As a business owner or entrepreneur, using social media to connect and appeal to consumers isn’t always as easy as it seems.
Simply posting or tweeting a random thought without a strategy behind it is a recipe for disaster.
Not to mention — a complete waste of time.
In order to make an impact, you must be willing to commit to a long-term strategy.
This includes a daily content and social media plan, as well as an effective means for management and monitoring.
Keep your company ahead of the competition and in front of potential clients and recruits by creating and encouraging conversation, no matter the social network!
Kickstart a Social Media Strategy
Before you pull the trigger on your social media strategy, know the how, what and why behind each social network.
Once you understand each network and your goal behind it, put action steps in place to move you towards those objectives.
1. Find Your Market on Facebook
No matter the chatter about Facebook being dead — it’s still the most active social network, boasting over 1.3 billion users.
Implementing a Facebook marketing strategy requires that you understand your target market, demographic and the results you are hoping to achieve.
For example, are you interested in:
- Creating buzz around your business?
- Recruiting potential sales or marketing professionals?
- Increasing website or blog traffic?
- Building local awareness?
- Establishing brand equity?
- Creating thought leaderships?
Once you know the why behind your Facebook marketing, you can create a strategic action plan to support it.
Determine how you will:
- Connect with consumers talking about the product you sell or the service you offer.
- Share how your product or service solves the problems of your target market.
- Manage a consistent and integrated social media marketing strategy.
- Interact and educate your fans on a daily basis.
- Create content that inspires and elevates social media conversation.
If you manage a Facebook Page already, take on additional step. Analyze your content and your target market.
Take a look at the “People” tab within your Facebook Insights.
What’s the breakdown of male vs. female, the age and location of your Facebook fans and (most importantly) who is it you’re targeting as potential fans of your page?
Now look at your content over the last 30 days. Read through each post from your target market’s perspective.
Is the content interesting, would it make you stop and comment and most importantly — would it make you come back for more?
2. Leverage LinkedIn
If the potential of turning one connection into multiple targeted connections is appealing, then LinkedIn is the place for you to be.
LinkedIn is your chance to network and engage within a professional atmosphere. Don’t believe me?
Just look at the most recent LinkedIn stats:
- 347 million members in over 200 countries and territories.
- Average time a user spends on LinkedIn is 17 minutes.
- 42 million unique mobile visitors each month.
- 39 million students and recent college graduates are on LinkedIn — the fastest growing demographic.
Are you looking to make B2B connections or B2C? Either way, LinkedIn is the place to be!
Not only can you connect with industry power players, but also offer potential clients the background information they need when making a decision between you and the competition.
Evaluate your current LinkedIn profile and business page to ensure accuracy.
Fill out all of the necessary data and take the time to add appropriate details, giving a complete picture of who you are.
Want to further expand your profile? Take a tip from this Adweek video to make yours stand out!
3. Pin It on Pinterest
Are you spending time on Pinterest? If not, here’s why you should: (via Post Planner)
- The half-life of a Pinterest pin is 1,600 times longer than a Facebook post.
- The average Pinterest user spends 14.2 minutes pinning every time they log in.
- Pinterest was the fastest growing social network in 2014, growing by a whopping 97 percent!
Don’t miss this opportunity to share details around your business in a unique visual format.
Whether it’s a community event or your latest blog post, pin your content to offer insight into your business.
Build out boards that spotlight historical data about your company, photos around a recent conference, or a behind-the-scenes look into the inner-workings of your business.
Bill Gassett, a Massachusetts Real Estate Professional does an excellent job with this. He highlights the specific keywords or phrases that his target market would be looking for.
4. Get Found on Google+
With 540 million monthly active users, Google+ has firmly entrenched itself in the social landscape.
Sure there are rumors of it’s demise, but that’s exactly what they are — rumors.
As businesses scramble to find a solution to Facebook’s negative changes to organic search, Google+ becomes a viable alternative.
With Google+ tied directly to search giant Google, the ability to increase reach, visibility and credibility is an exciting probability.
Use Google+ to raise awareness and create a memorable experience.
Begin by completing your profile, adding specific details about your business, location, clients you serve and the differentiating factors that make your company appealing.
Peg Fitzpatrick, Social Media Strategist and the Author of “The Art of Social Media” says this about your Google+ bio,
Compared to the scarcity of a bio on Twitter and Instagram with minimal text and link opportunities, Google Plus is the place to maximize your social business with solid information to attract your ideal customers and fans alike. Combine this with a stunning image for your cover photo and you’ll see that Google+’s profile can be a home run for you or your business.
Twitter can be a challenge for the even the most seasoned online marketer.
The way you can harness the power of Twitter is to craft succinct and compelling quips, tips and quotes about your business in 140 characters or less.
How to use Twitter to build your online presence:
- Define who you’re looking to connect with. Is it buyers, sellers, recruits or all of the above?
- Optimize your profile by completing your bio. Utilize keywords used by your target market, include a link to your website or blog and add connections to other social sites to make it easy to connect.
- Design a custom header to create a consistent brand look and feel across all of your online properties.
You’ll see that the look and feel we present is consistent in our logo, header and graphics.
Or are you still on the fence, not convinced that Instagram is where you should spend your time?
While you might have thought it’s just the tween or even teen demographics using Instagram, you’d be mistaken.
Businesses are dipping their toes in the water every day only to find massive success.
In fact, in a recent Forrester study, it was found that,
“Instagram delivered 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.”
How can you get started? Begin to share content relevant to your target market.
What to Share:
- Local events
- Neighborhood or community meetings
- Charity work
- Historical timeline of your business
- Pictures of your staff
- Your love of the city you work in
- Speaking engagements
- Book launch
Whatever you share — make it 100% in line with your brand.
Just take a look at Sue B Zimmerman, the Instagram Expert to see an example of this in action.
Everywhere you look, you see the same Sue. Vibrant, full of life, and always sharing amazing Instagram tips.
Video marketing can be a lethal weapon when building an online presence.
Video done right can generate audience awareness and interaction. Plus, it adds a layer of authenticity to your business.
There are so many ways to use video within your business. You’re only limited by your own creativity.
A few ideas:
- Share your latest company news.
- Give details around a product or service release.
- Break down a popular blog post and add additional commentary around specific tips.
- Offer insight into your local market or industry, giving your viewers the chance to make an educated decision.
- Once you know your topic, it’s time to script your video with your audience in mind. Identify the most compelling angle that speaks their language. Your goal is to give them a reason to come back for more.
I love the unique way Jay Baer, founder of Convince & Convert is using video to share short, educational and always entertaining content.
Creating a powerful online presence through social media will take a commitment to daily tactics.
Begin by prioritizing the steps you must complete on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. What pushes you towards your goals?
Add that to your calendar and stick to it without fail.
Then organize your system:
- Who will handle what tasks and how will each person communicate?
- Identify the tools and services you will use to support positive progress.
- Measure and track your success to keep you focused and on target.
And last but not least, be resolute. It’s easy to lose sight of your end goal when there are bumps in the road.
Stay the course and always — expect challenges and eat them for breakfast!