A Guide to Social Media

Social Media ManagementRemember that storybook tale about the emperor with no clothes.  That same ubiquitous mentality swirls around social media.  Almost without fail clients that enter our internet marketing process shamefully admit that they just don’t “get” the whole Facebook thing.  AND WITH GOOD REASON!  That little bullshit detector that is going off in your head is not wrong.

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and the like are truly more complex for business that people imagine.  And contrary to popular spin, just writing on Facebook everyday will not transform your business into a money making machine.  Even the much hyped “great content” will not always push the needle that much closer to the profit margin.

In fact, I don’t recommend a social platform for all of my clients.  There I said it.   Did you hear the collective gasp of the SEO community?  The reality is that a good social platform, like any other marketing strategy requires an investment of time and money.  My specialty is working with the small business person.  And I mean really small.  The kind of small where the guy that is doing the work is also the top sales producer, bookkeeper and office manager.  When you have that kind of demand on one or even a few people, your budget and sweat equity might be more effective in other areas.

For those businesses that can properly invest in social media just putting up a page and posting won’t do the trick.   If, dear reader, you have been laboriously posting the joke of the day for six months and you are wondering what you did wrong please read on.

First, let me applaud your efforts if you claimed your social pages.  Establishing your social media presence can be a daunting task.  If you got all the way through registering your Google+ Business page, give yourself a gold star!

If you have time, there’s no one better at posting material on social media than the stakeholder in your business.  If you don’t have time, you need to hire a professional.  I recommend my team but then I’m a little bias.

Now that you have “the who”, study your social media carefully to see what medium fits your business model.  For example, if you sell specialty food, jewelry, or home goods Pinterest is your game.  It’s 97% female audience makes it a great forum for showing off your products.  If you own a restaurant, your top social media should be YELP.  If you are in real estate, you need to be on Facebook.

After you have selected your top three, start thinking about your audience.  Create a good piece of content and then invite people to visit your page.  This is the hard part.  Invite can mean face-to-face, email, social connection, or through another media campaign (i.e. radio, TV, Newsletter).  Just clicking the “like my page” button won’t create the kind of buy-in that you need to be successful.

Start small.  Think about the people that are visiting your page.  Write as if you were speaking directly to them.  Be concerned and address their needs when you are considering content.  Study their friends and ask for their help in securing more connections to your pages.  Sometimes this includes giving away advice, product or discounts.

Measure your results.  Pay close attention to who interacts on your page.  Watch your Google Analytics to see what happens when social media users arrive on your website.  Watch the SERPs to see if Google is picking up your post or Tweets in their results.

Cross promote your best content.  If it does well on Facebook, Tweet the information or link.  If you have a great YouTube Video promote it through Facebook or Email Marketing.

Resist the temptation to kill the project based on your first month’s results.  Sometimes it takes six months to a year before you realize the benefit of social media.

For more advice on social media and internet marketing projects, please call our office 704-887-3271.  We would love to talk to you about your project.