You know you need to market your business on social media. That's a given. But if you're stuck on where to start, or what exactly to do, you can start here: with the seven essentials for creating a social media marketing strategy. These are critical components of a successful social media marketing strategy. This visual sums them up, but I'll explain them a little further below.
1. Know your audience. This is so incredibly important. Knowing who you're talking to will determine what social media channel you use. Is your audience more likely to use Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, something else, a combination of these? Knowing your audience can also determine your message. Of course you're going to promote your business with your own voice, but messages can be received differently by different genders, age groups, professions. You'll want to craft your content and messaging to resonate with your audience.
2. Have a goal. What is your purpose in marketing on social media? To drive traffic to your website? To engage with consumers? To increase sales at your place of business? Maybe a combination of these? Understanding what your goal is will help you develop and share content in a way that's more likely to help you achieve that goal.
3. Make a plan. While social media is probably the most casual form of marketing, you should still have a formal plan in place. Determine which channels you'll be using and how frequently you'll be posting content. How can you incorporate images, video and information that will engage users? Consider developing a content calendar to ensure you're posting content consistently to the channels you'll be using.
4. Create relevant, shareable and consistent content. No one wants to see your posts that just state how great your business is. Talk with your audience. Be a good conversationalist. Explain how your product(s) or service(s) are needed. Ask users for preferences, feedback and opinions. Provide humor. Provide wisdom. Give them something they'll want to share.
5. Use video when you can. Users are ten times (!) more likely to engage with video than with other content on social media. Video can help users feel the story behind your brand, helping them better connect with your business. The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text (according to hubspot). That means you can pack a LOT more humor, education, emotion, and information in video-rich content versus text-heavy content.
6. Have your content link back to your website. Even if you're not an e-commerce business, give users and opportunity to connect with your website to learn more about you, your brand, your services or products. (If you still don't have a website, contact me! I know a gal.)
7. Track your results and refine your plan. This tip really connects with tip 2 - having a goal. How do you know if you're achieving your goal? Measure the activity of your business in every way you can. Look closely at your sales and how they relate to your social media content. Look at Google Analytics to see the data about your website traffic. See what type of feedback your getting from consumers both online and in-person and how it changes with your social media content. Make decisions based on what you discover. Perhaps you thought Facebook was your best best, but you're getting more traction on Pinterest. Perhaps your engagement is greater when you incorporate polls. Sometimes things surprise us. Really look for information you can pull and refine your social media marketing plan to increase your online visibility and engagement.