Guest post from Forj Marketing
If you are anything like majority of the world, you jumped on the social media band wagon a long time ago, to send funny photos, share your journey with the world, and stay connected with friends and family.
Then all of a sudden, social media became something else. A very powerful and influential business marketing tool. You sat and watched as business after business joined the convoy, and post after post from your favourite shoe store, or luxury hotel started rolling down your home feed.
At this point, you suddenly realised that if you didn’t jump in you would miss out completely and be left behind in the dust.
So, you started throwing up random posts hoping that someone would see it and it would turn your business into a multi-million dollar empire and you could go and sit on a beach in the Bahamas.
But you find yourself here reading this, which probably means you are still at your desk, plugging away, and saying to those around you who say the ‘S’ word – “that stuff is a waste of time. Been there done that”.
There is a little niggle in the back of your head that does not really believe it, it’s just that you have gotten a little lost in the journey. It is easier to dismiss it, and bury your head in the sand rather than try to figure it all out.
Social media, like any marketing tool, is only effective when it is built into a clearly defined, and well-devised strategy. This then becomes your road map to keep you heading in the right direction, and arriving at your ultimate destination – success!
Here are our 5 Tips to creating a rocking social media strategy:
1. Define your Why
For what purpose are you going to use social media to market your business, and how does this fit into your other marketing strategies. Setting a clear objective will help you to focus all of the activity, and help you figure out which platforms are going to be most effective. The power of social media, when done right, is building solid brand reputation, which in turn creates a posse of raving fans who then do your marketing for you! Bonus!
2. Define your Who
Once you are clear on your objectives, then look at who you are going to target. Who are the people who will clearly benefit from your products and services? Get as specific as you possibly can. The easiest way to begin this is to look at who your business is already serving. You will find that there will be a pattern mixed in amongst them. Are they male, female or both? What age group? Where do they live? What do they do for work? Do they have kids? What kind of car do they drive? What magazines or books do they read?
3. Define your message
Once you know your objective and your target market, the next step is to define your message. This is where a lot of people lose their way. We are so used to advertising methods where we just create a product and pump it out there with all kinds of sleezy sales messages. This is not going to work so well anymore in the modern world of marketing. People want real. They want honest. They want to feel as though they are meaningful. They want to be knitted into your business story. They want to matter to you.
Your message needs to clearly speak to their needs, or ‘pain points’ as I like to call them. What is it that your target market struggle with, or are frustrated by, that your product or service will resolve for them. Some of the most powerful messages I have seen on social media from business are those that have figured out how to tap into the emotion of the reader or listener and in turn have them eating out of their hands.
4. Define your capability
Even if you have a team of people to help you implement your social media strategy, it is very important to define your time and financial capabilities. There is no point being on every single platform, unless you are NIKE. Decide which social media platform is where most of your target market are going to be open to hearing your message – kind of like which bar do your people hang out at? How much time and money can you allocate for your marketing to be both consistent, professional and effective? Bearing in mind that the initial set-up and building stage will require more expenditure. Social media marketing does take commitment from a time perspective. It is not something you can just keep pushing down your to-do list. The good news is that there are many apps and platforms available now to help you schedule your posts, manage engagement and deliver analytics.
5. Define your outcomes
When people say to me that social media doesn’t work, I immediately wonder if they have ever looked at their data, or if they are just going off the number of emails in their inbox. Like most marketing, momentum builds over time, and people are looking and researching a long time before they pick up the phone to call you, or press the ‘buy now’ button.
Rarely are you going to see an explosion of results within the first 2-3 months with social media marketing. The first month is set-up stage. The second month is testing. The third month is refining. To get good at anything it takes focus, persistence and measurement. Set yourself reasonable expectations for your industry, and outline how you are going to measure your results.
With this map on the table, you will be well on your way to establishing some solid foundations for your social media marketing.
Feel free to reach out if you would like to work with us to set up a clear strategy for you or your team that is going to fast track your social media marketing success.