For those of you starting out on that incredible confusing journey of social media marketing for your business, I am sure you are scratching your head wondering what to post, when to post, and who should be doing the posting. Believe it or not there is a pseudo science to social media marketing, but this is all dependent on your business and the clientele you are trying to draw. I have a pretty good formula for a successful social media stratagem that has worked for me and can be altered and tailored to your company’s needs, check it out!
First of all, consistency is key, and you are going to hear me say this a lot in this post. If you want consistency, you have to find someone to designate the social media posting to. If not, it will feel like an unprofessional hodge podge of posts that are unrelated and come off as disingenuous content. You want someone creative that has the capability of capturing the company’s pulse through their posts and/or blog or both. There are a couple of options to go about this, you can hire an external marketing company or person, or hire someone internally. Either way, gathering data for your social media strategy and moving forward is the most important point to all of this!
Some companies elect to pay an external marketing company or individual marketer to manage their social media campaigns. This is fine if you are that busy, and your social media is small in the design of your marketing strategy. However, in my humble opinion this can be good and bad. If you do choose this route make sure your marketing person understands your business and the personality you are trying to echo. Otherwise, the posts will appear flat, robotic and insincere, which wholly contradicts the sole intention of SOCIAL MEDIA. It is called social media for a reason, so make sure it feels that way, sociable. Do your research on your external marketing company; look at other companies they are blogging and posting for so you can get a feel for their diversity and what they are capable of from a social media marketing standpoint. The biggest mistake any company can make is forgoing the one big connection they have to their clients. Your customers want to be heard, and your genuine responses are paramount! Most people will not interact with your social media sites if they feel as if it isn’t genuine.
If you have determined to hire or designate an individual to your social media marketing then you have chosen wisely. An internal marketing person is by far imperative; it is your voice, your ears, your eyes, your everything. Social media allows you to keep a pulse on your community and customers. If customers have something to say, trust me, you want to hear it and a response from you that feels genuine to your customer will always be well received. By having an internal person handle your social media you can make certain your posts are genuine, fresh, unique, fun, innovative because this on-site person is in the mix and present in your day to day operations. Soon enough, you will hear phrases like “post that to our Facebook page!” or “Yelp about us!”. An internal marketing person is capable of keeping your social media up to date and current, which customers want see and it will encourage them to interact with your companies pages more. Now that Social Media has become “the” thing in marketing, keeping a fluid stream of posts, relevant and consistent content is paramount and valuable for your Google rankings and online traffic.
Personal vs. Business
The biggest bewilderment most companies have with social media posting is whether or not to make some or none of their postings personal. Social media from the business side is vastly different than how we post on our personal sites. Some companies want their team members to post to their social media sites instead of just one person managing the exchanges. However, when it comes to anything other than a company blog or anything less than a “like” +1, relevant comment or share by a team member, I would stray away. By avoiding any mishaps or confusion about who can say and do what, write a social media policy. Having your staff members interact with your social media posts is beneficial for your social media numbers and Google rankings, but you want to make sure that everyone adheres to your social media policy and signs off. It is important that everyone understands what they should post and what is appropriate to your business social media.
The person managing your social media should mix it up a little bit, depending on your business a good formula to use is this: business (specials, changes, locations, anything relating to your business, follow your blog etc..) + personable (a funny cartoon, quote relating to your type of business) + fun (local events, events that you are throwing, pictures of events or staff events etc.). Repeat this formula during your weekly/daily posts. You want to keep your followers engaged and entertained and you will get healthier, more frequent responses and counter engagements in return and that’s really the point of social media anyways. Connecting! So get connected and be fun and have fun with your social media because believe it or not, consumers want to see who you are as people, human beings so they can feel better about supporting your business!
Post with purpose! Social media allows you a great opportunity to not only endorse your business but also your website which is your greatest marketing tool for online lead generations. Tip: If you have a company blog, copy the URL into a social media post and promote your other social media streams. This is a great way to force traffic to your website and your other sites. Not only will it help with your Google rankings but it will also give you vital analytics data about who is visiting your site, when, and where and how! Also, another way of learning what you should post, is by checking out your competition, see what they are posting and get a feel for what you are up against. You dont’ have to copy your competition but you can certainly try to do better!
I have clients ask me all of the time, how often should I post to my social media sites? It’s a valid question and in all honesty the answer is, it varies depending on your business. One of my clients is a good ol’ boy construction company that is new to social media, do they need to post 7 days a week? Not really. However, the way I see it, yes, the more engaged you are on a daily basis always the better, but it is not utterly crucial. Will it make or break your business? Absolutely not! I think for most small businesses that dedicate a person to social media, and work 5 days a week, you should be posting 3-5 times a week on all of your social media streams. You can download tweet deck or hoot suite to help with quick posting to several sites at one time to make things easier. Most companies should be posting between 2-4 times a week on average. Obviously if you have more content, which most do, post a couple of times of day, as long as it is relevant to that day or pertinent to something you are trying to promote. By all means whatever you do, keep up with your social media, keep your posts unique and relevant and consistent! Tip: Set a calendar reminder for yourself to post on your designated day(s), make a list of ideas of what to post for that week/month and create a content folder of pictures, articles and videos for future social media posts.
*Post Videos and pictures once a week, these are always your best bet for online traffic and numbers for you analytics.
Social Media is not rocket science but it is necessary to today’s market and business. It’s not about following the crowd it’s about getting the crowd to follow you. By keeping your content relevant, unique and fluid you are on your way to a great social media marketing foundation. And it does work! Don’t give up, social media is free to use, so use it and get connected!