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Close to 94% of ALL small businesses in the US are taking advantage of social media as a marketing and advertising platform – but, unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of them are getting it wrong and aren’t seeing anywhere near the kinds of results they are expecting or anticipating.

It’s easy to understand why.

The temptation is always going to be there to pump paid advertising, obvious marketing messages, and organic ads on a pretty much nonstop basis to your social media accounts, if only because this is one of the most proven methods for getting your hands on incredibly targeted traffic.

However, if you take this kind of shotgun style approach you’re almost guaranteed to end up regretting it (sooner rather than later). Instead, you need to be a lot more strategic and a lot more surgical.

And that’s exactly what we are going to help you with here in this quick guide.

You are going to need a master plan before you dive right in to social media advertising

app-apps-communicationGetting set up with social media accounts for your business isn’t hard at all. If you can fire off an email or sign up for Facebook you can get yourself running on almost all of the major social media networks there – but that doesn’t mean that you should just dive right in with no real strategy, getting started with social media just to get started.

You’re going to need a master plan if you are going to have any real success.

For starters, you need to abandon the idea of trying to push your marketing messages across ALL social media channels (at least for right now) and instead take a much simpler and more straightforward approach to this kind of advertising.

The most successful social media campaigns for small businesses just starting out are almost always campaigns that start off on a single channel that has been selected very carefully and for very specific properties. This gives you every opportunity to connect with your perfect prospect and your ideal market so that you aren’t wasting time, energy, or resources on marketing that just won’t pay up.

For most small businesses, Facebook is going to be the perfect place to get started with your first few successful social media marketing campaigns.

With more than 1 billion active users logging into Facebook every single day, the sheer volume of traffic available to tap into is unparalleled. Facebook social media marketing tools are also pretty advanced “under the hood,” but relatively effortless to use even if you don’t yet have a social media assistant or the best internet marketing company helping you every step of the way.

You’ll be able to laser target your perfect prospect with the kinds of demographic and targeting tools that just aren’t available anywhere else outside of maybe the Google advertising network. This lets you keep your marketing affordable, but also gives you the chance to optimize each individual campaign until you find a real winner.

Twitter is another of the social media profiles you’re likely going to want to get started with as a small business owner, but probably only after you get your Facebook advertising working the way you want it to. Twitter is a powerful tool for communication, but it’s average user is looking to take advantage of it for communication – making it a fantastic solution for customer service, for example.

Marketing on Twitter needs to be a lot more organic and a lot more “native”. Basically it needs to look like anything but marketing or advertising on the surface while still handling the heavy lifting of getting new prospects and customers.

Instagram can be both one of the easiest to take advantage of social media platforms as well as one of the most challenging, depending upon the specifics of your products, your services, and your target market.

If you’re selling something that can be advertised in a particularly visual way, Instagram is going to pay off almost right out of the gate. But, if your products or services are a little bit more nebulous or intangible, things can get a little tricky.

At the end of the day, it really all comes down to thinking about who your perfect prospect is and the social media marketing channel that they are most likely going to be using – and the one that they are going to be most receptive to your advertising on.

You need to knock your message to market match right out of the park.

Now that you understand who your perfect prospect is and where they are most likely going to be found on social media, it’s time to come up with campaigns that are going to connect with them, resonate with them, and stand every chance of giving you the kind of conversions you are looking for.

This is something that the best internet marketing company experts out there spend a lot of time trying to figure out and master.

It’s definitely something that a social media assistant needs to be putting in a tremendous amount of time on, and something that you have to continuously test, track, and optimize so that you know exactly when your message to market match isn’t quite as effective as it might have been before.

Successful social media marketing examples on Facebook, for example, are going to include ad campaigns that look a lot more like news or updates, whereas successful social media marketing examples on Twitter or on Instagram will look like something else entirely.

Again, it really all comes back to thinking about where your prospect is (not only what platform they are on but what their social media expectations are and what their headspace is when they are being served your advertising) – something that not enough otherwise smart and savvy marketers or entrepreneurs spend valuable time on.

Enjoying this social media guide?

Check back later this week for Part II where we’ll learn more about the expectations and optimization of social media advertising.

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Looking for a local social media expert to guide you through the steps of a successful digital marketing campaign? Contact UNIFY marketing & technology solutions! We’d love to sit down with you, maybe over coffee, to discuss your next profitable marketing campaign. We are conveniently located in Maumee, OH, but serve clients nationwide. Reach out to us TODAY! 419.740.1010 | [email protected]