Creative Series: Social Media Marketing: It's not just posting!
Social Media Marketing: You’ve heard of it, you’ve seen other business owners invest in it, but truthfully…you just don’t get it.
I mean let’s be real…anybody can post on social media, right? Get pretty pictures, write funny captions. The followers will start pouring in because everyone loves pictures of your dog and what you ate for lunch. Seriously, it can’t be that hard.
I hear this constantly from potential clients. I’ve even had people tell me that what I do as a Social Media Strategist isn’t a “real job.” Although the above statements are true (yes, anyone can really do it!), why isn’t everyone #instafamous? Why are businesses still struggling to get their numbers up, reach bigger audiences, and most importantly, converting sales?
When writing this post, I thought this would be a good spot to say “I told you so,” but I’ll explain.
Social Media Marketing is more than just posting cool content. Thanks to new algorithms on the big platforms, it’s nearly impossible to be seen if you don’t have strategies in place. I’m not talking about just mixing up your content or attempting to use hashtags…think bigger than that. Think global, reaching people you never expected, and building a recognizable brand image.
WHY YOU NEED TO GET ON YOUR SMM
It’s 2017 people. Everyone (and I mean everyone) is on at least one social media platform. Why are they on there? Three major reasons:
1. It’s free (people like free)
2. No one likes to feel left out, and social media keeps them connected
3. It’s a place to get up-to-date information on any and everything
I would say those three reasons alone are enough motivation for me to get my business online. But I get it…you’re still not convinced. Here’s what those people are going to do for you when they go online:
- Share your content to their pages
- Market your business to their friends (for FREE might I add)
- Engage with your accounts to give YOU traffic
Think about it. Your customers are going to do the marketing FOR YOU as long as you give them something to market!
People buy from people...
Having active accounts allows you to engage with your customers and “humanize” your brand. People buy from people, so they want to see more than just what you can offer them. Being on social media allows your customers to keep up with you in between visits/purchases/etc. It gives them the ability to personally resonate with your business and build that brand loyalty we are all seeking.
Besides the marketing, there’s another harsh fact of life: practically no one is going to frequent your business if they can’t find you online first. I can tell you that I won’t even consider a restaurant or service unless I can find something about them online (admit it…you do it too!). We do that because we want to feel confident in where we invest our money prior to arrival. Being online gives you the ability to develop your customer's’ perception of your business before they step foot in the door. If they like what they see, and they see others “like” what they see (social media puns), they are more than likely to convert to paying customers!
HOW TO GET STARTED WITH SMM
Ok, you know I “told you so”, but I’m still going to help ya out anyway because y’all…this is important stuff.
Now that you’ve made the decision to invest in SMM, here’s some basic tips to get started:
- Decide on your brand vision: What do you want your customers to know about you? How do you want them to feel looking at your brand?
- Pick your platforms. Example: If you are a visual brand, you don’t need to be on Twitter. Spend your time where it best benefits you.
- Get business accounts. These are free and show you all the stats you need to know about your (potential) clients. You’ll thank me later.
- Plan your content. How often are you going to post, when are you going to post, and how are you going to give the people what they want?!
- Learn the algorithms. Ok, this is easier said than done, but you will want to start understanding the basics of how each platform works. It is so easy to waste your time using social media if it isn’t done correctly
If you’re a busy business owner like most of us are, this is going to be a HUGE hurdle to overcome. Between actually running the business to building customer relationships, this may seem just like another task on your daily to-do list. But I can’t stress this to you enough people…THIS IS SO IMPORTANT TO YOUR BUSINESS! In fact, I’m going to call it absolutely vital to your business’ success! If you choose to eliminate this step in your marketing, you are throwing away invaluable leads and traffic.
Because most of us don’t have the time to closely monitor and develop social media accounts (or even begin to contemplate understanding algorithms), there are a few avenues you can take to get a handle on this beast:
- Hire a social media manager. Leave the daily engagement up to the pros and have a social media manager build your following for you. Some platforms can take 10+ hours per month to plan, strategize, and manage…and you know your time is valuable.
- Get a strategy session. Want to take on your biz’s SMM yourself, but need a detailed plan of action? Have an expert teach you the ropes to kickstart your success without wasting time learning on your own!
- Take a workshop or online course. I love the idea of constant growth. Workshops, webinars, and online courses allow you to get different expert perspectives on SMM while learning in a group environment.
Investing in your SMM is something you have to see the value in as a business owner in 2017. As the newest generations develop into a tech-based lifestyle, you need to make sure you are keeping up with the trends and how to reach the largest audience.
Wasn't that an awesome post? Kasey is the know-it-all SMM! I think we can all agree on that! I loved collaborating with hter on this piece, not only because she's an awesome human being but also because I felt she definitely brought some modern key points for us to consider. It's sooo true that everything now revolves around social media, I'll tell you what, I don't even know what my business would be like if I didn't have a Facebook and Instagram account. Actually, I would have zero clients, wanna know why? Because all my clients, past and existing, (and possibly future ones too) have come from there and they've all lived in different states and countries. Little me, here in Florida, can't send a business card that'll convert into a paying client, but you know what can? An active profile on social media. So if you ask me how investing on your social media affects your bottom line, i'll just say, it might actually MAKE your bottom line!
Kasey Childers is the Owner and Social Media Strategist for Childers & Co., a Digital Marketing company offering online marketing solutions to passion-driven business owners. Kasey and her team specialize in Social Media Marketing, Blogging, and Branding services. Childers & Co. is based out of Mooresville, North Carolina, but operates worldwide.