Many wonder what the next step is after their small business is up and running. Your beautiful website is ready for the world to view, but unfortunately people won’t flock to it just because you want them to. It is now time to market your website.
Social Media Marketing is a trending marketing approach that is both lucrative and inexpensive, in most cases costing absolutely nothing.
You are about to learn basic techniques to Social Media Marketing; where to begin and what to post about.
What is the Point of Social Media Marketing?
The primary reason is to get the name of your brand out to the public, but it does go deeper than that. Brand awareness is the most obvious goal, but what do you do with the attention of your new following?
It is important to provide valuable content that benefits your audience. Are you teaching them something? Giving tips or ‘Do It Yourself’ guides? Giving your audience something to walk away with is extremely important. Bonus points are awarded to those who involve their own product or service. For example, I am posting online marketing strategies and web design tips on the blog of my web design firm, and then informing my social media accounts of the valuable information I am sharing.
Another important strategy is to engage your audience and respond to them. Not only does this instill a better liking to your brand and makes them more inclined to remember your brand, but you can learn a lot from your customers. Use information from your social media followers to improve your product or service.
All the while you are developing and exposing your brand. You can see how beneficial this is; rather than being a sitting duck company, you are now a company of the people! Google sees this and favors websites that post dynamic and unique content, so your website will rank better organically while you’re having loads of fun and helping the community.
Where Do I Start?
The biggest and best places to start your Social Media Marketing Journey are the big dogs: Facebook Business Pages and Twitter. These two platforms are the industry standard for starting out with Social Media Marketing. They can host a multitude of different content types – anything from videos and photos, to simple text content.
Once you have a posting routine on those two and you wish to expand your Social Media empire, continue on to Google+ and LinkedIn. Both of these are esteemed by search engines and provide more detailed information about your company itself. While not needing to be updated as frequently, it is important to fill out your accounts thoroughly and keep them linked up with key people whom you do business with.
Other social media avenues host more specific content types. YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Vimeo, and Flickr are video/photo based and take more effort to keep updated with original and unique content. The more you have, the better – as long as they aren’t going to sit there and never be actively updated. Start small and expand your empire.
What Should I Post?
Personally, I enjoy starting with a little bit of competitor analysis, as the answer to this question may vary from industry to industry. Check and see what your competitors are posting on their social media sites. Check between 3 and 5 competitors, that way you don’t feel the urge to copy what they are doing exactly. Take ideas from all of them, but never copy one specifically. After all, there’s a chance they aren’t doing it the best and with a little creativity, you could do it better.
Common Topics Consist of:
- Company Info/News (Informs/Develops Brand)
- Promos/Coupons (Benefits Audience & Promotes New Products/Services)
- Contests (Engages/Excites Audience & Promotes New Products/Services)
- Questions to Provoke Audience Participation (Engages Audience & Brand Development/Awareness)
- Current Events (Engages Audience & Brand Development/Awareness)
- Jokes/Funny Images (Engages Audience & Brand Development/Awareness – Everyone Loves a Good Laugh)
Your content should ALWAYS benefit the user in one way or another. Whether you are teaching them something, sharing a deal/coupon, or simply making them smile and laugh. Don’t post just to post – or you will have no friends… :'(
Consider every post a chance to engage your audience and reinforce your brand to the public. Don’t be afraid to show your human side and have a little fun. Use current events, photos, or useful tips to get the attention of your followers. Posts with photos are known to get nearly 40% more engagement than simple text posts.
Interact with your followers. Consumers are interested in conversing with a brand, as well as getting to know it. Think of your followers as a community and don’t neglect them. Every now and then it’s good to create a post that is provoking the direct response of your audience.
Responding to your audience will make followers favor your brand. Consumers gain a love for brands that actively communicate and extend their customer service over platforms they are already using daily. Think of a customer that likes Coke and Pepsi equally, but Pepsi ACTUALLY responded to their tweet last night. Now they LOVE Pepsi because they feel special. Or perhaps Pepsi posted a hilarious photo or meme that they can relate to, causing the customer to share Pepsi’s post for all their friends to see and now Pepsi is ‘way more cool than Coke’. Audience interactions will fuel positive perception of your brand.
What Not To Do!
- Don’t change your voice. Remain consistent with your point of view, whether it be professional, or cool and hip.
- Don’t over do your posts. Keep it short and sweet. Pretend everyone has ADHD and get to the point.
- Watch your grammar and spelling. If your voice involves spittin’ ill slang to the homies, that’s all good bro – but watch your spelling while you’re doin’ it yo!
- Don’t do too many updates at once. Not only could your visibility drop off the News Feed algorithm, but you may annoy your audience altogether!
But Wait, What about Facebook Ads?
Facebook has an incredible advertising platform. If you have the resources for a monthly marketing spend, Facebook Ads could help spread your reach. Facebook Ads specifically target the end users who see your ads based on selected demographics. You can choose who your ads are displayed for based on age, sex, location, interests, and much more – all information gathered from user submitted data found on their Facebook profiles.
Whether you are using Facebook Ads to sell your product, or just to increase brand awareness and gain more followers, Facebook Ads are powerful. However, these ads can be quite expensive. Similar to Google AdWords, Facebook Ads are PPC (Pay-Per-Click) ads where you are charged a fee per every click. Fortunately, Facebook offers a team of Advertising Representatives who will help you free of charge to get the most out of your paid advertising campaigns.
For more information, visit Facebook.com/Ads or call Facebook’s first time setup service at 1-800-601-0077.