Originally published on LeadUpMarketers.com on August 03, 2015 By Vladimir Nagin
By now, many companies are aware that they should be on social media since it provides them with a platform to communicate with current, past, and prospective clients. A social media presence also helps to spread brand awareness, address consumer concerns, and, most importantly, create inbound links to your company site. But how should companies post to social media? What should they say? When developing a corporate presence on social media, these tried and true tips can help you utilize your resources effectively, and help you avoid a PR nightmare.
Understand Your General Goals
Arnold Glasgow famously said, “In life, as in football, you won’t go far unless you know where the goalposts are.” Nothing could be more true when beginning a social media marketing campaign. ou have to have goals and must know where you want social media to take you.
Think long and hard. What are you hoping to gain from your social media efforts? Are you hoping to increase your brand awareness? Are you looking to increase your site’s traffic or increase your ecommerce sales? Are you looking for a potential customer to call you? Are you looking for a place to interact with potential clients, and perhaps an evangelist or two? Social media is a great avenue on which to accomplish any of these tasks, but it’s important to focus on 2 or 3 main goals and run with them.
Learn more about social media in Hong Kong here >>>
SMART Goals Lead to Brilliant Posts
Let’s say one of your goals is to increase your site’s traffic using social media. That’s a great goal, but it’s not a SMART goal. According to inbound giant Hubspot, “a SMART goal is one that is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time based.” A SMART version of this goal is, Use Facebook to grow ABC’s site traffic by 10% by January 1, 2017.”
Remember that a goal with numbers attached to it isn’t automatically SMART. A goal that has unreasonable expectations, such as, “I want to increase my site traffic by 5,000% by tomorrow using Twitter,” is not a SMART goal. There isn’t enough marketing in Hong Kong to make such a goal reasonable.
Create Meaningful Personas
Now that you have direction, you need to determine your audience. To do this, create buyer personas, which are fictitious, generalized characters that describe your ideal customers. When you create personas, you should bear in mind your customers’ demographics, incomes, needs, goals, feelings, and pain points. We recommend giving them silly name that helps you remember, and instantly identify, your personas. If you were a gym owner, for example, you may create a persona whose name is Mikey Muscles. He would be your body builder client. You would market differently to him than you would to Sally Spinsalot, a persona who is borderline obsessed with spin classes and gets territorial over her bike.
Learn how to create buyer personas in our previous blog post with free template for you to download.
*It’s important to note that most companies have several buyer personas. We recommend starting with three or four, and growing from there. Personas are also always a work in progress, so if you develop data that contradicts part of the “story” you’ve created for your persona, you can always edit accordingly.
Check Out Your Competition
The next thing to do is to investigate what your competitors are doing on social media. What are they posting? How often are they posting it? Who are they following? Who is following them?
Understanding what others are doing in your space is important because you may share many of the same buyer personas, and you can get great insight into what your personas respond to, and what they don’t. We recommend starting with the obvious and major competitors, and then branching out into emerging industry leaders.
Ideation & Drafting
It’s time to begin the ideation process. We recommend creating one or two posts per week that will always address the same topic. Following our gym owner example from before, create a hashtag like #FitnessTipFriday and distribute a weekly fitness tip. Doing so enables you to spread valuable information to consumers, and gives your customers and potential customer base something to look forward to each week. They may even join in on the trend and begin using your hashtag as well. Your various social channels are also a great place to notify consumers about your latest blog, ebook, sale, or special offer.
Weekly posts are a great start, and everyone loves a good sale, but to use social media effectively, remember to actually be social. Just like in real life, no one on the internet wants to talk to someone who only talks about themselves. Ask consumers questions. Talk to other companies about their latest and greatest products and offers. A little good will goes a long way.
Pick Your Platform
Not all social media channels are the same. First of all, they all have different audiences and styles of posting. Post to the platforms your audience uses. If you are marketing to eighteen year-olds, LinkedIn won’t be for you. To help you understand some key platforms better, we’ve described their usage in a sentence for you.
- Twitter – I’m making a candle.
- Facebook – I like candles.
- Pinterest – Here are steps to making great candles.
- LinkedIn – My professional skill set includes candle making.
- Instagram – Here is a picture of a candle I made.
- FourSquare – I made a candle in Hong Kong.
- YouTube – Here is a video of me making a candle.
Creating a Content Planner
Finally, it’s time to develop a content planner. Create a schedule for how often you will be posting. Then determine what you will say on each channel, and begin creating automations. Platforms like Hootsuite or Hubspot enable you to schedule your social posts well in advance so you don’t have to forget to post on a particularly busy day. Consistency is key, and a well developed content calendar and automation system will take your online presence to new heights.
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