Social Media Marketing for Beginners
Traditionally, when a small business would engage in a marketing campaign, its success would be measured by how much money it brought in. But no, that is not the case these days. According to the Mobile Marketing Association, the way to measure the success of a marketing campaign today requires a new sort of analysis, which includes:
“The number of eyeballs, shakes and finger swipes. The number of blogs, articles, tweets and diggs. The number of acquisitions, conversions, calls, responses or purchases. Total basket size, consumer recall, loyalty and recommendations. Check-ins on foursquare and check-outs on Amazon.”
OK, that is quite a bit different, right?
But fear not, because although it can seem daunting, this brave new e-marketing world can be mastered in just a few easy steps. Here’s how:
1. Keep the benefits top of mind. If you can master this social media marketing stuff, there are benefits aplenty to be had, so let’s keep our eye on the ball. According to the Social Media Examiner, the main benefits are these:
- Small business owners reported new partnerships (59%)
- Small businesses were twice as likely to find qualified leads
- 48% of small business owners saw improved sales as a direct result of their social media marketing efforts.
- Small business owners (58%) were more likely than others to see reductions in marketing costs when using social media marketing.”
So, increased business and deceased costs? Sign us up!
2. Beware the quicksand: One more tip before you get started: Be smart. Use your time wisely. Don’t fall for the social media trap. Indeed, the problem with social media is that on one hand, there is an ocean of possibilities, of people to meet, of places to discover and things to share and link and post.
And that is precisely the danger.
One minute you are adding something to your Facebook page and two hours later you find yourself watching videos of cute kittens.
So, the key is to be strategic. Have a plan, and stick to it. What plan is that, you ask? Glad you asked:
3. Pick a site: The first thing to do is to decide which social media platform offers the best chance of attracting your desired clientele. Roughly speaking, they can be broken down this way:
- Facebook – The Big Kahuna. Everyone is there, which is both good and bad. Lot’s of competition for eyeballs. But for a retail business, it can’t be beat. If you post great content, coupons, discounts, specials, have contests, and all in all make your page an interesting, fun, valuable destination, you will get Likes. You might want to check out the Facebook page here at TheSelfEmployed, for an example.
- Twitter: Twitter is especially good for professionals and to establish themselves as a thought leader. You can also prospect by searching hashtags for relevant conversations and then meeting the people you want to know.
- LinkedIn: Of course, the best site for networking.
- Pinterest: If you have a business that lends itself to a visual representation (a market, or an interior design business, a florist, etc.), Pinterest is great for attracting customers.
- : Many people don’t think of YouTube as a social media site but it is. Producing your own videos and getting a YouTube channel works for a lot of small business owner.
4. Engage: There are basically two ways to market your business via the site you pick. The first is, as I suggested, to use it to meet new people, people you would not otherwise get the chance to meet. The woman who turned me on to this strategy used Twitter (which she had never used before) in 2009 to engage with and meet new people. She grew her business by 29% — after the economy had tanked.
Second, you need to post great content yourself. A study by the tech company Roost found these interesting results:
- Visuals: Publishing pictures on your Facebook page generates 50% more impressions.
- Questions: Posting a question on Twitter, Facebook, or a LinkedIn page generates almost two times as many comments.
- Quotes: Quotations get an average of 54% more retweets than any other type of tweet.
Do this, and social media marketing is a breeze.