Feel like you’re tackling social media without a plan of attack? … s’ok, we meet [and regularly train, via our corporate training offering] 5-10 people deep marketing teams with 5-10 marketing professionals who are genuinely operating without a plan.
… and they’re professionals, who are also existing without a plan [p.s no judgement btw, it’s exactly why they lean into corporate training days with us]. I only share this because I feel that you knowing there are teams of 5-10 marketing professionals without [much of] a plan, so uh, go gently on yourself, yea?
I thought I’d swoop-awn-in from Melbourne’s 5th lockdown with a 9-step list of the things you’ll need to build your business utilising social media [keep in mind, social media is one angle].
Start with a plan
We’re all lured into social media being one of the easiest ways to launch our businesses because the platforms themselves? … free. But do you wanna know what’s not free? Your time, and launching onto social media without a plan for your business will see you dropping countless hours [with potentially zilch ROI: yikes] if you’re not there without a plan.
For this reason, we’re big fans of starting with a plan upfront that ensures all of your social media efforts support specific goals for your business. For example, topline insights into TDP’s social media plans are as follows;
Instagram for brand awareness [anything else is a bonus]
Facebook for sales conversions [because that’s where our social conversions mostly happen, both organically and via paid efforts]
LinkedIn for authority and credibility building, and very regular bonuses of lead generation.
Get the gist?
Decide what platforms are right for your business.
Because this is something we see a lot of you getting wrong, and it’s usually by way of – quite literally – being on every single social media platform [i.e spreading yourself too thin, and dare we say it: dangerously thin].
If you look above, you’ll see our x3 main efforts for TDP are across Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn [with a side order of TikTok for kicks and team morale, ha!].
Sure, we’d somewhat benefit from Clubhouse … and perhaps we’d even grow a significant profile for ourselves, but we decided [fairly early on] that this is a platform that our folx flock to for free info [and brilliant. We hope they get it, and we hope the information is empowering].
Unfortunately for us we’re low on time and resources, which means going “all in” on a platform that would undoubtedly grow a pretty incredible presence for us … but with a demographic of humans who’ll want our authority and IP via real-time conversation, and likely never go on to book anything paid: ever.
Not for us [not right now, anyway] … maybe when we’re bigger, and have more time [and resources], but not right now.
Now how empowering is that, folx? Looking at various platforms for your business and deciding “yes, this deserves my time, resources, and money” and “this one does not”.
10/10 recommend doing the same for your business.
Know your audience
When you start with a plan and decide what you’re going to do with that plan [i.e deciding on which social platforms you’ll be focusing on], it’s time to really unpack who you’re speaking to.
Controversial opinion? I’m a marketer who doesn’t give a flying you-know-what about avatars [disagree with me in the comment box, I welcome constructive conversations, ha!] … when I unpack who my audience is? I couldn’t care less if it’s Sally from Kew with 2.5 children and a dog, who drives a silver Mazda and likes her coffees with soy milk.
I just wanna know them. Really know them. So I’ll often land on making sure I know who I’m speaking to [or trying to speak to] … and then I download an Empathy Canvas Map from Google [it’s free. Our Prime Minister should try it some time. #ShotsFIRED], because to know an audience [or anyone, really] you need to be able to empathise with them.
Know your audience … and then empathise with them.
And then expand your audience
I’ll keep this one quick … I love expanding an online audience via the following ways;
High quality, well thought out [organic] content
Paired back with a strong paid advertising strategy
And an extra hit of social media influencer outreach for a little bit o’ “spice” [as they say on TikTok]
There are many ways to expand your audience, but the above x3 are my x3 favourite [and simple] ways that I’ve focused on in order to grow TDP’s online presences.
Build your relationships
The “takers” on these platforms all end up the same way: pretty forgettable, if I’m being honest.
Instead? Show up to the platforms you’re on with a “giving mindset”: give back, build out relationships not for what they’ll do for you … but because you genuinely care about online community, and watch what that does in terms of growing your business.
Pay attention to trends
Confession? I’m not a trend-based marketer, if I’m being really honest. I feel like it takes you down a dangerous path of following the next shiny thing … without focusing on what genuinely moved the needle on your business. That said, I’ll always watch the trends and incorporate the kinda trends that are in alignment with our plan, our goals, our values, and our bigger picture etc.
If they tick those boxes? They’re a trend I can definitely get around.
Automate as much as possible [so that you can have a life outside of your phone]
I learnt this when my daughter was really little [x18 months] and diagnosed with a delayed speech condition, which meant we had to use Auslan to communicate with her. Anyone who’s ever used sign language to communicate will know you need to be “on” in terms of eye contact etc. [if I wasn’t watching her, I wasn’t L-I-S-T-E-N-I-N-G to her].
Put simply? I was catapulted to a “phone down” experience as a working Mother with a digital marketing agency in a way that I never imagined for myself, and I’ve never really “picked up” the phone since [once you’ve gone “phone down” like that, you struggle to go back to being 24/7 attached to your phone].
For me, that’s meant automating as much as possible [without squashing what I love the most about social media, i.e humanisation at as many touchpoints as humanly possible].
So what do I automate? I auto-schedule all content [and no, you’re not penalised for this], I automate social media reporting [who’s got time to manually review all of the data when you can click x3 buttons on Sprout Social and have an entire month of social media activity analysed for you], I even automate the search for trending topics to weave into discussions for TDP’s content via an automation tool Buzzsumo.
Like, basically, if I can automate something without damaging our brand? … I’ll do it.
Focus on quality over quantity
As someone who specialises in content, I’m really big on moving away from tickbox marketing when it comes to content marketing … and I’d rather resign than find myself in the dreaded position of sharing content for content’s sake.
It’s a quality over quantity experience for me: forever and ever. Amen.
Analyse your performanceI’d be a pretty sh*tty Content Specialist if I didn’t analyse my efforts regularly [every day for the smaller stuff, and every month for the big stuff] … and then use those insights to help me to make data driven decisions for TDP.
I can 10/10 recommend taking time out monthly to do a big ol’ review of your social media marketing efforts via analytics programs [both free and paid], so that you can feel empowered to be making decisions for your online presences that genuinely move the needle on your business.
I love social media [love it], but I wouldn’t love it if I was dropping a countless amount of time [and effort … and resources] for zilch ROI.
The monthly in-depth review of our social media efforts proves [time and time again] that our efforts are seriously worthwhile.
Gotta love knowin’ that, right?
Keen to learn more about how to build your business utilising social media? We wish everyone would start with our one day strategy deep-dive first!
You can book in for our September and November dates here.