In my opinion businesses generally overcomplicate social media. By looking too far ahead; toward the holy grail of realising the true pounds-shilling-pence value of a social media follower, SMEs overlook the fundamentals, the foundations that lay a path to that success.
To most this post may seem basic, headslappingly’ obvious but you’d be surprised at how few businesses truly build up solid foundations. This sows a seed for boredom and dissatisfaction with the campaign further down the line. So here goes, the 5 most overlooked foundation pillars of social media marketing.
1. Invest in content
Social media represents one of most targeted, most transparent and most cost-effective ways ways the way to communicate with your ideal audience. But you can blow that opportunity in a heartbeat if you do not engage each and every passing social visitor.
The key here is to make it count; to invest (time or money resource) in content as the fuel for your social output. Way too many people overlook this fundamental item and that’s why I am putting it out there. Content in the form of blogs, videos, press releases, ebooks or whitepapers can help drive updates on social media.
Quick tip 1:
If you don’t have a blog, then please please please get one. Believe me it will make the creation of social updates a whole lot easier, especially when tied in with foundation pillar 2. If you are low on cash & skill resource use a service like Elance – you’ll be able to get a consistently-styled blog in a subfolder of your current site, on WordPress for less than $150.
Quick tip 2:
Think video is difficult & expensive? You can bootstrap the whole process by using your iPhone (Record in HD video) prop up the phone and plug in a lavalier microphone (£23.95 from Amazon) and you are pretty much away!
2. Automate & Schedule
The next most overlooked element is tools. If you are managing a campaign with several social profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and others then it just makes sense to combine all those platforms, right? Well you’d be surprised at how many businesses battle through updating each in turn.
TweetDeck is free but both of the platforms allow you to schedule tweets in the future. With tools at your disposal you can put time aside on a set day to schedule your “baseline” tweets for the week, then add to these to increase overall volume utilising great browser extensions enabling you to tweet on the fly when you uncover good content from around your niche.
As a good rule of thumb, 5-10 updates (Twitter) is a healthy number to start building an audience, Facebook a little less but the point is that TweetDeck, Sprout Social et al allow you to schedule your future updates, enabling you can go onto your other duties if you’re juggling social media with an already busy schedule.
You should appreciate that social media is a slow burner (nothing worth having comes easy) and it should be an additional arm to your existing marketing output.
Maximise your content reach; Sprout Social allows you to tweet one update at several points into the future, so you can have one post to distribute on a Monday, on Thursday, Friday and the next two Mondays after that. This tip in isolation is worth investing in tools – helps you get maximise eyeballs to that one piece of content and more importantly maximises your time.