The 5 Step plan to master your social media is written with you in mind. You the person, you the business owner…not you the tech wizard, or you the social analytics geek, or you the lover of social media and purveyor of awesome content!
Let’s face it, how many of us got into business just so we could be become good at social media…? That’s right, none of us!
And how many social media experts are there out there….well by name (and I haven’t to add, self-named) loads of them, I would go as far as to say a plethora! But really, expert?
To things that make me refute the term expert when it comes to social media are:
- Social media as a communication channel, let alone a marketing powerhouse is still in its infancy
- It has changed so much already since its birth with whopping updates, algorithm changes and buyouts between platforms
In truth, there are no experts. There are merely enthusiasts. People who are one or two pages or maybe even 1 or 2 chapters ahead of you. And that’s where we place ourselves. First and foremost, we are business owners, who have developed business for ourselves and others for years, embracing technology, the web, print, digital print and everything before and yet to come, why, because the clue is in the word ‘enthusiasts’.
Even the word enthuse should get us going, it creates and potentially manifests change as it opens up the possibilities and that changes our thinking, our beliefs. So, be the enthusiast, enabling yourself embrace this stuff to learn and make better informed decisions about your marketing, your social, your strategy and your outsourcing when you are ready.
How do we do ‘social media’ across all platforms, posting on the good times and the good days dependent on the platform and still manage everything else in our businesses? Surely, it’s not possible, right?
It is…with a good plan! A strategy.
Let’s get into it…the five steps to master your social media and please understand, these steps are almost more offline as they are online.
Step 1: Start with the end in mind
Sounds really obvious to some, but not all. However, let’s be clear on what we mean, let’s break this down a bit more so you can be too. We tend to find this is the biggest frustration and reason for efforts on social to feel like hard work and pointless or that massive void that will never get filled.
Likes, comments, shares, saves, awareness, leads, outputs, customers…what are the metrics that you want to measure to be able to measure the success of any activity that you do? (For reference, this should be for any marketing activity on or offline)
We believe your social media goals, should be aligned with your business goals! Yeh but that all sounds a bit ‘buzzwordy’ and ‘marketing bullshit’. Allow us to explain some more…
If for example these were your business goals:
- Increase Brand Awareness
- Build a social community
- Drive direct traffic to my website
- Generate leads
- Increase Sales
Then alignment could look something like this:
- Business Goal: Grow the brand
- Social Media Goal: Awareness (highlighting the here and now of your audience and potential)
- Metric or Measure: Followers & shares (what activity are you doing that others are sharing and following you because of
Another example could be:
- Business Goal: Build a social community (turning customers into raving fans)
- Social Media Goal: Engagement (shows you how they are interacting, increases etc)
- Metric or Measure: Likes, comments and mentions (@instahandle etc)
- Busines Goal: Increase Sales
- Social Media Goal: Conversions (measuring the effectiveness of the engagement you are getting)
- Metric or Measure: website clicks, newsletter signups
Step 2: What to do before you start?
We get this question a lot, ‘What social media platform should I be on for my business?’
The short answer is ‘all of them’ but that tends to freak people out. Most social gurus (yuk term) will tell you to not be on them all and focus on 1 or 2, and that is normally because they only do that themselves and couldn’t fathom the time of effort it takes to do more…that’s where truly awesome and purposeful automation comes in (shameless plug for Caterham obvs!)
The more detailed answer is…be where your audience hang out! Now that takes research and understanding of your target audience, so to make it even simpler…it doesn’t matter whether you like the platform or not (Facebook, Twitter etc) what matters is that you have a presence there.
To help you understand the different platforms, as in, how they are used…this may help as a starting point.
Facebook – the original and main player in terms of social platforms. Facebook sends out more traffic than any other platform since it is geared toward news and entertainment, we suggest a good blend of light and fun, together with video, education snippets and entertainment soundbites.
Twitter – is definitely more soundbite and news led. Snippets of news with links to go to – make sure your assets (where you send them, is of value to them). Great for trending hashtags and topics. The birthplace of search within a social app for sure. The conversation element of Twitter is 100% responsible for the resurgence in Twitter, the ability to engage and respond and have ‘thread conversations’ with the original curators of the content is priceless. Think about it, as a marketing tool to get to speak to the actual decision maker, Twitter enables you to do that! Boom! Caution: this opens you up to trolls and keyboard warriors – if you want to learn how to master these…follow the musician James Blunt! Twitter legend!
LinkedIn – the professional platform, apparently! If professional means old, grey men in double-breasted suits with outdated ideals…this was the place to go, but, it has massively moved with the times and has ‘Facebookified’ itself over the last couple of years. This is seriously a place for business and remember it’s social, so you can really stand-out well as professional doesn’t have to be grey and boring! Industry articles and to the point posts work well here. Engage with others – huge currency within LinkedIn.
Instagram – Geez Louise, where to begin with this one! The guy who headed up Facebook timelines got the job of taking Instagram somewhere big and boy has he done that! 10 years old in 2020 and a number of those years were low key and in development and then it just rocketed! Stories are massive here – short social video and image snippets to nurture and engage your audience with you, your brand and behind the scenes. It is like a window into the brands, behind the brands! Very image-led and allowing graphics, emojis, mentions and stickers to add vibrancy and personality to your social presence. Uncomplicated platform so high conversation through to your assets (website and links).
Pinterest – also great for visual and image content, but here is something to understand about Pinterest. It is now the 3rd biggest search engine (behind Google(1) and Youtube (2)) It still has a very high female percentage user base, but understand that people are creating boards and pins (think notice board and post it notes but online) for new building projects, interior design, garden landscaping, holiday plans, restaurant trips the list goes on and on…and when they have found the brands on Pinterest, they are clicking through to buy as the platform is simple and uncomplicated in terms of what you can do on it so it, like Instagram, converts very well to your assets (website or other links you wish them to go to).
YouTube – already mentioned as the second largest search engine, behind google. It is actually owned by Google also. Now as a part of the Google Business Suite (which by the way is epicly awesome – go check it out! The editing and studio suite built into YouTube is incredible. Video effects, subtitles, placeholder images, keywords, audio and music libraries…a seriously powerful editing tool for getting your YouTube presence off the ground. Think like this…does anything you offer or sell need guidance, support and help in how to use, how to get the best out of it…would a video instruction guide help? Are you service based and could you share top tips and multiple ‘how to’ videos which go brilliantly on search function within both Google and YouTube as it is what us human beings type into Google!
We can give you far more in-depth views and understandings on our free educational webinars and for more information for an in-depth conversation about your social – get in touch!
Step 3: How to drive engagement?
Firstly, you need to know…who are they? How old are they? Sex? Interests? Viewpoints etc. All of the platforms will give you a great insight into who your followers are and their ‘demographics’ so when you move into paid advertising through social platforms you can target your marketing much smarter. But to start with, it can be really useful to read up on articles from platforms such as https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ click ‘articles’ on their site and FREE awesome education right there! Another site we like for useful content is https://sproutsocial.com/ take a look at their resources section….epic!
Then think about the tools you have for engagement…combining those with human behaviour and you’re on the right path. For example, all social platforms give you some way to ‘Like’, ‘Comment’ & ‘Share’ with the curators’ content. So if you want your followers to engage, the tools enable them to, which is 50% of the game won…the other 50% (which can at times feel like 90%) is how to get them using the tools to engage….do you want to know the best way?
Yes, it is that simple and no if that’s all you do, it won’t work for long. Everything in life is a balance, right? So, in your social, ask for likes, ask for comments and get creative in how you can. The number one algorithm for all social platforms is engagement. Organic growth is all about that. Think a bit like this…
‘I put awesome content onto Facebook’ + ‘People Like, comment or share’ = ‘Facebook love me’ and let more people see it!
Human behaviour is a complicated field but if you simply consider this as you post:
- Think of your audience first (who are they, what do they like, where do they hang out)
- Test what they respond to (funnies, top tips, how to’s, did you know etc)
- Create themes of content (consistency and regularity amongst the variety (organised chaos)
- Caution: Master your organic before paying for ads in our view…paying for ads will get you there quicker, but you need deeper pockets. Get your organic pumping and when you convert to ads, you reach far more, for loads less! Who doesn’t want more for less?
Step 4: How to improve what you already have?
This is a continuation of Step 3 in the sense that we take both elements deeper – the insights and the human behaviour.
As mentioned all the tools will give you insights, analytics and a window into your followers’ activity, but you HAVE to diarise time to look at them, headspace to learn them and planning time to do something with what the data is telling you.
Instagram will let you know for example, not just who they are and age, sex etc, but unlike other platforms it tells you when your users (followers) are actually on the platform and therefore likely to see your content…this can then influence what times you post to the platform, giving your audience the best opportunity to see your stuff (optimum timings). Some clever shizzle right there!
So, our steer for this, is to create a crib sheet for capturing the analytics from the platforms into one place, a simple spreadsheet will do, in fact we have one as a template you can request for FREE – how about that for going an extra mile!
(DM us for your copy)
This enables you to login to the different platforms, go to the analytics or insights section and manually download the data (copy and paste or type freely the info you see – I know how quaint right, surely there is an app for this! There probably is, but trust me, the art of doing this manually is the bit that matters as it gets you to learn it and ensure your finger is on the pulse!) and compile that data to be able to view and cross analyse with other platforms insights and of course your own website Google Analytics and lead source CRM software to know where your business is coming from (note: if this is sounding Swahili, then you defo need to get in touch – DM US!)
Having sight of the information, enables you to study the data and make decisions based on actual real-life data rather than wet your finger and stick it in the air, which as business strategies go, isn’t the brightest!
In short what it enables you to do is “Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t!” Simple!
In terms of human behaviour – we could write a novel on this stuff – so keeping it simple, check out Koka Sexton – the king of social selling – his website will give you massive insights into social selling – in case you have never heard the term or to avoid confusion, social selling does not mean selling on social platforms. Social selling is the art and science behind how and why we have always done more business or built longer standing relationships faster with someone that we have connections with – and we have known this for centuries intuitively, the science behind it started to be studied in the last century and evolved pretty quickly. But think of it like this, if you and I both like the same band, or the same football team or the same brand of washing powder, we already have something in common, some social understanding of each other based on similar choices. Koka can take it from here: http://socialsellingmasters.com/
Step 5: How to get it pumping
Buyers are influenced by social media, whether they accept that or not…our brains are absorbing feeds from social that we invite into our lives, our living rooms, our minds every day and night!
How you use social media to influence is key. People only make changes in their lives for two intrinsic value reasons…either they are:
- Pain people – those who would remain where they are and who they are with (supplier/product etc) until it becomes so painful that they simply cannot take it any longer!
- Pleasure people – the kind of people who skip towards having more pleasurable experiences in life. They change and often as they are seeking the next best thing, the better version, they get the latest mobile phone as soon as it comes out knowing full well that not all the bugs have been ironed out yet…they just love it!
So how is your content talking to these two kinds of people…how can you use terminology and phraseology to engage and seduce your audience with your brilliant content…well firstly here is my number one mantra for social…
“Stop interrupting me enjoying the content I am enjoying, and start being the content that I am enjoying”
But this sounds like a full-time job in itself, so how can I do that without it becoming a full-time job I hear you ask…OK, here are four simple steps! But, the blog is long enough, so if you want to know more about this particular section, just book a call and we will walk you through this bit without an invoice – how fair does that sound? Boom!
Basically, there are 4 steps to automation in terms of your social media being on point, on brand, on message, talking with your audience not to, engaging, converting and evergreen. And they are:
- Categories and themes – nail your categories for your content, and understand the sub themes that make up this detailed roadmap of content
- Stocking Content – no, not the content of ones’ stocking! But stocking content, start to see the world and catalogue it, quotes, images, inspirational moments knowing that you don’t have to post it right now!
- Schedules – there is a hidden formula to automated schedules to ensure they will always work and even the platforms who encourage you to upload these schedules have failed to see it! How do we know? Because we spent thousands of pounds and wasted oodles of man hours to figure it out!
- Automation – when you have nailed 1-3, then and only then are you ready for number 4 – but by then, OM to the G (as Charlie says) will you be ready! Standby for lift off, let Elon know you have arrived, because your social is about to go interstellar!
And that is where the Caterham comes in! Simple!
Talk soon… Opportunity is whizzing past you, while you wait to decide! Don’t be ‘that’ Rhino!