With everyone using some form of social media, heed these key steps to follow when developing your social media marketing plan.
To truly use social media to its full potential, business operators must invest time and effort into understanding how to market on different platforms. (Photo by Thinkstock.)
CONTENT BROUGHT TO YOU BY: EZFacility
Who, in this day and age, is not on some kind of social media? This channel of communication has developed into a major source of revenue for businesses both big and small. However, posting a picture or tweet here and there is not going to attract a large number of followers. To truly use social media to its full potential, business operators must invest time and effort into understanding how to market on different platforms.
Here are some key steps to follow when developing your social media marketing plan:
1. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn. These five platforms are marketing goldmines. Get to know them, love them and actively use them. When starting out, stick to one or two platforms and solidify your marketing plan before exploring other options. At the very least, your company should have a Facebook business page and a LinkedIn account.
2. Quality over quantity. Reach for loyalty as opposed to millions of followers. You don’t need to “go viral” straight off the bat. Focus on building strong relationships with a smaller number of followers, and worry about pitching your product or services later. This may take some time; however, when you start to build these loyal relationships, you tap into social circles and expand your overall reach. Building a solid reputation for great customer service and support will translate into referrals and will build your following over time.
3. Plan in advance. We cannot stress this enough. Create a calendar with specific types of content to post each day. This will save you time in the long run, and consumers will appreciate your consistency. Start by experimenting with the best times and days to post content. Perhaps you get more engagement from posts on Wednesdays at 9 a.m. than you do when you post Fridays around 5 p.m. Experiment and then make it a ritual. Take advantage of holidays, too. Offer a Christmas special or free guest passes on Mother’s Day—the possibilities are endless.
4. Use what you already have. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Utilize content you have already created or include quotes from satisfied customers. In the age of Yelp and other review sites, clients are looking for first-hand experiences to form buying decisions. Adding a client testimonial will go a long way in attracting new followers.
5. Engage: On Facebook, share followers’ posts or comment on them. Simply wishing someone a happy birthday will go a long way in generating brand awareness.
On Twitter, retweet and comment on posts, reply to messages and actively engage in conversations. Hashtag searches are big on twitter as well, so it’s best to include one or two in each of your posts for more traction.
6. Quick response time. Never ignore a complaint. Think of complaints as little gifts. If one person voices an issue, there are usually 10 more people with the same issue who are just too lazy to post it. Use these complaints to better your business and let clients know you are actively working to address their concerns. By responding quickly, you show that your company cares about your clients and wants to create the best customer experience possible. Set alerts to be sent to your phone so you can ensure an even faster response time.
7. Track your progress. Finally, make sure you are measuring your reach and engagement on social media. This is critical to understanding what is and isn’t working. Most social media platforms provide their own set of analytics; however, it doesn’t hurt to use an additional tool for accuracy.
Social media can be your most powerful marketing tool. Do not try everything at once. Instead, gradually build your following with loyal members and nurture those relationships. Listen, respond and get to know your audience to make your social media marketing plan a major success.
Bryant Strozinsky is marketing supervisor for EZFacility. After working in the personal training industry, Strozinsky found himself beginning his career with EZFacility, a gym management software company, as a product trainer before advancing to head of the marketing department. An advocate for healthy living, Strozinsky also enjoys struggling through 18 holes of golf and attempting to remain moderately competitive at three sets of tennis. You can find out more about EZFacility on its website.