A good marketing strategy always comes with a solid plan. Unfortunately, many still do not have a proper plan when it comes to online social media marketing. This sometimes leaves me surprised and speechless, because choosing to ignore the importance of social media presence is somewhat similar to drinking tea without sugar and yet yearning for the sweet lingering taste. That’s not possible right? You have got to add the sugar to make your tea taste sweet. Hence, you have to be socially active to ensure that your business can reach new target market within a short time span. With approximately 2.03 billion social media users now active, marketers may find an immense wealth of opportunities to identify selective market segments and new prospects.
So, if you are planning to begin utilizing the immense potential of the online media, then beginning from square one can be both exciting as well as overwhelming. Here is a complete guide to help you get started with building a strong online presence from the scratch.
When you are on a road trip, you check out frequently to make sure you are heading in the right direction, and also find out if there is any other road ahead that would make your travel easier and faster. Similarly, as the holder of your social media account, make sure you have a well planned decision. To begin, ensure that you have these following steps noted down in your list:
There are several social media networks out there. However, your business might not require to open an account in everyone of them. Therefore, choose the social platforms that you think fit your strategy the best and the ones that would matter to your audience the most. To help you out, look into these following factors to decide which of them you should give a try:
Time – Time is a precious factor and you need to at least spend an hour per day on the social networks to build up your audience engagement.
Resources – Even if you have sufficient time to devote on social media marketing, it would turn out to be bland if you do not have proper resources to support your marketing strategy. Social sites like Pinterest and Instagram require photos and images to grab attention. On the other hand, Google+ emphasizes on production of quality content.
Audience – Find out the best hanging place for all your potential audience. For this, you can follow the demographic research reports to understand user behavior on the different social network platforms.
This is similar to that of your personal profile. An updated profile helps to build an impression of a cohesive branding, professionalism and gives a signal calling for visitors to engage. Frequently update your profile’s cover pictures, avators, author bio and other profile information. Yes, they all are important and is an essential part of the social media audit.
While profiles would require both the image and the text, try to maintain a level of consistency when you have multiple social platforms to handle. The cover picture on Google+ should match the uploaded cover picture on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as well.
You can follow these six simple rules when you sit down to create a professional social media bio -
Since this is a more focused foray, you need to give some time to understand which tone and style engages more with your target audience. Come up with different marketing personas and try to debate the finer points of your customer base and mission statement.
Ask yourself some personal questions like :
It is good to post regularly, but it is better to post contents strategically. Note down the ideal time when you find that the maximum number of your target audience are online. You can also use tools that can help you keep track of your followers and their history of activity, in order to understand when is the best time of the day when sharing an article would bring better engagement.
Here’s a look at the time chart of some popular social media platforms, when you may find maximum online engagement –
Facebook – Weekdays at around 1 – 4 pm and 2 – 5 pm
Twitter – Weekdays, around 1 – 3 pm
LinkedIn – Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday; around 7 – 8:30 am and 5 – 6 pm
Google+ – 9 – 11 am
Pinterest – Weekends and Weekdays ( 2 – 4 pm and 8 – 11 pm)
While you may introduce new social marketing strategies, it is equally important to analyze the social share stats to make sure they are working for your business. Here is one way by which you can begin analyzing your social sharing stats –
Set Up Your Benchmark – You can go and check your social share stats after a time period of a month or two weeks, to find out the average number of likes, shares, comments and clicks generated by your posts. Set this as your benchmark to move forward, which you can come back and update any time of the day depending on the extent to which your influence has grown.
Test To Check Something New – You may try out something new in your social media marketing strategy, but test whether your social media marketing strategy is working or not.
Analyze Both Your Stats And Your Test – Analyze your test and your stats to check which one performs better. If you find your tests are performing well, then you may implement it in your regular social media marketing strategy.
Maintain a system that will help you to stay at the top of your updates and keep you engaged. Click to automate your updates. Begin by selecting automation, which would help to update content everyday.
However, simply putting your social media site on automatic update would not complete the job. You need to engage with your audience. If they ask you something, do make sure you reply to their queries on time. This would help to create a good customer-brand relationship, which would be beneficial for your business in the long run.
Once you have a plan on how to get started, it’s now time to dive right in and kickstart your social media marketing strategy.
Sudeep Banerjee is the Founder and President of B3NET Inc., a leading Orange County web development firm in California. His dimension of expertise lies in providing unique strategy for Internet marketing and agile mobile app development. He has helped more than 200 clients, from small startups to large Fortune 500 companies. Follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn.