It is a fact that, love it or hate it, social media marketing is a must for businesses and organizations of all types and sizes. Whether you are selling a product or service, changing the world with your non-profit, engaging potential contacts, or maintaining relationships with those who already know and love you, leveraging the power of social media is in your best interest.
But what if you aren’t super knowledgeable about social media? Or, worse yet, actively dislike it?!
For most social media civilians, Facebook is for keeping up with loved ones and sharing cute pictures of kittens - and let’s be real, cute pictures of kittens *are* the best thing on the internet! (EXHIBIT A. EXHIBIT B. And EXHIBIT C.)
Seriously, you guys…
HOWEVER, Owning a business or brand means changing your relationship with social media. If avoiding the slings and arrows of digital media and sticking with the entrepreneurial side is more your style, you might consider seeking assistance from a professional who can help you navigate your way to a solid online presence.
As a Social Marketing Strategist, I’ve assisted clients with defining their brand, creating content, and implementing a plan. Depending on your available time, skills, and talents, you can choose to take on some or all of the tasks associated with a solid digital marketing strategy.
So, where do you start?
Curating and creating engaging content is obviously a big part of any social media marketing strategy - but how you use it, who you direct it to, and what you expect to get from your efforts are important, and often overlooked, aspects to a solid social media plan.
While trying to navigate social media might feel like shouting into the void at times, we recommend these five straightforward steps you can take to ensure that your efforts land in a meaningful way and tell your story to the right audience.
#1 Assess your current social media situation
What channels are you on? Are all of them fully optimized with pictures, bio, URL, etc.? Which networks are bringing you the most value? And how does your social media presence compare with others in your industry? Not all social media is created equal - Instagram and LinkedIn, for example, appeal to different industries and demographics. Figure out what channels will serve you best.
#2 Know who you are trying to reach
The best marketer in the world isn’t going to find success if they are marketing to the wrong audience. Ask specific questions about the ideal person you want to reach with your message. Some criteria to help you define your audience:
Main social media platform
Pain point (i.e. How are you going to help them? What do they need?)
#3 Decide what you want from your time and effort
Are you trying to increase sales? Build a brand? Get more traffic to your website? There are many ways to measure success (or lack of it) - but if you don’t define what success is, you’ll never know when you get there. This is where the tried and true SMART goals can help. Set benchmarks for your social media efforts that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timebound. Then, follow through. Analyze data. Tweak your plan. Rinse. Repeat.
#4 Understand that social media success won’t happen overnight
It takes time to build a successful social media presence - especially these days, when you are competing for clicks, views, and likes at every turn. You need to know who you are trying to reach, the best way and time to reach them, and above all, be consistent in your efforts. One of the tools I use daily is Google Drive. It’s an excellent way to keep all of your ideas, content, and schedule in one place - a real leg up in keeping yourself on track!
#5 Have fun getting serious about content creation
Adorable branded pictures and videos don’t make themselves. Now that you’ve gotten the more difficult work out of the way, it’s time to have some fun! There are a lot of user-friendly tools available these days to help create eye-catching, polished, and consistent branded collateral. Some of my favorites are Canva, Unsplash and Animoto. The accessibility of these tools, and their intuitive UI, make them the perfect starting place for producing your own marketing masterpieces!
Social media is a landscape that changes quickly, and the best strategy is one that has a solid, yet flexible, structure. Being open to new ideas, trends, and platforms, actively seeking new information, learning from mistakes and successes, and regularly assessing the needs of you and your client/audience will keep you at the top of your game.
If you find any part of this daunting, get in touch with me at Oh! Creative - we’ve got a talented team ready to help you reach for those social media marketing stars!
So, what do you think? Was this helpful? Leave a note, and let me know what other topics you want to hear about in future blog posts!
MEET BETH MADSEN BRADFORD
Beth is a social media strategist, specializing in helping companies use digital tools to drive online visibility, generate leads, and better connect with their customers. Beth has shaped brand architecture, created content, produced events, driven social media strategy, and built communities for small businesses, non-profits and large corporate brands.