Social Media Marketing isn’t just about crafting a few wonderfully worded tweets or constantly posting links to your latest product.
The biggest clue is in the name, social. Nobody wants to be sold something every time they use a social network. These type of posts do nothing for your audience (if you have one) and will not get you far. You’re not offering anything to anyone, you’re not giving them any good reason to follow you and you’re not going to attract many followers.
I learned this myself.
I started posting for a business owned by a friend of mine a few years back. He didn’t really know anything about Twitter or Facebook Pages and I felt pretty clued up with anything web related. I offered to help. I joined Twitter and started tweeting about this fantastic gardening service. Most of the tweets were along the lines of this: “Joe Bloggs Gardening Service – All aspects of garden work undertaken. #Coventry” or “No job too small. Contact us now for a free no obligation quote”. The same went for the Facebook page. Funnily enough, the posts didn’t spark a lot of engagement and they didn’t bring him any more customers. “Twitter, what a load of rubbish!” I thought.
Not one to be put off, I carried on. And then I decided to see how other similar businesses used social media. Many were doing the same or similar but a few were different. I got some ideas from a variety of businesses and off I went. I started searching the web for interesting articles. I’d look for gardening tips and share them. Sometimes I’d posting tweets with links to a useful article. I’d post funny pictures as well as photos of jobs they’d done. Then a few photos of the newly sign written van or the swanky new uniform. I started following the followers of other similar businesses in the area and watched as a good proportion followed back. I’d join the local Facebook groups and check regularly for people looking for local gardening services. I’d then reply to their comments and send them a message offering help.
I then went on to manage the Facebook and Twitter accounts of my sister-in-law’s cake business. Through the same tactics, by being active on both social networks and by engaging with others she suddenly had orders flying in. Her cakes were fantastic, bespoke pieces of edible artwork. And now she was getting the praise she deserved.
I did all this as and when, scheduling a few posts in advance but logging onto Facebook and Twitter as and when to respond to people, talk to people and post something. There was no real set plan, I just did it when I could.
After a while I got speaking to a mechanic who had just started up a new business that opened up on an industrial estate. He was tucked away off the main road and out of view from passing trade. He’d told a few friends so was getting the odd job but nowhere near enough just to cover the bills.
We got round to talking about marketing his business through social media. I ended up getting the job and had him up and running a short while later. That was over two years ago now. Today, he’s a busy man and has taken on three members of staff and expanded into the unit next door. I’ve shown him how to use his Facebook page and he now uses it to reply to messages from customers. I also managed to talk him into taking part in #RugbyHour, a Twitter networking hour for the town his business is in.
It took me a while, it took a lot of time, lots of practice and lots of reading and patience. I learned a lot and I’ll be eternally grateful to those business owners for letting me take charge of their social media marketing.
So what do you need to do to succeed at social media marketing?
1. Be Yourself
Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Be you, share your opinions, your insights and let your personality shine through. Be authentic, win friends.
2. Have Some Fun
Don’t take yourself or your business too seriously. Show that you have a sense of humour. Be playful, be fun, have a laugh!
3. Share Images
Visual content grabs attention, we are drawn to it. “There can be no words without pictures.” – Aristotle.
Start conversations with others, reply to comments, comment on things, be social!
There’s no need to spend your whole day switching from Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn to Google+ to Instagram to Pinterest etc but do decide which social networks are going to suit your business and check them regularly.
6. Give Them Something
I’m not talking about a psychical product, I’m talking about giving people a reason to want to follow or like you. You could share tips about your products, offer help and advice about your industry, share your opinion on industry related news and so on. Make people want to follow you.
7. Utilise Tools
You can find a vast amount of free social media tools to help make life that little bit easier. You can find tools like Canva to create professional looking images to share on social media, tools to manage and schedule social media posts like Hootsuite and our own Social Media Management Dashboard as well as plenty more for a variety of needs.
8. Get Professional Help
Getting the most out of social media takes time and effort. Not all businesses can keep it up, many struggle to juggle time spent on social media with other work. An affordable solution is to hire a social media management agency to take care of everything. It’s more cost effective than taking on a new member of staff and you don’t have to deal with training them, short notice sickness, leaving for pastures new etc.
If this is an option you’d consider then please do get in touch, we’d love to help. Talk to us now to get started.
After helping some friends get their newly established businesses noticed through Facebook and doing well, Dan decided to start Huxo Digital Media in July 2013. Branching out into website design and graphic design, the small team have developed a reputation to be proud of. We have developed our awesome social media management dashboard and received national recognition as a Top 10 UK Social Media Influencer. Dan is a father of two, a big fan of rugby, a lover of fine coffee and has been building and developing websites for over fourteen years.