The good news is that UK small businesses and organisations are now realising the significance of social media. The bad news is that many register with as many platforms as they know without really knowing what to do next. Not planning in advance can lead to lots of wasted time and disillusionment in the whole process. Social marketing is not an overnight success. It’s like any networking – it takes time, it’s about relationships.
Planning is as important as in any business process, so I’ve put together a straightforward 8 step guide that will help you get started.
1) Sit down with your team and decide what you want to achieve. Are you looking to increase the number of newsletter or brochure sign ups or maybe become better known for a particular product/service?
2) Research your customers and potential customers. Are they active on social media? What are they looking at? What do they want to know? If you can’t find out ask them
3) Once you know where your customers are you can decide the most suitable social platforms to use to speak to them
4) If you don’t already have one, create and use a company blog. This will form the core that will drive all your other communication
5) Once you’re up and ready spend time listening (or reading) doesn’t just dive in. Gradually build your network and start building relationships
6) Ok, you’ve spent some time listening to what people are saying now you can start to add your comments. Look at what’s being said in groups related to your market and add your voice
7) Start to post your own content. This can be a mixture of original material or sharing content from other people that you think your network will find interesting. Where possible help people
8) Monitor and measure. Most social platform have their own analytics plus there are some free ad-ons you can use before moving to more sophisticated paid ones. The beauty of social media is that you can see it working.
The biggest trap to avoid is overtly selling. I see lots and lots of posts that are pure and simply direct selling. The clue is in the name, SOCIAL media. Today people dislike being sold to. Everyone does some research first and always deal with people they trust. Social media is a means to gain that trust and to make sure that when someone is looking to buy a widget, your widgets are already implanted in their mind.
Several small organisations have asked via the HELP page to clarify the difference between a blog and content marketing. They are confused about the apparent overlap.
Well I can start by saying that while all blogs can be said to be content marketing, content marketing is in fact a whole lot more than blogging.
Blogging is just one element; people may think “Great, my blogs written all I need do now is share it and that’s it!”
The Content Marketing Institute defines it as
“A marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action
In practical terms that means that content marketing needs to include the following amongst others, factsheets, how-to advice, video, slideshow, Pinterest and Instagram, audio, eBooks, reports, project information etc. in addition to Facebook, Tweets and your Blog.
So remember that Content Marketing is about content and one way you can share that content is via blogging.
Next time I’ll talk about what that content should be.
Of the small businesses who use Social Media 67% of them think it's a worthwhile use of time and yet 47% of small business are still not using it as a marketing tool. This infographic from Sage shows some interesting figures.
This infographic was produced by Sage UK
Great infographic courtesy of Quicksprout.
Owner managers or volunteers with small charities will occasionally put together items of publicity material in an effort to save money. (False economy, but that's another blog post). But, should you produce and save them in CMYK or RGB and what's the difference anyway? Hopefully this useful infographic will prove useful.
David has worked in advertising and marketing services for 30 years both client and agency side. Having worked with local, national and muliti-national clients, he set up DLH Marketing to help small organisations, owner managed businesses and those organisations without in-house marketing.