It isn't rocket science, but for a lot of small businesses, a simple step-by-step social media plan seems difficult to create.
Yet, developing one takes all the intimidation and guesswork out of using this popular tool for business marketing. If you've been holding off on using social media to market your services, then you'll be especially interested in today's article. Implement the following five steps and get ready to watch your business grow like never before.
Step One: Understand the Game
Social media is different from sales and other types of marketing. This isn't the place to do a hard sell, "just for you, just today" kind of selling tactic. Successful entrepreneurs have quickly learned how to marry marketing and socializing on these types of sites and if you want to be effective, you need to do the same. Social media begins and ends with... being social! Let people get to know the real you – let all the best aspects of your personality shine through. Make sure in each interaction that you are pleasant, informed and helpful. Know that you need to let a little bit of your "real life" shine through, but keep in mind, a little bit goes a long way.
Step Two: Complete a Full and Thorough Profile Page
Here is where you can add info about your business and your personal interests. Make sure for each profile you include contact information — at least in the form of a link to your website or blog — and a professional headshot (NOT one taken on your last family vacation with your spouse cropped out). Take advantage of linking to your profiles on other social networks. Fill out your profile information as completely as possible — this is one area where more is definitely more! Also, be sure to review ALL of the available features of the platform so you can expand your reach as far as possible.
Step Three: Connect!
Start adding friends and followers. Look for people you already know as well as people you want to get to know. Add colleagues and leaders in your industry and those who are likely looking for your solutions. Ask your friends to recommend you to their friends. Send out an email to those in your network, sharing the links to your profiles. Be sure to add your profile links to your email signature block, to your website and your blog. Remember, your goal is to build a QUALITY list of connections. You're not just going for numbers here, you want to steadily build strong credibility and high quality relationships.
Step Four: Start Posting!
Now the fun begins. Start publishing a few posts about joining the social media site. Let people know you are new and are looking to connect with them. Share insightful tips — and make them good ones — that will be genuinely useful to your readers. Tell your audience how to save time, save money or ease stress in a way that incorporates your expertise, without asking for their business. Now, rinse and repeat. Mix up your posts with useful information and fun trivia, inspirational quotes, personal information and links to your blog posts. The goal is to build a community of loyal followers and drive traffic to your own website. Your website should allow you to capture your connection's contact information so you can stay in touch, develop a relationship and make appropriate offers for your products and services.
Step Five: Work this into your daily routine
Spend a small amount of time on a regular basis — about 30 minutes a sitting — at least several times a week. Don't let yourself get sucked into wasting hours of time, but schedule time to build your presence, respond to new friend requests and participate in current discussions.
There you have it, a step-by-step social media plan to help you get started with social media marketing, attracting leads and generating a new source of revenue. Many so-called "gurus" will have you thinking that using social media to increase your income is far more complicated than this. I guarantee you that it is NOT. Be strategic, keep it simple and be consistent. In doing such you'll enjoy results you can take to the bank!