Do you want to learn how to market your business to people via social media?
The good thing about social media is that a lot of business owners realize the importance of their business being there; so they create a social media profile. The bad thing about it is that they don’t know why they are doing it.
This is why you can’t get great ROI (Return On Investment) – because you don’t know what it is you are doing there.
This week during the Super Savvy Business Show at the Sydney Business Month I invited social media expert Lee Ussher (otherwise known as the Social Media Babe) to explain a bit what this social media thing is all about.
How do you improve your profit without turning your social spaces into promotional spaces?
Lee has noticed something very interesting at the very beginning of our interview, and that is:
*Communication tools = tablets, iPods, smartphones, iPads…
** Promotional tools = apps
This is why Facebook is moving from using apps for business to a more timeline- and profile- focused marketing for businesses. This is why we are now able to promote our businesses and our offers through our profiles and not through apps. The main reason for this freedom is that apps do not display on tablets and phones.
Lead Generation and where it should start
Social media marketing should be looked at as a funnel which helps you to collect leads and turn those leads into sales. So this is your goal, your objective when using social media as a marketing tool.
Tip: On social media you don’t want to talk about features, talk about BENEFITS.
So how do you market your business to an audience which is on social media? Lee and I have put together a list of top 4 most important things to take into consideration when creating your social media strategy.
We’ve decided that the first most important thing is having a goal. Without a goal you’d be like Don Quijote fighting the windmills.
Then, there is the WHAT, the HOW, and the THEME:
This is what Lee wittily calls “The Offer”… because it is nothing more, nothing less than an offer. She insists that every website, every business owner should come up with a hook for their visitors: giving them something really valuable for free in exchange for the visitors’ name and email address.
Here’s how Lee suggests your website should be organised:
You may be wondering now, “This is all accurate and all, but how do I get people to my website in the first place?”
As Lee and I talked about it today, what you need is a funnel – and this funnel, when talking about social media, is represented by the social media platforms:
There are three tools that are relevant for this section, and they are going to suit a large number of business owners. However, perhaps those who are the most interested in using them are startups and small businesses – we just don’t have enough money to spend on expensive services – because these tools are free or low-cost.
It is free as long as you have under 2,000 subscribers, and you can send as many emails as you want during one month. You can build your database, but this is not al…
Tip: MailChimp is allows you to include your optin form (hook, offer) on your Page as a Facebook app – now isn’t that amazing?
Not only can you now collect leads from your website through your optin form, but you can also attract people into your database via Facebook.
You will need a marketing budget to run ads, but the bright side is that you can set a limit for your ads – let’s say $50 (which is what you would pay for one week’s coffee anyway) – and your costs won’t go beyond that.
You can advertise on Facebook and LinkedIn, but my opinion is that Facebook Ads are the most popular at the moment. What is more, on Facebook you can create what is known as the “Like Ad”.
So what you do with the Like Ad is you write a regular post promoting your offer and then you Pin it to the top of your timeline.
You can also “Boost” your post, but in the long run it turns out to be extremely costly, especially if you’re a startup and can’t afford to spend money on Facebook advertising. The Like Ad is free for you to use and it works wonders – the only trick is to change your Pin every once in awhile because people become bored easily…
Tip: Think about these ads like this:
The Like Ad helps you build brand awareness and it also helps you build your database
The Boost Post feature encourages you to promote your products or offers
This is a great scheduling tool mainly because it is also free of charge. Of course the team at HootSuite also offer paid memberships, but the free version will be more than enough to any small business owner who is looking for time-saving, money-wise tools.
Tip: Lee shares a secret tip about how to use this scheduling tool effectively (watch the video to discover what this is).
Bonus Tip: Don’t use HootSuite to schedule your Facebook posts; instead, use Facebook scheduling (it is only available on Business Pages).
“Theme it!”, says Lee. “What do you want to drive sales on? What is it this month that is coming up that’s important?”, she asks.
Suggesting that your VIPs of the month could be an event, a workshop or other hot topics in the media that you can use to write your articles on, Lee suggests you should NEVER create your social media schedule without theming it.
Tip: Get your social media strategy ready at least 1 week (even 1 month) in advance.
At this point during the interview Lee stops and shares her email marketing golden nugget.
“What is really scary is… people focus on the numbers. And unfortunately, those numbers are not your database. People just assume they are and they assume that ALL people are going to see their posts. Just because you’re posting it, doesn’t mean that people are seeing it.”
– Lee Ussher
Insisting that business owners use social media to drive people into your database, she reveals a trick she and her customers use re email marketing:
4. How can you create more engaging posts?
Ask questions – people interact more with you when you ask for advice, tips, tools than when you give advice.
Post at least 3 posts a day on Facebook
Write as many (relevant!) posts as you can on Twitter (because it is a quick info platform)
Posts last longer on LinkedIn because not as much content goes into it; 1 post a day may suffice
Pinterest is very organised; this is why the information STAYS there even months after you uploaded it
Even though hashtags are the least understood tool on social media, you can use them everywhere and it is a great tool to both find information and to be found. Use # especially on Facebook and Twitter.
Tip: To understand how Gen Y is spending money follow #InspireMoneySense
Bonus Tip: If you have just started to get your head around social media, here is something you MUST NOT DO. Lee: “You can always tell a new business on Facebook because they tend to go and connect with their competitors”.
5. What should you be writing up for the week?
The trick is to stay informed about the latest news in your niche. Follow:
- Online magazines
- Google News
- Newspaper articles
- What’s popular this week
Write 1 blog post a week and share it with your audience. For the rest of the week, be the reporter.
The Reporter Strategy:
“You can build big credibility about sharing content that you know and become the reporter. Not everyone likes to just hear what you have to say all the time.
Quite often it is better for you to find people within your industry that are experts but you know your audience are not going to use.”
– Lee Ussher
By sharing their news and content you are creating a community of information that people – your followers – can’t get anywhere else.
6. Ideas for your social media posts
On Facebook: share text, quote of the day, article
Tip: the text post is what goes into the News Feed of people who follow you, rather than a post with a link and an image.
On LinkedIn: 1 article, 1 quote
On Pinterest: 1 quote, share of weekly blog post, RESHARE of older posts in relevant spaces (boards)
Bonus Tip: Do you use Instagram for your social media sharing process? From Instagram you can share photos directly on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, FlickR and get instant access to lots of filler content (where I am, what I’m doing, etc.).
That’s all for this week at the Super Savvy Business Show! I’ll be looking forward to seeing you next week when we will talk about new ways to market your business online.
Now is your turn…
Do you use social media in your online marketing? What are the areas that are working and which areas do you think you should improve?
Would you like to find out more about ways to use social media for business?