Social media is one of the most valuable tools you have at your disposal. It’s cost to succeed is significantly lower than more traditional methods like Ad words or newspaper. You can target your audience in a more precise way than any other avenue leading to a much lower conversion cost.
That being said, it doesn’t mean social media is easy. It takes effort and time, often the results not coming immediately. With perseverance, though, the benefits are great. This should help you get started.
1.) Develop measurable Goals
S.M.A.R.T goals Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time Bound Many of us are so excited to get started we decided to jump right into the world of social media, only to find out that social media is a little unforgiving. You're posting left and right, just waiting for the followers and click-throughs to come rolling in, only to be let down. It's not your fault, it happens every day, thankfully, social media can be conquered with a little planning and some effort. Before you type your first tweet, you need to develop some goals that will guide you. One of the most profitable and most natural systems is the S.M.A.R.T. system.
Make sure your goals are not ambiguous but direct and specific. This will make it easier to track. Instead of growing my social media presence, you should say something like. Throughout the next three months, I want to improve my engagement rate by 25%. This gives you something to push forward on and keeps you a little more accountable.
This goes hand in hand with being Specific. If you don't develop specific goals than you won't have anything to measure your success. Make sure what you are doing have a particular goal so you can measure its success rate
This one requires an honest look in the mirror. More than likely you aren't going to the next social media sensation, especially not in the next three months. That's alright and frankly a lot less stressful. Don't expect to add 1,000 followers in your first month. Can it happen? Sure. Will it? Not Likely.
Make sure whatever you are doing it is relevant to your audience. Everything that you post should make your audience want to engage with it. It should be something they are interested in.
Be sure to establish a time frame to reach your goals. This gives you the chance to reflect and determine if what you are doing is effective. If not, you can adjust your goals and continue to grow.
2.) Define your target audience
Let's face it, we all love the products we create and believe everyone else should. The honest truth is, we don't have the money and the resources to reach everyone. It will definitely take some time up front but the payoff, in the end, is well worth it. Take the time to research who it is that is most likely to purchase your product.
3.) Automate, automate, automate
Social media is a daunting task. You have to post often and consistently. Between developing your own content and curating another person's content, it can become a little overwhelming. Thankfully, with Social media being so popular there is a seemingly endless array of tools available to help post your social media content in advance. Currently, we use Hootsuite which has been an excellent service. They work with practically every primary platform and possess and publisher tool that allows you to schedule all of your content all a week at a time directly from one dashboard. This requires some discipline as you will have to set aside a few hours a week to develop and locate content, but when you get it done, you can set your social media on cruise control. This doesn't mean you can stop following your social media activity. You should be following any activity on your accounts. This way if someone comments, or messages you can respond ASAP. One of the other unique aspects of many of the automated platforms is the ability to auto reply to your messages. This way your customer knows you got the message and will be responding. This adds some confidence to your customer that you are working on it and care about their questions.
4.) track your results
What's the use of putting all of this work into social media if you not even sure that it is working? Make sure you are tracking what is working and what is not. If you are posting nothing but cat videos, and no one is responding, you're not getting any more click-throughs than it may be time to change your tactics. Often your social media automation tools will have analytics. However, they're not always the most informative. They may cover things like followers or likes, but you also need to know when your customers are interacting with your content and the best time to post. For the sake of not recreating the wheel if you would like a breakdown of powerful analytics tools for social media to follow this link If you're not tracking your results, you won't know what it is that is or is not working.
5.) develop unique content
Now on to the fun part, the part most of us are probably waiting for or possibly dreading. Creating good content is the lifeblood of any social media manager. It doesn't matter if you are actually developing it, or giving direction on what needs to be done, it is just fun to see what you are working on coming to life. It is essential this is done right. You can spend days and weeks developing a mission, vision, and plan for your social media goals only to see it fail in missed opportunity. When creating content, use all of the research you gathered on your potential client to figure out what will resonate with them. Don't just post what you think will be fun, instead, post what will be useful to your audience. There are many different types of content you can post.
develop a blog that covers helpful tips with-in your industry
You can post short videos offering facts, or suggestions for success. If you want to try something different, develop interviews with people in your field. Over 55% of social media users watch video every day. If that is true for your audience that is more than half of them.
The vast majority of us take in information when we see it broken down visually. According to contently.com reach 54% more readers than blog posts. That's impressive!
6.) Curate other's content
So you have developed some engaging content yourself, you're done, right? Let the likes and retweet's roll in, right? Nope, is it important to regularly post other people's content? This does a few things for you.
It establishes you as a trustworthy source in your field that is truly devoted to helping your customer's.
It builds trust in your business community by fostering relationships with others.
As you develop these relationships you have the opportunity to grow your brand with another's audience. It is possible to have other's share your content.
First, take a step of good faith and begin sharing and interacting with their content first.
7.) Get involved in your community
Make sure to reach out within your own community. When someone creates a useful post, share it. Also, comment on other people's posts. You can host or take part in twitter chats. There you can answer questions and begin to set yourself apart as someone of expertise within your niche. We seem to have a natural inclination to view everyone else as competition and tend to want to stick to ourselves. The fact of the matter is, your business isn't the only one doing what you are doing. Own up to that, and embrace the community of partnering with other companies. This will foster a sense of trust and foster's good faith with your customer's.
8.) Remain in touch with the happenings of your industry
Keep up with the various trends your industry is experiencing. They say, "readers are leaders." Make it a point to stay relevant with what is going on. This way you can always keep your customer's informed and up to date. This will cause your customers to come back to you for information as you have developed yourself into a reliable source.