You’re an entrepreneur or a small organization and you know you need online and social media marketing, but you don’t have the time to learn a new trade or the resources to invest in a professional digital marketing agency. With all the options out there, it’s easy to fall into #1 mistake most small businesses make when trying to leverage their social media - spreading your marketing efforts too thin across too many mediums.
In the words of Gary Keller, The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results,
“It is those who concentrate on but one thing at a time who advance in this world.”
Face it, being an expert in just one area of social media marketing is far easier than being an expert in man (and much more actionable too). Twitter, FaceBook, Youtube, Instagram, Yelp and LinkedIn, still dominate the web and are generally a good place create an online presence. However, each of these social giants have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Twitter is a fantastic place to gain audience awareness and test lots of post topics without overwhelming your audience but is generally pretty poor at generating leads.
YouTube and Instagram are useful for increasing awareness if you are producing a lot of media content, but like Twitter, don’t typically generate leads.
Yelp is useful if you have a business front and need more foot traffic but can be extremely costly, especially if not used strategically, and is not meant or set up for social sharing.
LinkedIn is fantastic for B2B (business-to-business) advertising but like Yelp, is of the more costly options and needs to be handled strategically to gain the most value.
FaceBook is the most flexible of all the platforms in terms of business use, has pretty far reach, and very streamlined lead generating tools that don’t require too much knowledge to take advantage of. Of all the mediums, this one is the most generically useful, and the one we will focus on in this post.
While it’s important to create profiles on all these platforms, choosing your specific focus is key. Follow this easy strategy and watch your audience grow.
- Pick three social media outlets and completely fill them out.
For this example, I’m focusing on FaceBook, followed by Twitter and LinkedIn. Make sure that you fill everything out completely. Add logos, header images, CTAs (Call to Action, such as “Sign Up Now”), and a link to your website in the description. Whatever you can do to fill out the business page or profile, do it. People really do value seeing all your information neatly laid out where it's supposed to be.
- Connect all your social media accounts with a social media manager, such as Buffer or Hootsuite.
Plan to post at least twice a day, even if those posts are short. Make sure they go out to Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. There's a word cap on twitter and it's OK but not necessary to edit your FaceBook and LinkedIn posts in your social media manager to say more if you want to. Don't forget to use two or less hashtags on twitter and avoid them altogether on FaceBook and LinkedIn (they can come off as spammy).
- Figure out your audience and your brand story and only post to them within that context.
It’s tempting to want to post all the things that interest you personally, but the purpose of your social media outlets is to increase brand awareness, create audience rapport, and generate leads. Unless you’re a professional bar critic or a lifestyle guru, a picture of the fancy drink you got at the hot new bar in town is probably not going to help you. Figure out what your audience (or desired client base) wants and needs, how you are able to satisfy those desires better than anyone else, and cater to that specifically.
- Use twitter to test your posts.
It’s pretty difficult to overwhelm your audience on twitter but too many posts on FaceBook can put them off. If you can manage it, posting to twitter as often as possible will help you to navigate what content actually creates an impression. Then you can select the content that did well on Twitter and post it to Facebook and LinkedIn.
- FaceBook boost the post that did best on Twitter
Boosting a post is a great low cost way to get audience attention, but most small businesses waste their post impressions. When a post garners likes, those are people who appreciate the business content but have not liked the actual business page - only the boosted post. If you click on the section of the boosted post that says how many people liked the post, you’ll get a list of those people and an option to the right to invite them to like the page. Because they liked your post, they are more likely to like your page and then will be more likely to see and like future posts.
- Follow a Schedule.
This is important because infrequent posting will result in losing followers. But many people have different opinions on the frequency you should post to any one of these outlets. Some people suggest posting to twitter as much as ten times in a day, Facebook four, and LinkedIn tw. Personally, I think value over-rides amount and so I advise people to post more targeted, valuable content less frequently if they have to, in order to stay on a schedule. If all you can muster is four posts a week and one boosted post on Facebook a month, then so be it. It’s better for the growth of your business to start off slow and stay steady than overwhelm yourself and fall of the wagon.
With this easy game plan you will be able to manage your social media and generate audience awareness. Good luck! And remember, focus your efforts!