So. Here you are. You’ve decided to look into what all the hype is about regarding social media marketing and why it’s important for your business.
Truthfully, we’ve been waiting on you. We were hoping we’d get the opportunity to actually help someone with little to no social media or marketing experience come to terms with what it’s all about.
There are thousands of articles online about social media marketing. This one is different. In this post we dive into all the important details. We’ll explain why marketing is important, starting with the basics. Then we’ll explain the benefits of a successful, and well-rounded, marketing plan. Lastly, we’ll give you several tips on how you can become your own marketer. But, should you get through this post and decide you would like to hire an expert for your marketing needs, we’ll be here to help.
In order to cover this subject thoroughly, we decided to do it in three parts. This page features Part 1, THE BASICS. If you have already read through it, please use the links below to skip to Parts 2 and 3.
PART 1. THE BASICS
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?
Some business owners start a business simply because they want to be their own boss, taking their years of experience in the workforce and turning it into a successful business model. Having spent years around office politics, those owners may be completely happy earning a humble living and not dealing with the pressures of building a brand, marketing, investing, etc. Truth be told, that’s admirable. Marketing and the digital age isn’t for everyone.
It’s important to know what your business goals are. You being here, reading this post, is probably a sign that you are looking for a way to take your business to new heights. Maybe you’re not sure how to do that. You’ve heard the hype about Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Content Marketing, etc., but maybe you’re really not sure what it all means for you. If you’ve already figured out what your goals are, perhaps the next question to ask yourself is, “Are you willing to succeed?”
The methods we propose to you throughout this post are tried and true. They work. Period. But they take time. A successful marketing campaign takes a lot of work, time and money (depending on what your goals are) and requires a commitment from you. If you’re willing and able to go the distance, the reward will most certainly be worth it.
BREAKING THE MYTHS
Just because you may not currently understand today’s marketing methods doesn’t mean they’re bad for your business or that you should run away from them.
Take the term Hashtag for example. When Twitter first launched back in 2006, no one had ever heard of a Hashtag. But once the world figured out what they were and how well they worked for sorting Twitter posts, people started using them for everything. They quickly became a marketer’s dream. Check out this article.
Hashtags became a very convenient way for marketers to post content where a target audience could see it. Before long, the technique was mastered and Twitter became the second-most influential social platform to help businesses with search rankings and consumer targeting, Facebook being the first.
The global economy is ever-changing. Marketing methods that worked years ago may not work as well today. It’s important not only to notice how methods have changed but also to note the masses who have adapted to those new ways and means.
In a written article for Forbes, Steve Cooper says this:
As ridiculous as hashtags might seem to marketing veterans who remember a time before Twitter and Facebook, the younger generation and potential customers/clients don’t. To them, using hashtags is as natural and common as typing their query into the search box.
I have heard so many small business owners tell me the “myth” that social media, content and internet marketing are huge wastes of time. Then when I show them simple analytics and prove to them how effective a strong marketing campaign is, they instantly get on board. The problem is many business owners have social media but have no idea how to make it work for their business. We’ll get into that later.
WHAT CAN YOU INVEST?
As you know, most Social Media platforms are free to use, even as a business page. But don’t expect them to help you much in the way of marketing your business unless you’re prepared to spend money. If you provide a product or service that isn’t unique, you are going to have some social marketing competition. That makes marketing even harder because your advertisements may not get as much exposure as the business who spends more money in the same targeted demographic. If you want your business to outdo your competitors, especially the local ones, you need to prepare for the fact that you are going to have to spend some money. Researching your competition ahead of time, staying patient through your marketing process and making adjustments to your campaign as they become necessary will help determine just how much money you need to spend.
Here’s a little secret; you can cut back on some of your marketing spend if you trade off with sweat equity, a professional website that contains quality content and a social posting platform such as Manage Flitter.
The amount of time you put into your marketing campaign is vital. Whether or not you use a paid campaign or a free campaign, whatever you do, don’t stop it after a month or so. You have to put the time in. You have to be patient with it. A good marketing strategy will yield the results you want but not over night. Social outlets such as Facebook and Twitter require you to spend a good deal of time using them in order to be effective. Here’s a very resourceful website for Social Media Best Practices.