social media marketing 101

Sometimes we get so caught up in the details that we neglect the basics. Yet just as a house shouldn’t be built on shaky ground, your social media marketing shouldn’t be of the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants variety. You need to start with a solid, strategic foundation in order to reach social success and see an increase in traffic and conversions.

Below are a few simple steps that will help you establish a social foundation:

Decide which networks make sense for you. It’s certainly better to market your brand really well on a few than poorly on all of them. So taking into consideration your time and resources, decide which are most relevant.

Set metric goals. This is going to vary immensely depending on what stage of social media marketing you’re at. For instance, are you just creating a Pinterest page, or do you have an existing one that just doesn’t see much engagement? Start small and keep building – remember that it takes time.

Pinpoint your target audience groups. Each social network has different audience demographics, so yours should correlate. Take a look at network user statistics here. This may change your messaging strategy. To take it one step further, outline a few personality types that are likely to purchase your product or service – including overall lifestyle – and add value for them outside of sales pitches.

Create a calendar. Organization is key when embarking on a social strategy! Since we aren’t all psychics, however, it’s important to leave room for breaking news, trending topics and life’s inevitable changes. This may be as specific as daily “themes” or even just weekly ideas to include in posts.

After the basics are in place, you want to work on growing and engaging your social network communities. This consists of creating quality content based upon the ideas and themes you mapped out in your calendar. One rule of thumb in content creation is 20% self-promotion and 80% added value and engagement.

Your brand voice will take shape as you start creating content. It should be unique to your industry and products/services. This means you have to decide if it makes the most sense to be educational, entertaining, light-hearted, inspiring, etc. How do you want others to interpret your brand?

Social listening is vital in social media marketing – both within your own community and the general digital sphere. This coincides with initial market research, as well as influencer identification and campaign planning. Check out this list of (mostly) free social media marketing tools.

To increase content visibility, cross-promote it on your social network profiles. We share our blog articles on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. We will also tweet or post a pin on Facebook, linking to our Pinterest boards. It’s all a big circle, and this helps to ensure a wide variety of users will see your posts.

Social media marketing is a vital part of digital marketing and optimization, and should also be paired with an SEO strategy. For any questions regarding digital marketing, SMO or SEO, contact ZOG Digital today.