We see them every day. Exhausted and frustrated small business owners waving the white flag of surrender on their social marketing efforts. They have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, and even Snapchat, but most have been abandoned after a month or so of random posting and activity with little if any strategic focus.
With all of the available social media platforms to engage with your customers and share your brand’s message, it can be overwhelming deciding where you should be active. It’s a lot like looking at for a new home. You wouldn’t run out and buy several houses start moving some furniture in each only to leave them abandoned while you make your choice of the best location. You would research each feature you desire first, look into the surrounding area to see if it meets your needs and make sure the house you want is in a community that you can be active in. The same goes for social media marketing.
These 5 steps will help you decide where your brand needs to be active:
1. Identify the type of people you want to “live with”
In marketing we call this defining your personas, but it is simply detailing who you are trying to reach with your social media activities. If you think the world is your market, you will run yourself ragged trying to be everywhere. Be as specific as possible. What is the age of the people you are targeting. What are the concerns or challenges they face? Problems they have that you might be able to solve? What social media sites are they most active on? Where might they find your content? Write this down and keep it in front of you as you decide where you will set up camp.
2. Where are your competitors active?
Have you looked on social media sites to see which of your competitors are active there? Not more abandoned accounts, but real activity. Facebook allows you to “watch” 5 competitor accounts from your own business page.
3. What type of content will you be sharing on each social media site?
Take time to plan out the kind of content you will be creating for each site BEFORE you set up shop. You need regular photos if you are using Instagram. Lots of tips and short nuggets on Twitter. Product pictures for Pinterest, and so on. It’s not the same content on every platform.
4. Who will be responsible for writing, posting, finding photos, monitoring activity and responding to questions or comments on your social media sites?
This seems obvious, but you might need to recruit some help managing the activity that goes along with posting to social sites. Social marketing is so much more than just posting content. Talk to your team to see who can help with each activity.
5. What is your goal on each social media site?
Your goal must extend beyond just being present on a social media site. Are you trying to drive more traffic to your website? Then blogging might be a big piece of this formula so your social media posts have something to share and point people to. Is your goal to let people know about products you offer and get feedback from your community? Are you trying to magnify your influence and let people know what your expertise is? These goals must be kept front and center to keep your activities focused.
With this plan in front of you, you will be able to identify where you want to be active and you will have a better understanding of the work involved to keep your social media sites from looking like an abandoned house.
You may have a few activities that you can cut from your social marketing activities. Check out our list of 10 Useless Things You Can Cut TODAY!
Amanda manages the social media content for SocialKNX and is a Hubspot Certified Inbound Marketing Pro. You can always find her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and more for SocialKNX.