When it comes to social media marketing, there is a common misconception that strategic social media marketing can only really benefit the big enterprise organizations. Fair enough the big brands have the resources to pursue new ideas and the people but small businesses have an incredible advantage over the big businesses – that’s the ability to quickly adapt to changes.
Strategic social media marketing is a fairly new concept, and for a lot of people it’s not easy to step outside of their comfort zone just yet to take advantage of it because they are too focused doing their job in a certain way.
Strategic social media marketing works for the big businesses because:
- The big brands have millions of fans and followers
- They are capable of generating a greater response on the social networks
- The have the resources to invest in infographics, videos and quality posts
What do the small businesses have?
Truthfully, the small businesses have none of the above. But they have an advantage over the big brands and that’s the ability to answer the question “WHY”.
You see, these days social media marketing is largely centered around technology and little if any real thought is given to actually providing valuable content and information for fans and followers on the social networks.
Think about it.
– Why are you on Facebook, Twitter or Google+?
– Why will people connect with you on the social networks? What value are you providing?
– Why will social media marketing impact your brand?
– Why will online engagement benefit your business in any way?
Many businesses on the social media networks are not meeting their customer expectations. For you it’s a window of opportunity to overtake even the most seasoned and advanced players in social media. To help you get started with improving your reach and impact on the social networks, below is a 4-step gateway to strategic social media marketing. Work through this course of actin and you will develop a relevant social media presence that will allow you to target the expectations of your customers.
How to get started with strategic social media marketing
1. Strategic social media marketing starts with research
That’s right! Like everything else when it comes to marketing a brand over the web, the place to begin with is research. For successful strategic social media marketing, take some time to properly research the popular social networks – in particular Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Fair enough, there are other popular sites including Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube, but right now there is no arguing about which sites top the list when it comes to the popularity of social sites out there today.
– Prioritize the social networks you want to be on. It is not possible for you to be everywhere at once, at least not successfully anyway.
– Search the social sites for information such as relevant keywords, trends and the influential people that matter to your business.
– Observe and use to your advantage patterns of behavior and themes that are already working for other people.
– Pay particular attention to what your competitors are not doing right on the social sites.
2. Work on your online persona
So now that you are acquainted with the social sites and how they work, define what you want people to perceive you as on the social networks. The best thing to do here is to know exactly what unique service or expertise you are offering and building your online persona around the value you are adding to your niche market in focus.
– Clearly illustrate why you are different from your competitors
– Design your online persona and nurture it
– Define in advance what you want people to see or do when they find you on the social networks
– Do not oversell your own brand
3. Define your social media goals in advance
Often businesses are so focused on just being on the social networks and using all the fancy technology out there that they lose focus on the things that are really important like the reason why they are on the social sites to begin with.
– Define in advance what social media success should mean for your brand
– Describe your social media goals
– Invest some time in an editorial program. This will help you stay on tract.
– Leverage your professional as well as your personal interests to find a balance between professional online activity and a more personalized presence.
4. Invest in building an influence in your online community
To increase the impact and reach of your brand on the social networks, share your professional expertise and insights in the communities that matter the most to your business.
– Build a rapport with the big players of your niche. This will help you increase the impact of your brand.
– Participate in conversations. Ask and answer questions across vibrant communities and maintain a timely presence
– Generate a linked network for online resources by linking to the pages or recommending other people who can potentially provide value to your customers.
Understanding your customers and successfully communicating with them is the hardest part of the process of strategic social media marketing and the tips above can help you to better engage your audience. If you have any more tips, do comment below and share with others too!