Starting a business is hard work but rewarding, much like being a Mom! As Moms, we strive to be efficient in all we do while still pursuing our dreams and goals. Because we wear many hats and juggle many things, starting a business is nothing we shy away from. So, in the spirit of efficiency, doing a little homework before venturing out is in order. Let’s talk about a few areas to get you started on the right path with marketing your business on social media.
First things first. When it comes to marketing don’t even try to wing it. You need a plan. You need a social media marketing strategy. What does a strategy consist of?
- Goal – What is your goal with social media marketing? I suggest sticking to 1 or 2. Some examples of goals might be to increase traffic to your website, grow a subscriber or email marketing list, grow your social media followers or increase brand awareness. Whatever the case, make your goals clear and measurable. How many subscribers do you want to add each month? How many followers do you want to gain each month?
- Choose your platform – Don’t just choose Instagram because you think it’s fun and you enjoy it personally, go where your audience is! Understand who it is you’re targeting and find out where they hang out online. You may not like Facebook, but that may be where the majority of your audience is. Go where they are. When you’re defining your target audience, being specific helps you to be more strategic. This includes finding out what their online habits are. Researching your competition is another great way to get insight into what your audience is interested in.
- Develop a content strategy – What are you going to share? Really think about it, and then write it down. Start by making it general (e.g. Social Media Marketing). Then, break it down into the sub-topics (social media for small businesses, tips for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, social media management and creation tools). In addition, think about the form of content you want to create. Are you better as a designer or writer? I’m not great with video, so I focus more on written and visual content in the form of graphics. Another great way to approach your content plan is to think about the content you personally enjoy on social media and apply it. Do you like how to blog posts? Do you like short video messages? If you have the capacity to incorporate these into your content strategy.
- Make a Content Calendar – How often will you share on the social networks you choose? How often will you blog? Make sure it’s something you can stick to and be consistent!
- Measure! – You can’t manage what you don’t measure. You’ll need to analyze your efforts. The great thing about Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is that they have built-in analytics that you can reference. Facebook, for example, has “Insights” for business pages that show you how well your posts are performing. When you see that some content performs better than others, and some content performs very poorly, you can adjust. You can also see when your content is seen most and adjust your schedule.
Do’s and Don’ts:
When it comes to social media marketing there are some things you should and should not do. Some things you learn as you go along. But there are several things that many people have learned over the years that have already been figured out. All you have to do is learn from their mistakes or successes. I dedicated an entire post to my top Social Media Do’s & Don’ts: http://socialwithsara.com/social-media-marketing-not/
Free or Almost Free Resources:
Social Media Marketing takes time to develop and execute. A great way to be more efficient with your social media marketing efforts is TOOLS. Here is a list of my favorite tools, and most of them are free or have a free option.
Social Media Scheduling – You can’t be everywhere at all times posting content. That’s where scheduling tools come in. My favorite social media scheduling tool is Buffer. (www.bufferapp.com) I love it because it’s easy to use, it schedules to Pinterest and Instagram (a reminder), it has built-in analytics and you can create images within the tool. Bonus: Use the extension to make sharing content easier. If you use Google Chrome, download the Buffer chrome extension for faster, easier scheduling. (Extensions make your life easier, trust me on this!)
Headline Analyzer – Headlines can make or break you. Getting people to read your blog post is all about that headline. CoSchedule has an analyzer tool that tells you how well your headline scores. http://coschedule.com/headline-analyzer
Content Curation – You need to find great content to share other than your own. This means finding awesome blog posts and articles that your audience will enjoy and benefit from. A great tool to find awesome content is BuzzSumo http://buzzsumo.com/. I also like Feedspot. http://www.feedspot.com/. Feedspot is great for keeping track of content from sources you’ve already discovered are awesome for your audience and you want to access it all in one place. You can get emails sent to you with recent content from your favorite sources.
Content Creation – This is important. Visual content is wildly popular and you need tools to help you create awesome content. Here are my go-to’s:
Canva – You can create custom visual content for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and this includes cover photos and social media advertising templates. They have many free templates as well as stock photos for $1. Canva makes it affordable to design great looking graphics for social media.
Bonus: When it comes to Instagram, you need to truly stand out. Here are some tools you can use to improve your Instagram marketing: http://socialwithsara.com/simple-tools-to-improve-your-instagram-marketing/
What’s important to keep in mind is not trying to over do it. You can start with one platform and grow from there. Manage your time by having a daily plan that will keep you active but consistent. Applying these steps when launching your social media marketing plan will help get you started on the right track.
Leave a comment in the Phenomenal Moms Facebook Group to let me know how this helps you!
Sara Nickleberry focuses on three areas of service: social media management, social media strategy, and social media training. She helps solopreneurs and small businesses establish an online presence, connect with their target market, and build an online community. Connect with Sara online at socialwithsara.com and on social media at @socialwithsara