Free marketing is fantastic for your business, but to make unpaid social media marketing really work for your business you still need to understand what you want from it. Here are ten handy tips to help get you started.
1. Choose the right platform
Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram work much better if you don’t have much of a budget. As with Facebook, you need to spend money on promoted posts or your content will get lost in the multitude of daily status updates and memes - if your audience is there and they're already having conversations about your brand or product or category, then that's the place to join the conversation and really add value.
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2. Start by creating the right content plan
By building a content framework that covers more than just your product, but speaks to the brand or product experience is absolutely key and creates a credible name for your business.
Have knowledge of the common key words that are searched for in search engines and use those where possible to create visibility on Google etc.
3. Attract the right fans
Paid media is usually a great way to build fans, with the targeting capabilities, but for brands on a budget, word of mouth is important for growing your fan base, and attracting the ideal customer.
Unfollow or unfriend those customers and fans that are cluttering your feed with irrelevant content as it’s all about building the eco-system within your area of specialty.
4. Tweet today, plan for tomorrow
This is like any relationship-social media is not a short term project, but rather a long term commitment to the people in your network to continually bring them quality content. It's not a quick win, it's something that build over time, so you have remain interesting and relevant.
5. Create. Share. Listen. Learn. Then repeat.
ORM tools and post effectively - at the right time of day, at the right frequency. Optimum frequency for Twitter is 8-10 posts per day and later in the day.
6. Time saving
To further save yourself time, push content to all of your social channels at once by using a tool like Hootsuite, Buffer or Klout.
Tools like these can be used unpaid in their basic formats and also offer the added benefits of having analytics build in so you can track which content worked best and when.
Take your Facebook page and Twitter feed and publish to all of them at once from a single interface using the scheduling tool. And because your time is precious, use it to build your conversation, not push content.
7. Integration is not just a fancy word
Owned media is content that you have created and it cannot be edited by anyone else, it is the ground zero of your marketing plan. Earned is the attention your content receives from those engaging with your platform.
Depending on the quality and quantity of the content you are publishing will determined the amount you earn. Paid attention is still necessary but can only produce ROI if integrated with the previous 2 forms of marketing.
8. Build great content and great relationships
Influencers, bloggers, partners in your industry/category. Don’t rely on putting the content out there and hoping that it will be picked up by interested parties.
Related: When marketing through word of mouth…
Actively tag the people that will get value from what you are posting and in return engage with the content that they are trying to get traction with.
9. Create with purpose
Don't give away an iPad if you're not in technnology or thought leadership or communications for example. This does not influence the credibility of your brand and it might bring bonus seekers your way who endorse your product one week and your competitors the next.
10. Be outstanding
Don’t just be exceptional in what you do, but also be outstanding. Whether it is being simplistic or funny, do something that sets you apart from the rest and makes your brand unique.
It can even be a layout and design element that you incorporate in your design but make sure you are doing something that warrants being noticed.