When it comes to social media marketing, understanding the fundamentals and keeping up with trends can be quite challenging. Deborah E, a seasoned expert in the field, discusses her experiences and insights, illuminating how businesses can utilize social media effectively for their growth and success.
Embracing the Power of Social Media
“[The] first time I heard of anything social media was Facebook,” recalls Deborah, reflecting on her initial experiences. Initially, her perception of social media was somewhat dismissive, particularly in the context of the financial industry where she was working at the time. The idea of financial professionals spending work time on Facebook seemed absurd to her. However, this perspective changed when she was tasked with managing social media for her company, which sparked an intriguing journey of learning and growth.
Learning from the Experts
Deborah’s education in social media began with a $10,000 per month PR company located next door. “I was able to go over there for like an hour at a time, sit down, and they’re like, ‘Deb, you’ve got to get this company on LinkedIn'”, she narrates. The immersive experience provided her with a wealth of knowledge about social media platforms and their role in business strategy.
Where to Begin with Social Media Marketing
When asked where a business should begin with social media marketing, Deborah’s straightforward advice is to jump right in. “Start tweeting,” she says. “Start getting the company online in social media, getting the brand out there, getting the logo out there.” She encourages businesses to develop a strong online presence but also stresses the importance of choosing favorite platforms to focus on, as it’s impossible to maintain an active presence everywhere.
Choosing the Right Social Media Channel
In Deborah’s view, the best social media channel for a business is not a one-size-fits-all answer. “It depends on your business, your niche, where’s your audience hanging out,” she advises. Additionally, personal style and preference play a significant role. She personally loves YouTube but also interacts a lot on Facebook and Twitter.
Creating a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Creating a social media marketing strategy doesn’t need to be a complex process. Deborah suggests beginning with a simple spreadsheet or downloadable calendar to map out content and post frequency. Tools like Post Planner or Small Biz Trends can be helpful, or if you’re more tech-savvy like Deborah, you could even program your own system. Regardless of the method, consistency and engagement are key.
Building a Community on Social Media
Engagement, consistency, and a dash of innovation are the key ingredients in building a successful community on social media, according to Deborah. “Be engaged, be relational, and find that innovative edge,” she advises. She also emphasizes the importance of commitment and warns against taking long breaks from the platform, as it can negatively impact the growth of the community.
Budgeting for Social Media Marketing
While many social media platforms offer free options, the cost of social media marketing is not solely monetary. It also involves time and effort. Deborah suggests setting aside a budget of around $500 as ‘play money’ to get started, covering everything from hiring help to investing in various services and tools.
Navigating the Dos and Don’ts of Social Media Posting
Deborah cautions against posting content that could be offensive or inappropriate, emphasizing the importance of staying true to your brand and avoiding controversial topics. “First, define your brand and what your brand will handle,” she advises. “Avoid kind of the obvious — don’t bully, don’t pick on any people groups.”
Harnessing the power of social media for business success can be a daunting task, but with insights from experts like Deborah E, the path becomes clearer.
How to Effectively Use Social Media Advertising
When it comes to using social media advertising, Deborah suggests starting small. She emphasizes the importance of testing different strategies and keeping an eye on analytics to see what works best. “Facebook ads are a great place to start. They’re affordable and offer incredibly detailed targeting options. But you’ve got to understand your metrics and KPIs,” she advises.
The Role of Social Media in SEO
Deborah points out that while social media doesn’t directly impact SEO, it can still play a significant role in a company’s online visibility. By creating shareable content, a business can increase its reach and potentially gain backlinks, which does impact SEO.
The Future of Social Media
When asked about the future of social media, Deborah believes that technology like augmented and virtual reality will continue to play an increasingly larger role. However, at the end of the day, the need for authentic, human connection will always be paramount. “No matter what new platforms or technologies emerge, the key to social media success will always be authentic engagement with your audience,” she says.
Tips for Handling Negative Comments or Reviews on Social Media
Deborah advises treating negative comments or reviews as opportunities rather than threats. She recommends addressing the comment publicly, then taking the conversation offline as soon as possible. “Try to resolve the issue privately. If you handle it well, that person could become one of your biggest advocates,” she suggests.
Advice for Those Looking to Enter the Social Media Marketing Field
For those looking to enter the social media marketing field, Deborah encourages constant learning. The landscape of social media is ever-changing, so staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies is crucial. “Become a lifelong learner. Also, don’t be afraid to take risks and experiment. That’s how you’ll find what works best for you and your brand,” she advises.
Deborah concludes by emphasizing the importance of balance. While it’s essential to have a robust online presence, it’s also crucial not to let social media control your life. “Find a balance. Yes, be present online, but also make sure to have offline time with family and friends. Remember, social media is just one tool in your marketing toolbox,” she says.
With the insights shared by Deborah E., businesses can better navigate the social media landscape, ensuring their marketing strategies are effective, up-to-date, and contribute to their overall success.
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