This social marketing blog series is an updated version of this article that was featured by Social Media Examiner, Rebekah Radice, Jeff Sieh, and Guy Kawasaki.
The 3-step process that makes Social Media Marketing as simple as ABC
Think back to the days when you were in kindergarten. The smell of crayons and the thrill of scribbling colors across a once blindingly white paper. Do you remember how foreign words and letters seemed? In those days, learning your ABCs was a pretty tough topic (never mind learning to write whole words!).
Flash forward to today. The internet has shifted the world of marketing. Many intelligent and capable entrepreneurs feel like they’re back in kindergarten again trying to the learn their ABCs.
For business owners, the option to ignore social media marketing has long since past. If you want to graduate to first grade, you’re going to have to learn the ABCs of social marketing.
ABC Social Marketing :: Attract, Build, Collect
Social marketing is about attracting an audience who want to know more about your business, building a content and relationships, and collecting results.
Let’s flash back to before kindergarten… Perhaps as early as age 2 or 3 for some of you. It all started with a melody and some sounds. We learned to sing our ABCs before we learn to write them.
Attracting an audience is like learning to sing. You learn all 26 letters in the right order and on the right note until you get comfortable with the rhythm.
In social marketing jargon, this can be compared to learning the best attraction strategy for your unique customers. You’ll need to learn what content to post where, how to caption it to create engagement, and develop a rhythm that allows you to consistently post while balancing all the other duties of running your business.
Done correctly, the ABC Social Marketing Strategy will create a sustainable stream of new customers while encouraging repeat purchases, referrals and reviews from existing customers.
Step 1: Attract an Audience
One of the most popular misconceptions about Social Marketing is that there is a magic number of posts needed that will get you to go viral. The reality is that every piece of content you post is a test. The test is simple. If your audience likes it, engages with it, or shares it –Success! If they do not, you will only reach a few people. So the more often you post, the more tests you can run and the more quickly you can figure out what type of content your audience loves.
For example, on the Social Media Examiner Facebook page, you’ll find daily memes that engage their audience and spark discussions. On the Maui Now Facebook page, you’ll get news headlines multiple times throughout the day, and my own Facebook page, you get an occasional course announcement or social media update. The point is, different types of content will work well for different business. So where should you start when attracting your audience? There are 4 areas to consider:
- Which social media platforms do your customers use?
- What words and phased are they searching?
- What type of content do they crave? Podcasts, reels, memes?
- Do you have the budget and desire to speed up the test by running ads?
Every business can attract visitors on social media by providing relevant and interesting content. Start by brainstorming 10 frequently asked questions about your business. Then google your business topic and look at the suggestion questions. Lastly, write down 5-10 things someone should know before becoming your customer. Take this master list and use it to fill your social media calendar. Try creating a reel, a meme, and a photo carousel for each topic. Compare results. Which type of content performed best? Which topics were most popular?
Once you have some insights on how the posts are performing, consider boosting the top 3 to a cold audience. How did they perform? If they performed well with a cold audience, you can use this post as a low-cost ad to grow your following (more on the technique behind that another time).
Choosing the Right Networks
Consider which social media networks your customers are already using. Ask yourself these questions,
- How often are your customers visiting these networks?
- What type of content is your customer most likely to share?
- Which device is your customer using to access the site? Mobile/Desktop
Identify one primary and up to two secondary networks. Design content to appeal to your specific audience based on the topics you brainstormed. Make the content responsive to whichever device your customer uses most often. Learn more about choosing the best social network for your business here.
Hashtags turn words and phrases into clickable links. They make searching for and discovering similar content easy for the reader. Hashtags are keywords and SEO for your status updates. They are one piece of the puzzle the alogorithm will use to determine if they should show your post to a user. To use hashtags, put the pound sign (#) before the word or phrase. Do not use spaces or special characters. Some examples of hashtags for business owners are:
Keywords are words your potential customer would use to search for information about your business, product, or service. They are the melody of the ABCs. They should sing to your customers. Use keywords in photo captions, comments, posts, album titles, board titles, headings, about descriptions, and user names. When choosing your keywords ask yourself these questions:
- Is this a word or phrase my customer would naturally use?
- Does this keyword help attract my target audience directly or indirectly?
- How many other people are providing information about this keyword?
Before jumping into paid advertising and boosted posts, you should be comfortable using the three growth strategies above. Collect as much information as you can about who you are targeting and which keywords work best. At this stage in the process you can opt to pay to reach more people faster. Three key tips for paid advertising:
- Identify the age range, gender, geographic location, and marital status of your primary customer.
- Find 4-5 Facebook pages that directly or indirectly reach your target audience.
- For Facebook advertising, use the power editor to make sure your ad reaches only your target audience.
This article is part 1 in a 3-part series. Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 coming soon or read the original article here.