Updated January 20, 2019Are you getting started with social media? Wondering where to begin? As a business, using social media to connect and engage with your audience isn't as easy as it seems.Simply posting or tweeting a random thought without a strategy behind it is a recipe for disaster. Not to mention, a complete waste of time.In order to make an impact, you must be willing to commit to a long-term strategy.This includes a daily content and social media plan, plus an effective means for management and monitoring.Keep your company ahead of the competition and in front of potential clients by creating and encouraging conversation, no matter the social network.
How to Kickstart a Social Media Strategy on Today's Top Networks
Before you pull the trigger on your social media strategy, know the how, what, and why behind each social network.Once you understand each network and your goal behind it, put action steps in place to move you towards those objectives.
1. Find Your Market on Facebook
No matter the chatter about Facebook being dead -- it's still the most active social network, boasting over 2.2 billion users.Implementing a Facebook marketing strategy requires that you understand your target market, demographic and the results you are hoping to achieve.
For example, are you interested in:
- Creating a buzz around your business?
- Recruiting potential sales or marketing professionals?
- Increasing website or blog traffic?
- Building local awareness?
- Establishing brand equity?
- Creating thought leadership?
Once you know the why behind your Facebook marketing, you can create a strategic action plan to support it.
Determine how you will:
- Connect with consumers talking about the product you sell or the service you offer.
- Share how your product or service solves the biggest problems of your target market.
- Manage a consistent and integrated social media marketing strategy.
- Interact and educate your fans on a daily basis.
- Create content that inspires and elevates social media conversation.
If you manage a Facebook Page already, take one additional step. Analyze your content and your audience.Take a look at the "People" tab within your Facebook Insights.What's the breakdown of male vs. female, the age and location of your Facebook fans, and (most importantly) who is it you're targeting as potential fans of your page?
Now, look at your content over the last 30 days. Read through each post from your fan's perspective.Is the content interesting, would it make you stop and comment, and most importantly -- would it make you come back for more?
2. Leverage LinkedIn
If the potential of turning one connection into multiple targeted connections is appealing, then LinkedIn is the place for you to be.LinkedIn is no longer a floundering social network hoping to find its place in the online space. Today, LinkedIn is your chance to network and engage within a professional atmosphere.Don't believe me?
Look at the most recent LinkedIn stats:
- 590 million members in over 200 countries and territories.
- The average time a user spends on LinkedIn is 17 minutes.
- 106 million LinkedIn users log in each month.
- 39 million students and recent college graduates are on LinkedIn -- the fastest growing demographic.
Are you looking to make B2B connections or B2C? Either way, LinkedIn is the place to be.Not only can you connect with industry power players, but it also offers potential clients the background information they need when making a decision between you and the competition.If you haven't taken the time to review your LinkedIn profile recently, it's time to spruce it up. Fill out all of the necessary data and take the time to add appropriate details, giving a complete picture of who you are.And keep in mind that first impressions matter. LinkedIn expert, Melonie Dodaro recommends that you...
"Strategically write your LinkedIn profile with your ideal clients in mind, this is essential before you start connecting with prospects so that you can create an impactful first impression."
If you're not sure where to begin, look at those within your industry that have a strong LinkedIn presence.Ai Addyson-Zhang is someone that's mastered the art of mixing promotional, educational, and informational content on LinkedIn. Your goal is to find your perfect style, then show up on LinkedIn regularly.
3. Pin It on Pinterest
Are you spending time on Pinterest? If not, here's why you should:
- 83% of Pinterest users are female, and women drive 70-80% of all consumer purchasing.
- 1 out of 2 U.S. millennials use Pinterest every month.
- Half of Pinterest users earn $50K or greater per year, with 10 percent of households making greater than $125K.
- 87% of Pinners have purchased a product because of Pinterest.
Don't miss this opportunity to share details around your business in a unique visual format.Whether it’s a community event or your latest blog post, pin your content to offer insight into your business.Build boards that spotlight historical data about your company, photos around a recent conference, or a behind-the-scenes look into the inner-workings of your business.Alisa Meredith, a Pinterest Marketing expert, highlights the specific keywords or phrases that her target market would be looking for in all of her pins, boards, and descriptions.Notice how easy she's made it for people to find her and make sure to do the same.
Think about what you want to be (are) known for and how to best share that through your visual content.
4. Create Conversation on Twitter
Twitter can be a challenge for even the most seasoned online marketer.The way you can harness the power of Twitter is to craft succinct and compelling quips, tips and quotes about your business in 280 characters or less.
How to use Twitter to build your online presence:
- Define who you're looking to connect with. Is it peers, clients, recruits? Be specific in the words that you choose.
- Optimize your profile by completing your bio. Use keywords that your target market would search for.
- include a link to your website or blog, and add connections to other important locations to make it easy to connect.
- Design a custom header to create a consistent brand look and feel across all of your online properties.
- Identify the type of content you'll share. The best is a mix of informative, promotional, and entertaining.
- Use an automation tool like Agorapulse to schedule content and maintain a consistent presence. I love the color coding based on topics. It makes it easy to see at a glance what's going out and at what time.
6. Be Visual on Instagram
Ready to put the power of Instagram – a mighty visual network – to work for your business?Or are you still on the fence, not convinced that Instagram is where you should spend your time?While you might have thought it’s just the tween or even teen demographics using Instagram, you’d be mistaken.Businesses are dipping their toes in the water every day only to find massive success.
In June 2018, Instagram reported a landmark. Instagram now has over 1 billion monthly active users (MAUs). This grew from 800 million MAUs in September, 2017.
How can you get started? Begin to share content relevant to your target market.
What to Share:
- Local events
- Neighborhood or community meetings
- Charity work
- Historical timeline of your business
- Pictures of your staff
- Your love of the city you work in
- Speaking engagements
- Book launch
Whatever you share -- make it 100% in line with your brand.Just take a look at Christina Nicholson, a reporter, anchor, and PR agency owner to see an example of this in action.Everywhere you look, you see the same, Christina. Vibrant, full of life, and always sharing content that supports, promotes and establishes a strong personal brand.
7. Get Seen on YouTube
With over 30 million daily active users, YouTube is your go-to for video marketing. Not only can be it be a lethal social media weapon, it works to humanize your online presence.Video done right can generate audience awareness and interaction. Plus, it adds a layer of authenticity to your business.There are so many ways to use video within your business. You’re only limited by your own creativity.
A few video content ideas:
- Share your latest company news.
- Give details around a product or service release.
- Break down a popular blog post and add additional commentary around specific tips.
- Offer insight into your local market or industry, giving your viewers the chance to make an educated decision.
- Once you know your topic, it’s time to script your video with your audience in mind. Identify the most compelling angle that speaks their language. Your goal is to give them a reason to come back for more.
Consider the type of video content you'll create. What's your audience currently consuming? What's your competition creating?How can you use those learnings to create unique content your audience is eager to engage with?Whether you share short, educational or entertaining video content, make sure YouTube is a part of the strategy. Not sure where to begin? This video from Darrel Eves and Sean Cannell will get you going.
Creating a powerful online presence through social media will take a commitment to daily tactics.Begin by prioritizing the steps you must complete on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. What pushes you towards your goals?Add that to your calendar and stick to it without fail.
Then organize your system:
- Who will handle what tasks and how will each person communicate?
- Identify the tools and services you'll use to support positive progress.
- Measure and track your success to keep you focused and on target.
And last but not least, be resolute. It’s easy to lose sight of your end goal when there are bumps in the road.Stay the course and always... expect challenges and eat them for breakfast.
About Rebekah Radice
Rebekah Radice, co-founder of BRIL.LA, has traded narcissism for purpose. When not driving growth, you'll find her tricking family into thinking she's Emeril Lagasse - likely covered in marinara. The spotlight was fun, but impact is better. These days she's using 20+ years of brand brilliance for good.