Social media marketing: nobody said it was easy

Building a brand and cementing a reputation on social media can be challenging. There’s plenty of ‘helpful; advice our there to guide you; all sorts of tips and tricks to ‘supercharge’ your social media marketing strategy. The problem is much of the advice is contradictory and that leaves people confused. Social media marketing can be tricky, of that there is little doubt. But in the words of Coldplay, nobody said it was easy. So, what do you do and where do you turn? Well, if you haven’t got access to unlimited marketing budgets, the trick to getting the best out of platforms like Facebook and Twitter is to avoid the complicated and focus instead on the basics. So here are some simple suggestions which we think might help you in your quest to conquer the social world.

Be consistent

If you’re trying to build a social brand that people will believe in and identify with, you’ve got to be consistent. If you’re consistent you become recognisable. But it’s not just about being consistent in what you post and when you post it; it’s also about being consistent in your marketing. That applies to all the visuals that people will see on your account; colours, fonts, filters, logos and icons. If you maintain this consistent approach users will start to recognise your style and eventually buy into your brand. If you’re worried that you don’t have the creative flair or design skills to pull this off, don’t worry: there are all sorts of sites and applications out there to help you achieve your dream look.

Don’t be a Jack of all traders: be the master of one – or two

It may be a cliché, but if you try to be everything to everyone, then you’ll quickly come unstuck. There’s no point trying to establish a presence of every social network in the hope of attracting a new audience. All that will happen is that you’ll spread yourself too thinly and end up attracting no one. It’s much better to concentrate on one or two and build a strong presence there. You could start by building a presence on the platform popular with your target audience, and go from there. Only when you’ve established your presence and reputation should you consider targeting other platforms to attract a wider community of followers.

Don’t neglect the human touch

Social media isn’t a platform for selling per se; it’s actually a place where you can meet and engage with consumers. It’s a platform for sharing, for dialogue, for exchanging information and for building relationships. Social media allows us to connect with others on a more human level than most other forms of marketing. We can get personal and we can connect and interact. The online world is full of potential customers, but if you want their business then you’ll need to be human and generous with your time. With social, as with most other aspects of life, you only reap what you sow.

Find your social media voice

It’s important to establish your voice on any social media platform, and that’s a different matter than ‘tone’. Your social media voice is what makes you unique: it’s what marks you out as different from your competitors. How do you find this elusive voice? Well, start by looking at what your competitors are doing and learn from their experiences. Not everything they do and say will necessarily work with and sit comfortably with your audience, but it will certainly point you in the right direction. Once you’ve established what will work best with your audience you can then turn your attention to tone of voice and getting your message across in the most-appropriate way.

Use your social media time wisely

It’s all too easy to get carried away when you start with social media. Time tends to drift away and before you’ve noticed you can have wasted hours yet achieved very little. So it pays to use your time wisely and to prioritise. Time spent early on getting everything prepared will pay dividends later on; it will also make your social media efforts far more focused. So, work out what tasks you want to achieve, and set aside time to achieve these. You can even set up a content calendar – a sort of ready-made schedule in which you can work out what you want to do with each session.

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