Social media has taken over, whether we like it or not. Consumers are connecting every day, discussing and sharing information about the things they love, want, and dislike. If you're not making your best effort to get involved in their conversations, you're missing out. Likewise, if you're not doing everything you can to get your content in front of your target audience, you're missing out. Social media is no longer a side project. This needs to be a full-time position, filled by an experienced professional. This position pays for itself, even if you don't directly see an ROI from social platforms. The social profiles will assist in brand awareness, future conversions, and customer loyalty.

You simply need to get your brand name, logo, and personality in front of as many eyeballs as possible. Social media does exactly this. Moreover, it gives you a chance to enhance your brand's reputation. Consumers will post about their experiences, both good and bad. Responding quickly and politely to each review/post is ideal. This shows new customers that you care about making them happy, thus building brand loyalty and trust.

If you're not currently using social media networks, this quick guide will give you everything you need to get started. It should take about 15 minutes to read everything and bookmark the links you'll need in a future. Print this out or use it to make a checklist for best results!

 

Brand Your Pages

Ensure all profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram etc.) have a recognizable color scheme and photo set that matches your brand identity. Make it easy for people to understand who you are within a few seconds of browsing.

Original Content

Create and post your own uniquely valuable content. Your brand should have a blog that your readers will enjoy and find useful. Post information about your brand, special deals, helpful information, and news. Don't forget to create entertaining and witty posts for your followers.

External Content

Share posts from related brands in your industry to build your reach. Sharing useful content from others helps prevent brand fatigue and build your reach.

Promotional Content

If you have upcoming sales or stocked new inventory, social media is the perfect place to announce it. If customers can pre-order a product, use promotional content to build hype. Bonus points if you create promotional videos or images.

Contest/Giveaways

Give followers an incentive to engage in your post or share your brand. Offer up a prize and hold a contest. When using Facebook to run a giveaway or contest, be sure to read and follow the guidelines (or they'll remove the contest). I typically like to let a contest run for about a week. It's enough time for the contest to grow, but it's not so long that followers lose interest.

Paid Advertising

Keep in mind, that every good business has a dedicated budget for marketing, and a large portion of that budget goes to social media. Determine what investment is right for you and start there. Paid advertising on social media can start as low as $5 a day. It's beneficial to promote your brand on every platform, but if that doesn't work with your budget... just start with Facebook. Begin by running a "Likes" campaign. This will put your page in front of your target audience, helping you build a following. Then "boost posts" to increase the reach of that post. Finally, run a "leads" campaign to collect email addresses from potential customers and clients. Once you have that rhythm down, you can dive deeper into social advertising (learn more here)

Time Management

For help working this into a busy schedule, check out this fun infographic from Dendritepark.com

Social Media Cocktail

From Visually.

    Sherrie Carter