SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
“When it comes to social media, Martin Shervington is one of the most clever and hardworking people you’ll find. He’ll help take your game to the next level.” – Guy Kawasaki
My best advice when it comes to Social Media is this: pick the right platform for your business, and build up a quality network through serving that community.
To give you a broad generalisation:
If you serve a B2B audience then look to focus on LinkedIn; and if you serve a B2C audience then look at Facebook.
Ultimately Social Media takes work and the more you ‘attend’ to people there, the more they will respond to you. In short, make it about them.
Tip: if you want to connect with people who already have a network i.e. influencers, then use Talkwalker.com to find which ones get the best response on their content. You can either then a) build a relationship with them e.g. by writing ‘gently sucking up’ posts about them, b) simply sharing their content day after day (they will notice eventually) or c) approach them and look to collaborate in some way.
You probably have a Facebook page already, and you may even have been building up reviews. The first thing is to ensure every detail is up to-date, and that you are replying to reviews. From there it depends on how many people have already ‘liked’ you page. If there are not many, the best chance of people seeing your content is when you share to your Page first, and then re-share that post to your personal network via your Profile.
If you are selling B2C, and potentially B2B, you have Facebook as your digital home.
If so, you want to look at housing your community in a Facebook group, and not rely on the Page alone. People posting their own content e.g. photos of events, creates a true feeling on inclusion.
Question: What is the outcome you are seeking from the group?
Answering this will give you the main criteria for membership.
For instance, is the group intended for people who are already customers? Or is it more ‘open’ and intended to help people build trust to a point they are willing to take the leap into a first purchase?
Once you’ve answered these questions you will see your group as part of your overall marketing strategy, not simply an add on.
LinkedIn’s network is very supportive of quality business conversations, and ‘done well’ can connect you with the people you most want.
Below gives you a step-by-step guide on how to build your network.
101 to building your LinkedIn presence:
|♦ Review your LinkedIn profile. Does it reflect who you are as a trainer/facilitator/coach/consultant? What needs to change?|
|♦ Go back to your database and look to add into your own account (one by one) with a personal message to the people who have interacted with you over the past few years. When they are part of your network, they will most likely ‘see’ your content (when you post, see below).|
|♦ Who are the 15 people you want to get to be delighted to ‘hop on a sales call’? Go and engage on ‘those peoples content’ i.e. start conversations on their threads – grab their attention.
Note: you will get a feel for ‘what content resonates’ with people when you do this.
|♦ Sign up for LinkedIn Premium – you will get 15 InMails every month at the lower level. Now you can connect with people to whom you are not already connected. Build a list of 15 people as a target each month. Measure the approach/response. Once you are established as someone who is connected to the community that is already there…|
|♦ Create ‘YOUR view on e.g. Leadership’ videos within LinkedIn itself – minimum one per week, up to 5 per week once people start to respond. The outcome is to build a community around YOU and therefore people need conversations – give tips, but ask questions – people then comment, and you engage in the comment threads with them.|
|♦ Create one unique blog post per week that is shared WITHIN LinkedIn’s Pulse, and then you can re-blog it on your website – the evidence whether ‘it works’ is down to engagement (likes/comments/shares/views). But ultimately, you are looking (one by one) for the people who ‘now get you’ and could be customers.|
|♦ Use the content from conversations around other people’s content to inform your own – this brings community members into the conversation you are now hosting, and you can send them the articles directly as well.|
|♦ Send messages to people privately that you want to ‘lift up’ into conversations that could lead to either a) sales, or b) referrals. Get them onto a call.|
|♦ Rinse and repeat, week after week. Allocated time will need to be 30 mins to 2 hours a day to make it work – posting and running away won’t – and in the early days you need to ENGAGE if you want engagement.|
In a similar manner as LinkedIn, you need to shift away from merely broadcasting content.
Tip: if you are broadcasting, then to get ‘outside your own network’ you will need to use Hashtags as this allows for your content to surface wider afield.
The real strength of Twitter is building relationships with key influencers – consider requesting to interviews them on e.g. a podcasts – this is both creating content and also building relationships, with intent.
Want more information? I was asked to put together a course for LinkedIn Learning on Social Media. You’ll find that here.
Google no longer has a Social platform, yet your Google My Business listing has moved in that direction much more now too.
You can post about upcoming events in your area, but probably most importantly your listing needs to be up-to-date and with your reviews managed.
GOOGLE MAPS/GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
Building in an ongoing review acquisition process is essential to getting hit by one or two bad reviews. Think in terms of hundreds, not tens.
There is a course I put together for LinkedIn Learning that you can access on that here.
Tip: when uploading photos, consider adding your own geo-located images to the listing as this seems to make a difference for Local Search.
Webinars are perfect to promote on Social Media, as well as via email marketing and directly on your website.
Here are a few pointers:
♦ Gotowebinar.com is probably the most popular software to use
♦ Ensure your webinars are interesting enough visually to hold people’s attention – a well designed, and structured, presentation makes all the difference
♦ Think in terms of images more than words, as you are going to say the words – this helps people to relax and open their mind rather than listening to you and trying to read at the same time
♦ Consider using webinars to move people between stages in the lifecycle journey e.g. from TOTF to MOTF (when they attend) to BOTF when they book on a follow up call
♦ We’ve used Facebook ads (as well as existing contacts) to market the equivalent to the 2 hour sessions, in a webinar format – this has converted people to customers within a couple of weeks
♦ Use Webinars for existing Customers as a way to educate them on the merits of your latest products/services
♦ Similar to podcasts, look to build allies (via digital) by interviewing them for existing community members – keeping a fresh flow of relevant and interesting content
Social Media Marketing is about building relationships through content and conversation.
And know you cannot outsource relationships, but you can have multiple people in your organisation represent your brand.
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