It’s my pleasure to introduce Lindsay Ferris Martin, Owner of Peck Avenue Social who is here to show us how finding success on Social Media is possible. Lindsay is a social media expert who helps clients with social media strategy, live event coverage, community management, coaching, public speaking and much more. Her focus is leveling the playing field for small businesses to to engage in social media strategically and consistently.
Don’t Let Social Media Scare You!
You really can’t get it wrong if you focus on just a few things.
Be consistent, think of your fans first and your message second. It’s really that simple.
Let’s Start With What Channels Are the Best Fit For You
My recommendation is to start with only the channels you feel most comfortable with.
And if you’re not really comfortable with any:
For B2B: FB, Twitter, Google Business & LinkedIn.
For B2C: FB, Google Business, Pinterest, Instagram
Once you figured out what channels are the best fit, then build them out.
- Profile & Cover photos should be the same across all channels and should clearly give fans and followers a clear idea of what you do (your products or services) with a quick glance.
- Build your audience organically and slowly. You might be tempted to start buying ads to grow your fans, but don’t! It more times than not, comes back to haunt you in the long run. Focus on inviting your current network (friends, family, past, current & future customers) to like your page.
- Add content that people actually want to follow. We live in a world where our customers control what they want to consume, when and how they want to consume it. Unlike traditional marketing we can’t always force our message onto people. Your fans will chose to follow you or not, read your post or not, share your post or not. So make sure you are offering the content they will want to read and share. Then blend your promotional posts into that valuable content.
- Share your posts beyond your page to grow your audience. Share it to Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups and Google Communities.
- Use #’s in your post (put these towards the bottom of the post). #’s are used for search purposes. It allows fans and followers to find and join conversations that are important to them. #’s should be made up of: descriptions of the post, #’s that brand your business & #’s that reflect the way the general public would search for what your post is about.
- Spell it out for your fans & followers: Ask your fans to invite their network to Like your page or follow you. Tell your fans to like or share a post. Tell your fans and followers where they can find more information and include it your post. Make it easy for them! Your fans should never have to back out of a post to connect with you.
Now that we got the basics covered on how to get started, here’s my favorite tool to maintain and keep going: Hootsuite! www.hootsuite.com . Hootsuite is a great tool to help you schedule out and organize your post across several social channels.
There is a FREE version of hootsuite that allows up to 3 channels to be added.
The channels it works with is: FB, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google & Instagram (all though I feel they don’t fully have a good handle on the Instagram connection just yet).
There is a paid version of hootsuite that allows you to add your Linkedin Groups & FB Groups that you have created (not joined). Thus you could add up to many many channels. If you’re doing B2B social media. The paid version is about $10. I would recommend upgrading so you can add some of your LinkedIn groups and post to those as well.
Hootsuite will give you a tutorial on how to best utilize the features and how to schedule out your posts. It’s actually quite easy to figure out on your own.
I recommend not adding FB to your hootsuite as Facebook has a schedule feature for each post that goes out. Posting directly through Facebook allows you to add tags and other features hootsuite won’t allow. So if you’re trying to get the best bang for your buck. You could do the Free version of Hootsuite and add: LinkedIn, Google & Twitter (and post and schedule directly through FB).
The key to scheduling out posts is to again, consider your fans and followers and what they do during the week, week nights and weekends. When are they mostly to view social posts.
If you’re targeting a female demographic of 28-50 yr olds, they are most likely on social channels during lunch time, in the evenings (shopping and making online decisions mostly on Wednesdays between 7-10pm) and later in the mornings on Saturday and again Sunday evening after 6:30pm.
-Why? Because these women are usually working women with families. They rush around in the morning, get to work, chat during lunches, rush home, pick up kids from school, make dinner, run kids to sports or activities. Thus leaving the most time to be truly engaged in social media after the 630pm time frame during the work week.
Steer Clear of Common Pitfalls
Now that you have an idea on how to get set up, how to keep going with your posts, and when to post, let’s consider what you should avoid.
I have 2 suggestions: Avoid not posting & avoid posting only promotional posts.
If you stop posting, people check out, they move on. On average it takes about 6 months of consistently posting on social media before people find you, engage with you and then start to refer you or do business with you (this can obviously change if you have a business that someone would consume, patron or buy something often within a 7 day period). So don’t give up. The longer and more consistently you post, the better. Plus, search engines, like Google, index each of your posts on each of your social channels, which is great if someone is searching for your products, services or business.
Avoid posting too much about yourself. Again, this isn’t a radio commercial, this is something your fans are choosing to consume and I promise they don’t want to consume your promotional vomit. Blend lifestyle content with promotional content. Offer them value in your posts. Always use a photo with your posts and blend photos with videos.
If you have any questions about social media for your business: I’m happy to be your resource. Happy posting!
Lindsay Ferris Martin: Owner of Peck Avenue Social