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Media Management: Social Media Marketing

Media Management: Social Media Marketing

From an outside perspective, social media marketing may appear haphazard and spontaneous.  In reality, however, the best social media marketing campaigns are meticulously planned and carefully thought out.  Don’t be intimidated, though–social media marketing can be learned; and in fact the only way to learn is by practice, hard work, and trial and error tactics.  This article outlines a plan for building a social media marketing campaign from the ground up.

Step One: do your research

Before even creating a Facebook page, it’s a good idea to begin researching the competition.  Search the social media pages of businesses in your industry, in your fields of interest, and in your geographical region.  How are their social media pages named?  What kind of content to they post? What content seems to be successful, and what seems to flop?  Do they interact personally with their audience? (Hint: they should be doing exactly that.)  Make a list of your own questions, concerns, and ideas, and consider that list as well when you are researching the competition. Take notes!

Step Two: self evaluate your own business

Now, take a long hard look at yourself.  What is your business all about?  What image do you want to portray? What are your core values, goals, and priorities?  These are, of course, all questions you will have considered before, but it’s important to write everything down concretely in order to help develop a vision of your social media presence.  Where do you see yourself differing from the other social media pages you looked at?  Where do you see similarities?

Step Three: create your presence

Once you have a rough vision of what your social media “personality” will be, it’s time to create your pages.  It’s a good idea to start small; using just a couple of the most popular social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.  This will help you prioritize quality over quantity.  Once you get your pages up and running, it will be easier to add new social networks to your campaign–especially if you will be using social media management tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer.

When you create your pages, it’s important to do the job all the way.  Write an informational, friendly about page, post photos, upload an about video; whatever you can do to make your page more informative, attractive, and effective.

Step Four: Find Friends

No matter how killer your social media pages are, they won’t do you much good if nobody sees them! Finding followers will eventually become a more organic process (people share you content thus drawing more people to your page, or similar processes,) however, for the time being, you’ll need to be very proactive.  Search people you know, add them, and ask them to share your page.  Embed social media links into your company website.  Include a social media call to action on your business card (i.e. “find us on Facebook.”)

Step Five: Create content!

Last but not least, you now need to add all the fantastic content that will make your page so effective. You’ve already done your research, so now it’s just a question putting your ideas into action.  Be sure to include a good mix of informative, educative, entertaining, inspirational, and promotional content in order to optimize your results.

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