Social Media Spell-casting 101 with Sabrina the Digital Witch: Social Media Marketing with a Bewitching Strategy to creating Business Magic
There are a few situations where that doesn’t apply, but when it comes to effective social media marketing, having a plan is essential to be successful.
You know the Benjamin Franklin quote, right?
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
We tend to call it a ‘strategy’ because it’s more of a blueprint of how we’d like our social media marketing to work, as it can be tweaked along the way and adapted to suit your goals and objectives as they change.
A common mistake we make when starting to use social media for business is thinking it works the same way as when we use it for friends and family.
And that can have negative consequences, such as poor brand image, reduced credibility and potentially ruin any chances of gaining new clients or increased web traffic.
Having a strategy in place is essential for avoiding those costly mistakes, and getting your social media posts hitting the right note first time.
Unlike Sabrina the teenage witch, we don’t have a spellbook we can consult when we’re learning something new. But you can get your social media strategy creating magic from the very beginning. You just need to add a few key action steps.
It’s a good idea to look at what you’re already doing and that means auditing your current social media efforts. Even if you haven’t done any social media marketing yet, chances are you’ve created social media accounts for your business and made some attempt to use them.
I would recommend you to have a spreadsheet to keep everything organized in one place.
You need to locate and record all your social media profiles – you know, the ones you started but have since abandoned, the ones you’ve forgotten the login details for, and your personal accounts too (because privacy really doesn’t exist in the digital world).
Check for consistency across all profiles – this means using the same imagery, keywords, language, and URLs. For example, you want to be using the same logo and brand colour on every social media profile so it’s clearly identifiable as belonging to your business.
Record current performance – what’s been working, what hasn’t and which channel seems to be working best for you so far.
Once you have this information you should have a baseline on which to plan your new strategy, know which channels you need to focus on, and which posts resonate with your audience.
To be able to hit the right note with your target audience you need to know who they are, why they’re using social media and how you can strike a chord with them.
One of the best ways of doing this is by creating a target audience avatar.
This is essentially a fact-file on your ideal customer – who they are, age, location, interests, hobbies, career, family, etc. It gives you the info you need to know to understand them and write social media content they’ll understand and be interested in.
Imagine if Sabrina was starting a magical cookie store for fellow witches. She’d be looking to see where witches hang out on social media, how they’re talking to each other, and what they’re sharing. Sabrina would then create similar content using the same words and expressions to get noticed.
You can’t have an effective social media strategy if you don’t have any goals to work towards.
And yes, those goals need to be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based.
One example might be adding 100 new followers on Twitter that are from Westbridge, Massachusetts between the ages of 18 and 29 during November.
It’s specific and measurable. It sounds achievable but the only way to know that is through target audience research (how many people of that age live in Westbridge and how many use Twitter?), and it’s time-based.
Plan some goals you’d like to achieve with your social media marketing using those principles, and you can’t go too far wrong.
We touched on brand consistency and continuity earlier – making sure all social media profiles can be clearly identified as belonging to the same business. But now we need to make sure they’re aligned with what your target audience is looking for or expecting.
Go back to your social media audit and remind yourself of which posts worked well, and identify why.
Were you using hashtags or search terms your target audience was looking for?
Did you use specific images or videos?
Tip. If you’re not sure which posts worked well, check out the analytics or insights available on your social media dashboard.
Make sure your profile info contains those keywords that seem to work so well, or that you see your target audience using a lot of their posts. What would magical cookie buyers be searching for on social media?
Remember that different formats work better on different channels.
So, you can turn a blog into a series of graphics for Pinterest, a video for Facebook and some short and sweet tips for Twitter.
Ideally, you want to be creating an editorial calendar of what you’re going to be posting, and when. This should align with your other marketing efforts and any seasonal promotions or sales you might be running.
Make sure you’re sharing other people’s content.
Retweet and share articles of interest to you, and your target audience, and be on the look-out for relevant blogs or articles elsewhere that you can share. Google alerts and Feedly can be a great way of doing this.
A common mistake a lot of businesses make is to post and run.
There’s nothing wrong with scheduling posts in advance, but social media is always about being social first and selling second. So, you do need to maintain an active presence and interact with your followers and even your competition.
Make sure your social media strategy includes the following:
Find thought influencers in your field (you know, those names that everyone in your industry knows about) and follow and retweet them – check out their followers as they’re highly likely to belong to your target audience.
Check out your competition – what are they posting, what’s working for them and who are their followers? Don’t directly copy them but do take inspiration from their efforts.
Join in on conversations – be friendly, approachable and answer any questions you come across. Identifying yourself as an expert in your field that people can come to is a strong social media marketing tactic.
You don’t necessarily need a head for numbers, but you do need to know what’s working well and what isn’t.
Use analytics to measure and evaluate your goals – changing them when met, or adjusting them to make them more realistic and achievable. You want to be looking at the social media channels own analytics, as well as Google Analytics that can give you information on which profiles are sending traffic to your website
But don’t rely on numbers alone.
If one post or piece of content got you a new client or more comments than another this is a strong indication you’re on the right track. Figure out why it worked and how can you can incorporate that into your future marketing efforts. In the future episodes, we’ll talk specifically about each part of a Social Media Marketing Strategy.
Social media marketing doesn’t have to be hard, but you do need to understand how it works, your target audience and how to tie it all into an effective strategy. If you’d like to outsource to a marketing and social media specialist that can take care of the hard work for you, get in touch now for your 15 min FREE Coffee and Chat.
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