So, you’re ready to dive into social media marketing. That can be an overwhelming to-do item on your weekly task list. Perhaps you’ve been skeptical of using social media as a marketing channel. Or, maybe the thought of it has left you scrambling for the door.
If you’re starting at the beginning, we’re going to tell you exactly how to start social media marketing for your company from scratch. The most important part of diving into social media marketing is to have a plan.
Step 1: Pick Your Platform(s)
You don’t have to start out on all the platforms at once. In the beginning pick the networks that matter to your audience.
Think about the amount of time you have to devote to a social network. Plan about one hour per social network per day in the beginning. Once you’ve done it for a while, you can scale back.
Think about the resources you have. Social networks like Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram are photo-heavy, while videos can play a role, too. Networks like LinkedIn and Google+ emphasize quality content. Ask yourself if you have the resources to gather great photos and write superior copy.
Ponder your audience. Where do they hang out? If you aren’t sure, take a look at these demographics put together in a recent Pew Study:
- Seventy-two percent of adult Internet users are on Facebook. Seventy-seven percent of women are users. In addition, 82% of online adults ages 18 to 29 use Facebook, along with 79% of those ages 30 to 49, 64% of those ages 50 to 64 and 48% of those 65 and older.
- Thirty-one percent of adult Internet users are on Pinterest. Women dominate. Those under the age of 50 are also more likely to be Pinterest users – 37% do so, compared with 22% of those ages 50 and older.
- Twenty-eight percent of adult Internet users are on Instagram. Its demographic skews a bit younger – the 18-29 year old crowd. Women are slightly higher users than men.
- Twenty-five percent of adult Internet users are on LinkedIn. It’s especially popular among working-age adults as well as college graduates and those with relatively high household incomes.
- Twenty-three percent of adult Internet users are on Twitter. It’s more popular in urban areas and with younger adults (under age 50).
Step 2: Complete Your Profiles
When adding your profile images it’s important to pay attention to the proper sizes. On Facebook, try it out and make sure nothing overlaps your text. Here are a few image sizes to get you started:
- Facebook cover photo is 851 pixels x 315 pixels.
- Twitter header image is 1500 pixels x 500 pixels.
- LinkedIn header image is 1400 pixels x 425 pixels.
- Instagram image size is 640 pixels x 640 pixels.
Be sure and customize your about us areas and include a link to your website when possible.
Step 3: Decide on a Posting Strategy
Start planning your content, decide on timing and frequency. You can always modify these items later as you start to see when your audience is online. Always include an image or video in your posts or tweets. Visual content always garners more interest.
Don’t be overly promotional. Offer items that your audience will appreciate – things that benefit them. Then, you can throw in a promotion in the mix once in a while.
As you write your plan, you can use one of these strategies:
- The 90/10 rule says post 90% of your own content and 10% from others.
- The 5-3-2 strategy says post 5 items from others, 3 from you and 2 status updates.
- The 4-1-1 ratio says post 4 pieces of relevant content from others and 1 from yourself.
- The 5-5-5 strategy says use 5 updates about your business/content, 5 updates from others and 5 replies/responses.
- The rule of thirds suggests splitting content in thirds: updates about you, sharing and personal brand interactions.
Step 4: Create Your Content and Automate
If it’s less daunting, create a weekly plan. As you get more comfortable, you can create monthly plans.
For example, if you’ve picked Facebook and Twitter to start with, make a daily plan for one week listing what you’ll post. Gather your content including text, images, videos and hashtags if needed.
Now automate your content and set it for the week.
Step 5: Listen and Evaluate
You’ve automated, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit your social media profiles several times per day. You have to listen and respond if necessary. In addition, evaluate what works and what doesn’t and make adjustments.
Don’t overthink your social media involvement and get bogged down in the details. Just decide to start somewhere and start small. As you get more comfortable, expand your engagement and your platforms.
Still sound like a daunting task? If you’d like help with your social media posting, we are here for you. Learn more about our services and how we can do the heavy lifting and create your social media posts for you.
Images: JD Hancock