Part I: The 3-step process that makes Social Media Marketing as easy 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 attention for your business, building relationships with your target audience, and collecting contact information for potential customers.
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 learn 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. You get comfortable with the rhythm.
In social marketing, this corresponds to learning the best attraction strategy for your unique customers. You learn what to post where, how best to say it, and develop a system (or rhythm) for your posting.
Step 1: Attract an Audience
When attracting an audience online consider which social media networks they use, how they search things, and whether or not you want to pay to speed up the rhythm.
Attract visitors to social media pages by providing relevant and interesting content. Get more people to check out your website by sharing links on social media. Use a balanced strategy. Combine broad audience reach and targeted qualifiers to segment your customers from the general public.
Choose 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 does your customer like to share?
- Which device is your customer using to access the site?
Identify the primary and up to two secondary networks. Design content to appeal to your specific audience. 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. 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.
continue reading ➺ Part 2: Building Relationships
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Great Article! I’m trying to get better on G+ as it is so much different than Facebook is.
Thanks Drema! Glad to hear you’re into G+. If you have specific questions feel free to reach out to me.
Thanks for sharing this useful information.
Wish you all the best.!!
This is a great refresher for all, and I always just remember “The Golden Rule”. Treat others as you would want to be treated – even in social media.
Glad you enjoyed the article, Tim!
You’re welcome! Same well wishes to you!
You beautifully packaged this up. Now, if we can get them to read this so many times they can recite it in their sleep, we can help them better!
Ha! Yes indeed! If only I could compact this into a daily morning mantra or something. Thanks Susan!
Great read. Perfect for some of my advertisers who are just learning and good reminder from the ones who are starting to really understand how social media can benefit them. Mahalo Danielle.
Thank you, Dania! I can’t wait to connect with more Maui business owners and help them understand social media marketing. I’m happy to be a resource for your advertisers.
Always good to remember social media is about being you, but not about you.
Too many take the basics like this then forget to carry them thru and think it’s ok to go back to 20th century thinking. People deserve more respect, after all their networks are often so much better than business networks.
Now you’ve got me singing my ABC’s! I love working with new clients and trying to figure out their ‘attraction’ for potential customers. Sometimes, you’ve got to try a few things before you’ve hit it right. I like your suggestion that you need to concentrate on the right network, hashtags and keywords, before paying for advertising! May I also add ‘coming up with the right type of content’ to that list? Great article and nice to meet you. (I saw you visited my blog over the weekend, too Danielle! 🙂 ~Dorien
EXCITED to meet you. Love the daily engagement hashtag suggestions…appreciate the primer in getting social media engagement and build a following.
I just learned a LOT… And I’m starting to feel like perhaps I’m still in preschool and haven’t even started kindergarten yet, lol!! I have a lot of work to do when it comes to Twitter. I’ve actually never used it, but that’s my “homework” for today 🙂
One thing I’m not quite sure about yet is regarding hashtags…. If I have a post of Facebook and I hashtag it, does that bring me to twitter or does it connect me to similar topics within Facebook?
Thanks for this very informative article. Perhaps by the end of the day I will be graduating and can start my first day of kindergarten tomorrow 🙂
I love that you included Choose The Right Networks. It’s amazing to me how many people forget this important step and just start throwing content at every single network hoping to attract an audience. It’s a lot easier to go to where your audience is already talking about you than trying to create one that’s not there yet.
WOW – Lots of awesome information here!
I especially liked how you systematized the process with a 3-step process that nearly every one in the English speaking world will be familiar with. Most days we can all remember A, B, C, right?
Great summary of the process. I need to work more on the paid reach part of the strategy.
Confession: I STILL love crayons! I keep a box near my desk at all times.
Now onto other things….
I love that you started this off by asking questions. That’s something I so often see overlooked when people start out on social. They jump in without knowing if their customers are there or what they want. So thinking it through is huge. And with a good foundation, other parts start to fall into place. Great advice!
What a great primer Danielle! I’ve shared it with my own audience as many of them are small business owners trying to make sense of all of this.
One other topic I discuss while choosing the platform for a specific business owner is to find out which of the networks they use and enjoy personally. Sometimes that’s a deciding factor on which networks to use, or at least which ones not to.
Glad you enjoyed the article Carol Lynn – It’s all about asking the right questions, isn’t it?
Hi Jennifer, Glad you like the post. To answer your question, when you click on or search a hashtag the results will be any post that used that hashtag specific to that network. Thanks, Danielle
Great point Mark! Be true to you.
I really liked your post too Dorien! In fact, I pinned it on my Pinterest board 🙂
Working smarter, not harder. Right?!
Thanks for spreading the word Mike!
Love this! Great series and love how you’ve broken it out into easily digestible tips and takeaways.
Great post! I’m sharing on a few social media accounts i manage!
Thanks Jen! I’d love to go like the posts if you can share links 🙂
Glad you enjoyed the post Annie!
Thanks Jen! If you share the links to the posts with me I’d love to comment and share them.
You guide on social media marketing really helped me alot. Thanks for sharing the process the step by step process. It will really help beginners like me.