Thursday, May 17, 2018

Social Media Marketing Steps To Success?


Six simple steps that make social media marketing less overwhelming..

You've probably heard the term "FOMO" by now. Fear of missing out is the sensation that everyone else is doing something you should be doing. And it's a feeling that is often triggered by seeing someone's social media post.



To a lot of business owners -- especially small business owners who wear many hats -- social media marketing itself feels this way. Should I use every social platform that's out there? How do I even get started? Am I missing out on something fundamentally important for my business?

I've heard these questions time and again while traveling the country with the Small Business Revolution, a national movement that shines a spotlight on the importance of small businesses. People get overwhelmed thinking about social media marketing. It locks them up. It keeps them from doing anything.

This is a shame, as a sturdy social media presence is important for search and many other reasons. The key is to be strategic. Build your presence deliberately (and, yes, slowly). Analyze your efforts. Adjust as you go. Keep your customer front of mind. You don't need to do everything. You just need to do what makes sense for your business. Here are six steps to help you determine what that means for your unique situation.



Find Your Customers

You're likely familiar with major social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube. Perhaps you use them yourself. That's good.

Now ask yourself which platforms your customers use. Not sure? Ask them. Although it may be tempting to use every platform out there, you don't need to. You just need to be able to meet your customers. Also, check out what your competitors are doing. Where can you find them online? Evaluate their efforts. Can you communicate with the same audience differently? Better? Go for it.

If you're starting from scratch, figure out one key platform that fits the demographic of your customer base. This serves as your starting point.



Start Small

Social media marketing is beneficial in many ways -- for generating brand awareness, driving sales, engaging with consumers and more. It can be tempting to try to achieve everything at once. But if you're a newcomer, start small.

What is most important to you right now? Write it down. Then look at what you wrote and proceed confidently, knowing that this is your top priority and you should focus on this specific goal.

Of course, you can branch out from there, depending on the results. It's the results that will determine where you go next.



Hone Your Message

You know who is your wisest social media consultant? Your mother. It might sound like a joke, especially if terms like "Snapchat" would elicit little more than a befuddled look from your mom. But I'm serious.

Remember the lessons she gave you when you were a child? "Don't just talk about yourself -- be sure to listen." "Be kind and caring." Those are essential social media attributes. The biggest mistake I see companies of all sizes make on social media is talking about themselves too much. Don't do that. I cannot stress this enough.

Your job is to solve problems for your customers. Reflect this in your social media messaging. My approach with the Small Business Revolution is to share the stories of remarkable business owners. They're inspiring. They talk about real-life challenges, and we show the way they adapt and move forward. We can all learn from these insights.



Prepare to talk about your customers more than yourself. If it helps to have a ratio in mind, go with 80-20. Make 80% of your communications about your customers (and the things that make their lives easier) and 20% about yourself. As you go along, you might even take that up to 90-10. It's about developing trust over the long term.

Make Time For It

When you're getting started, social media marketing can seem deceptively easy because so many of us are already social media users in our personal lives. But there's more to social media marketing than social media participating. For one thing, it takes time. A consistent presence is crucial. You need someone to check your feeds every day. Someone needs to create and share content. Someone needs to respond to customers.



Maybe that someone is you. Maybe it's a third-party expert who allows you to focus on the aspects of your business where your unique skills can make the biggest impact. Either way, budget time for it. To be successful, social media cannot be an afterthought. If you remain committed, social media marketing can pay big dividends. Just don't expect your world to change overnight. Stick with it. Make it a priority.

Integrate Your Efforts

Think of your social media marketing effort as an extension of everything you do. Integrate it into all of your branding work. Are you communicating the same messages online as you are in person? Is the tone of your customer interactions consistent?

Before hitting "post," make sure you're reinforcing all of your brand attributes. Social media is a unique opportunity to provide the same personalized experience to consumers as they would receive face to face.



Relax. You can always make changes. You should always make changes

The one immutable law of social media marketing is that it always changes. The strategies that make sense for your business today might not make sense six months from now.

This is what makes it an amazing time to be a digital marketer. With social media, you can constantly refine your efforts. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Learn from them. And get back in there.

Guest Authored By Amanda Brinkman. Amanda is Chief Brand and Communications Officer at Deluxe and Exec. Producer of the Small Business Revolution. Follow Amanda on Twitter.





"Fortunately, it's easy to analyze and adapt.

If you're not getting the conversion rates you're looking for, foot traffic, coupon redemptions or whatever preferred objective you wrote down.

Change things up.." -AmandaBrinkman


    • Post Crafted By:
      Fred Hansen Pied Piper of Social Media Marketing at GetMoreHere.com & CEO of Millennium 7 Publishing Co. in Loveland, Colorado. I work deep in the trenches of social media strategy, community management and trends.  My interests include; online business educator, social media marketing, new marketing technology, skiing, hunting, fishing and The Rolling Stones..-Not necessarily in that order ;)
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