Social media is a wonderful thing and can be particularly useful to your business IF you know what you’re doing. If you’ve got a business and you’re unsure how to promote it online in the right way, Creative Steam bring you some top tips for social media marketing! Maximising online presence could truly be the make of your business, and it’s an extremely cost-effective way to get people on board with your website, brand or idea!
Tip 1: Form a social media marketing plan
The world of business may be more technical and faster online, but that doesn’t disregard the need for a strategic plan before you begin your marketing process. This is what will set you up for success and permit you to achieve your online goals. A social media marketing plan is a summary of all you plan to achieve for your business via the use of social networking sites – this should include factors like; the platforms you want to use, your achievable business goals and your main target audience.
Tip 2: S.M.A.R.T goals
One of the first things to do in any business is identify your goals and how you will achieve them, the same applies when campaigning via social media. Tweeting and posting can be a time consuming process, so you want to ensure that it’s not all for nothing and that you are gaining something back. A simple way to begin your plan is to record a few reachable objectives to start off with, then determine how you will track this. For example, if your goal is to reach a wider audience through retweets and shares on Twitter, your aim should be something like –
“To gain at least 10 followers within a month by posting 3 updates per day.”
Once these kind of steps are made, you can look past ‘likes’ and ‘reblogs’ to focus on sales generated, enquiries through or traffic driven to your website via social media updates. Through the use of tools like Google analytics, you will be able to track this with ease.
Approach your goals using a SMART approach! Using these guide-lines will help you through your social media campaign journey.
Tip 3: Choose your networks wisely
Creating an Instagram account with gorgeous photos may be an aesthetically pleasing idea, but if it’s going to be a waste of your time and effort, don’t bother! Many people are under the impression that they must hold an account with every social media channel under the sun if they want to achieve online success – this is not always correct. Keep your main goal in mind – if your primary aim is to generate sales through your website, then don’t lose sight of this. Weigh up the pros and cons of LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest and measure which could be of use to your goals. Keep record of what social sites are bringing you the most traffic.
Tip 4: Research your competitors
It’s impossible to know if what you’re doing is right unless you compare yourself a little. Researching what other successful social media accounts in your particular field are doing gives you an insight as to what you could do to improve your online status. For example, if you’re an online clothing store, browse other online clothing stores on Facebook, Twitter and all the other channels, see what they’re doing for retweets and shares, take a look at how they approach their customers, how they reply to any customer complaints etc. This will give you a good vision on to how to be prosperous online and provide you with some ideas and aims.
Tip 5: Avoid silly mistakes
Small errors such as spelling mistakes and typos you don’t want to be making when posting from a professional business networking site, always check over what you post and ensure it will not offend or harm anybody – the last thing you want to do is damage your social media existence. People are likely to unfollow you if you post too much, which is why it’s key to have a plan with times of posting. A top mistake people tend to make is only using social media to advertise, this is off-putting to many online users. Post an update every once in a while that doesn’t involve promoting. Sharing sensitive subjects like politics or religion could also seriously harm your online reputation, make it personal to your brand but not to yourself.
Tip 6: Don’t overuse hashtags #
A common slip-up used on many social media channels is overbearing hashtags. If you’re hashtagging each word, you’re going to appear spammy. Using one or two is fine, but gain some knowledge on where it’s appropriate and ultimately calculate if it will be beneficial to you.
Tip 7: Interact with other users
If a social media profile looks too focused on the business or you are not replying to comments or sharing/retweeting from others, people may be put off by this. Always take the time to reply to feedback, this will help you gain a better looking profile and perhaps provide more trust to your brand or website.
Tip 8: Share at the best times
Timing is everything when it comes to social media. Different people use different networks at different times, there is no use in posting a marketing tweet if people are not going to see it or interact. Often it’s best to post when you know that people will have more free time to browse social media such as weekends, evenings and lunch times. All businesses are different, which is why it is crucial to monitor when people are engaging with your posts including days and times. Options on channels such as Facebook and Twitter now allow you to see how many users have engaged with a post, how many click-throughs a link has had, and when your social media channel gains the most views. There is even a new feature on Facebook which allows you to link to your website via a contact button of your choice. It’s all very particular, even down to days of the week but monitoring regularly could really help you out, for example by keeping track of your top 5 posts over a month, you can gain understanding of what is working best for you on social media.
Tip 9: Don’t forget about LinkedIn
Often when social media is thought of, Facebook & Twitter are the ones that immediately come to mind, this means that LinkedIn can sometimes be overlooked of its significance. Regularly when a company is typed in to a search engine, the results return with the LinkedIn profile first and foremost. Your LinkedIn account is important because this is one of the first places a potential consumer may go to initially learn about your company, for this reason, you want to ensure that your profile is up to date. If you’ve recently added a new product or service, you can add that underneath the project section – this is a good opportunity to tell users about it.
Tip 10: Use tools like Hootsuite & IFFT to schedule at the right times to make life easier:
Social media management systems can be very helpful if you are in charge of several social media accounts. Hootsuite is the place to be if you belong to lots of social media networks and find it difficult to post at the correct times and keep up with it all. Not only does it help you track all your social media networks at once, it helps you schedule tweets. Hootsuite is available to use as a free trial to begin with. There are also alternative social media management tools such as tweetdeck, buffer and IFFT.
Tip 11: Create a social media content timetable
A social media content timetable is a simple and clear way to organise your posts on different channels. It is simply a table with dates, days and a list of your social media networks with what you plan to post and you can simply tick this off once it’s done. Whether it’s a third party post, a promotion, a picture or a blog post, by using a calendar you can easily keep track of what you’re posting and when without having to go through each networking site. This is also a great way to manage your posts if multiple people are managing your networking sites.
The last thing to remember is: take it seriously! If an online user finds your Twitter account and your last tweet was in September 2011, they are may be less likely to find your company credible.
If you are in need of social media management or set-up, the team at Creative Steam can get the job done, contact us today for further information regarding this.