It can be quite nerve-wracking to delve into the world of social media marketing, and especially stressful for those who may not use social media platforms on a regular basis already. Common questions we often hear from financial advisors include:
- What should I post to get people engaged?
- When should I post?
- How do I know if my posts are successful?
- Is posting worth my time and effort? Is my business growing because of my social media activity?
For any successful marketing plan, the first and most important step is to determine the main purpose and goals for any activity. Before even considering posting something on your social media channels, you should consider:
- What is my goal when I post online?
- What feelings or emotions do I want to evoke in readers when they are reading my post?
- When visitors view my post, what follow-up action do I hope they will be compelled to take?
- How do I want this post to ultimately be remembered?
Strategic Plan > Marketing Goals > Social Media Campaign
Your social media campaign should flow from your marketing goals, which should be based on your business’ overall strategic plan. First and foremost, every business should have an overall strategic plan, a planned direction- something they work towards. All marketing should always be working to advance this plan.
For instance, Rebecca is 25 and just started her own jewelry line. She creates her jewelry from rocks, pebbles, stones, and other materials that she finds from the beach near her summer home. The messages she may wish to portray to her clientele: “A new, fresh, and natural approach to luxury” and “Carry the beach on your wrist“. Thus, her social media campaign consists of pictures of her newest jewelry designs, nature shots of sunsets on the beach, reposting blog articles about saving the environment, sharing articles about water preservation, etc. What’s especially important in this scenario is that Rebecca has a product, a message, and a strategy- and it is vital that these three components align consistently, and that they are always portrayed through her online posts.
Consider Following These 4 Steps for Posting Online:
Consistently align your product or service, message, and strategy with each post.
Compile potential posts in advance (articles, pictures, commentaries…)
Schedule and organize your posts to better understand what your future posts should entail.
Measure your results through analytics so you can see how and what to post in the future.
Step 1: Post meaningful content online
Once you have determined how you want to be portrayed online, the rest becomes fairly simple, and in fact, rather fun. This is the part where you are expressing your work, and your ultimate passion. At Twenty Over Ten, we strongly believe that within your business, every online post should consist of meaningful content. The posts should portray your company values and what you believe your company ultimately brings to your community, customers and even society in general.
You may also want to provide insight into your own personal interests or thought-provoking ideas. What we have learned from trying a variety of social media posts at Twenty Over Ten, is that personal posts have received the highest engagement (meaning that many people click into the post and are acknowledging it). For instance, in the post below, we share our sales development representative Nate Sobiech on his trip Beaufort, SC. Humanizing your brand is a surefire way to get more engagement on your social media platforms.
Think about what you want to post online – pictures, quotes, blog posts, news articles, etc. If you come across an article you feel passionate about, save it, so it can be shared for later. Create a bookmark and save all links and relevant content. When you post an article or link to social media, include your own short personal commentary, write about a conference you attended (while mentioning and tagging the conference in your post), or simply write about how great the food was at the new restaurant from your neighborhood (don’t forget to tag the restaurant!).
step 2: Engage with the ONLINE COMMUNITY
Remember, the more you tag others, comment on others posts, or reshare others’ content – the greater the audience that may be exposed to you and your business (and vice-versa when others tag, comment or share from your page). For instance, on LinkedIn, if you were to comment on a friend’s post and say “Great post, I actually just wrote a blog article on this myself” (and link to that blog article), now all of your friend’s connections will also potentially see your comment and may choose to click over to your blog post. This activity may ultimately result in allowing you to grow your online community and more importantly, your business.
step 3: CREATe A strategic Schedule For Posting content
Once you have compiled a number of potential posts, it is important to stay organized. Put these posts in a calendar along with the time, so that when the moment comes you can share your content. A calendar is a great way to keep track of what you’re posting and when you post it, so that for the future, you can best determine your next steps. We suggest creating an editorial calendar using Google Calendar, an Excel document, or download this free one from CoSchedule. Keep in mind that different social media platforms vary in the best times to post content.
Once you have added your posts into a calendar, it is helpful to use a scheduling tool such as Hootsuite to help you stay organized.
step 4: TRACK, TRACK, TRACK
No marketing campaign is worth your time and resources if you don’t take the time to track what is or isn’t working and make changes based on the data. Fortunately, social media marketing can be measured and quantified through analytics, allowing you to determine what types of posts work best for your audience. Across all platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter), you can track each of your posts to see how users have observed or engaged with your post, and what actions, if any, they have taken (i.e. clicks, likes, shares, views).
You can see which posts have received the highest engagement, and which posts fell through. The most important thing to understand is that social media marketing is never exact. Just because a post may have received terrible engagement, does NOT mean it is a terrible post. Try it again at a later date, perhaps changing the time you post and/or the commentary you provide on the post. You may be surprised at how the numbers change.
Social media marketing can be a tricky but rewarding tactic simply because it is constantly evolving, especially with new trends and platforms. In order to grow successfully online, keep in mind these key takeaways:
- Align your business and message with your posts
- Compile and organize posts in advance
- Track your success to take future action
It’s important to express your business, its values and its purpose within each post. But above all, it is especially important to enjoy and be proud of what you post. Online marketing is no longer an option but something your business has to do today. Happy posting!
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