Social media marketing is one of the most misunderstood ways to market a business in 2018. If you do a Google search for social media marketing strategies or the latest news, you’ll still see the same old stuff recycled over and over again. There are tons of social media courses promising to teach that new technique to turn your likes and followers into paying customers.
Social media marketing has a great deal of importance in today’s business world, but today it’s littered with watered down courses, inexperienced freelancers, and agencies that promise the world making everyone extremely skeptical.
So, what’s with the title of the article? Social media marketing on steroids? What does that mean?
This article is designed to show you many of the options you have to market your business with social media. The “steroids” refers not just to the strategies you will create, but the understanding of what is quality content for social media. Then your willingness to create the highest-quality content possible and grow from there.
Marketing on social media is not just about spamming people all day and night with muscle emojis and hearts. It’s a way to connect with customers, build relationships, host online events, promote live events, products, content, and so much more. All things are great, but if you can’t do the one thing that is necessary, you will fail miserably.
That one thing is producing quality content targeted to your target audience. It’s not an exact science and the perfect strategy won’t get you there. You need the time to create and take each post very seriously. I’ve known many social media experts that take over 4 hours per post, then schedule that post over a week out to ensure it goes at the right time.
What is quality content for social media?
I’m assuming if you’re reading this article that you’re not just looking to get more likes for your social posts. You’re probably after how to make money from posts. Well, I have to be honest with you. The secret to making money with social media lies beyond each individual post, so if you think that you need to make your posts better so they “convert” at a higher rate then this is not the post for you.
Posting on social media needs to have the function of building a community first, then monetizing that community.
Consider this checklist for what is quality content …
- Starts a conversation
- Provides something novel, like an idea or approach that will immediately improve your customer’s business
- Identifies an unknown or overlooked problem and solves it
- Inspirational content
- Visually stunning content with a great message
- Always unique and original
- Something hilarious and in good taste, not just funny
- A preview to a larger piece of valuable content that is yours, don’t become a link to too many articles on social media
Are persuasive social media posts good for business?
When you create your social media marketing plan for your business you should do a series of things to ensure you’re on the right track with each post. There is a frequency you must master to grow your channel or profile and it goes like this…
Posting too often is a good way to water down your message. Posting too infrequently will cause your customers to forget about you.
Then, there is the conversation of quality.
Look there are a lot of social media marketing courses out there that talk about how to set up your profile, what to post, how to find your audience, but they don’t tell you what kind of post are “good.” What is good on social is not for you or any expert to decide. It’s decided by the masses of people that view, like, and comment each time you put yourself out there.
To a content creator, you have to understand that, at first, you’re going to be bad at this. There is no secret except doing it a lot and learning what is considered quality content and “engageable.”
I’m not going to tell you that persuasive posts on your Facebook might help you get a hump this quarter and sell a few extra widgets. It might, but as a general rule of thumb, don’t do it.
Social media marketing for business is still about creating a community. It’s not a billboard, even your Facebook page.
Apps and Tools you will need
To truly embrace your social media marketing strategy, you should invest in some tools to help you create higher quality and more consistent content.
If you want to take your own pictures and do your own video, then check out our recommendations to the equipment that won’t break your budget. There aren’t any affiliate links there, just our opinions.
You also should invest in some quality video editing software. My favorite and many people’s are the Adobe Creative Cloud. It has a monthly fee and has a variety of tools to make the highest quality images and videos.
The next thing to consider is getting a social media management app. There are plenty of options in this department, so I won’t recommend one directly, but here is a couple to get you started. Check out Buffer, Hootsuite, or Agorapulse. These tools provide ways for you to get ahead sometimes a year in advance, which is great for any business. Consistent social media content on auto-pilot.
If you’re on a very strict budget use the free versions of these social media management apps. Buffer allows you to plan 10 messages for each social network before you get blocked. 10 posts can really be a lot if you’re trying to post every day.
Creating your social media marketing strategy
To create your social media marketing strategy you need to understand that you’re creating a community first and foremost. However, no matter if you’re B2B or B2C you can be a customer’s new media source with everything related to your industry.
Part of your strategy should be to become an authority on each platform. On Facebook, it might be a good idea for your company to start a group that helps customers with their industry-related needs. You can also use the Facebook Watch or Instagram Television – IGTV – feature to have a weekly television show outlining the news of the week.
When using social media marketing for small business, you have to be very careful what you put out. Your brand does hinge on the posts you create. If your posts are not thought out and leave the reader inspired then don’t put it out. You need to present yourself as what I like to call the “cool expert.” That means you know your stuff, but you’re still approachable. Whatever that means to your brand is something you’ll have to find out. Use the guidelines of what quality content is above to check your work.
Now the hard part is executing your social media marketing plan. This is why I recommend social media automation, like Buffer or Agorpulse. These allow you to “get ahead” and review your posts before you release them.
Are social media marketing courses a necessity?
Do you really need a social media marketing certification to be a freelancer or to use social media marketing for your business? No, but it can help to center your strategy and if you get some one-on-one time with the instructor. They might give you some good advice on branding and help get you started. That would be the only way I would do one of those social media marketing training courses for a fee.
There are also many ways to learn about social media marketing for free. You can read blogs, books, watch YouTube videos, and much more. Check this channel, Break the Internet by Aaron FPS. He started his channel on how to videos for Snapchat and now he focuses more on Instagram.
It might take more time to scour the internet find those blogs, videos, etc. that will teach you what you want to know, so if you have to learn quickly, take a course. Try Udemy for a cheap way to find social media courses, but make sure they have good reviews before you spend your money. My advice to you is to be specific with Udemy and read the descriptions. Then check out their brand off of Udemy. Look at the instructor’s social media. Is it quality? Then look at their website. Are they professional and treat their profiles and website with professionalism?
Pulling it together
I think a summary is in order for this one.
When creating a social media marketing strategy, think about the end user first. What are they looking for? Then answer their questions in the most thorough way possible. A good way to do this is to break up a big question they have into small pieces. Each piece is now a video, post, meme, or ad and then finally a product.
For more information on using social media as a way to market your business, check out 10 Ideas for Video Marketing on LinkedIn.