It’s been said that the social media revolution has changed the way we communicate––it might be better to say that it’s changed the way we market.
Long gone are the days of strict print ads, newspaper classifieds, and word-of-mouth promotion. These things will always have a special place in the art of transacting a product from the market to the consumer, but the next wave of advertising is online, and it’s time to get on board before it’s too late.
Step 1: Get in the Game
When Facebook rolled out its ad generator and boosting tool several years ago, the concept was a bit jarring. Instead of requiring a third-party marketing agency to create and promote ads from their own network, Facebook put the power of advertising into the hands of the business.
Did you know there are 1.6 billion people connected to a business through Facebook? The spike in ad creation was astronomical and allowed for the consumer market to determine their own budget for paid advertising, demographic targeting, and more.
Now, John Doe’s Lawn Mowing Service can put five dollars toward advertising from their own page or profile (e.g. Instagram) to a network of friends, followers, and related audiences. It’s never been easier (or cheaper) to create a website, to sell a product, or to advertise.
You don’t have an excuse––it’s time to get in the game.
Step 2: Set Goals
As we’ve noted elsewhere, planning is key to any successful idea––goal setting is the map from point A to point B.
Social media marketing was born out of the idea that a business represents a brand, and this brand can be developed and promoted through advertising. Simply stated, social media marketing “is the practice of using social media channels to sell or promote a brand, product or service.”
If John Doe has a Lawn Mowing Service brand, for him to build a positive reputation in the community, particularly in an increasingly online one, he should set measurable goals and practical steps toward achieving brand success. As brand awareness goes up, so will clientele, word-of-mouth promotion, and revenue.
Step 3: Implement Strategy
Related to marketing, a social media strategy is “the document outlining your social media goals, the tactics you will use to achieve them, and the metrics you will track to measure your progress.” This is where the usage of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms comes into play. Knowing what to post, when to post, and where to post could prove to be the most significant part of any successful social media campaign.
Content Calendars become extremely important at this point. With a calendar, John Doe can plan to post-service deals with an interactive graphic on Monday, and on Thursday post a blog considering “The Importance of Lawn Care.”
Distinguishing between platforms is also no small undertaking. LinkedIn is informational, whereas Instagram is social. Posting an employment opportunity on Instagram may not go over as well as it would on LinkedIn––always be aware of your audience, your competitors, creative trends, inspiration, and how social groups are responding online.
Step 4: Evaluate Success
This may appear to be the easiest step of the process, but implied in the evaluation of success is a willingness to change based upon the results. As you track analytics and demographic trends across online platforms, you should uncover what’s working and what’s not.
It’s important to remember that social media strategies are built for adaptation. You may discover that your buyer persona needs tweaking, or that a particular platform hasn’t generated as much interest as you had hoped for.
These discoveries are not failures, but moments to improve. Just like your business, your brand will have growing pains on its way to success.
Step 5: Collaborate with Others
Our first step may imply that John Doe doesn’t need help with his social media marketing or management strategy. While we think these steps can motivate you in the right direction, collaborating with others is always the best way to go.
At InnerAction Media, we lead you through the entire strategy––from buyer personas, to marketing blueprints, and a team of qualified social media specialists, we know how to implement a successful marketing plan that generates leads, clientele, and brand awareness.
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When it comes to clear, effective, and creative marketing strategies, we’re here to help. Established in 2011, we’ve set ourselves apart as the go-to production and marketing agency in the North Central region of West Virginia.
Contact InnerAction Media today, and let us help you tell your story.