Let’s be clear from the outset about social media marketing.
Most small businesses don’t have the money to hire a marketing whiz kid. In fact, many struggling medium-sized businesses have similar limitations – they need social media marketing to get out of their slump but the slump prevents them from investing in social media marketing. This refrain is so common that it’s deafeningly loud in the business world.
While funding is absolutely critical for various social media marketing, it isn’t so important for devising a decent blueprint to follow. If your business is short on social media marketing funding, then you’ll be better off devising your own blueprint rather than hiring “a specialist” to do it for you. After all, no one knows your business and your target audience better than you.
You will still need to learn the method for developing a social media marketing blueprint. It’s not rocket science. A social media marketing blueprint is nothing but a series of well-thought-out answers to carefully chosen questions. So long as you know what questions to ask, you should be able to develop a social marketing blueprint for your business. Here are those questions and how you should go about answering them.
What Platform Will Your Social Media Marketing Blueprint Focus On?
At no point in the history of the internet has social media been as advanced or as diverse as it is now. There are numerous social media platforms. Moreover, all of those platforms specialise in certain types of content and hence, certain types of audiences. This is one of the first things you need to consider while trying to answer this question i.e. what is your target audience like. The audiences of different social media platforms fall in different demographics.
Some will have younger users, some will vary on the basis of demographics, and some will vary on the basis of content type. You will need to figure out what your audience is like before choosing the social media platform where they hang out. Along with this, you should also consider what kind of resources you can put into your social media effort. Are you trying to independently create your social media presence? Do you have employees that you can use for content creation? Do you plan to outsource the work? These are all questions pertaining to resources that you should consider seriously before starting off something that you can’t finish.
Another criterion you need to consider while choosing your primary social media platforms is how active you can be. You can’t choose all the platforms and expect to do justice to them all. At the beginning, you’ll at least have to spend one hour per platform, if you want to create any significant traction. So, choose wisely.
What Will You Put In Your Social Media Biography?
Your social media biography will define how people view your business and your brand. Consider who reads it. It is read by those people who have come to your page the first time and want to learn more about you. Your social media biography or “about” is equivalent to their first impression about your brand.
To have an effect on your audience through your social media biography, you need to be able to capture their attention from the get-go. The way to do this is to use the right words in your bio. You can treat these words like keywords or words that will elicit an emotional response from your audience. However, you can’t just depend on keywords because audiences tend to get saturated with marketing keywords. Your keywords need to be functional and fresh.
To get the right emotional response, you’ll need to weave a story that revolves around what you have done and what you represent as opposed to who you are. Stories are well-known to be more effective in the marketing world than direct and hard sales pitches. The stories and keywords should also combine to answer the most important question of the audience – what is in it for me. While the keywords grab the audience’s attention, answering this question accurately will help in keeping that attention.
Finally, the biography needs to be natural. It can’t be so structured or sterilised that it looks like marketing copy because the audience of today is perpetually suffering from marketing fatigue. It is also worth remembering that the biography needs to be changed regularly. Putting it up once and never changing will see it becoming ineffective very soon.
What Will Be Your Social Media Persona?
Do you know that businesses also have personalities? In fact, businesses with the most distinct personalities tend to do better than the ones that are generic in nature. Consider big brands such as Apple, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Nike. All of these brands have unique personalities that permeate through their every marketing message. The problem, however, is finding your business’s personality.
Like everything mentioned previously, finding your business’s social media persona is also about asking the right questions. The trick is to see your business as a person. If it was a person, then what would be his traits? If it was a person then what kind of relationships will he form with individual clients or customers? You can even ask what kind of relationship your business will have with other businesses if it was a person.
What Will Be Your Social Media Posting Strategy?
Your social media marketing posting strategy can be defined fairly simply i.e. every aspect surrounding the posting of content. This means the frequency of your posts, the timing, the number of your posts, and most importantly the content in your post. There will be multiple elements that you will need to consider to devise your social media posting strategy.
First and foremost, you’ll need to see which industry you operate in and what your direct and most successful competitors are doing. Next, you’ll have to consider what the best times for posting is, in terms of which social media platform you’re targeting. Make no mistake; these vary from one platform to another. For example, people are more likely to tune into their Facebook feeds in the lunch hour than at the beginning or the end of their days. On the other hand, when it comes to LinkedIn, people tend to be active on the platform either the first hour or the last hour of their work schedule.
The number of posts you’ll need to put up to get traction will also vary. For instance, because Twitter posts are smaller and more concise than Facebook posts, you need to post three to five times more for the former than the latter.
Creating a social media marketing blueprint is like learning to ride a bike, to climb a mountain, to drive, to paint, to write, or anything else that you don’t know. It seems very daunting at first but the moment you get down to the nitty-gritties it stops being difficult. It may seem a challenge but all it will take from you is some research into the best practices and some honest introspection about what your business is and what you want it to be.