Where to begin with your social media marketing?
So you’re trying to grow your business, your website is built but it’s not necessarily attracting visitors. Perhaps you’ve created your marketing strategy and have come to the conclusion that you need a stronger social media presence. But where do you begin?
It can be very overwhelming given there are so many platforms and so much “noise” out there, so hopefully, this article will prove helpful. It’s my quick guide for getting started with social media marketing.
1. Start with your basic objectives
Ask yourself some key questions about why you’re doing it.
- What are you hoping to accomplish?
- Are you hoping to increase brand awareness?
- Increase increase sales
- Perhaps improve customer service?
Be clear why you want to use social media so that your efforts aren’t wasted – it also keeps you focussed.
2. Start small, and be selective
There are numerous social platforms. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter – the list goes on. But I’d highly recommend you don’t try and be present on ALL of them! It is simply not possible, especially if you are trying to run a business too.
Each platform has a different audience. So be selective and only start with one or two sites initially. Think about where your target audience are likely to be hanging out – that’s where you want to be!
3. Come up with a relevant profile name (also known as your “handle”)
Ideally you want this to be your company’s name, or perhaps add something to it to emphasise a certain area of your brand.
For example, whilst my handle is @hamptondigitalservices, I could easily have used @hdsdigitalmarketing. That still uses my company initials, but now states what we specialist in.
Once you have decided what you’d like to use, then double check that handle is available on all the platforms you wish to be on.
A tool I recently came across to check this is Knowem.
4. Make a plan
How often do you want to post on your social sites? What is realistically going to work with your schedule to ensure you will be able to engage with your posts. Don’t over stretch yourself, as like I mentioned in point 2, start small – build it up to something manageable.
As a good starting point, I would recommend you post 2-3 times a week. The algorithms work in such a way that not all of your connections will see the same posts anyway. So once you start to build content, you can repurpose this with a different heading, and even a different intro to the same blog or content. It will be shown to different people based on the heading, so be afraid to repurpose what you can, albeit a few weeks apart.
Top tip is don’t post, just to post. Ensure each post is relevant to your audience and adds value.
5. Be authentic
People buy from people! So keep this in mind when you’re posting online. Show the human behind the brand, interact with those who comment on your feed, be kind and supportive. You will be amazed by the comments you will receive when you meet someone face to face, who has been “following” your feeds for some time. They will pick up on your character and choose to work with you based on that.
6. Mix it up
You want your social presence to be a mixture of funny posts to grab someone’s attention, personal posts (such as charity events close to your heart) as well as content with links to sites or articles that others will find interesting, or write your own article where you’ve added value by sharing some of your knowledge.
The best way to mix it up is to create a pipeline for your content. What type of content will you post this month? When and where will you post it? It will help keep you focussed, but don’t be afraid to tweak it if you don’t think it’s working.
7. Schedule it
We all set out thinking we will spend a bit on time on this each day sharing content, or engaging on yours and others posts, but in reality, you’ve also got a business to run. You may start out well and keep it up for a couple of weeks, but then you’ll have a busy few days and get out of the habit. At that point, it can be hard to get back into the swing of it.
Whilst they say that there is a 90 day period where you’ll start to see some results, this also means if you stop posting, you will see the effects of that in 90 days too. Digital marketing isn’t a one-time thing, it isn’t overnight, it is “in-it-for-the-long-haul” marketing.
Therefore, start as you mean to go on and use some kind of tool for not only coordinating all your posts, but it will easily allow you to repurpose your posts by simply copying the original post and choosing a new date to schedule it. Some software even lets you set “evergreen” content which can automatically be reposted at certain intervals.
There are applications like Content Studio, Postoplan or Gain which provide a centralised dashboard to easily see what you have scheduled and on which platforms. Also, all your social media stats will be viewable there too, which is crucial to make sure your efforts are working.
There are a number of social management platforms available, so don’t just choose one of the above, do some research and select the one that is right for you.
8. Be engaging
Social media is also known as “social networking,” and there’s a reason for that – there’s no better place than the Internet to network and make connections with others, and we have all experienced this with our networking events moving to zoom since March 2020. So use your social presence to build great relationships too.
For instance, you might like to use LinkedIn for connecting to professionals that would be a great extension to your business. By this I mean, whilst I am a web designer, I am not a copywriter. Connecting with copywriters not only means that after we have built a relationship, I can confidently refer my clients to them to get their website written, but equally, they may then choose to refer their client to me, to build their site.
Facebook is great for connecting with local people in the community, who again might become customers. Everywhere you look on social media, there are opportunities to make connections. Don’t shy away it.
Maybe in the beginning, you’ll stick to some general rules, about when you’re going to post and what about, and this is great whilst you’re building your followers and learning how it all works.
But don’t be afraid to experiment with it all. Play with the volume and timing of your posts. Share content that’s different. Try new social sites that aren’t necessarily popular yet. See what happens! You might stumble onto something that works surprisingly well for you and your business.
One example that comes to mind is when I randomly posted a picture of my broken cappuccino machine. Over 2000 views and loads of comments! I think it’s still my top post of all times! People love to see the personal stuff, so don’t be afraid to share it!
10. Measure it
At the beginning of this post, I talked about starting with a goal in mind. Remember why you wanted to start your social media journey; whether it’s to increase sales, provide value by sharing your knowledge, training guides and ebooks, etc. It’s always good to have a goal and then you have something to track to see if it’s all working.
Getting involved with social media does take time, energy and of course money. Those resources are ones you don’t want to go to waste. If you measure your results, you can ensure that they don’t.
I’d love to finish with this quote by Ann Tran as it summarises perfectly what I was saying above about ensuring you are authentic and engaging:
“Humility, gentleness, and helpfulness go so much further and open doors you cannot imagine. Think from a higher level and try to see beyond today. Some hard work and insight will bring you to paths that will reward you so highly, it’ll make the little inconvenience you incurred so worth it.”