8 things you need to know about marketing your business with social media

1) What business objectives will be accomplished through our social media campaign?
The first step to launching a successful social media campaign is goal identification. Without a clear purpose for your social media campaign, your efforts will be disconnected and likely futile. Social media can be used to fulfill a variety of marketing objectives so it's important to create specific goals to ensure that your campaign is on track and adding value. 
  • A SMART goal is: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound 
In order to ensure your target market is engaged, social media must have a direct intention to generate the right response from the viewer. For example, through B2B social media channels like LinkedIn, Sherpa will make regular posts promoting our latest app with a goal of increasing downloads by 10%.
 
Common uses that may help your business: 
 
  • Exposure & awareness 
  • Lead generation
  • Public forum to engage with customers and prospective consumers 
  • Enhanced customer service
  • Monitoring customers and competitors 
  • B2B Networking 
  • Building legitimacy through creating an expanded following
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) support
TIP: Write your goals down and circle back to them throughout the campaign to ensure you’re on track! If you don’t write them down, you won’t remember them or hold yourself accountable to them. 
2) Which social media platforms are a good fit for my business? 
Each social media platform offers a unique value proposition that must be understood before you are able to market your business effectively! (This article offers a fundamental understanding of each major social media platform http://blog.sherpamarketing.ca/post/Which-Social-Media-Platforms-are-Fit-for-your-Business.aspx). 
A common mistake for many businesses is immediately creating accounts on all the major social media networks before understanding how to appropriately create and distribute content on these platforms. Your social media marketer should understand which platforms your customers and prospective clients are using. Once this understanding has been achieved, it is wise to start slow and develop a presence on one social media platform before moving on to another.  
You will find that certain social media channels will be more effective than others based on the nature of your business. Click the following link to see a general guideline as to what types of businesses should be on each major platform: http://blog.sherpamarketing.ca/post/Which-Social-Media-Platforms-are-Fit-for-your-Business.aspx
3) How often should I post content?
Each social media platform displays content differently. As a result, each platform will require a different post frequency. Your business wants to avoid posting too much or too little. As consumers, we are flooded with commercial messages and consequently disengage with a business if it advertises too much. Furthermore, if a business posts too little, consumers will forget about the business and word-of-mouth will drop. It’s all about balance! Your social media marketer should be conscious of the post frequency required for each social media platform. 
Sherpa recommends: 
Twitter: Multiple tweets per day
Facebook: Once a day 
YouTube: Weekly
Instagram: Daily
LinkedIn: A few times a week 
Google+: Daily
Pinterest: Multiple times per day  
TIP: If you are getting good engagement on your social media channels, there is really no limit to how quickly or how often you should be responding to customer posts/comments/questions. In almost every case, the faster the response, the better!
4) How can I make my social media efforts unique?
The most successful social media campaigns stem from brands being creative and memorable. Ask yourself, what was the most memorable social media campaign of this past year and I bet the first one that comes to mind is WestJet’s “Christmas Miracle” video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIEIvi2MuEk). WestJet turned a typical airport into the North Pole, who wouldn’t enjoy that!? Getting noticed requires your business to stand out from the rest, so make sure that your social media marketer has the ability to think outside the box! Guerilla marketing tactics (i.e. promoting your business in unconventional ways) is an avenue rarely explored by businesses but can drastically improve the promotion of your products and services.
5) Who should maintain my Social Media accounts?
Based on the needs and resources of your business, one of the four possible scenarios for maintaining your social media effort should be explored. 
 
  • Internal Social Media Marketing Coordinator
Employees understand their business better than anyone else. An internal social media coordinator is constantly up-to-date with the latest news, events and projects of their business. By communicating with employees from various departments they have the resources necessary to quickly post high-quality content. Finally, having an in-house social media coordinator allows for a consistent approach to social media as only one individual is responsible for all campaigns. 
  • External Social Media Marketing Coordinator 
When a company doesn’t have the time or resources to manage its social media campaigns an external social media coordinator may be the best option. Marketing agencies are skilled and versed at developing effective social media campaigns. If your business wants to leave social media to the experts and has the financial resources to do so, having an external social media coordinator may be the best option. If you go this route, make sure you continue to be involved to some extent in the content creation and strategy. Your customers chose to “like/follow” you for a reason – make sure you maintain that personal touch and remain closely in tune with your social media channels.
  • Social Media Intern
Hiring a social media intern is a great way to delegate meaningful marketing tasks. An intern will develop their research skills while bringing youthful creativity to your social media campaigns. Executing social media campaigns forces the coordinator to fully understand the business. Delegating social media tasks to an intern requires them to develop their understanding of the business which is a great learning experience for any student. 
  • Share the Role Internally
Sharing the responsibility of your social media effort is a great way to generate a variety of styles and perspectives while simultaneously easing the workload. Furthermore, getting more of your employees active on your company’s channels will usually result in them sharing company content through their own personal networks more frequently which is a great way to increase your reach.
6) What content should I be posting? 
As a business, you want to make sure that your content will reach and be of interest to your prospects and customers. Posting interesting content via blog posts, articles and offerings are all different ways to market your business through social media. Your social media marketer should have a strategy for creating and releasing engaging content. 
  • Blogging 
Blogging is a great way to keep your audience engaged with topics relevant to your business. Blogs can take the form of case studies, employee writing or news and events. Linking your blog posts to your social media platforms helps move social media traffic to your website. Growing your audience will enhance your businesses legitimacy while generating new business opportunities. 
  • Articles
Posting interesting articles shows that you are up to date with the news and events of your industry. Posting current news topics allows your business to show off knowledge and expertise on a certain topic. 
For example, Sherpa focuses on providing the best possible SEO strategies (Search Engine Optimization) for our clients. We wrote a blog post on our website about what a business owner would want from an SEO provider and attached a supportive article. This article helped to strengthen our content by showing that SEO is an important and current search engine strategy. Check it out here: http://blog.sherpamarketing.ca/post/8-Questions-to-ask-your-SEO-Provider-.aspx
 
  • Service/Product Offerings 
Social media is a great way to promote and advertise your products and services. That being said, it’s important not to overwhelm your audience with sales and promotional material. You want to engage your consumers with interesting content, not scare them away with sales material. Imagine having a friend who only spoke to you about his or her latest and greatest sales pitch, surely you would break ties with them! It’s recommended that businesses follow the 80/20 rule, where 80% of your posts are content based and 20% related to the selling of a product or service. 
 
  • Re-Posting
Sharing content from influencers is a great way to relay quality content while building your relationship with the author. Not only will your audience enjoy the post, the author will appreciate the share. This is an easy way to keep your social media effort active but make sure you are generating some original content as well.
7) Should I be practicing paid advertising on S.M platforms? 
Generating traffic organically through quality content is the best strategy. Paid advertisement often gets ignored and may even been viewed as annoying to an audience. With that in mind, there are definitely cases where paid social media advertisement can be effective. If you are looking to gain immediate traffic, paid advertisement can boost impressions and generate more immediate clicks. Your social media marketer should know when it’s appropriate to use paid advertisement. 
8) How do I measure the success of my S.M campaign? 
One of the many benefits to using social media is that you gain access to the exact number of people who follow your business and engage with your content. This allows for quality feedback on how well you are reaching and engaging your audience. You can use a variety of metrics to examine the growth of your social media campaigns. Your social media marketer should be transparent by demonstrating tangible results through the reporting tools available in each social media channel. 
  • Monitor your Followers 
On virtually all social media platforms you can see who has commented, liked and shared your content. Monitor these actions and stay tuned to the conversations surrounding your company. 
  • Create a Point System 
Ford’s head of Social Media, Scott Monty suggested a system in which you create a tiered point system that correlates with different Facebook and Twitter actions such as ‘liking’, ‘sharing’ and ‘commenting’, ‘retweeting’, etc. If you make the point system tiered towards what is most valuable to you, you can set goals and then monitor if you are meeting them.  
  • Promotional Coupons 
Include coupons in your online and mobile strategy so that if people engage with your content, they are sent a promotional item or an in-store coupon! It helps thank them for supporting your business while also encouraging them to come into your store. By having promotional coupons it allows for you to see first-hand how many individual’s respond to your social media ads based on how many people come to your store following an ad post. 
 
  
  /_uploads/images/contenthub-posts/08-2017/ROB IMAGE new.jpg
 
- Stewart Moffatt  

Related Posts