides a guide of sizes you might need.
c. Collate and optimise Content – start a Word document with all the fields you will need to fill in on your social media page and write up all your copy and the links in that document before you get started. This will make it easier for you if you are building it or save time/money if you are giving it to a social media marketer to build for you. It also means in future when you want to update the company/organisation page copy it is all saved in one place. Most importantly it also means if you have a bit of a budget that you can get a social media specialist to review it and optimise it. For example, on LinkedIn your position description under your name is key for being found in searches so you need the right terms.
So that’s Part 1 – How to get started with social media. Hopefully, this has given you some basic tips for getting up and running on social media.
In Part 2, I will get to the nitty gritty of social media marketing. So whether you have now just set up or you have been running social media for a while, Part 2 will provide you with some actionable tips and tools for how you can utilise social media as an effective tool in your marketing program.