Creating a social media strategy
I truly love how in tune the JM2 team is when it comes to marketing and helping companies grow on social media. Yesterday afternoon when I got back into the office late Kyle was wanted to talk about some concerns he has not only with our clients but with social media/digital marketing. At first, it was related to all things in Northwest Indiana but turned to nationally and then internationally. This is what you call a progressive team player that is thinking not only how to help and assist others in being successful. His concern was about how people are completely screwing up their social media which goes well beyond social media. This is social media, digital marketing, and websites altogether. With what he talked about I know he will be writing several articles on it, but I started thinking of several items that can help your brand achieve success when doing social media.
Social media and marketing your business are constantly changing and evolving. Social media is changing daily, and you need to be progressive and agile to stay ahead of the curve. The tips below will help you on social media but will also fully help with your digital marketing and website as well.
Determining your team and meeting with them at a minimum of quarterly and for new accounts or accounts that are very busy meeting monthly. It is good when the entire group is on the same sheet of music. Items that you should be covered are below.
You need to know where to market your company. The answer isn’t always social media, your website, or in traditional media. You need to research your market and see where they are, what they are doing, and where they are going. You need to look at your competitors as even though they may not be something you want to copy you want and need to understand where they are.
Setting social media objectives and goals
Social media is not about getting a huge following. Yes, that is great for the ego but not great for the bottom line. You want engagement and people, as an old friend says, to “buy my shit”.
You need to have reviews for your business on Google and Facebook and any other channel your customers are on. You can understand Google as it leads people to your website but what if you don’t have a Facebook page why do you need reviews there? Whether you are active on Facebook or not you should have a page (if it does make sense – are your competitors there). Reviews are huge and the more positive reviews you can get the better. Negative reviews are not entirely bad either. Although we don’t love them they do show you are human (and you are whether you like it or not) and how you respond and improve (and show it to others) then people will respect you more. I know I look at the bad reviews more and if I see how they responded is correct they will probably get my business more than just all four- and five-star reviews.
Not necessarily a requirement to look like a regular calendar your social media calendar can be digital and I strongly recommend finding a solution that will integrate with your posting methods. We utilize SEMrush (https://www.semrush.com/) as it provides a calendar for us to keep track of all the channels we are on. By being digital we can easily drag-and-drop to adjust as well as make certain we have no gaps in our posting schedule that can easily be missed when doing it on paper (we used to do that before we woke up – again being human we weren’t fully taking advantage of technology). We’ve used Sprout Social, Buffer, and Hootsuite in the past which also have great marketing calendars to help streamline and stay in communication with your fan base.
Replying to fans
Replying to happy fans is a breeze. Just keep them happy, keep the conversation (engagement) going, and you get your fans to reply. What many organizations don’t have is how to handle the not-so-happy people. Those in the business should never reply unless it needs direction from the owner themselves and then it should be well thought out and discussed for possible ramifications against the person replying but also the company.
This is the key to any marketing campaign. Whether it be in the traditional or the virtual marketing worlds. If you have nothing to gauge success/failure on then you will never know how your marketing efforts are. A 30,000-foot view which is what most companies need is better than no view at all.
Everything we’ve been talking about is part of a marketing plan. A marketing plan is never written in stone and should always be changing and evolving. When a question comes up this is where your first head and see what was decided for a specific scenario. If the scenario doesn’t exist now is the time to enhance and grow your marketing plan.
Don’t over complicate life
All too often we see companies making everything more complicated than it truly needs to be. Yes, some things are complex. Marketing and informing others shouldn’t be one of those complex issues in your life.
Social media on a personal scale is easy. When you start looking at the overall effects of a business it is far from it. With strategies and planning you can make it successful and a successful marketing strategy for the outsiders should look easy.
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