Social media is viewed as a key tool to use for communication with existing and potential clients, and is an excellent medium for brand awareness.
However, as beneficial as it can be, social media marketing can be very challenging, especially for small and mid-sized businesses.
We have 7 beginner tips you can use to focus in on your social media marketing skills.
Make a commitment
One of the factors determining success is commitment.
Commitment is the first step required for a successful social media plan to take place.
What to commit in?
You can start by creating a plan with realistic objectives and goals. Of course, the first step to take for this is deciding what exactly are you using social media for. Be it brand awareness, sales, or something in between, a marketing plan will help you a lot in the long run.
A great way to start off looking at your competitors. What do they say, how often? Or have a look at your peers and how they use social media – have a look round for some ideas first and then have a think of how you can adapt and apply for your business
Remember to not only look for their successful comms. Look at their failures as well, so you can avoid committing the mistakes they made.
When creating a plan, everything starts and ends with goals. Hence setting important goals based on your desired outcomes is key.
Align your social media plan with goals to help you ensure you stay on track. This is why it’s also important for you to set very specific goals and objectives. Since the more specific you get, the easier it is for you to align with your goals.
So as an example, let’s say your desired outcome or objective is to drive brand awareness. The specific goal in this could be defining the metrics you use for brand awareness.
Are you going to account website engagement to the posts you share?
Or are you going to factor the number of likes you receive in each post?
Specific goals based on specific objectives help you understand whether your social media strategy is working or not.
Remember that plans can change, especially as you get more learnings and more feedback form customers, so be ready to adapt if you need to.
Share Who You Are.
Sharing content is a good thing. However, equally important is sharing what lies behind that content.
If you have a look at the top brands, they always have a separate campaign for sharing their brand image in front of their audience base.
Remember that social media is about connection. ‘Connection’ exists in different types. the most powerful form of connection is the one that is experienced on a human level, that human point of view and interaction.
This is exactly what drives engagement.
You have to define how you can provide value to your customers. How you stand out amongst other competitors. How exactly are you unique as a company.
Spend some separate time jotting down what exactly is it that you stand for. After that, think about what will make your audience click the share button? Why would they want to follow you?
Remember not to only share content relevant to your product. Write content that will generally benefit your audience .
Set Some Time Aside For Social Media
Above we mentioned how you should stay committed to social media. However, commitment doesn’t mean that you outsource your tasks to your team and only discuss a few minutes of social media with them.
Remember your brand vision is YOUR vision. Your team can only understand the vision to the extent of THEIR thought, not yours.
Which is why it is important to create high-quality content that aligns with your vision.
High-quality content that drives engagement is what leads to growth. For that, you need to have a creative mindset. Which is why you should take out at least 20 minutes of your time for social media. Don’t forget to select a period of the day at which your creative juices are flowing the most.
Listen And Respond To Your Audience.
One of the greatest benefits of social media is the ability to communicate, one-one, with potential and current customers. When you’re first starting out especially if you’re a small business, it is vital to get feedback.
Aside from feedback, your audience’s thoughts will give you plenty of material for future content. Check out the type of questions that are being asked on social media.
Can you create a short video about it?
Can you create a blog post about it?
Taking out time for listening to your audience will give you a greater insight into your product. And last but not least, it will build a loyal customer base that you can lean into later down the line.
But remember not all feedback will be positive. Be prepared to deal with negative comments in a professional manner, but you can also learn from these for the future!
Focus Your Efforts
It’s better to initially channel your energy on one social media network than to spread it thinly across many. By focusing your efforts on one social media platform as opposed to all of them at once, you’ll be honing your skills whilst learning the nuances of that channel.
It is wise to understand the dynamics of one specific channel before branching out to others. The biggest misconception for small businesses and entrepreneurs is the amount of time it actually takes to be successful on a social media channel. Many treat it as a ‘ secondary ‘ marketing medium and don’t invest much effort.
The reality is, it takes a lot of time, effort and content to drive great results. So by focusing your efforts on one channel, you increase your likelihood of success tenfold or more.
Create A Social Media Calendar
Whether it’s a few months at a time or longer, having a comprehensive overview of your social media posting is irreplaceable for brands and businesses looking for success.
A great social media strategy means posting consistently.
What better way to do that than to hold yourself accountable through a content calendar?
Your content calendar can be an Excel spreadsheet or even a Google Doc. It doesn’t matter if you design it yourself or use a calendar service. Simply create a map and jot down an event on your social media calendar. Then, create a mini-marketing plan for that event.