“Why use social media for business? Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.”
These are the words of Seth Godin, marketing guru. So are you one of those business owners who’re still thinking, “Is a social media strategy really necessary for my business?”
With social media now the mainstream marketing platform to engage with customers, the answer is a resounding “YES!”
And here’s why: South African consumers spend around 5 hours a day on the internet, with 3 of those hours spent on social media, according to an analysis of latest stats by Richard Lord from The MediaShop.
So let’s just say that if your brand is not present on social media, you’re probably losing out on a ton of business. And if it is on social media but you aren’t getting any leads then you need to start being more strategic with your social media marketing.
I’m sure when you hear the words “social media strategy” you want to crawl under your office desk and wait for a marketing genius to find you and save the day. Actually it isn’t at all difficult building an online strategy for your brand. Here are 3 steps to help you:
1. Get to grips with social media
There really is no point being on social media if you don’t understand what it’s about. Get to know the difference between the big platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn. Do some online research about each one. Find out who goes there and what they go there for. Do some offline research. Ask anyone who knows anything about social media to explain the things that intimidate and confuse you.
Finally, practise, practise, practise. The best thing about being on social media is you can just as quickly get off and start again. This makes it a brilliant place for you to make mistakes, wipe the slate clean and get it right the next time. When you start building a strategy for your brand online, feeling confident about how you are going to do it is already half the battle won.
2. Find your space on social media and work it
It’s rather like networking! You figure out where your potential clients are and then you join those groups and work the crowds until you’re getting leads. When it comes to the social media platforms, you need to find out where your customers and prospects hang out. What do they comment about? What posts are they sharing? What articles interest them? What links are they using and where do they lead to? Find the social media users who you know would be interested in your brand / products / services.
Now you need to work them. The way to do this is to engage with them on the various platforms. For example, use Instagram to post exciting product pics or offer a link to an interesting article which reminds your potential customers what you do. Don’t ever try to guess where and who your market is because you’ll get nowhere using this approach. Be observant, be attentive and gather the information you need in order to supply your prospects with the information they need. To be engaging you must go to them online, don’t expect them to come to you.
3. Review and analyse
Slow and consistent is how you build a strategic campaign on social media. Feed steady information to your market and gather information regularly. Use the social media feedback channels (like Insights on Facebook or Analytics on LinkedIn) to see who is visiting your pages, how many times, what they’re showing an interest in, etc. Once you start seeing a pattern you can begin to strategically engage with your market and chart your progress at the same time.
Once a month take some time to review the stats. If there is a lag, figure out why. Change things up a bit. Tweak here, tweak there. The brilliant thing about using social media for marketing is that you have control over it. This means you can take your time to learn and become more focused, ultimately building a killer social media strategy for your business.
Do you need someone to assist you with your social media marketing plan? Get in touch with us about a social media strategy to engage with your customers and generate leads.