by Kim Niemi
Nigerian princes in need of ransom, $500 Starbucks gift cards, mermaid-eating sharks… The Internet is rife with hoaxes, scams and general BS. Everyone has an opinion, everyone’s an expert, and no one ever confirms things are real before blithely clicking the share button.
At least urban legends can usually be debunked at Snopes.com. Businesses trying to determine which marketing advice to heed and which social media methods are worth paying for don’t have it nearly as easy.
So how ‘bout we just tell you what you need?
There are plenty of bells and whistles to choose from, and we’ll talk more about them in a moment. First, a few basics that work for everyone. All social media marketing breaks down into four key areas of focus:
Audience – Knowing your audience is crucial. Don’t get caught up marketing to people you “wish” would like your product/service – talk to the people who already do, and let solid social tactics turn those people into advocates to convert the rest.
Platforms – Start with Facebook and Twitter, and branch out from there, depending on what you’re selling. There are plenty of social networks to choose from – some very obvious, and others not so much. If you need help deciding, you want to use someone who knows all the places you could be, to advise about where you should be.
Content – You want to share relevant content by others to build relationships and capture attention in your space, but you also need to provide content of your own, which includes thoughtful prefaces to the content you share by others. And blogging nowadays is a must.
Consistency – Nothing is sadder than visiting a page or feed and seeing a ghost town, where the most recent post is three months (or years) old. You need to establish a posting schedule and stick with it. Platforms like Hootsuite that allow you to schedule posts to your various platforms can be lifesavers.
The basic points above are all manageable without a professional social media marketer’s help, BUT a knowledgeable social guru can help you streamline things even more if you’re looking to ramp up quickly (just beware social charlatans).
They can also provide those “extras” we mentioned. Once you have a basic structure in place, you don’t want things to run away with you (and it can happen easily once your ducks are lined up and quacking). Considering a few specialty services makes sense, especially if you’re planning to grow rapidly.
Social Media Policy
Whether you’re handling all posts yourself or have a league of minions to do your social media bidding, a solid social media policy will keep everyone clear on what’s acceptable online behavior and what’s not. (Hint: Starting a comment war with trolls is on the “not” list. But it happens more than you’d think.)
This might seem an alien concept to the uninitiated, but there are various reasons to use ghostwriters to help your business get a leg up socially. Here are a few:
Plenty of business owners, CEOs and thought leaders trust ghostwriters to be their voice online and beyond – and you can too.
There are plenty of other social media marketing services out there – so many it can be overwhelming. But if you start with a few and layer things on as you grow, it's not scary at all.
For the past month we’ve counted down 30 ways we scare up traffic for your business. See the entire countdown on our Pinterest page. And if one of them suits your needs, reach out and #SayBoo!