In this article, we’ll be discussing how to ensure your business starts off on the right foot in terms of social media marketing. In the early days of a startup, it can be tempting to focus almost entirely on product development — and while that is certainly important, running a business also requires some degree of marketing and PR. From building out a content calendar and crafting your first few posts to creating a social media strategy and measuring your results, there’s a lot to consider when getting started.
1. How to start a social media marketing strategy
It’s not enough to just have a social media profile if you want to start a social media marketing strategy. You need to have a plan, you need to have a strategy. What are you trying to achieve? What are the objectives of your social media marketing strategy? What are the goals? What are the tasks?
Take a look at the following three spreadsheets*.
*Sample below: Business development | Business strategy
Ranking objectives: To rank on Google.com, Yahoo! and MSN in Google (US), Yahoo! and MSN in the US, and Baidu in China.
Target keywords: To link to the business’s online presence.
Ranking position: To rank for keywords in each of the business’s target countries with a probability that they will be linked to based on rankings.
Internal link velocity: To develop links per month and build links on a trial basis.
Direct link velocity: How many web pages use one external link to the business’s website. This will help to build “short-term” links with a higher probability.
Outbound link velocity: How many external web pages use one link with a linking domain to target market. This will help build “long-term” links with a higher probability.
External link acquisition cost: To acquire links.
Link velocity: How often the business acquires links.
Inbound link acquisition cost: To acquire links.
Conversion objectives: To convert prospects into customers within one year.
Target keywords: To convert prospects into cash-buyers within one year.
Ranking position: To rank for all keywords used by prospect specifically to sell online to specific prospect.
Internal link velocity: To influence the top organic links, prioritize niche-relevant, high-authority, authoritative linking domains.
Direct link velocity: How often the high-quality links are acquired.
Outbound link velocity: To influence the top outbound links, prioritize niche-relevant, high-quality, authoritative linking domains.
External link velocity: To influence the top external links, prioritize niche-relevant, high-quality, authoritative linking domains.
Direct link to conversion button: To encourage users to convert directly from web pages with high-rents and high-revenue.
2. Choose the right social networks for your business
There are a lot of social networks out there but not all of them are right for your business. If you’re a small business, you probably don’t need to be on every single network, but you do need to be on at least one. Your choice of social networks depends on your target audience and business.If your niche isn’t huge, don’t worry about having the most popular or the most marketing reach. MORE often than not, users of a given platform will spend more time on a given platform than another. The world is ruled by the Internet duopoly — but there are also lots of great options that cater to other businesses. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to identify which platforms fit your niche best.
Before jumping into the social media platforms you want to use, it’s good to look at what kinds of businesses are trying to thrive on social media. Social media by nature is inherently niche-specific, so niche businesses are naturally going to have a hard time competing in a market dominated by giants. However, there are other great reasons to consider social media for your business besides followers and engagement — brand building, brand awareness, and engagement are fundamentally aligned with your overall goal of building brand loyalty and trust. When building out your social media strategy, keep this in mind.
Before you choose a social media platform, you should know a bit about your competitor’s offerings. You don’t want to be relying on one social media platform to serve your business — especially a play like Instagram that is dominated by one platform owner. This type of platform has been high-risk financially except for TikTok, and now Instagram is valuing them at $19 billion, way out of proportion to the approx. 800 million active monthly users. Another major risk is giving your customers a bad impression of your brand if you’re missing out on dominating the platform — the platform owner might take all of the praise and glory, leaving you with a large chunk of users but a much smaller brand.
3. Build your content calendar
It’s the most important thing when it comes to building an audience. Why? Because if you can help people know when to expect new content from you, then they’ll start to build it into their routine and expect new content from you on certain days or at certain times.There are a variety of ways you can do this, but the best way to start off your social media efforts is to figure out your “social stage of business”. This is a term I coined back in 2017 from the concept that a great startup is built on the foundation of a great user experience, and while your product is arguably the most important thing to build, your social media marketing is just as important.
Do your researchIf you want to learn the foundations of developing a great social media strategy and measuring its efficacy, I highly recommend reading The Starting Points for Social Media by Adam Audette. This book details five social media stages, and as you read, you’ll come across many real life examples of typical businesses that have started off in one stage before moving to the next. These instances will also showcase how companies have now transitioned to platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram in order to target the “next stage.”
Understand that content and social media aren’t just a something for loftier goals. If you want to have a successful social media marketing campaign, your content needs to be more relevant to what your primary audience is looking for. According to a Content Marketing Institute (CMI) 2017 count, the average person checks Twitter and Facebook a few times a day. If you want to compete for that attention, you need to be able to deliver the content your audience is looking for.
Read ahead to ensure you’ve got a detailed understanding of the first four stages of a social media marketing campaign.
National vs. local vs.
4. Craft your first few posts
Once you’ve got your blog up and running, you’ll need to start writing your first few posts. It’s important to get your first few posts right, and to write and edit and re-edit until you’re happy with the result.And “first few posts” can be a huge a la carte bill that includes the following:
Brand “Name” + Keyword + Initial Post Idea
Keyword Research Should Be Decisive (i.e., determine and target your brand goals)
In the early stages of your startup, all of that building your foundation will take place online. As you get into the “main event” — which is really just a few months of blogging and social media efforts aimed at building something really impressive — you’ll want to focus on these items to help you ensure you’re not kicking yourself for not having written a great blog post at the end of the summer.
In this article, I’ll explain six ways you can ensure your blog stays on-topic so that it achieves its maximum potential:. Build a Content Calendar
Be inspired and set up a calendar of upcoming posts from your business. Add dates, deadlines, and mark posts as read or unread. If you know you’re going to be traveling a lot and / or out of town for a particular week, schedule a post on each location/theme you’ll be visiting.
Monthly columns are also a great way to keep readers motivated and focused. A column of recent posts can serve as a reminder of times to be active on your blog and also to see what posts have been most popular so far.
To get started, follow Wistia on social media, which will allow you to see recently shared posts. You’ll also want to check out Memeorandum, which will allow you to see any shared posts within the last 72 hours.
If appropriate, you may also want to create social media bulletins for new posts, providing useful links for those new posts.
5. Create a social media strategy and measurement plan
Create a social media strategy and measurement plan. Social media is a great way to interact with your customers and boost sales, but there are so many social media platforms that it can be hard to know where to start.Here are a few solutions that will get you started.
First, make sure you have a clear idea of the types of social channels you want to invest in at this stage. If you’re launching a new product/service, it may be in your best interest to focus on a few key platforms. For another example, a social media manager at a large company will likely choose to build out their presence on a few different social networks. Different people at different levels and workspaces may wish to have different niches focused on different platforms.
Whatever the strategy, it is important to figure out whether the resources you have available make achieving success with a social media strategy possible or not. If you don’t know, reach out to your team and get to know who will actually be handling Twitter and Facebook, etc., so that you can prospect out resources and schedule them when you need them.
When discussing how to ensure success with social media, keep in mind some people will optimize for conversions, while others may prefer to be engaged with and remember the brand. If you choose a strategy that focuses primarily on conversion optimization, it’s important to consider the long-term consequences of neglecting such efforts, as some of your potential customers may eventually become repeat customers. It is also imperative to consider how passive social media platforms like Facebook Live, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest may impact your company’s brand perception and ability to build shareholder value.
Create a content calendar.