With so many different social media platforms available, choosing the right one (or one at all) for your business is tricky. Setting-up and maintaining multiple social media accounts is a big drain on staff resources sometimes costing businesses thousands of dollars per month. But as competition increases for page 1 results on Google, small businesses are starting to make a decisive change to use social media marketing as their primary (and at times only) marketing campaign.
However choosing the how, when, why of social platforms can influence how successful (or unsuccessful) social marketing campaigns can be right from the start. We’ve had our fair share of social media marketing strategies including our own and we know it can be a daunting field to enter. So to help you along we’ve compiled the most essential social strategies to save you time and maximise your chance for success from day 1.
1. Be committed and set goals
What are your social media goals? What are your expectations? Are you in it for the long haul? Before even starting make sure that this is a business decision, one you are willing to stand behind and work towards. If you don’t you’re going to end up wasting time creating and then later deleting multiple social media profiles across the internet because you weren’t committed.
2. Fewer profiles are better for business
Only use social media platforms you’re going to actively maintain. Having any social media account is going to increase brand exposure, which is generally a good thing, except if it’s through a decayed Facebook page abandoned since 2012. Your business’s social accounts need to be active and alive!
Only select as many business profiles as you think you can successfully manage and promote. Be ruthless here. More is not better and will make things harder in the long run. Fewer profiles will allow you to maintain consistency for your brand and make it easier to manager and communicate with your audiences.
Some big guns like Kissmetrics suggest using the big 4 – Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Linked-In. However this may be too many to handle. Our recommendation in most cases is to use only use Google My Business, Linked-In and Facebook. If you’re a visual brand and like taking photos then Instagram is an easy choice as well and it syncs neatly with Facebook which makes the two easier to manage.
2. Choose social platforms that link content
Save time and choose social platforms that can publish content simultaneously. This will retain consistency for the brand and make sure that no business profiles are left behind. One amazing way to do this is with IFTTT – If this than that.
3. Make great content and plug shamelessly
When it comes to social there is no such thing as a shameless plug because everything in social is a plug. Be proud of the work you produce and make sure people know about it. Whether it be an amazing photo of 4 leaf clover latte from your head barista, or a blog post about how you sped up your website super fast, make sure people know about it.
4. Be active, connect with and build your audience
The more invested you are in sharing content, connecting with others and building your brand the more others will respond. It might not be a lot at the start, but over time this will grow as your audience grows. And the more invested the audience is, the more willing they will be to share your content. Each person who shares the content becomes a brand ambassador for your business. Cherish them.
5. Be clear about your social marketing expectations
Be honest and realistic here. Knowing what you aim to get out of your Social Media from the start can play a big part on saving time and energy later down the line. If your social media outreach is designed to build a customer base which will eventually lead to sales conversions then consider your social outreach as a marketing campaign right from the beginning and put time and money behind it! Consider any outreach as a marketing cost that should be budgeted for. Build a social media budget that you can afford, whether through time or money, and build your connections consistently.
6. Don’t give up too early & have fun
Starting from zero is hard. And when results don’t come through it’s easy to put it on the back burner. If you’re struggling to get the results you want (especially early in) rather than stopping, step back and reassess.
Look at the overall quality of your social media page. Perhaps the beautiful sparkly profile you created isn’t as sparkly as you once thought; the content could do with some inspiration by a professional writer, or perhaps it’s time to invest in a professional photographer to take those photos you insisted were good enough with your trusty Galaxy S2. Get some inspiration from other thriving businesses and keep working on your social media channels ongoing. Most importantly you are connecting with people interested in your company so even though it’s serious business don’t take it too serious and have fun.