Social Media Marketing – Creating an effective social media plan

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather

Creating an effective social media plan that suits your business and serves your clients the best way possible is one of the most common marketing strategy of small businesses these days.

Do you struggle in creating your social media marketing plan, that both fits in your schedule and still provide massive information to your target clients on a daily or consistent basis?

Are you just starting out your socialmedia marketing and you feel overwhelmed with the endless possibilities and strategies, but you just cant figure out where to start?

 

Well do not worry, you are not alone in this ride, on this post we will share how top advice for creating a highly effective marketing plan that works no matter which social media channel you primarily choose for your business.

Step 1 Determind your vision and goals

 

 

You should not approach your social media blindly. Without knowing where you want to go or what you want to accomplish and how you will get there. You need to set your aside time to determine what is your goal, visualize on how you can reach out to your potential clients in the most effective way, by looking at the their interest and the time they spend on social media or how you can you fulfill their needs.

One of the best things you can do before you get started on your social media marketing, is to sit down and really map out exactly what it is you want to accomplish on socialmedia.

Are you looking to generate more leads?

Do you plan to use social media for customer outreach?

Or do you want to increase your brand awareness?

 

The thing you have to keep in mind is, is the goal measurable in some way?  If you want to generate more leads, what is your daily or Weekly or even monthly goal?

If you plan to use your social media for customer outreach, will you use feedback or rating system to measure your results?

Or if you plan to grow your audience and brand, you might want to measure your results through the amount of new fans, followers or clicks to your website.

 

Step 2 – Define your audience and the solution to their problem

 

Defining your audience is a great way to truly understand who you are creating your content for will help determine where you should be promoting, create more engagement and increase conversion.

Some of the questions you want to ask yourself about your target audience are:

* How old are they

* What are their occupation

* What are their income level

* What are their interests or personal business

* What are their struggle points

* What are their objections

* What motives them

The more clear you get with the answers, the more you can fine-tune a marketing plan that perfectly suits your potential clients needs. This helps determine the perfect type of messaging to put in front of your customers, as well as gives you great information about where these people tends to hang out online.

 

Step 3 – Choose the right social media channel for your business and target audience

One important thing to think about when choosing your social media channel, is where you target audience likes to hang out. If they spend a lot of time on Facebook, it would be a great idea to start there. If your target market is young adults, you might want to choose SnapChat as an effective marketing channel.

You want to factor in both your personal preferences and the preferences of your target audience, to find a winning social media channel. If it is something you enjoy doing you are more likely to stick with it.

 

Step 4 – Create social media content strategy

 

 

Now that you have researched and brainstormed, it is time to map out a social media content strategy. Creating content without purpose is a lost cause for any business. You might get likes and shares, but if you want to get measurable results it is crucial to create content or post with purpose.

 

Same on Step 3 with which social media channel you choose and want to master? Now choose some leaders in your industry who rock the social media content strategy effectively and start to follow and engage with what they do on their channel.

* How often do they post?

* What kinds of posts do their audience like?

* What kind of image and videos do they like?

Take note of everything that stands out and use them ass inspiration for choosing and creating your own unique content.

 

Step 5 – Set up work flow to get things done

 

This is the area where most people fail or struggle simply because we often feel like we need to do what everybody else is doing, where in fact we all have different life styles, schedules, and responsibilities. It is most important to figure out a workflow that suits you and your family, even if it does not fit the mold of everyone around you.

Do you have a job that keeps a good part of your day? Or do you have children at home to keep you busy in a certain time? Do you find your work best where you are uninterrupted long stretches of time?

You need to find or set a time where you can work best on your content, with full focus and attention, you will find it easier to create fresh and creative content daily if you work within your best time. It is easier if you create a plan for the week of which content or topic you want to work about so you already have planned on what you should research about instead of browsing on the internet for house looking for topic

Here is an idea on how you can create a content plan.

Planner

 

For example if you plan to post on Facebook 6 times a day, you know that you need 42 Facebook posts a week. You can separate those posts into different types such as quotes, image, promotions, videos, blog posts, or depending on the niche and then you can create the posts all in one sitting.

Last but not the least – Measure and Track your results

Remember Step 1, where you need to create a measurable goals? Well the last part is about measuring and tracking  and optimizing those metrics. If your goal is to get new fans, lets say your goal is 50 fans a week, you can easily use Facebook Data to ensure you are reaching your goal. Same thing with all other Social media platforms, they provide data for your business. For example social media channels such as Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram, make it all simple to see your growth and analytics.

 

However for things like website clicks,  new leads, and sales conversions you want to make sure  you have a proper tracking in place before you go into full blown promotion mode. For Socratic SBC Website design, those are already included in the package, whether you use custom links or system campaigns, you are able to track your impressions, leads, clicks and sales.

If you are using your own sites you can use link trackers such as BitLy, in order to track your dates.

Most importantly – Engage, Convert and Grow

Remember that creating content and posts in advance is not meant to replace real human interaction. You need to engage with your followers, encourage them through link sharing, question and answer, or encourage them to give out a feed back about your services and products, as well as giving them something to look forward to such as contests or give aways. This way they get to share your content and you also get to be noticed on their set of friends. Your audience will grow in no time if you keep being socially active during the day or set out a time where you really spend time with your audience, this means picking out the best time of the day where most of your followers are online and ready to interact.

Remember there is no plan which is permanent, flexible marketing plan for your social media is very important. Therefore it is very important you notice what are the trends online and which unique way you can use them for your customers.

 

We would love to hear from you comment below or if you need help creating a social media marketing plan we offer that service for a very affordable rate. Let us know what you think.

 

Our details :

Socratic SBC / Small Business Consulting
2 Wisconsin Circle Suite 700 Chevy Chase,
MD 20815
Office: (410) 344-7874
Fax: (202) 318-0689
rwhunni@socraticsbc.com
http://www.socraticsbc.com
 

It pays to promote your brand on social media, read on!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather

Social media has been aggressively used b business owners to promote their brand, it is valuable and free. Further if you are not using social media you are risking your own potential clients/customers, to those smart business owners who are using social media.

social-media-guy-680x300

Social media is cost effective marketing tool

The current most popular social media platforms are Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn Google+ and Pinterest. This is today called relationship marketing, where you use social media marketing to build a trusting and long term relationship with your potential clients. Social media is definitely FREE and cost effective, however needs dedication and commitment, this means you need to engage and interact with your potential and current clients as much as you can. That would not be a problem for small business owners who have smart phones where they have the possibility to interact with their customers anywhere and at any time.

Reach globally with social media

The World is your global market place, and then why not reach out to them? Most of small business owners with online store or business try to reach out to their potential clients from all over the world. Therefore Twitter, Facebook and Google+ has a magnificent feature to support your needs in accordance to your target market.

Target your group, age and location through social media

social-media-icons-jumble-02

Social media enables you to join a group, community and network with the same interest and goals, on LinkedIn and Facebook you can join groups varies from Book writers, artists to Marketers. If you choose group based on your niche, you will be putting yourself in front of people you want to reach out as potential customers, this can increase your sales and call it Return on Investment, although you have not invested a dime on social media.

Use social media to establish your expertise

People like to do business with people they know, like and trust. By sharing your knowledge online with your social media group, you can easily establish yourself as an expert in your field. You can do so by inviting your group to your blog, webinars and more.

Use social media to cross- promotion

In the world of social media, people would like to consider competitors in the off-line world are teaming up to provide products and services to their combined clients. This cross- promotion is often called Joint-venture, and clients are very responsive to this action, especially when introduced to second expert from a first expert. You and your cross-promotion partner can each get access to other person’s lists of clients, and creatively support each other’s business.

Use social media to announce updates, deals and promos

4199282-36195-mobile-phone-and-tablet-pc-with-colorful-icons-vector

Use your Twitter, Facebook and other social media accounts to announce to your followers what you are offering or what you are interested or on trend at the current moment.

There are even online applications that allow you to update your status across several social media accounts at one time.

Conclusion

Once you have become active on social media, you will find many more reasons to promote your brand. You just need to be creative with your social media marketing plan, you need to define your goals and you need to establish policies if you have employees handling social media and how you can always improve your customer service.

 

Social media risks for Small Business

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather

Social media has a very real presence that can make a huge impact on your small business. Social media is expanding far beyond any marketers expectations. Unlike traditional marketing, social media needs presence, interactions and engagement. Although companies have different social media policies, they all share the same goals when it comes to online visibility through social media. Here are some ways you can manage all your social media accounts without having to stress out about it.

sbc

Social media risk

 

At time there can come some risks in social media marketing, by simply blocking their employees from using these sites at work. As time progressed, companies began to realize how valuable social media can be in marketing their brand; therefore most companies organize a group of marketers to handle their social media sites.  What are the risks when letting employees handle social media marketing.

Reputation risks

  1. It is important to understand that the public can interact with one another and provide a negative feedback about your Small Business for anyone to see.

Solution:

The best way to address to this type of situation is, you can apologize when applicable and follow it up with a solution. If you have employees handling these types of issues, review it first as company owner and discuss with your social media handler what solutions can be given, it is important that you set your rules about social media and your employees.

 

  1. An employee can post information about your Small Business that can harm the image of your organization.

Solution:

If this happens, the action to resolve such issues should be immediately and re-establish social media guidelines to be reviewed by everyone in your business.

Information risks

Too much postings on social media by employees can post problem for the organization, therefore it is important to define a schedule and social media marketing plan.

Solution:

Construct a social media confidentiality statement so all employees know what is and is not appropriate to post about work online, may it be on their personal social media accounts or the company’s. Evaluate company’s policy to make sure it includes safeguards against social media risks.

Legal and employment risks

 

Lots of companies have been known to use social media marketing as a way of attracting potential clients and employees as well. Legal risks include discrimination and litigation cases, social media platforms can contain an array of information about clients and candidates for employment which should be considered thoroughly.

Some people use social media for their job tasks, employees can directly correlate lack of productivity to their employees social media use at work.  If you want to cut back on social media usage on your employees you can suggest 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon for their personal social media usage, other times can be for work purpose to address to clients and potential clients inquiries.

It is important that your employees know how to cautiously share information on social media when you are connected to your co-worker or using your company’s social media account and to know when to use both.

 

 

Socratic SBC | Small Business Consulting

2 Wisconsin Circle Suite 700 Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Office: (410) 344-7874
Fax: (202) 318-0689
rwhunni@socraticsbc.com

 

Mobile Social media marketing tips

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather

It is no secret that mobile is the next frontier of online marketing,  80% of world population uses mobile devices to search for products and services. Research says over the next few years a bulk of internet usage with shift from desktop to mobile and any business who are not ready with mobile marketing will be left behind.

It is a challenge for most to come up with Mobile social media marketing strategies that will keep your business mobile user friendly. It is very frustrating for potential customers trying to interact with companies that are not mobile ready.

So here are some few tips on how you can make your clients satisfied and happy.

Start with your website

monitor-main-img3

Your website your 24 hour sales person, it’s there and its open it works 24 hours, 7 days a week. Your website is your business personality makes sure that your website is up to date and viewable from any kind of devices and browser. It makes potential clients happy to be able to view a company website perfectly from a mobile device; research says mobile optimized websites get more conversation rate and sales.

This also means that your blog must be mobile ready as well; your company blog is the key part of social media. Blog allows you to interact with your clients and you also get a chance to address issues and concerns so that you can improve your marketing and customer service.

You need to hire website designer to move your website into responsive website, this will ensure you that no matter where your readers or visitors come from they will get the best browsing experience. Make sure to run a lot of tests using free online tools to check you are optimized it correctly.

Social media marketing on the go

social-media-writing-600x389

Social media has become increasingly mobile pursuit, wherever people are they have their mobile ready to share their life events and all. This is the reason why business owners should adapt this actions, social media should be a part of your daily and hourly routine to answer questions and address concerns in timely manner.

Here are some ways you can improve the way you can manage your social media.

  1. Share the social media responsibilities: IF you have more than one employee in your company share the responsibilities by having each person handle one social media account, this way there is always someone to answer inquiries, post updates and share relevant info.
  2. Address concerns immediately on social media: When your employees have their part on your social media marketing you can always assure that you address to clients concerns immediately and you will have more satisfied clients.
  3. Use social programs: Monitor all your social media feeds together, it is too time consuming to check your social media account one by one. You can use Hootsuite or social search monitoring tool such as Mention.
  4. Mobile flexibility: Take advantage of mobiles flexibility, a site like instagram and Google+ allows you to document your events, take photo of your day and your new products and connect with people while on the go.
  5. Pay attention to Location: The biggest advantage of mobile social media marketing is that you have the opportunity to look for potential clients by location; you can start using Foursquare and have your business listed there.

Location services for your business

can-foursquare-help-your-business-1024x634

If you have a physical store it is best that you add your business location to local listing sites such as Foursquare, Google listing, Yelp and many more. Location based ads are one of the best ways to catch your potential clients attention and let them find your store online. Here are other ways you can use location services through mobile devices.

  1. Twitter locations services, help you target clients in your area
  2. Facebook and Pinterest also allows you to add location on your posts or status updates.
  3. Use localation based tools such as Localmind, BrightLocal and other Local listing SEO services.

 

Do you have any tips for mobile social media marketing? Please do not hesitate to share with us, comment ahead and share your knowledge. You may also want to share your content with us, we welcome guests bloggers as well.

 

Socratic SBC | Small Business Consulting

2 Wisconsin Circle Suite 700 Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Office: (410) 344-7874
Fax: (202) 318-0689
rwhunni@socraticsbc.com

Improve your social media marketing

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather

With social media constantly evolving, the number of strategies you can implement on your campaign has also increased. You cannot cope with the number of strategies unless you have a team to post daily contents and updates on social media.

Here are some tips on how to improve your social media marketing

 Twitter

Have you ever wondered what is the main factor of being retweeted and mentions? After a few minutes of researching it turns out it is a very important factor in improving your online visibility, it make sense when you see your social media data. As well know most people use full length of 140 characters when posting on Twitter, to be able to have more retweets 100 characters or less is better, as people who want to retweet your tweet will not need to edit/modify or delete some of the tweet.

Facebook

From the recent studies comes alarming news for the ideal length of status on Facebook for having your facebook status shared across the platform. A 40 to 45 character status with link is likely to get more reshare.

Linkedin

If you have used linkedin for more than 2 years now, you must have noticed that twitter and Linkedin won’t synced anymore, because there is a huge social split back in 2012 so you can no longer sync your tweet on your Linkedin account. However there is another option, whenever you post an update on your Linkedin account you can choose to automatically sync and post it on your twitter instead. You can sync that update by selecting PUBLIC + TWITTER option or SHARE with and you will find a dropdown menu.

Google+

One of the most demand social channel today is Google+, but not everyone knows how to properly format their status updates to get more visibility on Google world. Did you know that you have the option to choose BOLD, UNDERLINED or ITALIC or even create a bullet list which of where you can emphasize the keywords or title of posts? This feature or visual appeal which facebook, twitter or Linkedin cannot match with, in additional you can share photos with link, videos and links from your website simply by dragging them to your share box.

Here are cheat sheet to Google+ formatting

googleplus-cheat-sheet-nonprofit-fundraising

 

Multimedia marketing tips

Youtube

Sometimes YouTube is overlooked for content and info search, actually YouTube is a great channel to get more website traffic. Most people are mostly visual today, and would like to get a real idea of how a product or service works. It is therefore important for every Small Business to have a YouTube channel that clients or consumers can easily subscribe to for more info about a business. The most forgotten feature on YouTube is that YouTube videos can also be shared through social media or embed to your blog.

Pinterest

Pinterest marketing is one of the funniest and most creative way to share your product and service image and you learn how to add pinners to your board which makes it more of interactive social channel.

Slideshare

Slideshare is another way to create product or service presentation or guide and research information, which is shareable to all other social media sites. Here you can create a weekly post of topics that would interest your target audience. Do not forget to connect with other relevant people on SlideShare and grow your network from there.

Conclusion

To truly improve your social media marketing it is important that you are open to changes all the time, as social media is evolving every now and then and your usual marketing strategies might not work in the future. Therefore it is essential to have an open mind and also research for new strategies to use on social media. Social media marketing is about interaction and building relationship and therefore without these goals your social media marketing will not succeed.

 

Socratic SBC | Small Business Consulting

2 Wisconsin Circle Suite 700 Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Office: (410) 344-7874
Fax: (202) 318-0689
rwhunni@socraticsbc.com

SocraticSBC is 100% committed to creating solutions, and delivering quality content that improves the way you do business. We want to hear from loyal customers like you. Follow me on Twitter at @rwhunni or email me at rwhunni@socraticsbc.com and let me know what you think about our services. Your feedback makes us better.

Tricks and tips to maximize your social media marketing (The Basics)

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather

People want solutions to their business problems, to maximize social presence, content marketing strategy and overall promotion. But problems and solutions are different for every small business. The key is to find your goal and do your best to achieve them. Here are some few things that might help you maximize your social media marketing.

The different forms of social media

TREKCAPRI-LOGO-WITH-WORD-BALLOONS-02-REDUCED

  • Blogging

When you think of social media, the first thing that comes into your mind is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc, but in reality the first form of social media is blogging, social media platforms are just secondary to your social media marketing. Before you even start your marketing campaign on social media, you need to create blog to illustrate your expertise to your target audience. Business is around the concept of blogging or content creation.

  • Social media sites

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+/pages etc are also form of social media. This is the places where people share their stories, business success and failure and for small business this is a place where they can communicate and interact with their prospects as well as loyal customers.

  • Social media 2.0

Secondary sites to social media sites is social media 2.0 which are Reddit, StumbleUpon and Tumblr, the main thing these social media 2.0 do is enable everyone to share cool contents, bookmark certain blog, keep their blog follow in one place. For small business this is where you can get idea on the newest topics and customers interest etc. It is important that you dominate these sites and you will surely be found on Search engines.

The different form of social media always change and evolve around the newest internet trends, you need to get yourself updated with these changes all the time. As a small business owner and marketer for your products and services, you need to adapt these changes and develop your own marketing style.

 

Save time while maximizing your online presence

social-tools

Social media marketing is hugely time consuming, but highly effective marketing strategy. So here are some basic tips on how you can save time while you are maximizing your business presence on social media:

1.       Time saver

Time is Money this is the old saying, but time is not entirely ours to control. What we can do with time is, to use it efficiently so we can be productive as much as possible. Managing a small business and marketing your products and services can be overwhelming; you would wish you had more than 24 hours a day to achieve all your tasks. Fortunately, there time has been kind to us that we have been given efficient marketing tools to save our time so we can do more.

Tools that can help you save time:

  • Hootsuite
  • Buffer
  • Sprout Social

2.       Create valuable content

Blogging is important, social media is about chatter and therefore you need to create informative content that will virally spread on social media sites, such as Facebook and twitter. Optimize your content through video, images, presentation which you can submit to various content submission sites. You may also want to create an e-book a short summary of all your content put together. Make your e-book available on your website with newsletter subscription. You can later on use your subscribers as contact list for email marketing or email product promotions and deals.

3.       Set your schedule and be social

socialmediamanagement

It is easy to fall into trap of sending promotional status, posts, images and content across your platforms, but too much promotion can kill your business. Be yourself and be social is the key to building online credibility and trustworthiness. Set schedule a day where you spend at least 2 hours on your social media sites, blogs and interaction, to address to your potential customers. I will also be helpful for your business that you take a look at your competitor’s behavior online.

 

 

Final words

Marketing can take a lot of time and effort, but it is essential to all types of business whether large or small can benefit from preparing goal oriented marketing strategies. The main point to your marketing is to deliver customer satisfaction, branding awareness and most of all contribute wealth to local businesses. Starting a small business can be achieved if you are focused and have goals. Anyone can start a business, you do not need to know it all, you can learn through experience and research and while you face the challenges that you might encounter you will learn new ways to manage your business that fits with your personality and goals. Good luck!

 

 

 

 

Roderick Hunnicutt

Socratic SBC | Small Business Consulting

2 Wisconsin Circle Suite 700 Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Office: (410) 929-6395
Fax: (202) 318-0689
admin@socraticsbc.com

http://www.socraticsbc.com

 

The basic needs for social media marketing

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather

Social media marketing for small business is one of the most essential marketing strategies, every small business owner should consider. Social media marketing include the following social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, instagram and Pinterest and many more. Social media platforms are huge and a great place to start searching for your target audience.

Social media marketing, what are they used for?Advantages of SMO

Whatever type of small business you have, you can benefit from social media marketing. Especially if you have a physical location for your small business, the geographic features on social media sites, can be the area where your customers can find you. You can also use these features to search for local people as your target audience.

You can offer promotions, discounts, sales and deals on social media, with image sharing. You can also use social media to increase your business brand awareness, or for many other small businesses social media serves as a wonderful customer service for them

 

The basic advantage of using social media for small businesssocial-media-marketing

Social media marketing allows you to interact with customers whether on the go on your mobile device or in your office. This method adds a personal touch on your marketing campaign; people love it when they can connect with the business manager through easy access platforms such as social media sites.

You can also create valuable feedback from your customer through social media sites, which is far better than reviews on sites; the feedback from social media seems to be more effective and trustworthy.

The disadvantage

Social media marketing is only effective if you dedicate yourself to interact with your followers, and deliver the needed maintenance.

How you can make social media work for your small business

As mentioned above, you need to attend to your social media sites few times a day. Although it may seem like a chore, to sign in to all your social media accounts, you can also choose to sign up for social media management tools such as Hootsuite, to deliver the posts to all social media accounts, you also have the ability to view stream feeds, mentions and follows from this platform.

Consider choosing the right time to posts your updates on your social media; you can do that by taking note of when your target audience spends most of their time on social media. You can then schedule your posts on that specific time range.

While you post your updates, consider to alternate the updates, such as relevant blog posts from other small business blogs and your blog posts and news.

Make sure that you mention the twitter account of the author which blog post you shared. Name tag such as for example @rwhunni Title: the basic needs for social media marketing, while you add the name tag you will inform the author or business owner that you just shared their valuable content and will surely be grateful and add you to their network, do not forget to thank them and follow back.

 

Final words

These are just the basic info about social media marketing. You can learn more about marketing tools for social media marketing here, and small business marketing tips here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roderick Hunnicutt

Socratic SBC | Small Business Consulting

2 Wisconsin Circle Suite 700 Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Office: (410) 929-6395
Fax: (202) 318-0689
admin@socraticsbc.com

http://www.socraticsbc.com