Choosing the social platform that is right for you is very much like finding a pair of shoes that fit. Just because they are in your size, doesn't always mean you should buy them. Why invest in a pair of shoes if they are just going to pinch your feet for the length of the journey? Oh yeah. That’s right. I’m going there… comparing social media marketing to shoe shopping. Try and stop me.
You’ve got to try on a variety of platforms before finding out which ones fit right and which ones look the best. You want your efforts to shine and your fans to be engaged - there’s no point in parading around in fancy shoes if nobody is ever going to see them or compliment them. Ladies, back me up here.
This month in a special Social Media Marketing Explained series I’ll be discussing some easy digital marketing tactics to test drive. I’ll go over picking a platform that works for you, tracking your real time results, and some of my favorite (and easy to use) social analytic tools.
So let’s jump right in this week with some commonly asked questions!
+What is social media marketing? To put it simply: it is the process of using various social platforms to drive traffic to your website.
Social media marketing essentially grabs the attention of your target audience with crafty copy, visual aids, and lots of shareables for further exploration and expansion on any given topic.
It’s the digital ripple effect. By creating and posting content that is relevant to your brand/company, you’re hoping to catch the eye of at least ONE ideal consumer who will then share it out to their friends and followers.
+Do I need to be on ALL the platforms? NO. Absolutely not. Not even close. Pick three or four outlets that you enjoy using and that your fans enjoy following you on.
You want one primary platform and one to supplement. Most people tend to pick Facebook or Twitter as their primary. Google+ is also a great option as a primary. Some options for secondary supplements are Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Flickr, FourSquare, YouTube, FourSquare, GetGlue, Spotify, SoundCloud, Tumblr, and many more.
It takes a little bit of trial and error to figure out where your fans hang out. You might quickly learn that showing off your new Louboutins at your nephew’s soccer game might not have been the best idea. Certain types of content shine best in certain outlets. For example, if you are a DJ, you definitely want to be on SoundCloud so that music lovers can find and share your tracks.
Think about where your content will be best received, but also about where you feel most comfortable posting. If you absolutely hate the user experience on Google+, then you aren't going to want to use it. If you don’t want to use it, you won't be posting enough content there. If you’re profile lacks content, there’s nothing to share and the whole point is moot.
If your thoughts cannot be contained in 140 characters with links and hashtags and mentions and relevant content - Twitter will be a nightmare for you. And if it's a nightmare for you, how can you expect other people to feel engaged?
+How often should I be posting on my chosen platforms? Here are my rough guides: - Facebook 1-2 times a day - Twitter anywhere from 1-15 times a day (but do your best to space them out if you're getting in the higher numbers) - Instagram 2-5 times a day - Pinterest 2-6 times a day
You want to be delivering enough content to stay relevant as an industry leader and keep them coming back for more, but not so much that your fans feel like they are being bombarded. It's a careful balance. Experiment with different intensities and see what works best for you!
At the same time, don’t drive yourself crazy trying to stick to these guides. If it’s starting to feel like too much pressure to find and post all this content all the time - tone it down a bit. Again, if social media marketing is becoming stressful, your fans will notice. It’s a fine line between “Here’s some stuff that I’ve found that I thought you might like to,” and “HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY. PAY ATTENTION TO MEEEEEE.” Don’t be an attention whore. Please.
We want to lovingly invite our fans into our world, not drag them in kicking and screaming.
+How much is too much when it comes to sharing on social sites? My rule of thumb is, "If you wouldn't say it to a stranger on the street, it probably doesn't belong in a tweet." (Bumper stickers coming soon.) There is DEFINITELY such a thing as over sharing. Remember that this IS the world wide web and the information you put out there can always be traced back to you.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun with it, though! By all means share snippets of your personal life. Social media isn’t just about selling products. It’s about building intimate relationships with your fans, regardless of whether or not they become clients. It’s humanizing and reminds people that you’re approachable. Tweet about the traffic you’re stuck in. Share an instagram of your lazy Saturday set up. Remind people that you’re one of them. Just, ya know, keep your pants on.
If you have any further questions about social media marketing, it would be my absolute pleasure to answer them. Please feel free to drop them in the comments below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with more personal inquiries.
Stomping around in my big girl heels, xx Nikbear