The knack to social media marketing is to forget the old rules of traditional marketing and think the opposite. Social media is about engaging in grown up dialogue with your customers and potential clients, not simply churning out promotional messages.
Listen (the hardest)
Open up and be transparent
Be generous with your expertise
Shout (the loudest)
By shy and secretive
Embellish or brag
Be mean and competitive
2. Consider your strategy
Although social media marketing shouldn’t feel overly promotional, it does serve a very important commercial purpose. Like all marketing, therefore, it should be embarked upon in a strategic way and with a clear plan in mind. Before diving in it is important to ask yourself some basic questions.
- With whom do I want to communicate?
- How do I want to come across?
- What do I want to achieve from my activity?
- What resources do I have?
3. Review your website
Before embarking on social media marketing, take some time to review the functionality of your website. This is a primary sales tool. Consider online appointment making programmes, merchandise sales, newsletter/blog feed subscription tools – all of which will help with data capture.
4. Create a blog
Your blog is a place to show off your personality, industry expertise and thought-leadership in a dynamic, modern way. WordPress, Blogger and Typepad are all very user-friendly and make it easy to set up a blog, which you can link from your website. Bear in mind that people are likely to remember just 10% of what they read but 50% of what they see and hear, so use video podcasts wherever possible – showing elements of signature treatments, make up tips, hair demos. Don’t worry if these are not professionally shot, because home style video content gives the impression of honesty and authenticity.
5. Set up on Facebook
Consider setting up a company page and use new features such as the ‘Like’ function to increase your brand awareness. Include photos, videos, customer feedback and your blog feed.
6. Set up on LinkedIn
Up until recently you could only set up personal profiles on this site, but now they have introduced company profiles with a new ‘follow us’ function. Also investigate the Groups function to expand your business network and identify potential new product partners, business alliances and affiliations.
7. Get into Twitter
The fact that updates on Twitter are restricted to 140 characters does not mean that they should purely be about what you had for your lunch today. Take time to understand Twitter: how to use @links, Retweets (RTs), trending topics and #hashtags. Vary your tweets – share your own articles from your blog, share breaking news, Retweet others, give the odd personal update, ask for volunteer mystery shoppers, and offer killer promotions. With all of this, you will soon find your number of followers increasing.
8. Be realistic
The beauty of social media marketing is that most of it is free. It does, however, require a big time commitment to get it right. Before you start, consider how much time you can commit and keep within your capabilities. Better to have a small, select online presence done well, than abandoned Twitter sites, barren Facebook pages, and blog posts last updated in 2007! If you can set aside an hour a day though, they might just prove to be the most productive hours of the week.