Not everyone uses social media the same way. Using social media marketing for a business varies vastly than using social media for yourself. There are really two main ways to use social media. One is for personal use and one is for professional, and they look really different!
The Casual Social Media User
This where it is 100% okay to screw around and lose entire days of your life surfing Instagram or Twitter. No shame! We use our personal social media to catch up with friends and family, perhaps check out some news, and sometimes even build social networks. Be yourself, do your thing, creep hard, post whatever you want without thinking.
The Social Media Marketing Professional
These accounts are the ones that represent your business, its missions and values, and should not waste your time! Professionals use social media accounts for portfolio pieces, as their resume, and for marketing their companies and their goods and services. In no way are these accounts for dinking around like you would on your personal account! (It’s not cool, stop it!) Really thinking about what you need to be posting, when the best time is, who your post is tailored to, etc. is imperative.
Having a Social Media Strategy is Imperative
Blindly leaping into social media with no strategy is guaranteed to be an absolute disaster. I promise you. Take some time and decided what goals you want meet through your social campaigns. This will help you develop a Social Media Marketing Plan and determine what direction you need to go. If you don’t have a plan, you’re just blindly posting shit and hoping something happens.
Things you need:
- A yearly marketing plan
- A content calendar
- An editorial calendar – optional, I’m getting really sick of editorial calendars
- A social media consultant (hint, hint)
Using Social Media to Make Money
Are you doing social media marketing for your business so you can watch videos of kittens playing a piano? NO! Let’s keep it real, you’re there to MAKE MONEY, “build a community”, “foster relationships”, “engage with your customers”, and everything else that other blogs or social media professionals are telling you to do to be successful on social media. With personal use, you can spend all the time in the world, but with business use, you must optimize the time you spend on social media channels. Focus on why you’re there, your strategy, your goals, and stick to the plan! (You can use those conversions and leads to buy your own kittens to watch play the piano in real life.)
Stop Wasting Time on Social Media
Set aside time specifically for your business social media implementation. If you’re not working with an experienced social media professional, I would suggest reserving at least one hour a week to manage your business accounts. Put on the blinders to hilarious memes and internet black holes of awesomeness, unless, of course, that content is relevant to your target audience. Time is money after all. Refer back to why you’re here and #ownyourshitonsocial!
Strategic Content is Key
QUALITY. I can not say it enough, I know you hear this from everyone, but quality is really key when creating or curating content. You must align your social media posts with your business goals and post relevant content! Don’t just throw some random articles up because someone told you that the only way to be strategic on Twitter is to post 5+ times a day.
Not only is quality imperative, so is CREDIBILITY! Please read articles the whole way through before sharing them on your business social media. There is nothing worse than thinking you have found a killer piece of info and realizing half way through that the author is just promoting their own product or service.
Sharing quality and credible content is important, it gives your audience value, educates them and gives them a reason to follow you. To be honest, not a whole lot of people care about brands or businesses on social media that just promote themselves, so ask yourself, what can I post that people will actually care about?
In addition to growing your following strategically with great content, the content also builds “thought leadership”. Pretty much just proving to your audience that you keep current with specific happenings in your industry, it drives back to your goal of MAKING MONEY.
Assuming “Young People” Can Manage Your Social Media Accounts
Social media and digital marketers in general hear this all the time, “I’m going to hire my nephew because he’s active on X, Y, Z channels and knows how to use social media, he is an expert”. This goes back to the important differences between personal and business use. Sure, your nephew is young and hip and knows how to use Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat (he’s probably sending n00ds, let’s be real), but does he know how to curate and create content that aligns with your business strategy?
Ask yourself: Do I want this “young person” to handle my business’ online presence? Am I willing to trust them to be the mouthpiece of my business to potential customers and clients? What experience does he have doing social media professionally?
Hiring a young person to manage your social media merely because they are young is like electing Trump to run a country just because he is orange. Neither of them make sense. There’s this assumption that all young people use every social media platform but according to this study, less than 20% of “millennials” are using Twitter frequently. How can they be “experts” if they aren’t even using it?
There are strategies and tactics that will make you and your business successful on social media and hiring a professional is one of them. I’m a huge proponent for businesses and brands to handle their social media independently and in-house, but having a fool-proof social media strategy, knowing best practices and understanding how each platform differ and knowing the tactics to use to generate leads is super important.
If you need help, I’m always around. Contact me to learn how I can help.