I am often told “I can’t build my business brand on social media because people use social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram for staying in touch with friends, they don’t want to be sold to”.
If done correctly, social media is a great way to promote your business but the key is not to sell but to engage with your connections, and those connections will sell for you through quality testimonials and referrals.
So, what is Social Media Marketing?
It is a form of internet marketing which uses free social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and a range of other free platforms to help you achieve your communication and branding goals.
Social Media is user-generated. It was originally used by journalists, magazine editors and celebrities who created “content” for us to read. Now, as a business, you can create content for others to read - and you can read and comment on the content produced by others!
Social Media has changed how we communicate with each other. As a business owner you need to include social media in your Business & Marketing Strategy to help you reach your business goals. Using social media within your Business Strategy was something to be considered - it is now necessary if you want to make use of every angle in terms of developing your Marketing Strategy!
How do you make Social Media Marketing Work for your business?
The key to successful campaigns across all your social media platforms is “customer engagement”. You have done your market research and chosen the social media platforms where you believe your customers hang out, you post regularly, therefore you are building awareness of your brand. However, customers no longer see your advert and choose to buy, they want to read the reviews of others that have purchased your product or service before they make that decision to buy.
Have you heard of the Feedback Cycle?
When you post to your social media account, you are building awareness, next you are hoping that people will comment on your post or ask questions relating to the product of service – it is important that you respond to these questions. This is where “others” are considering a purchase – depending on how you respond, this is where those that have considered buying then choose to buy or click off your page.
The key to successfully “selling” on social media is to build trust and interact with your social media “fans”.
Three things you might want to add into your social media marketing to make the above work for you:
Now it is over to you to really make your Social Media Marketing work for you and if you need help with any of the above, please get in touch and if I can't help, I will know someone who can.
Building your Brand on social media
I am often told: "I have social media accounts but I don't really post to them that often." Social media is the perfect platform to build interest in your products or services.
Points to consider before your start:
Look at your competitors. If every café in the area is posting images of cappuccinos on Instagram, it doesn’t mean you need to be doing the same. What sort of response are they getting?
Decide how you want to differentiate your brand from your competitors and decide how you are going to convert social media followers into customers – and agree which platforms will support those goals.
Then plan 10-15 samples posts for each platform and agree with your team which ones work best. Get your team and friends and family to give you feedback and what made them stop scrolling!
Next – put together Social Media Guidelines which are personal to you or your business.
There may be a particular style of branding you prefer on your images.
Questions to think about:
If you are creating a personal brand (in which case the answers to many of these questions will fall in line with you or the person you’re representing), your brand’s personality should be a reflection of the people you want to attract.
Write your Social Media Guidelines as if you were explaining things to a new employee who doesn’t know anything about your brand. Who are you? What are you selling? How are you using social media to enhance user experience with the brand? When are you posting, to which accounts and how often.
NEXT – CREATE A SOCIAL MEDIA CALENDAR
Based on the platforms and quantity of posts agreed with the client, you should then create your first month’s social media calendar, even if it changes throughout the month. Include key dates around your brand and ensure you include a reference to these dates in your social media calendar.
You need to ensure that you allow yourself the flexibility to comment on current events and your plan will allow you to set your social media goals for the month, including how often you will post and have some planned shares included too, especially when you are too busy to respond to comments.
This is also a good time to start thinking a few months to a year ahead. Drafting a tweet months in advance may be pushing your marketing knowhow! However, thinking about where the brand is headed in the next year can provide ideas for the types of social campaigns you’ll want to launch in the coming months.
As with most tasks, launching a social media campaign typically takes more time and planning than it may seem from the outset. If you can start getting the details together a few months out, future mini-launches will go more smoothly.
Ensure that you at least two people sign off your posts before they are scheduled (ideally the content writer and a proofreader) - Typos can and should be prevented!
Launching your brand on Social Media
Before the launch, create a checklist and double-check every detail. Ensure that:
Your Social Media Launch Day
If you’ve planned well in advance, launch day is all about watching your well-prepared copy go live and viewing the likes, comments and shares.
Today is know as the day you start to engage with your online “fans” by responding to questions and comments. It’s your first chance to show off your brand’s personality.
Ensure that you measure your engagement and take screenshots of post successes throughout the day, particularly if a post received an above average interest in its content.
After your launch date, by continuing to create great content (always with a call to action) you need to stay active ad positive and respond to comments to ensure you grow the personality of your clients brand.
If you receive press coverage on launch day, select pieces to share with key journalists too. Most journalists have a Twitter profile, so find their profiles and tag them in on posts directed to them.
At the start of your brand building campaign, get to know your first few followers and frequent posters and build a conversation with them. Who are these people? How do they compare to the people you anticipated interacting with your brand? Do they have lots of followers?
The great thing with social media is that you can experiment until it starts to work. If your plans to get fans to buy hasn’t quite worked as expected, try something different. Just keep your brand fresh and content in line with the “guidelines” you set up at the outset.
Don’t aim on getting out a piece of content which goes viral immediately as it could make or break your brand’s success. You need to build on your brand and your success will come.
Don’t launch on one social media platform just because everyone is there. Where are your competitors? Where are your customers? Sometimes your competition can get it wrong!
It can seem a little odd to send out a tweet saying “Hello and welcome to xxx we are looking forward to chatting with you on Twitter.” However, if you follow the tips and timeline set out above you will be starting with your best social foot forward.
Good luck with Developing your Social Media Strategy and if you need help with the planning stage, just get in touch.
It is interesting to read that since people cannot connect with their friends in real life, they are “virtually connecting” on nearly every available online platform. Traffic has increased on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube but the biggest increase in traffic has been on Zoom ad Skype.
Do you think this increase in online meetings continue after the epidemic has subsided or do you think people will go back to the old ways of communicating with their teams?
So why is social media usage increasing?
In the main, people are social by nature and whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, after a few days of isolation your will begin to miss your friends or work colleagues. The gap that grows through this lack of social interaction with your communities is huge for us all and social media offers a way to fill this gap.
This global pandemic leaves us feeling anxious and needing support and our social media channels help us to feel more connected. To stay “virtually connected” video interaction is increasing daily. You will have noticed that many businesses are streaming events, quizzes, exercise classes online.
Is social media really of value?
When done correctly, social media is the place where people go to talk, but now that we are isolated, it has become the only place to talk and this is why businesses need to now use social media to talk to and build relationships with their customers.
So how do you build a relationship with your customer on social media?
Looking forward to seeing more of your posts on social media.
#Staysafe #Stayhealthy #Stayonoline
YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA CHECKLIST
We all know that we need to embrace social media but do you really know how much time you need to spend on it to make it work for you? I have put together a simple Social Media Checklist to keep you on track!
YOUR DAILY BASIC SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT
- Reply to incoming messages
- Check alerts for branded mentions using your #
- Check current trending topics for language to use and avoid
- Schedule posts according to effective times of day:
- Connect with influences on the various platforms
- Review products and services for upcoming posts
- Work on original content: Blogs, Videos, Eye-catching branded images
- Monitor competitor platforms for ideas, responses & trends
- Check analytics and adjust scheduling and topics as needed
- Create and monitor weekly goals for engagement, consistency and growth
- Check analytics on all platforms and adjust where needed
- Research and try out new strategies
- Set goals and reminders for next month
- Review analytics and consider adjustment needed to scheduling and topics
- Review new strategies – integrate winning strategies and discard those that didn’t work
- Review analytics and consider adjustment needed to scheduling and topics
- Consider strategy changes for paid and organic audiences
- Review brand messaging and amend as necessary
- Research platform development
If you would like help in planning your Social Media Strategy just get in touch.
When you start up your new business a question you will want to ask is how often should I post on my social media platforms and at when is the optimum time of the day to post?
There are no hard and fast rules but what you did need to consider is "when are my target audiences looking at their social media accounts?" This information you will gain through your social media analytics as your social profiles grow.
Just starting out? Then you won’t go far wrong if you follow this guide:
FACEBOOK – post 1 update per day, (2 maximum) – minimum 3 times a week.
TWITTER – to make Twitter work for you, post 2-3 times a day (including RT's) at the optimal times (see below).
INSTAGRAM – post 1 update per day using industry related #hashtags and add to your story regularly.
LINKEDIN – post 2 updates per week
FACEBOOK – best times to post
Wednesday at 11 a.m. OR 1 p.m (alternative each week and see which get best results).
The safest times to post are weekdays from 9 am –3 pm
Sunday has the least amount of engagement for Facebook during the week.
Early mornings/evenings before 7 am and after 5 pm have the least amount of engagement.
INSTAGRAM – best times to post
Wednesday at 3pm.
Most consistent engagement is Monday through Friday between 11 am and – 5 pm.
Another higher engagement time period occurs on Saturday around 10 am.
Sunday generally has the least engagement.
LINKEDIN - best times to post
Wednesday between 9–10 am and 12 noon
Safe times to post with consistent engagement are Tuesday-Friday from 8 am –2 pm
The least engagement per day occurs generally on a Sunday
TWITTER - best times to post
Monday- Thursday 9-5pm with peak times generally being from 1-3pm. The peak time of the week is Wednesday at 3PM. Worst days and times to Post a Tweet: Friday after 3pm and any week day after 8pm and before 8am.
The information above provides you with the basis for creating your Social Media Management Plan but the timings will change based on when your target audiences are online.
I have created a social media management template which takes into account the above and makes it easier for you to plan your social media content. If you would like a copy please get in touch and I will send it to you FREE OF CHARGE.
If you need help in coming up with content for your social media marketing then please GET IN TOUCH!
All blogs are written by Amanda of Sunflower Creative and they are based on my experience.