12 Steps to Social Media Marketing on Cheap: Learning from Authors
In the digital age, social media has become the epitome of any company’s primary marketing strategy. One might say that it is essential for a business so successful. Many businesses currently have a whole department or position devoted to social media marketing. The need for this ever-changing role is great and without it, a business will surely fail.
Most people today will do a search on social media before they will visit the website of a company. And why not? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even LinkedIn have become some of the most popular sites. With this idea, many new businesses and startup companies may have some fundamental questions regarding how to effectively market on social media, and rightfully so.
With the ever-changing Google algorithm, it can be astonishingly difficult to keep up but here you will find a comprehensive 12-step process to market your business effectively regarding social media, despite the ever-changing algorithms.
1) Build a social media audience.
The first law of war is to know your enemy, and the first law of business is to know your customer. Knowing who your customer is and being able to effectively reach them on social media is going to be one of the first items to check off your list. While building an audience might sound like a challenging task, it starts as simple as inviting your own friends to like and follow your page. Once you have garnered followers. You will get likes, start to have a stable audience and presence on social media. Then it will be easier to move to the next steps in growing that presence.
2) Create conversation for your social media audience to engage with.
Engaging your audience in the social media environment is very important and you may spend many sleepless nights wondering if you will ever get any comments, likes, or shares on the content that you have spent time and effort in creating. Don’t fret though. While you are creating a conversation with your audience, you are learning what they like, dislike, what they will be interested in and then can effectively move forward in creating content that will interest them and keep them coming back to your social media pages, websites, and will bring more customers your way.
3) Create quality content.
Quality over quantity is a phrase that applies to marketing and it is key. Content marketing has been an effective form of marketing for a long time and this will not change anytime soon. Many brands have failed to link quality content with the appropriate posting schedule and they have suffered because of it. Quality SEO content paired with all the above will garner your business the right customers, at just the right time. With quality content, the ability to attract and an organic audience will increase and the best thing about this strategy: It free.
4) Create a community for your social media audience.
While the number of followers that you can garner and the numerous other tracking metrics that social media uses to gauge your success are important, this is not the alpha and omega to the success of your social media strategy. Showing your audience that you care about them is important. Giving your page personality through the things that you post should be just as important to you as getting new customers and selling your products. It’s no coincidence that the word “social” is the first in social media marketing. Engage your audience not only with relevant products and content but create conversation by posing questions that will encourage them to share their opinions with you. Also, sharing current news and trustworthy articles will be a vital source of creating conversation and community. Asking your audience to interact with you daily by liking and sharing your posts will be one way to personalize your community. While this process can be time-consuming, its free and it will help you engage your audience and future potential customers.
5) Spice up your social media page with a creative content strategy.
Most of us today are visual. When it comes to social media, we would much rather look at a funny, or interesting meme, watch a video or listen to a podcast rather than reading a lengthy description of the service or products that are being offered. Spice up your content by using this type of media regularly. If all you are doing is sharing editorials and text, your social media pages will look boring and unappealing. This is also a wonderful way for you to create and market your brand and make a name for your business.
6) Leverage the social media users who already love your product/service.
Your greatest tool in social media marketing will be the people who already love your product or service. While focusing on gathering new customers is important, everything must be done in moderation. Trying to use your current customers is a very important tool that you will find to be indispensable. If your business has grown large enough, you may want to consider using your employees as brand advocates. If you are choosing to do this, creating social media guidelines that are specific to your brand is something you will want to do. Also, tell your advocates about your social media practices and allow them to know what your guidelines are so that they are falling in line with your brand standard.
7) Create a relevant social media profile that caters to your customers.
The product that you are selling will determine the social media profile that you will want to create. Although there are defiantly some absolutes in social media profiles, your time and energy will want to be reserved for the one that your target audience spends most of the time on. Be selective in creating the social media profile where you will not only garner the most customers but also be able to interact effectively with those customers. If your product is a clothing line, you may not need to spend as much time on LinkedIn as you will want to spend time on Twitter and Pinterest.
8) Create your social media marketing budget.
While everything previously discussed has been virtually free, you will want to establish a social media marketing budget that is directly proportionate to the size of your business. Allowing your marketing team to use the right budget is vital to the success of your social media strategy. Endless hours could be spent trying to target ads at just the time, at just the right place. Who doesn’t enjoy the “set and forget it” option? While you will never want to forget it, many social media platforms will market for you and push your sponsored posts to your target audience and their followers at the right time, in the right area. Since social media is used on such a personal level, you will want to find a place where you can make a deep connection with the consumer you are trying to market to.
9) Utilize cross-channel campaigns.
Engaging your audience is very important. To keep up with engagement, you will want to run cross-channel campaigns so that all your different followers on your multiple social media platforms can see some of the same content that is relevant to your business. This helps ensure the customer that not only are you able to keep them engaged but also that you are consistent. Allow your audience to relate to your cause and by telling an interesting story that encourages them to engage while linking back to a specific landing page so that more information is provided about your campaign. It also bears mentioning that using relevant hashtags is an indispensable resource that you will not want to forget.
10) Remain personable.
Being business minded is always important, but remember that people like to see, and hear things that they relate to is also important. A money-making robot is never something that a current or potential customer can relate to. Facebook, Instagram, and even Snapchat have made this idea a reality with their ability to record videos and have a going live option. This is a way for your customers to see the inner workings of your company and feel like they are a part of the family. Live stories are a fantastic way for your audience to feel engages and inspired and this content can always be shared and used in the future. Many businesses have yet to tap into this resource, so this is something that you will want to do before everyone starts doing it.
11) Remain consistent.
While always remembering to give your customers new, innovative products and services, the same can be said for the content associated with that, however it is important to remain consistent. Consistency is a trait that your clients and customers will depend on. The social media profile of any business is the window to the soul so to speak and you will want to show that you are remaining consistent in your strategies.
12) Remember to be open-minded.
Even the top marketers and gurus in the industry will tell you that they don’t have it all figured out. While markets and people's wants and needs change, so do techniques. Always being open to trying new things is something that you will want to adopt in your business vision. Remembering that only 10 years ago social media marketing did not exist will help reinforce the idea that everything changes and if you plan to be a successful business, you will want to change with the times.