The GrowthMinds Quick Guide to social media marketing

Reaching huge audiences with the power of social media

In this guide, you’ll find out:

  • How to figure out the best approach and channels for you
  • How to develop a content strategy and most importantly, deliver it!
  • How to work with a small budget and still go stellar.

 

Why you need social

laugh and connections on socialWhat other way is so immediate, cost effective and far reaching? Social media quite simply rewrites possibilities when it comes to marketing. Its power to reach vast audiences, target user groups, and raise awareness very quickly, and cost effectively is huge.

When it comes to social, there’s definitely no one-size fits all approach. Every case is different. But there are some key principles and rules to help ensure your social media campaign is as effective as possible.

The potential reach of social across multiple channels is enormous, but some social channels are more effective for different types of campaign or activity than others. It’s also important to measure the impact your social activities are having, and adjust your focus accordingly.

 

Where to start

First off, decide what you want to achieve. Who are you targeting, and why, what response do you want, and how will go about achieving it? Social media users are savvy – and don’t take kindly to blatant selling messages. Approaches need to be more subtle, and offer value to draw in audiences and spark engagement without potentially off-putting salesy messaging.

Pick the right platforms for your organisation and goals: the platforms that work for B2B are often inappropriate for mainly B2C businesses.

A great starting point is by researching what competitors are doing in the same marketplace.

  • How do they approach their social media presence? What works for them?
  • What audiences are you targeting, and where will they go for information?
  • What audiences exist that you can simply contact through social?

The possibilities are endless, so it’s important to work out your goals, how you will achieve them, what platforms you’ll use, and then start mapping out an action plan with the content you aim to deliver. Social, like most other activities works best with great planning. You can’t expect to just start a Facebook page for example, and post things up on it occasionally, or that people will ‘like’ what you’re about if you’re not delivering genuine value to them that they’d be willing to share.

And last, measuring the impact of your efforts is vital. Social campaigns rely heavily on analytics and data to see what works, what doesn’t, and adjust efforts accordingly.

 

In summary

Social media has enormous power and potential to reach and engage huge audiences. To get it working for you requires careful planning, and a strategy that targets the right platforms to reach the right audiences with the right content. Well executed social campaigns are much more likely to succeed than ad-hoc efforts with no focus. Thorough analysis of results is essential to effective targeting and ongoing results.

We’ll go through some top tips, and explore how to go about setting up social campaigns in more detail next.

 

Our model for social

Every client is different, and with social, it’s hard to generalise because of this. Everyone though should decide what they want to achieve from their social media activity and have a clear idea of who their target market is, and the messages they want to convey.

Your type of business or organisation often dictate the most effective social channels.

For example, LinkedIn, being a professional platform is typically most effective for B2B clients, whereas Facebook is more suited to B2C clients. Twitter works across both client types, as does YouTube, and Instagram is really only useful if your product is very visual, and you want to share inspiring images with your audience.

We tailor campaigns for each client, based on their goals, aspirations, ideas, and business types: often using a blend of channels.

 

Go for the soft sell

With any social channel, blatant salesy messages and content is taboo. It’s really about delivering value and contributing positively, with a side serving of gentle product references. Not even all of your posts need to be pushing anything even slightly. Just being seen as part of the scene, and establishing credibility is all part of the game too. This is a really, really soft sell, and can take patience to get results.

 

Work out a calendar

linking all content together With channels and high-level approach decided, it’s time to work out a social calendar. No, not pub meet-ups, but a schedule of what content you’ll be posting, when, and how. It’s no good just setting up a presence on platforms, and expecting things to happen. They won’t. You need a considered strategy to drive social engagement, with quality content. We might work this out week by week or 2 weeks at a time.

For example, one of our clients wanted to boost awareness and drive registration for an event on green energy, ideally encouraging sign-ups on LinkedIn. So we scheduled a series of posts featuring news on sustainable energy, raising awareness of the event, and topics that would be covered, broadening the reach by including speakers on related tweets.

 

Paid advertising, or not?

We understand that budget is always a consideration for startups and SMEs, and there are plenty of ways to raise interest and get the word out on social without spending on advertising. But even with a modest budget, strategically placed adverts on social media can bring quick results, and with the tools available can also be targeted at specific groups and levels of seniority etc., that may not otherwise see your messaging, so it is worth considering.

 

Hitching a ride

We’re about getting results. And being creative in finding ways to make things happen. If there’s a popular hashtag that’s relevant to our cause: why not use it? Connecting to the right people is also very important to get your message out there. Following on Twitter, keeping an eye on the competition, engaging in their social buzz, there are plenty of cheap ways to hitch a ride on passing social traffic!

 

Measure the results

As we said earlier, monitoring all social activities, and analysing the results is crucial. We want to know what is working well, and focus our attention on that. Tracking where people have come from, and how far they go if they go through to a client’s site is important. We’re all about driving traffic and conversions, and we ruthlessly exploit all the analytics and data available to boost growth for our clients.

 

Top tips for social media marketing

So if you’re looking to improve how you do social, or even start using social media for the first time, here are a few golden that we use:

  1. Don’t try to ‘sell’. That’s almost guaranteed to turn people off.
  2. Know your audience. Not all audiences are the same. Tailor your message and its format for the intended channel.
  3. Create clear goals. Decide what you want to achieve, and decide on realistic targets.
  4. Use a social calendar. Planning will help organise and focus your activities.
  5. Create quality content. It’s not all about sales. Raising awareness, credibility, and being seen as a key player, and part of the industry is important too.
  6. Measure your results. There are plenty of analytics tools to choose from out there, but the ones offered by the platforms themselves are pretty good.
  7. Listen to your audience. If people are trying to connect with you on social: be ready to respond. This is your shop window to the world, and a very visible one.

 

We love social

As you’ve probably guessed, we love social! We’ve helped numerous clients get campaigns off the ground, launch new products, promote exhibitions, you name it, so we’ve got plenty of tricks to help you get your messages out there. And we’ve got the tools and know-how to back it up.

We realise that not everyone has the resources, time or skills to run social media, that’s why many of our clients use us as their social marketing department – so if you need help with your social, or just want to find out more about what we could achieve for you: get in touch.

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