How to start social media marketing can feel overwhelming. Often I deliver business presentations on using social media, but I always start with the foundations. Without the foundations in place your social media, without understanding what is social media marketing...then your activity will not necessarily deliver the results you were expecting.
Social marketing is simple. It recognises two things
- That business is about people and relationships and you must appeal at this human level.
- That the web is a marketplace where potential consumers hang out - to research, to buy, to validate a supplier etc
With this in mind before starting ...see social marketing as built through the 5 R's Model ....
- Relationship - They need time to build they don't miraculously appear...so see it as a medium term strategy. Strong relationships need listening, openness, recognition, empathy...how can you show these business values?
- Reassurance - People turn to the web to validate their decisions. How can you illustrate that you are trustworthy through.....case studies, reviews, responding, how to's, customer service etc
- Right Fit - When people are on the net they are wanting to be informed, entertained, inspired or educated....to understand what tools and topics will deliver that, know your target customer and target market inside out. Don't be afraid to go niche and grow out...rather than aim to please everyone.
- Research - If you were launching in China, you would research the market....look at the cultural norms....find the right place....the right offers....the web is the same. Participating and listening before starting, is a great way to start that research...after all you wouldn't launch in China without going there first!
- ROI - Remember you are a business! Time invested is time taken away from other business tasks, so think ahead about how you will measure it's effectiveness e.g. leads, conversations, engagement, mentions, traffic etc......and monitor to ensure your activity is working and tweak where you see problems.