August 8, 2014
Posted by: Hal Turpin
If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you followed a pretty typical digital media path when you started out in business.
1. Get the domain
2. Create a Facebook page
3. And Twitter account
4. And LinkedIn account
5. And Google+
8. Latest new thing everyone says you need…
Once you have all of these awesome social media profiles, pointing back to your outstanding website, sales will come rolling in by default, right?
Hey, the “if you build it they will come” mentality worked for Kevin Costner.
Unfortunately, by now you probably realize it doesn’t work for anything in business either. Not even social media.
Lucky for you, social media isn’t as hard as we make it sometimes. Behind every good digital marketing campaign are the same four keys that work for anything else you do in business.
What, exactly, are you trying to accomplish on your social media platforms? You may be thinking this is a no-brainer. You want to sell your product, of course!
But, social media doesn’t always work like that, and defining your exact goals will help you understand which platforms will work best for you and how.
Are you looking--specifically--for more direct leads? More general traffic to your website? More engagement for your brand? Thought leadership to boost your reputation as an expert?
Nailing down your exact goals for social media will help you focus.
The saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
A lot of people think social media is just throwing up a few status updates now and then, but experts know there’s much more psychology behind it. There are entire blogs around how to maximize social media!
Planning your social media content starts with your target market. Who are they? Which platforms do they prefer? How do they typically engage with social media? What do they like to do, and what attracts them to brands in the first place? You can probably whittle down your social media platforms to just one or two, the ones your target actually uses.
When you understand your target customer, you can create a plan for finding and sharing great content with them. It doesn’t even have to be your content. Sharing links to expert advice and interesting articles is also a good way to boost your brand and establish you as the company in the know.
Ah, yes. The hard part.
Once you have your plan in place, it’s time to actually put it into action. Tools like Buffer and Hootsuite make it easy to schedule updates to most social media platforms in advance. If you have chosen to use Twitter, Twitter lists are a great way to keep up with important people in your industry and other people you want to keep in touch with.
But, here’s where we have to share a little tough love. Remember when we said there is no default in social media. Even after you strategize and plan, that’s still true. You have to commit to following through with your plan, or you won’t see any results.
Don’t--I repeat, DON’T--just start throwing things out there on social media without some way to track it. Social media can take a lot of time, and time is your most valuable resource.
For every single thing you put out there, you must be able to measure its effectiveness. A Bit.ly account will help you track clicks on your links, and Google Analytics will keep you in the know about where your website traffic is coming from.
Measure everything. How many favorites/likes/retweets/repins are you getting? How many people respond to questions or comment on links? How many go directly from social media into your sales funnel?
Find the things that aren’t working, and stop doing those.
What do you think? Any other social media strategies we should know about?
Oh, and while you’re at it, you can follow DevDigital on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.