Social media is constantly changing. When you think you’ve mastered a platform, the “cool kids” are onto something new. Trends are flying at you left, and right – trying to stay in the loop feels like an uphill battle.
While I can’t say I have a magic guaranteed strategy, I can tell you it’s not as hard as you think.
This isn’t rocket science, and even if you “do something wrong,” it’s not the end of the world.
You can adapt, change and move on.
Social Media is an experiment in that we are all on different points of discovering our answers. We brainstorm, test and analyze the results. Once we find the solution, we try something else, and the cycle begins again.
Where are you in the social media spectrum?
Are you a Newbie? You either have no idea where to start with social media – let alone a strategy.
Are you the Magic Spell Seeker – you’ve got the hang of it, but it’s a lot of work, and you would prefer the magic potion that will make it blow up and make it worth your time and effort?
Are you the “banging my head on the wall” user – You’ve put in the time, but you do not see the results you want?
I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t matter where you are – there are options to get you started in the right direction.
I know you’ve been told a million times you need to be on social media, but you might ask yourself why?
My top 4 reasons why you NEED to have a social media marketing strategy:
1. Social Media is where your clients spend their time.
Social media can NOT be ignored! A study of 3.5 billion social media users worldwide.
Facebook is the most popular social media platform.
90.4% of Millennials, 77.5% of Generation X, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers are active social media users.
Users spend an average of 3 hours daily on social networks and messaging. (source) If your audience is there, you need to be too!
2. See more return on investment!
Social media is a piece of your success puzzle. It needs to be treated with the same respect as every other part of your business. Traditional marketing doesn’t work as well as it once did.
Why? Because people have been bombarded for so long with print, banner, and billboard ads, they’ve become numb to them. But Social Media is different. It allows you to grow a strong following of customers who relate to your brand.
This community of super fans will go to your store, website and events – translating into more sales.
3. Expose yourself to thousands of potential new leads every month.
This has to be built into your strategy. What a powerful marketing tool. A place that if you engage with your audience, get to know them organically and introduce yourself and your brand to thousands, if not tens of thousands of new people every month.
Social media is one of the few ways to get your brand/products in front of many people, far and wide, without you having to spend a ton of money while avoiding the hard sales pitch.
4. Convert leads to sales even faster than before!
Social media allows your audience of potential customers to get to know you. Over time that eventually trusts.
Trust is ultimately what turns a fan (blind lead) into a SUPER fan (hot lead, ready to buy).
If you aren’t spending time online, you miss out on many opportunities.
How to Get Started
Now you see the potential, but you are stuck about what to do next. Let’s get this strategy started with some simple steps to keep you on target.
Do you know your customers?
Before you start planning out your fancy new strategy, you need to start from the bottom. Who is your ideal client or customer? Not sure? Try using my Handy Dandy Worksheet to get started identifying your perfect client.
Once you have identified who they are, you need to figure out where they hang out. Not every social media platform works for every audience. Not sure where they are? Ask them! You could set up a survey or ask your current clients which social media channels they use.
Set Goals and Start Planning (DREAM)
You’ve got your target market down. You know where they are, what they like to do, even what they ate for breakfast. AWESOME! Now before you get too far ahead and start writing down post ideas, or creating campaign messaging, I suggest you start with an end goal. And not just vague “I want to grow my business,” I mean real, measurable goals that you can track later. Maybe actual $$ goal. Or perhaps even smaller ones like you will post several times this month.
Make Your Goals
Whatever your goals are, WRITE THEM DOWN so you can hold yourself accountable.
After you have your goals written down, it’s time to DREAM. Brainstorm and write all of your ideas on paper.
Start developing a content calendar over the next month (you can use my Get Social in 30 Days as a guide to get started). Need help knowing where to start? You can utilize my Weekly Social Media checklist daily and weekly to keep up with maintenance.
This isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon, and you have to have the steam to keep going. So don’t be afraid to start small. This isn’t about the groundbreaking, overwhelming changes. This is about taking it one step at a time. Do one thing consistently and with thought. Eventually, you will master that and then try to add in more. There is no sense in doing a million things and spreading yourself too thin.
Delegate as Necessary
As a business owner, you wear many hats. And let’s be honest, we want to stay in control of our company, especially if you’re a bit of a control freak. But it’s ok to ask for help. If you are creating your strategic online marketing plan and then realize you need to delegate to a member of your team to be successful or even hire outside consultants for the strategy, it’s not the end of the world. It could save you time and stress to leave it to the pros.
Once you have a strategy in place, it is essential to have a system set up to support it! This needs to become a part of your daily routine and should feel natural to you and your business.
Track Your Results
You have to know what’s working and what isn’t. This is as important as goal setting. Check out the built-in analytics tools for the various social mediums you use. Watch your Google Analytics and see where your traffic is being referred from. Record your observations and how your goals were met (or not).
Give it Time – Tweak & Repeat.
Like I said earlier – this is a marathon, it won’t happen overnight. People don’t just show up. There is a lot of thought and work involved to get everything just right, and sometimes the missing piece is time itself. Allow yourself to tweak what isn’t working and repeat the steps. Set new goals. Write down new ideas. You will get out of it what you put into it
Don’t overcomplicate it.
As much as I love a well-thought-out plan, sometimes you just need to jump right in. So here are four things you can start doing RIGHT NOW – AS IN TODAY- to up your social media game. Are you ready?
1. Show Up Consistently
If you did nothing else, do this. Show up consistently. I don’t mean you post something once a week, on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. I suggest you have to be there and be there often as in, every day. Why? Because it gives you more opportunity to get in front of more people. You need to engage if you want engagement. It’s simple. Like your followers posts, leave comments, ENGAGE with your audience.
2. Be Real
You have to be relatable to people. If your account sounds like robots run it, then you likely won’t be gaining followers the way you could. You have to join the party. Find your common ground. Let people meet the real you. Show them you are a real human, not a perfectly curated feed that shows no real personality.
3. Create a Sense of Community
Everyone wants to feel like they are a part of something special. How can you create a sense of community around what you do? Ask yourself this question: Do your customers feel like “VIPs” after making their first purchase? Are they interacting with you and each other?
I’m not saying everyone needs to start a Facebook group. (although – it might be a good idea – hmm… perhaps a future blog post?) Just like you want to show your personality to your audience, they also want to feel like they’re connected to other like-minded individuals. Think of ways you can create an environment where your audience can engage in conversation on your feed.
Ask thought-provoking questions. Not just yes or no questions – open-ended questions are fantastic. They help you learn even more about your audience.
Introduce your audience to each other, promote other businesses you follow, share upcoming events – whatever seems appropriate in your business.
Share a post highlighting them and their accomplishments (if or when appropriate).
You’ve got this, you just need to think outside of the box.
4. Tell Them Why You’re Awesome
This is where I think most people struggle. They create a beautiful feed. Build their community, create communication and are relatable. But they forget one important thing – they’re running a business. You know, the kind that charges for products or services.
I know – It’s uncomfortable asking for the sale. But it’s SO IMPORTANT. Do you think the top companies out there sit around and wait for the business to roll in. Nope, they’re out there hitting the streets, doing launches and marketing the hell out of their products. Simply put they #HUSTLE.
How do you not sound like a pushy salesperson? Simple – you’ve added value, created community and showed you’re authentic. You’re not slimy or pushy if you ask for the sale. You offer amazing things that will help your audience. You have shown them they matter to you – and in turn you want to add value with your products. They have a problem you can solve.
You got this. Quit overthinking, GO DO YOU! DREAM, PLAN, and EXECUTE with your brand-new social media marketing strategy.