Social Media Marketing has baffled business owners since it bomb-blasted its way into our lives not too long ago. By now, most of you realize that you should be doing something with Facebook and twitter….but the question is WHAT??
I don’t need to tell you that users spend an average of 2 hours a day on the internet, much of that time on the various social media sites. For every 8 minutes, 1 minute is spent on Facebook. Your grandmother is probably on Facebook! So should your business. Adverting 101: You go where the people are!
The What: What to talk about!
Almost daily, I hear the question, “What would I even talk about?”And it’s true, we may need to create some content for you. (You should be doing regular content creation anyway. Read previous post about blogging for small businesses.) With a little creative thinking, this be overcome.
Here are a few suggestions:
1. Sales or promotions. People love being “in the know” and will be more likely to follow you if there is something in it for them.
2. Feature a product. Show off a new element or product, a different product every day. Doesn’t have to be on sale or even new, just something to catch someone’s eye. Part of marketing is brand recognition. Be visible.
3. Industry related news. Who knows your industry better than you, who has lives and breathes your market. Talk about it. Show off your expertise.
4. Local News. Be a part of your community.
5. Promote Others. This is a great way to network. While you might not want to promote your competition, someone related but not in direct competition can be a great ally.
The “How”: How to do Social Media Marketing
Hootsuite is your friend. What is hootsuite, you ask? Hootsuite is online software that allows you to schedule social media posts. Do it an hour or two a week, once a week then sit back and watch.
Here are the “starter” social media sites. Keep in mind that a solid social media marketing plan is hand tailored to your business. Some businesses may feature one over the other or even ignore another site completely. Being as this may be uncharted territory for you, there will be some trial and error.
Twitter is the big unknown. No one understands twitter. Twitter posts, called tweets, are short clips, less than 160 characters that go into the news feed of sorts of your followers and create a continually updating ticker of sorts. Life on twitter moves fast and it can be hard to grab anyone’s attention. Because of this, it is recommended that you post between 5-10 times a day at the least.
Facebook posts are also only visible to followers (followers are people that have “liked” your page) and although most people check Facebook several times throughout the day, it is easier to overwhelm users. We recommend 1-3 times a day. Posts have no limit in size and can contain pictures or links.
Have you even heard of Google+? Most people see it as a bit of ghost town but there are a few reasons to use it nonetheless, the biggest reason being is that it is owned by google. An article posted on google+ is indexed on average in 6 seconds. Lightening fast. The details of this are for another post, but the integration between Google search and Google+ is reason enough to market there.
I like to describe pinterest as bookmarking on crack. It is a great way to organize your thoughts. For example, I have a board of all my favorite recipes, one for all my Christmas presents, articles I would like to read, websites I liked etc etc. While it was mostly known for crafts, it has really expanded into the retail market, cooking and user networking.
LinkedIn is specifically for businesses and networking. Articles that you post will be featured to other users. You can join Groups and feature articles, talk about issues in the industry and general networking.
Others: StumbledUpon, Reddit, Digg
As mentioned before, the best social media marketing plan is hand tailored. With an open mind, test the waters of these sites and see what works. You might find a great niche in Reddit (although occasionally sensitive to spamming) or Digg. Are there any industry-specific forums that you know of? Also a great opportunity for social media.