Social media marketing strategy is a big, broad topic, and it’s one that most business owners understandably find frustrating.
Using social platforms to market your business can quickly become time consuming, tedious, and difficult, and when you’re managing your own marketing campaigns, that’s a recipe for disaster.
If you feel like you’re drowning in the social sea, you’re definitely not alone.
Fortunately, we’re here to help you swim.
Before You Start Posting
As soon as you decide on your company’s name and register your domain, grab all of your social media handles on the big networks.
You’re not necessarily going to use all of those accounts, but by registering your brand on the different social networks, you give yourself the option to expand later, and you prevent people who aren’t affiliated with your business from taking your brand name.
Register your business on:
- and anything industry-specific, like LinkedIn for B2B companies or Flickr for photo-intensive sites
As much as possible, make your handle or username short, memorable, easy to spell, and consistent across all networks.
Special characters, underscores, and numbers tend to make your username harder to find and remember, so unless you absolutely can’t help it, avoid them.
Oh, and using numbers in place of letters is so 2005, n00b.
Once you’ve staked your social claims, it’s time to get into strategy:
Social Strategy 101
Here’s a truth bomb:
Just because you want to reach your audience on Facebook, that doesn’t mean they’re going to respond on Facebook.
Social media is made of people, and people do what they want.
Test your responses on the big 3 – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (which is basically just an extension of Facebook anyway) and keep track of responses.
You might be a fan of Facebook…
But if your audience responds on Twitter, that’s where you should focus your efforts.
Best practices vary from platform to platform, and marketers like us get pretty advanced into specific techniques and strategies that work for certain audiences within certain networks.
For now, though, let’s talk about the basics of social media marketing:
Focus on value
People visit your social media pages because they’re getting something out of it, and not because they want to give you their attention and money out of the goodness of their hearts.
So, give them something.
Entertainment, advice, and community are are valuable to people on social media, and those things can occupy the core of your social strategy.
Posting frequently and consistently is vital.
A great post every 3 weeks isn’t enough to attract an audience, but a lot of good posts will.
It ties back in with that value thing – the more committed you are to serving that audience, the more valuable your profile or page becomes.
Go where the people are
Finally, we get to the point.
The network you choose is the network where your audience hangs out.
You might get no traction on Instagram, but blow up on Pinterest. In that case, focus on Pinterest, even if you like Instagram more, and even if strangers on the internet tell you that Instagram is more valuable.
Your time is the most valuable thing you own.
Don’t waste it trying to force a following.