This blog post was originally published on Friendemic.com
My last post shared a lot of the errors we commonly see businesses commit in social media marketing. But don’t fret! Social media marketing can be done right. First, carve out at least an hour a day for social media, and make that time sacred. Don’t allow meetings or other interruptions to displace it, or you may find social media always in the back seat. Second, have at least two people at your organization who are involved in social media efforts. It will help align all your marketing efforts, and allow for coverage during vacations or in the event of the unexpected. Good social marketing requires many different skills, and involving more people will often yield better results. With that foundation laid, here’s a simple guide to our proven social strategy.
- Build an audience.
- Facebook: This can be best done with Page Like ads, by inviting people who have Liked your boosted content to Like your page, and by having good calls to action in the content you post which encourage sharing. Contests and giveaways can also be effective.
- Other networks: Actively Follow/Friend/Add-to-Circles other users on the network. Focus on those who are active users and who themselves have large followerships. Ideally, find people who are likely to want to see your content (e.g. they are in your geography or have already Liked similar things). A decent percentage of those folks will Follow you back.
- All networks: Post and promote good content. Obviously, people follow a business when they see things you post and want to see more of it. On Facebook, you likely need to have at least a small monthly budget to boost posts.
- Proactively engage users. Particularly while you still have a small audience, it’s unlikely you’ll see ton of engagement on your pages organically.
- Facebook: Unfortunately there isn’t much you can do to reach out to other users, as Facebook generally does not allow businesses to initiate conversations with people who do not Like your page. However, actively talk about your Facebook page to customers at your place of business.
- Twitter. Twitter is a gold mine for initiating good engagement. Using Twitter Advanced Search, find consumers who are speaking about topics related to your business, and reach out to them to start a conversation.
- Google+. Join Communities related to your business and active comment in them.
- Monitor and respond. Whenever consumers reach out to you online (via comments, online reviews, tagging your business, etc.), respond quickly. With the correct settings enabled, some of the social platforms will notify you when there is certain types of engagement, but at least for review sites, you’ll need a third-party software tool. These are generally quite inexpensive (Friendemic has one available). When replying to review, don’t only respond to negative situations! Thank your happy customers and encourage them to further share about your business. This can often done indirectly by following up with a question such as “Thanks! What was your favorite part?”
With this proven approach, you will see a meaningful return on your social media investment/efforts.