Raise your hand if you have ever been oversold Social Media as a marketing tool.
The money will fall from the sky if you as the business owner would only set yourself up a Twitter account or a Facebook page.
It happens all the time.
Never mind the nagging doubt in the back of your mind that in the nicest way, your marketing kinda stinks. That you as a business, are not actually saying that much. That is cannot really be that easy. Hell no, ignore your gut and listen to the guy selling you a plan for £60 per month. You will be fine with a single post on Instagram a day.
No more, it has to stop. I’m calling it and it’s going in CAPS I am that serious…
SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT A MAGIC PILL AND IT WILL NOT WORK ON ITS OWN.
There. I’ve said it and it cannot be taken back as it’s on the internet.
Only last week, I met a business owner trying to make headway with an offering which is going the way of the dinosaur.
He’d been told that social could help his company – which it of course, can – but to do so, he’d also been told (by an ‘expert’) that it would only take a few posts a day on Twitter, despite no other form of marketing.
No email campaigns to existing customers, no blog, no videos, case studies, white papers, testimonials, not even a features and benefits statement or a PPC account.
Just Twitter. Organic, Twitter.
You can imagine my response – but it was too late, he’d already signed a six-month contract with the company concerned.
As an aside – I should really point out that I wouldn’t deal with ANY marketing company who wanted to sign you into contracts like that. It’s one thing to talk to people about SM requiring longevity and time to grow, it’s another to force people to keep working with you. We never do that here.
I should also say that, before you look, yes we do offer a social media startup plan of £99pm which is not that far from my quoted £60pm comment above. But, the difference is, we don’t take any clients on at that level unless it’s confirmed to be part of a larger marketing program.
Interestingly – if prospective client spends are totally in that area, we advise a freemium strategy and if that’s you, book a call and I’ll personally make sure you’re sorted too.
On we go
So, …how do I usually position social media to a prospective client?
Easy. I borrow a quote straight out of Gary Vaynerchuk’s book The Thank You Economy and describe Social Media as being the Special Forces of your business marketing army.
They cannot win a war on their own, but they can have a tremendously positive effect when they are working as part of a team in the field – especially if you need to turn the tide after a bad result.
Now, enough of the military speak and on to, how, to use social media properly…
By its very definition, ‘social’ media when-used-correctly is fast, engaging, responsive and flexible.
You don’t create content on social media itself, you use it to deliver and engage your audience around content elsewhere, hopefully on your own website. No sharecropping here please!
So, what does an effective small business marketing plan look like when you’d only have £60pm to spend?
Well first up, save your £60 and roll up your sleeves – because you are in prime freemium territory here.
- Create a publishing calendar, which can be Outlook, iCal, Google or whatever, and set out when you will be writing.
- Think about who you are writing for and which type of post you are going to use whether that’s a list, a how-to guide, a customer testimonial, case study or infographic.
- Put together your blog. Ideally write a draft on Day 1 and edit/publish Day 2. Be strict with your time and remove any distractions from your immediate environment.
- Distribute to your email list and social media channels (unless you want to hold it back for email only as a strategy – email me for more)
- Promote with targetted paid social ad’s – you can use a little of that £60 now – but no more than £10 at this stage.
- Add the links to a content library and revisit at a future date.
Of course, sometimes the above may look a little daunting. If you’d like some help with all or part of the above, do please get in touch. Even if it’s only to hit me up for my best freemium software recommendations to save you time and assist you along the way.
We’re putting the finishing touches to a Free SME Marketing Guide, if you’d like a copy sent to your inbox ahead of everyone else, please add your email here.
Now you know the correct way to start using Social Media within your marketing plans you can get to work. If you only do 1 thing after reading this blog you will be far more likely to see it through.
So, what’s it going to be; set up your publishing calendar, consider your buying personas or something else? Let us know in the comments below and best of luck.