Great things generally come in threes, but how do you distill the many constituent elements of the social media marketing battlefield into just three strategic tips? With the blog title above, we’ve set ourselves an insurmountable challenge, surely?
When it comes to the most modern forms of business promotion, one must start by reaffirming the belief that social media marketing requires nothing more than common sense and a good dose of experience. As a social entrepreneur, you have plenty of the former and among the I2E ranks, we have a great deal of the latter.
So – let’s make this work!
Social enterprises are perfectly placed to be promoted, shared and discussed on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, but if you’ve had little experience of such tools, how do you get the best out of them?
In this post, we’re going to peel back the often confusing and unapproachable veneer of social media marketing and reveal a channel which any social enterprise in any field can use (without calling on the services of costly marketing agencies).
The following three strategies are available to you immediately. Be brave, and grab them with both hands:
1. Create attractive, branded profiles
Setting up social media accounts for your business is half the fun, but in all that excitement, it’s rather easy to forget the basics.
The humble profile is one of the most important aspects of your social media presence, yet the correct configuration of this vital page is so easily brushed aside as an inconvenience and something that simply won’t be seen by many people. After all, Twitter is for reading tweets and Facebook is for digesting posts and status updates, right?
You’d be surprised how many people visit your Twitter and Facebook profiles. In the last twenty-eight days, for example, the Inspire2Enterpise Twitter profile page has enjoyed hundreds of views, and that means people are proactively seeking information about us.
If they were met with a drab header image or – worse – the default Twitter ‘egg’ that’s assigned to new accounts, they’d be forgiven for coming to the conclusion that the organisation behind the tweets isn’t particularly fussed about its online presence.
Make sure you invest a decent amount of time in the profile pages of your social media accounts. Add your logo and an engaging, appropriate header image (making sure they conform to image standards to avoid any unpleasant squishiness). Better still, use a tool like Canva to create unique images that ‘pop’ off the page.
It’s also important to add your web address, location information and, if the social media gives you the space to do so, the story of your enterprise.
It won’t be time wasted – we promise.
2. Set a daily posting schedule, and stick to it
We’re not going to delve into the type of content you should post in this guide (that’s for another time), therefore we’ll assume you have a relatively solid idea of the kind of updates and shares to which your audience will respond positively.
To ensure that content actually makes its way onto social media, you need to set a daily posting schedule. And, while this may sound like yet another task for which you have extremely limited time, you’ll be surprised by how quickly you can get into the habit of conducting social media marketing, and, equally, how much you’ll look forward to it.
Posting daily as opposed to bulk scheduling once per week or month gives you the advantage of sending out content that is timely, relevant and takes advantage of current affairs.
Ask yourself what you do for the first thirty minutes of every day. The chances are, it’ll be a combination of making coffee, catching up on email or indulging in the odd water cooler discussion with colleagues. Try swapping some of that time for social media, and do so every day. You’ll soon get into the habit.
Social media sites aren’t digital loudhailers – they’re platforms on which mass discussion takes place, and, as a social enterprise, you can start conversations and add to those that are already taking place.
Conversations will always be a two-way affairs, therefore it’s vital that you spend just as much time engaging with your audience as you do broadcasting your thoughts. As your social influence grows, the number of retweets, comments and likes you receive will naturally increase, and when they start coming through, you need to dive in, say “thanks”, offer your thoughts and ask questions of your own.
Likewise, you can jump into conversations that are taking place right now. By following thought leaders within your industry and presenting your take on a point of discussion, you’ll quickly raise both your social media prowess and stature within the various networks.
As noted above, we haven’t delved into the nuts and bolts of social media marketing in this post. Instead, we’ve provided three actionable, zero-cost strategies that will put you in the right mindset to make the most of Facebook, Twitter and the countless other networks that are now available to social enterprises.
If you’ve already experienced a significant degree of success on social media and have learned how to attract an audience that remains engaged, please tell us your story in the comments section, below.