Each week, Danica Jones, our Social Media Director, will tackle a new Social Media question to help address many concerns business owners may have about going social. This is the seventh of a series.
Today, a derby sister posted this on Twitter: "I am terrible at social media and a slacker at marketing. If anyone out there has any advice on how to correct that, I will listen." Jen runs Pourin Mags - a really fun custom jewelry company with a very unique niche market - derby girls, guys and anyone looking to stand out with unique accessories. Her cry for help is a common one, especially from busy small business owners. Good news? You CAN market. Even if you're a slacker. And even if you feel awkward about social media, or feel like you're not sure how to do it properly, you can still make some small changes to get social to work for you. This one's for Jen - Some easy ways to define a marketing strategy, organize that strategy, and implement it for social success:
Define your goals
Just jumping into social media and internet marketing with no strategy is like jumping into a boat without your oars in hand. Defining a few simple short-term and long-term goals gives you a starting point - a target to aim for. Do you have a post-it note? Or maybe a journal or notepad? Grab it and write down three things you would like to make happen with social media over the next 6 months. These goals could be anything from "grow my audience to double its current size" to "increase internet sales profits by 10 percent" or even something as easy as "interact more with my audience."
You have goals! Now for the plan.
Now you have a note, and that note has some goals. Here comes the dirty work - creating a plan out of those goals. The good news is, you only have three, so your chances of being overwhelmed are slim to none. Planning is about deciding what will get you to those goals. In the relatively new world of social media marketing, this is essential to success. If your first goal is increased networking, take a look at who you're currently networking with. These are your core audience. Friends, family, fans who found you through word of mouth and trust your brand. Rally those core audience members to help promote you. Slackers - This should appeal to your sensibilities, because it uses the efforts of supporters to do the bulk of the work. Ask nicely - Legendary photographer Diane Arbus was famous for asking people if she could take their photos, and even sent permission slip requests to government departments requesting access. A simple "hey - help me promote my business with a share on your page!" can get a great response from supporters.
What if your goal is sales? Ahh, this goes back to my previous blog post on the subject of sales. Read that, and then maybe consider re-ordering those goals if sales is at the top of your goal list. With social, remember that sales should be a secondary goal. Yes, sales are great - making money is the goal of every business. But when you use social media, your first goals should involve creating connections, networking, and establishing your online presence. Now that we have that sorted out and you want to create a plan for boosting sales, take a look at who you really want to sell your product to...who is most likely to buy, and who will become a loyal customer? In Jen's case, she has a huge network of derby girls already notorious for promoting derby-owned businesses. Knowing your primary target audience is the first step to increasing sales.
Next, take a look at what your target audience says. Ask them questions. What do they want to see? What to they need more of? What did they dislike? It may seem simple to ask your fans what they need, but it's essentially free market research. Your target audience, telling you what they'll buy. Ask often, and respond with enthusiasm and results. You should see a boost in sales and customer satisfaction from even these simple tasks. Keep in mind that sales should be done softly...don't yell about sales to the customer (i.e., "FOR SALE" posts every hour)...instead offer specials, extra incentives for social media users, and sales to help create a soft sell environment that won't be tainted with annoying sales pitches.
Now you have a plan. In all seriousness, that's the toughest part of social media marketing. Especially for slackers. But I have given you slacker-friendly tools - use post-its, ask questions, and pay attention to your audience. Now for the implementation tips. My first piece of advice? Set up a dedicated time every week to focus on social media. Give yourself an hour or two to write up questions, read customer feedback, add new friends, promote on local pages, and interact with other local businesses and creative types. This regular dedicated time gives you a chance to really dig in to your social without burning out on the content. The rest of the time? Post and have some fun! Slacker social media, implemented with flair.
Meh. I still don't like doing this.
Well the good news is, I do! Give me a call to talk about social media marketing packages for small or large businesses!