After all, how else can you reach thousands of customers, leads, and prospects all over the world without spending a penny on advertising?
The thing is, though, if you’re NEW to social media marketing, it can seem pretty intimidating. It might feel a little like you’re showing up to a party long after everyone else! If you’re feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, or downright confused about how to get started with social media marketing, we’ve got you covered. Just use this beginner’s guide to get started!
1. Does my business need social media marketing?
2. OK, so which sites are the best for social media marketing?
3. Are there any shortcuts for social media marketing? I’m short on time.
4. Is social media marketing really free?
5. Does social media marketing really work?
1.How do you get started with social media marketing?
2. How often do you need to actually be ON social media to make your marketing succeed?
3. How do I get more followers on social media?
4. What type of data should I be tracking?
5. Is social media marketing useful for an offline business? I have a brick-and-mortar store.
6. What’s the next big thing in social networking?
7. How do I make my stuff go viral?
Where to next?
Let’s put it this way: If your business has customers who use the Internet, then yes, you need social media marketing. Facebook alone has more than 1 BILLION active users. If ever there was a time when this was optional, that time is long, LONG gone.
And how do you know which social network is best for your business?
Some guys might tell you that the more networks you’re on, the better. In all honesty, though, there’s NO universal answer. It all depends on two things: which social networks your audiences uses, and which ones YOU will use. As you spend time on sites like Facebook and Twitter, you’ll see which ones mesh the best with you and your audience – and those are the ones that are worth your time over the long run. (If you don’t really feel comfortable on ANY social networks, we can help you build the confidence you need.)
Yes! Well, yes and no. You can use apps like Edgar to load up social media updates and schedule when you want them to post. Edgar is particularly awesome because he stores posts in a library and allows you to reuse them over again! That way, you know that your accounts are staying active without having to manually update them all the time. When you use a program like that, just make sure that you’re using the right terminology for each different network.
It’s as free as you make it! Virtually all social networks are free to use – you’ll never spend a penny setting up or using a Facebook account. Expenses like promoted posts and advertisements are always an option, but you don’t need those – especially if you have a good strategy.
The place most people get tripped up? If you don’t have the right direction, social media marketing can be a SERIOUS time suck. That’s why some companies actually hire people to handle their social media marketing. If you invest a little time in learning the ropes yourself, though, you’ll save a ton of time AND money down the line.
So, when do you spend money on Social Media?
While it isn’t necessary to spend a dime on marketing through social media, there are a few times that it may make sense to invest a little money:
1. You decide that you want to try some targeted campaigns through social media, meaning paid ads aimed at specific demographics.
2. You come to a point where your business is growing and you simply can’t juggle running your business and managing all of your social media channels effectively and consistently. In this case you might want to try Edgar, our helpful social media automation tool that will keep your social media feeds consistently filled with your great promotions, products, and content. You can also look into hiring a social media manager.
Who can you hire to do your social media marketing?
I understand – you hire people to do your taxes, plow your parking lot, and deliver those giant jugs for the water cooler in your lobby. But I strongly advise that when it comes to your social media marketing, you have someone on your own team conduct the day-to-day stuff.
Social media marketing is a tool for having conversations with your audience, and if someone is going to be interfacing with them on a daily basis, it should be someone who knows them AND your business very, very well. Instead of hiring a stranger, invest in a one-time training program that can get you or whoever handles your marketing up to speed – we created Social Brilliant specifically so that business owners can empower themselves and STOP relying on unpredictable outside help!
Look at it like this: 93 percent of all marketers use social media for business. Social media marketing budgets consistently increase every single year. And did we mention that using social media to market your business is FREE? So yeah, it works. And more and more people are catching on all the time – so you don’t want to sit around waiting much longer.
Easy – just DO it! Jump on in and give it a go. The great thing about social media is that it’s free and it doesn’t take long to get set up. So that is where you start, by setting up your accounts and including as much information as possible.
(And hey, if it doesn’t work out, you can always delete your accounts. It’ll be like it never even happened! Just give it some time before you do – it may feel unnatural at first, but you’ll get the hang of it.)
Social media moves quickly, but you have to be realistic about how much time you have. There are only so many hours in a day! While you had to update your social media accounts in real time back in the olden days of yore, now you can automate things so that it hardly takes any time at all – you just have to know the ins and outs of each different network before you start (You are in the right place for figuring that out!).
This is the question on pretty much everyone’s mind, no matter WHEN they got started with their social media marketing! If you want more followers, you have to have a plan for your social media. If you were gonna run a traditional ad campaign, you’d think of a really solid plan first – what you would write in your ads, how often they would run, who your ideal audience would be. You have to do the same thing with your social media, because if you just make it up as you go along, you’ll have a really hard time getting more followers.
That depends on your goals! If you’re just trying to funnel traffic to your website, you can use Google Analytics to track how much of your site traffic is coming from social media. If your ultimate goal is to build brand recognition, on the other hand, you may want to focus on more specific data, like where your social media followers come from, what times your posts get the most attention, and which types of posts get shared the most – tools like Facebook Insights can help you out in that department! Also take a look at the Unboring Guide to what your social media statistics actually mean.
You know, it really is. Social media is just a communication channel, like snail mail, TV, the radio, whatever. It’s a way for you to send your message to people. What makes it so great is that your customers are using it every day, and it’s completely FREE.
So even if you aren’t actually SELLING anything online, you can use the web to connect with your audience, which can guide them toward wherever you want them to go – be it signing up for a phone consultation or coming into your store.
How do you market a local business on social media?
It used to be that when people wanted to learn about a local business, they asked their friends and family. Now they search the web! Social media makes it easy for you to increase the “know, like, and trust” factor for your business, giving you a space for building highly visible relationships with customers and prospects, and for sharing information about your business. Sending out content that helps people get to know your business makes it easier to turn a curious visitor into a customer!
Great news! It doesn’t matter. When it comes to social media marketing, you don’t WANT to be ahead of the trends – you want to be ON them. It takes time for a social network to gain the type of user base that makes it worth your while. Early adoption of a network that fizzles out after six months can be a massive waste of time, so don’t worry about being ahead of the game – this is one time when you actually want to be as mainstream as possible!
Easy – you DON’T. “Going viral” sounds like a recipe for instant fame and fortune, but it isn’t – and it isn’t something you can engineer, either. When you try to create content solely for that purpose, you can damage your brand. The content you create should be designed with YOUR specific audience in mind, not as big an audience as possible. Stay focused on what your target audience is interested in, and you have a better chance of getting recognition from the people who matter most to your business.
Each of these links are the next steps in the Beginner’s Guide, they offer an in-depth explination to creating and implementing an effective social media strategy. Click on them to get started setting up your social media accounts and learning how to use them!
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