How to, Marketing

Social Media Marketing Strategy - Get Started With The Basics

BY Carl Thompson 6 May, "13

As a business owner concentrating on growing your business, finding time to promote your brand through your social media channels can be a challenge. Social media for business is not easy, but it is very straight forward when you have a good strategy in pace.

An important part of selling on social media revolves around understanding and engaging with your audience, so today we’re going to run through some basics to get you started on social media.

Far too often I come across companies with amazing products but no idea how to promote themselves. And lot of what I do see from these businesses is poorly executed with very little value or call for engagement.

Value - Add value to your social media promotions

The first thing you must understand about social media promotion is that it’s about giving your audience some sort of value.

What can you give them that makes them go “wow”? You need to provide them with something they didn’t know, something they haven’t seen before and ideally, something that only you can deliver.

The brand Black Milk from Australia sells printed leggings through their online store and do an amazing job at promoting their brand through social media. I follow them on Facebook and in the year since I clicked ‘Like’, I have come to look forward to everything that they post. They post fun photos of girls wearing their leggings... Ok, it’s not as dodgy as it sounds! But yes they promote their brand and products through awesome fashion forward photos that are unique and interesting.

Basically, focus on lifestyle shots that their audience can relate to and be inspired by.product-lifestyle-shot-social-media.jpg

Engage with your audience - Social media is a two-way street

Use your social channels to communicate, engage and converse with your audience. No one goes on Facebook to look at the ads so don’t just push out spam. Ask questions, request feedback and entice your audience to reply. The better the engagement, the bigger the reach.

High end Auckland retail outlet The Department Store is a perfect example of how to casually chat with customers, so that people feel like they’re talking to a person, rather than a business. The Department Store uses Instagram and Facebook to speak to their customers in real time, with a conversational approach to their updates. Staff members are incorporated into photos, current trends and topics are included in status updates and customer queries are responded to in a personable tone. Fans of the page feel like they’re engaging with an identity, not an organization.

Brand positioning - Promote your brand values

Just like with your other marketing efforts, use social media to establish and cement your brand’s position in the market. Your customers buy into your brand more than your products and your brand is created from your core values and brand story. The story about why your brand exists is important because it’s what makes your brand unique. Like any good story, don’t let it go to waste - tell it to everyone! Use your social media channels to tell your story and cement the perception customers have about your brand.

A perfect example of a brand that understands this concept is Air New Zealand. Although not overtly, Air New Zealand always communicates with their audience in a way that is consistent with the core values of their brand. With every status, tweet and post, they are subtly reinforcing the kind of brand they are and their story. When you scroll through their social media channels, you notice that the subject choices, promotions, tone of voice and customer interaction is very innovative, fresh, bold, creative and cutting-edge... buzzwords core to the airline as a whole.aeroplane-93499_1920.jpg

I leave you with some key points to consider when strategizing and creating your new social media strategy. So go forth and post, tweet and share unique exciting content.

Social media optimization checklist

  • Content quality over quantity - add value over noise

  • Engage with your audience and demand two way communication

  • Cast a wide net (repost on your other social media channels)

  • Be original

  • Have a strategy and plan for posting

  • Develop your own voice

  • Get your timing right

  • Assess and reassess - constantly monitor what’s working, what isn’t and make changes. Use software like Hootsuit, Google Analytics and Facebook Insights.

  • Follow industry contacts and clients

  • Keyword research (SEO)

  • Beware of the costs. Biggest being time. Social media marketing requires long-term commitment.

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See also:

How to convert community members to customers

Instagram Advertising is the next big thing

Instagram and Indonesia: How social media selling is disrupting eCommerce

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