Updated: Dec 10, 2019
Ah yes, the lovely world of social media marketing. Where to begin? Must we begin? Instead, perhaps we scroll our personal feeds for 45 minutes looking at animal videos and desirable tropical vacations for ‘inspiration’? Perhaps we then look on LinkedIn and see which high school classmates we can turn down on their invitations to ‘connect’? Perhaps after that we put this off until tomorrow because it’s far too late to start now and besides, our phones are about to die and the charger is very far away and we drank some wine and well, frankly, that’s just not professional. Now repeat this forever until you go senile or retire, whichever happens first.
Why is it that the idea of starting your social media marketing akin to the same overwhelming dread you get when you committed to a networking event on a Tuesday evening that’s 30 minutes across town in traffic? Quick! Come down with the flu so you can come up with an excuse!
The answer is simple. You’ve over complicated the task.
Social media, as proven by the many colorful individuals who populate your personal feeds, is not rocket science. The world of social influencer marketing, for example, is built around beautiful people sticking emojis in their captions, tagging a few choice retail products and taking home paychecks that would make the rest of us cry. No, social media doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It’s a casual conversation between you and your potential and current customers. You just need a plan.
Make it scalable. Look at your social strategy a month in advance. How many times can you realistically post quality content this upcoming month? By quality, I do not mean “Happy Labor Day!” with a photo of an American flag (you know who you are). I mean posts that actually create awareness about your business, convey your brand’s personality and speaks to your targeted customers. Treat social media like a conversation with a genuine friend. Telling them hi everyday with nothing to say that adds color and context to your conversation won’t develop your relationship. But approaching the conversation from a place of knowledge and passion will keep an existing relationship strong and give you the conversational tools to form new ones. Can only post four times a month? Great. Make them the best four posts you can think of.
Make it personal. This is how you make these pieces of content really zing. Ask yourself who you are talking to when you write your copy. Perhaps your audience is newlywed women who are 24-35 years of age and love hiking, biking and rock climbing. That’s a pretty specific audience. Your content should be the same. Your copy and imagery should be scroll-stopping and speak right to this audience about why YOUR business is worth a pause. Once you know who you are writing to, ask yourself if what you’re writing is something they’ll care about. For example, if you’re a company that specializes in rock-climbing bachelorette adventures, you probably won’t reach the average bride. But the audience above? They’ll want to know more. And that’s where your business and their interests meet for a potential opportunity. Above all, remember social is about creating a conversation, not closing a deal. Your content should tell a story, solve a problem, share a philosophy, engage your audience and ultimately, lean into the heart of your business. The sales will follow.
Make it strategic. Social media is not one size fits all. Posting the same content to every platform and calling it a day is neither a smart use of your time, nor a thoughtful strategy to actually curating and engaging an audience. Are you seeing results on Facebook but not Twitter? Getting actual leads from Linkedin but just basic engagement from Instagram? Consistently observe and track your social metrics so you can figure out what’s working, what’s not and what you can omit/reduce frequency on.
...And hey, while you’re working on your social skills, you can find me on the gram, in the book, and Linkedin connect with me here. Companies supporting and communicating with one another is part of what makes social media such an awesome networking tool.
You never know, your business’s next opportunity might literally be in the palm of your hands.