Where do I start with Social Media Marketing?

We all know that Social Media is now, or should be, part of an overall online marketing strategy. A big problem that smaller to medium sized businesses have with Social Media is a belief that they have not got the time to manage it effectively. Another issue is that they have tried it and it didn't meet their expectations and gave up. So, how does one generate more leads from Social Media, consistently and with minimal resource impact?

It’s all very well having some dedicated social media marketing staff or employing 3rd party agencies but for most of us it is something that we need to get to grips with ourselves without spending our life consumed by it. Social Media is still growing at a fast pace and it always seems to be evolving. There is so much clutter now, it is a real challenge just to stand out.

Don't give up on it. Stick to a few golden rules and you will get the most out of it for the time you spend on it:

1. Set Your Goals Properly

It sounds kind of obvious but if you don't plan what you actually expect to get out of it you may flounder and come unstuck at the implementation stage.
Your campaign or general posting could be to:
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Reach a whole new audience
  • Boost engagement/interaction
  • Increase basic traffic to your website
  • Bring in new leads to your business

Getting started with Social Media Marketing
Getting started with Social Media Marketing

2. Idea Creation

Okay, now you need to come up with some ideas. Sometimes they seem to come easily and other times it's a total brainfreeze nightmare. These might help:
  • Check out the latest trends being mentioned and see if you can use them to highlight your business
  • Be creative. Don't be affraid to come up with something edgy or near the line. Think on how can you attract attention amongst all the clutter.
  • Try out your new ideas and don't get emotional about them. Bin them if they are not working.
  • You could ask other people such as colleagues, friends or family for ideas. What grabs their attention?

3. Planning

Okay, so you have your ideas. Now you need to:
  • Check what did work for you previously and make sure that you include it moving forward
  • Create a simple calendar to monitor when you are making posts and if you actually did!
  • Choose the right channels for your message. Some work better on Facebook or Instagram or YouTube
  • Decide on, monitor and analyse how frequent you should be posting out for most effectiveness
  • Make sure you are adhering to your goals from #1

4. Execution

Time to post but are you doing the following:
  • Are you following the schedule?
  • Are you engaging with any interactors?
  • Would life be easier if you used social media software which can be free at some levels, such as Hoot Suite?Is your brand being portayed consistently across all channels?
  • Could you perhaps use social media for customer service?

5 Analysis

So, has it all turned out as you wished?
  • Were your goals met? Do they need changing now that you understand your resources and needs better?
  • Has growth on each channel matched your expectations?
  • What sort of traffic or leads came from the Social Media channels back to your website?
  • Did any of these convert into sales?
  • Earmark the content that worked, bin the ones that didn't
  • Start your new plan!

The above might look a bit daunting at first glance but it will all happen a lot faster than you think and it will ensure that you will be getting the most out of your efforts and not falling into any of the usual traps.

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