There is a common misconception with social media nowadays. Most businesses and brands pursue social media as a way to make sales, have quick returns, and as a way to broadcast to your network. While these may be good tactics, that’s not what social media is all about for you as a business owner.
Social media is a great platform to showcase your brand’s voice and personality. It’s a way to support your marketing efforts, build relationships, and listen to your audience. There are ways where you can use social media to your benefit to create buzz around topics that promote your brand, voice, or image to the public eye. This kind of connection that we receive through social media is what marketers were dreaming about ten years ago and now the power is at our finger tips.
There are so many businesses and people out there, that many are going about social media the wrong way,with the wrong mind set, and with poor processes. It’s crucial to build brand sentiment on social media instead of just broadcasting to your audience. Social media is branding and communication gone digital, sitting in everyone’s pockets just waiting to be accessed. You want to have thought provoking, intriguing content that produces engagement, whether they are comments, likes, or shares. To be effective on social media, it’s crucial to build relationships with your audience, so each post comes off as personal to each individual. Much like SEO, Social media is a long-term game. It’s something that you build with time.
Gaining a brand sentiment is the first thing you want to achieve. You want to be consistent with your posting, not just daily but with your voice as well. You want to come across as sincere and real to your audience. Having a big budget for social media definitely proves to be helpful in building your social media presence but is not essential to your success. Having a small budget to devote to advertising on social media can be very beneficial with proper A/B testing, proper targeting, and geotagging.
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If you’re just getting started with social media, here are 5 steps that you can follow.
Step 1: Decide the Why
Why do you want to be on social media? What do you want to achieve from it? How much time and money can you invest into it? What are your main goals? It’s important when getting started or re-launching your social media efforts, that you have a clear plan in front of you to follow.
Step 2: Deciphering Your Brand
Once you’ve determined your goals, it’s necessary to determine how you want your brand and/or message to look, feel, and sound on social media. The key to building a brand is just like having your own personality; it has to be noteworthy, unique, and confident in itself. You personality should be primarily based around your brand strategy and your buyer’s personas.
Step 3: Make a Plan
Having a clear set plan in place before you embark on your social media journey is very beneficial to your overall success. You want to build a plan for the next six to twelve months. You want to write down key performance indicators (KPI’s) that are to be measured monthly or bi-monthly. You want to have your conversion code or pixels installed on your site so you can track your conversions. Whether it’s purchasing a product or filling out a contact form, whatever you count as a conversion, you want to be tracking it! You also want to delegate roles and responsibilities concerning your social media venture. Not that you need a social media guru, but having a team member being solely in charge of your campaign is important. The last thing you want to plan for is your budget and targets you want to reach, whether it is clicks, conversions, site views, etc.
Step 4: Build a Strategy
Once you have your plan in place, you will want to move on to building a strategy. If you don’t have a strategy in place, all your hard work may be all for naught. The first thing you want to do is create a content strategy with a content calendar. Build out what you’re going to post about, make sure it’s cohesive, and it all supports your brand voice and message. You should make sure that your content calendar is a social media funnel that works for you. You want to ask your audience questions in your posts, get them to engage in what you’re posting about, and most importantly, make it clearly evident to your audience why your product or service is what they need in their life. You want to keep your posts of high quality and deliver it consistently, on a daily basis. Give your audience content that they will love and will keep them coming back for more.
Step 5: Timing
Timing is everything. Learn when the best times are for your posts. To do this, start with posting at different times in the day to see when you get the most engagement. I have personally seen that lunch time and the evenings when people get off work prove to be some of the better times to post.
Step 6: Build Relationships
While it’s all well and good to have a plan and content strategy, social media is truly all about building personal relationships with your audience and generating social authority. It’s important to keep metrics in mind and to see how your plan is working, but that’s not what it’s all about. You want to correspond with your audience when they engage with you. You want to respond to the messages, their comments, and shares. You want them to know that you appreciate their commentary and that you’re a business that cares. You want to create a buzz around your space and get into conversations weekly, if not daily, with other businesses and your audience to keep them interested in what you’re doing.
In conclusion, social media can be your best friend in marketing if executed properly. It’s an ever-changing beast so you want to stay on top of your strategy and adjust when the time comes where your posts are not producing the engagement you are aiming for. You are in full control of what you do and how you portray your business to the world. Now let’s get to it.
– Lauren Knorr, SEO Coordinator