Running a successful social media marketing campaign for your business isn’t as simple as logging onto the internet, creating an account on one or two of the platforms, adding a bit of content every now and then.
Instead, to run a successful social media marketing campaign, which provides you with beneficial and quantitative results there are numerous steps which you need to take both before going online and once you’ve got your feet wet in the social media marketing pond.
To help accountants, solicitors, those in the healthcare profession, along with SMEs gain a good footing in the whirlwind that is social media marketing, in a special two-part blog, which starts today, we look at the alphabet of social media marketing…..
Audience – The success of any social media marketing campaign, whether it’s ran by a small local firm or a global business is the audience.
Without an audience to target your social media marketing campaign won’t get of the ground. It’s therefore important before beginning your social media marketing campaign to research your audience and the social media platforms that they use.
Branding – The branding of your social media marketing campaign is as important as the content that you share. It’s important to have the same tone throughout all the platforms that you use and to make sure that your campaign promotes your brand and business in a positive light.
Don’t be afraid of negative feedback via social media, if you handle this honestly, in a timely fashion and positively you can turn a negative into a positive and enhance your brand / business at the same time.
Blogging – For many social media marketing only involves social networking; yet it is much more than this. Blogging can play a large and vital role within your social media marketing campaign, as it gives businesses the opportunity to engage their audience on a different platform, whilst promoting their business, brand, services and products in detail.
Content – The content you share via your social media marketing campaign doesn’t have to be limited to just text. Instead each platform available, from forums through to social networks allow you to share various content including website links, images and videos – giving you the opportunity to provide the right content for your campaign.
When sharing content however, it’s important to make sure that it has been tailored to your audience and the platform you’re using, without conflicting with the brand image you’ve built up.
Develop – You’re not expected to be able to pull of the best social media marketing campaign straight away. It’ll take time to build up a following and trust with others that use the platforms you’re engaging in.
However, it is a good idea to develop your campaign as you progress, if one element isn’t working, evaluate why and develop a strategy to improve it or to try a different tact. The more you develop your campaign and build on it, the more successful it’ll be over time.
Engage – Whether you’re using one or a multitude of social media platforms, to make a success of your marketing campaign, it’s important to engage your audience in conversation because every element of social media marketing is a two-way street.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, for help or for opinions from your audience on each social media platform, it’s a great way to learn more and engage; it also prevents your campaign from becoming all about “Me” and makes it more about your audience and you, and how you can help each other.
Follow-Up – A successfully ran social media marketing campaign can help bring your business leads as well as help build connections with other businesses / professionals; it’s therefore important that along with sharing content you follow up any leads which have occurred, after all you never know if it’s going to turn into a large business order, increasing your ROI.
Friends / Followers – Your friends / followers within various social media platforms aren’t necessarily going to be your target audience, however they could be beneficial to you in other ways – such as re-sharing your content, so it’s always important to check who is following you and if appropriate send them a quick message to thank them for doing so.
Generate and Give – What is the reasoning behind a social media marketing campaign? To generate interest in your business, brand, products and services. How are you going to achieve this? By giving your audience access to relevant information, engaging them in conversation and, in some cases, by giving them something special – such as an offer or discount.
Help – A social media marketing campaign shouldn’t be all about “Me, Me, Me” for any business, instead one sure way to build a successful marketing campaign via social media is to help other users, share information, answer questions and offer advice – it’s amazing how quickly this can build up trust and how quickly the information will be shared through various platforms.
Interact / Interest – I’ve already touched upon it, but to have a successful marketing campaign you need to interact with your audience and interest them. The way to do this is to engage them in conversation and to tailor your content to them and the platform you’re using.
Integrate – Don’t see your social media marketing campaign as something which is carried out on one particular platform or another, instead integrate your campaign with other areas of your business.
This can be done by including widgets in your email signatures and on your website, including the platform logos on your letterheads and business cards; and also by syncing the platforms together.
Join In – If you want to reach your target audience via a social media marketing campaign, you need to join in the conversations which are surrounding your industry. This could be joining in with discussions on forums, joining groups on various platforms or joining in one-to-one conversations, each way is guaranteed to help you become more prevalent within social media.
Knowledge – If you’re a specialist in a specific field or your have information about legislation changes, share your knowledge with others. This can have a variety of benefits including building up your authority and also letting others see that your business is at the forefront of changes and is willing to share its knowledge to benefit others.
Keep-Up – The world of social media marketing, although it seems has been around for ever, is still emerging and this means that there are still many twists and turns to come. If you want to remain relevant and successful within social media, it’s important to keep up with all the changes that are occurring.
Top Tip: Just because a new platform has launched, don’t automatically move from the one you’re on to it; it isn’t guaranteed to be successful or be used by your target audience. A good example of this is Google Buzz which failed and has since been removed by Google.
Learn – As mentioned under “Develop” a social media marketing campaign isn’t going to be successful from day one; it’s going to be a roller-coaster of a ride. However, as with every step within business, you can make a success of it by learning as you go, if you make a mistake or something doesn’t work, look at why, learn from it and develop a solution; after all it’s only ever a mistake if you don’t learn.
Listen – I cannot say it enough, the key to a successful social media marketing campaign isn’t making it all “Me, Me, Me” instead it’s about listening to your audience, what they want and what they’re interested in and then tailoring your content to provide this.
If you get this step right, then you’re already on to a winner!
Monitor – When running any marketing campaign, whether via social media or through a traditional format, you need to monitor it to see how successful it has been and how it is being accepted by your audience.
Thankfully, through various tools which we’ve mentioned in previous blogs here at JE Consulting, monitoring your social media marketing campaign doesn’t have to be tricky nor time consuming, but it is vital.
Multi-Channels – The key to any successful social media marketing campaign is to not limit your business.
There are various platforms available from social networks through to forums and blogs, each of which offers a different benefit to a campaign; and if you want to reach as wide an audience as possible you should make sure that you regularly use a selection of the options available.
No-one said that a social media marketing campaign would be easy, but as we reach the half-way point of the social media marketing alphabet, hopefully you can see the steps which you need to take to improve your campaign.
This time next week, we’ll go through the final steps of the social media marketing alphabet, but in the meantime, if you’d like to share any steps that you think fit in with this section, please share them below.