Social media marketing is a powerful way for you to engage your audience and build a stronger connection and relationship to them. Every business should be actively engaging in a social media so that they can leverage all the free and paid tools that social media offers. If you’ve been struggling to connect your business to social media in a meaningful way, then you’ve come to the right place. Just to be clear:
Social media marketing is the process of engaging your audience, driving traffic to your website, and creating a brand relationship between you and your readers using social media websites. As this relationship develops your audience will trust you and their increased confidence in you and your company will lead to increased reach and revenue.
In this guide I will give you the tools you need to drastically improve the performance of your marketing efforts. All you have to do is promise to take action on the information that I’m sharing with you today! If you do that I promise you that you’ll have amazing results. You will find that social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools available today.
Step 1: Download The Worksheet
I’ve created a step by step guide for you and this worksheet will help you set and achieve your social media marketing goals. Just fill out your name and email below and you’ll have a copy of the worksheet that you can fill out as we go:
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(I’ve also included an extra bonus tip that’s not on this page in the worksheet for those who download it!)
Step 2: Take Action Right Now!
It is said that if you apply what you’ve learned within the first 24 hours your chances of successfully achieving the goals you have drastically increase. Right now you’re looking for answers on how to market your business more effectively using social media, so the most important step you can take is to immediately take action on the information that I’m sharing with you here. Use the worksheet from the form above to motivate and guide you.
What I am sharing here today will apply to you today and for months and years to come. You may think that there is some mysterious curtain that all the social media professionals hide behind, but that’s simply not true. The great news is that you and your business already possess all the skills you need to effectively market on all the social sites you have access to. All you need is the proper approach. I’m giving that to you right here, so remove all the excuses from your mind and take action!
1. Define Your Audience
The first and most important step in your marketing campaign is to define your audience. If you don’t know who you’re talking to then how will you know what to say? I know that for me I’ve struggled with defining my audience or “target market” in the past. I had a really hard time with this until one day a friend of mine said to me “just look at your best clients that you already have today”, this really helped me think more clearly about my audience, and it will help you too.
When you think about the current customers you have, who are your favorites? Who are the best clients for your business? Now as you think about them, list out some of the details you know about them:
- Geographic Location
- Relationship Status
- Do they have kids
- Do they have pets
- What interests do they have
- What things do they dislike
- Where do they shop?
- Where do they eat?
- What things do they talk to you about that don’t relate directly to work
If you answer these questions in detail while you think about a few of your top customers you’ll start to create a customer avatar that clearly describes your ideal customer. Fill out all these details in the worksheet and start to imagine a crowd of thousands of people that are all just like this. This is your audience. People who are similar to the best customers that you already have.
It’s important that you know who your audience is, because you don’t want to talk about irrelevant things to them. You want to share things that get them fired up and excited. You want to create enthusiasm and momentum with every single piece of content that you share and that is why this step is so important. Take one last look at your answers and see if you’ve clearly and accurately described your audience and your ideal customer avatar. This profile is critical to the success of your social media marketing efforts!
2. Choose Your Social Media Network
Now that you clearly understand who your target audience is, it’s time to select your social network. You may have heard before that you need to be on every social media channel out there, but I totally disagree with this. Unless you have a team of social media experts working for you, that notion is a very foolish one.
To have a powerful social media marketing plan in place, you need to be focused, diligent, and disciplined in your actions. It is virtually impossible to be any of those things if you are spread out across all the social media networks that are available today. Instead of trying to be everywhere and do so in an embarrassing manner, I am going to show you how to to be in the right places at the right times with the audience that really wants you!
Which Network is Right for Your Business?
Statistically certain social networks have larger groupings of demographic sets, so let’s begin by reviewing those. When you see one that stands out to you, that is most likely the best place to start your social media marketing efforts. Here are some statistics about social media, and the break down of the specific networks:
- 74% of internet users use social networking sites
- 72% men versus 74% women are social network users
- 71% of internet users use Facebook
- 18.5% of internet users use Twitter
- 17% of internet users use Instagram
- 21% of internet users use Pinterest
- 22% of internet users use LinkedIn
- 10% of internet users use Google+
- There are 280 million active Youtube accounts
- 25% of men watch a video daily on Youtube and 17% of women watch a video on Youtube daily
Here is a quick visual of the gender split of social media sites:
Neil Patel compiled this entire report on Quicksprout. I recommend you review the entire infographic here. Understanding where your audience is spending time is an important step in selecting your social network. From the statistics above you can look at the percentage of internet users that use a site, and then you can determine by gender which site is more popular.
If you’re focused on professional businessmen then you may want to focus on LinkedIn first. If you were targeting women, Facebook and Twitter are strong options. Whatever network you choose, I recommend that you go for a popular network that from these basic statistics most closely matches your customer avatar that you’ve developed.
Identify the social network that you believe will have the largest number of your audience members and write that down in your worksheet. We’ll be using this network as the example for your social media marketing plan as we go forward. I believe that it’s also important to note that since 71% of internet users use Facebook, this is a great place to start if your uncertain about which network is ideal for your company.
I have yet to find a business that was disappointed in their choice of starting a Facebook page. It’s a highly beneficial place to start your marketing efforts because of the large audience reach and the overall ease of use. The principles that apply in Facebook marketing will apply in all other social media sites because they are consistently leading the social media industry with innovations and insights into audience behavior.
Facebook is definitely a safe bet, but I do encourage you to carefully consider the other available options as well. Your gut reaction will often be right when it comes to choosing a social network to focus on, so I encourage you to run with your instincts here. The principles and tools I share with you will apply to all the networks I listed above, so don’t be overly concerned when you are first starting out!
Create Your Social Media Account
There are many different guides available on how to setup your social media profile, so I am not going to cover that here. I do have one very strong encouragement for you though: read and follow the instructions! All of the major social media sites provide excellent step by step setup wizards that will show you how to get started. The biggest failure I see is when people don’t read and follow those instructions!
Business Versus Personal Profiles
In the past there has been some confusion about business profiles and personal profiles. Here are some basic pointers to keep you on the right track in that area:
- For Facebook – setup a business page (do not use a personal profile as a business) [how to guide]
- For Google Plus – setup a business page (do not use a personal profile as a business) [how to guide]
- For Twitter – the account creation steps are the same, so brand it as your business [how to guide]
- For Instagram – the account creation steps are the same, so brand it as your business [how to guide]
- For LinkedIn – I recommend having both a personal and business profile [personal how to guide] [business how to guide]
- For Pinterest – setup a business profile [how to guide]
- For YouTube – setup a business profile (generally tied into Google+ pages now) [how to guide]
Follow those guides and you will be on your way to a successful profile. If you have any questions – please comment below and I will reply to you with some pointers!
3. Create a Content Strategy
Having the proper content strategy is key for your business. It doesn’t have to be overly complex or difficult, but you do want to have a clear outline of your goals, and plan on how to get there. There are two simple but powerful rules that I use when creating a content strategy for my clients and I, those are the rules that I will share with you here today. I want you to write them both down in your worksheet so that you remember and apply it.
Only share content that you feel is truly amazing. Something that you honestly say “Wow, that really impressed me”.
That simple rule will ensure that you share high quality content with you audience that impresses them and keeps them coming back for more. As easy as it is to want to fill up your profile feed with filler content, I can say from personal experience, that weak content provides weak results. Don’t allow yourself to be lazy or short sited in your content strategy. Only share content that you’re very confident in. Make sure it’s impressive. Keeping this simple rule in mind will make a huge difference in the results of your social media marketing, so don’t forget it!
Relevance is the second most important rule. Only share relevant content to your audience!
When you share amazing and impressive content that is relevant to your audience, you’ll know right away that you nailed it! Your audience will engage with and share the content. These rules are paramount in your social marketing strategy. I am going to show you how to you can make sure that you always nail it 100% of the time with some of these upcoming strategy tips!
Strategy #1: Post Frequently
The first key to a strong social media marketing strategy, is to post frequently. Each of the strategies I share here are governed by the two rules above, so before worrying about how often you post, make sure what you post is impressive and relevant. Once you’ve filtered your ideas through those two guidelines, start to plan out a way in which you can post frequently.
This awesome infographic from Buffer shows ideally how often you should post on the major social media networks:
The posting guide above is a just that, a guideline! Make sure that your posts our impressive and relevant. If you run a news media site, then you will probably want to post more frequently as stories break, and conversely, if you run a small bakery, you may not need to post more than once a day on Facebook. No matter what route you choose, test and monitor results, and focus on being impressive and relevant to your audience. I don’t feel like I can say that enough! It is so important for businesses to remember those two rules.
Strategy #2: Post Video
Video is a huge driver of engagement, so it’s important that you find simple ways to post video content to your social media profiles a few times a week. Here are some tips to keep you on the right track with this strategy:
- Re-share other pages content when it’s impressive and relevant to your audience
- Record short clips about what your doing in your business throughout the week and ask your audience to comment
- Use tools like Animoto to create professional looking video messaging (it takes about 10-15 minutes to make a clip like this)
Strategy #3: Share Quotes
Over many years I have seen inspirational quotes continue to perform well. Find and share quotes that you find inspiring. The Buffer tool Pablo is a fantastic tool for this. In the next strategy tip we’ll go over how to use Buffer, but in the meantime, bookmark this link for Pablo. I typically like to break down posting content into these major sections:
- 1/3 Photos and videos
- 1/3 Call to actions posts “come visit our store” or “call us for a free quote” type of posts
- 1/3 Inspirational quotes and content
Strategy #4: Schedule Your Content
Facebook allows you to schedule posts like this:
If scheduling from Facebook serves your needs, then keep it simple and do it that way, but if you do want to use a more advanced tool, and more efficiently share updates to multiple networks in the future, I recommend getting a Buffer account. They have a forever free plan that will work well if you’re starting out and they also have very affordable business plans available.
When you schedule content out, this allows you to batch your work, and not have to worry about having to post in real time every day. I’ve been scheduling content for my clients and my own pages for many years now, and I definitely recommend you go this route as well.
4. Focus on Building Relationships
Social media marketing is not just you blasting out content to the world. It should be much more focused on the daily priority of building a relationship with your audience. Relationship building from a social media page can only truly happen when you and the team members that you delegate to manage the profile have focused your attitudes on this goal.
Recently I read about the cryptographers from World War II and something really interesting stood out to me. They shared that even before they could read all the messaging that was being passed via morse code, they could pick out the personal styles of the morse code transmitting operators. You may have inadvertently experienced this same phenomenon if you’ve ever received a text message or email from a friend, and could tell that it was not them on the other end of the line. Or, without there being clear words, you may have noted in the tone of a message that your significant other was upset with you. That’s what I’m talking about here.
There are subtle differences and emotional nuances that we pass through our written communications. Even though your audience may not be able to pinpoint what they feel, they do feel differently about a status update message that was written haphazardly and without any care, compared to one that genuinely comes from the good intentions of your heart. If you want to learn more about this, I highly recommend that you read Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s an amazing insight into the split second impressions that we get and make.
It’s important to note and pay attention to this fact. If you truly focus on putting things of value out into the world, out in front of your audience on your social media page, then you’ll find that people will engage with you and feel that attitude that you have.
It’s going to take time to build a strong social following, so focus on building relationships in a consistent manner. This attitude and approach has proved to be one of the most important parts of my own social media marketing strategies, and I would encourage you to follow the same course.
5. Engage in Advertising
When you’re first getting started, it may seem foolish to pay for advertising on a social media network, but I want to encourage you to reconsider that thought if you’ve had it. Advertising is a powerful and often very inexpensive way to increase the results of your efforts. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, and many other networks have paid advertising options.
Many years ago I started spending a dollar or two a day on a Facebook campaign to gain more likes for my business page. Back then I really didn’t know that much about Facebook advertising, but even with my limited knowledge, I was able to consistently build the size of my audience. Using the old adage that “slow and steady wins the race”, you too can increase your page reach with a small advertising budget.
I would strongly encourage you to invest a small amount of money each month at the beginning and learn as much as you possibly can with a small learning budget. After you master advertising on a basic level, you’ll be able to ramp up your spending leverage the power of social advertising in a big way. Don’t make the mistake of not advertising at all just because you don’t know what you’re doing yet. Start small, test your results, and keep learning.
The amazing thing about social media advertising is that you can learn an incredible amount about your audience, the advertising channel, and what messaging people respond to for a very small investment. Learning everything you can about your audience and how to effectively connect to them is worth the time, money, and effort.
6. Powerful Resources to Take You to the Next Level
As I promised, I have included everything that I believe is important when you are creating a powerful social media marketing plan for your business. Unfortunately even if I tried, I couldn’t include all the information that I’ve learned over the years on this topic, but I do have a good solution! I’m going to link to every amazing resource that I’ve used on my social media marketing journey so far, with a short explanation of what it’s for. That way you can scan the list here and take the next step towards implementing your marketing plan.
If you don’t see something that you’re looking for, just comment at the bottom of the post and I’ll be sure to locate what you’re in need of. If you have something you’ve used, but don’t see it on the list, I’d love to hear about that as well!
Social and Marketing Data:
- Neil Patel is the best resource I have ever found for general marketing guidance. Read his blog here.
- Buffer’s blog also has amazing data. You can read it here.
- Twitterfall let’s you see what people are tweeting about in real time.
- Sharetally will give you a total social share count for a URL.
- Google Analytics properly setup with Google Webmaster Tools is also something I recommend for tracking purposes.
- Canva is an excellent free tool to create images with.
- Pablo is the quote image creation tool I mentioned above from Buffer.
- Pixabay is a free image library that you can use.
- You can schedule through Facebook as I showed in the video above, but you can also use Buffer or Hootsuite for this.
- I would recommend that start following Jon Loomer for Facebook advertising. He is an expert in all things Facebook.
- Veeroll is an excellent Youtube advertising source.
- TACK is a very affordable simple Facebook advertising platform that currently costs $9 per month.
- Blogpros offers blog promotion.
- Stumbeupon Paid Distribution is a fairly simple platform to operate and has yielded good results for my team and I in the past.
- Outbrain offers content distribution advertising.
- Vimeo is an excellent place to host your videos.
- Animoto has been around for years and is still one of the simplest ways to create a professional video clip to share.
Additional Sites that I Follow:
While not all of the following sites relate directly to social media marketing, I do recommend you check them out and subscribe to their email newsletters. I have learned a ton from each of the people and business sites that I’ve listed below:
- Ray Higdon
- Neil Patel
- Glenn Aesop
- Pat Flynn
- Internet Business Mastery
- Jon Loomer
- Amy Porterfield
- John Lee Dumas
- The Foundation
Those are the bread and butter sites that feed me all the knowledge and resources that I use on a daily basis. I hope you find some value there as well!
Now you have everything that you need to effectively market your business on social media. You’ve got a worksheet and the special bonus resource that I included there (go get it now if you didn’t download it yet). You’ve got your audience clearly defined using the best of your existing customers. You have chosen your social network and created a content strategy. You’re focusing on building relationships and you’re using advertising to learn and grow your audience.
I’ve provided many of the awesome resources that I use every day to market and grow my business in the last section as well. I hope that with all these resources you will stick with your commitments and goals and immediately take action on your social media marketing plans.
If you need help with something, drop me an email at [email protected] and I’ll help in whatever way I can. If you’re looking for content for your blog so you have something to share, be sure to check out Copywriter Today and Get Traffic Booster. Those are the tools that I created and that I use to fuel my content marketing which feeds directly into the social media marketing that my team and I do.
Thanks for investing your time with me today, I hope you gained a lot of value from this post. If you did, it would mean a lot to me if you shared it with your friends!