Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the Social Media Marketing World Conference in San Diego, CA. I attended because I needed direction, sure I want to kick my social media marketing up a notch, but I need those efforts to be effective. There are so many social media options I was having a hard time figuring out which ones were best for me and my business needs. Here is a synopsis of the key tips and tools that I plan on incorporating into my social media plan. I hope you find them as helpful as I have.
As business owners our intent is to attract new customers and keep them coming back for more. We have to know who our target customers are and what types of problems/issues they face. That way we can solve the problem for them i.e. answer the question, provide the product, etc. We have to care about our customers and their needs. Customers on the other hand don’t really care about our business, sure they like us and want us to do well, but that is “us” the person not our BUSINESS. People don’t trust businesses, they trust people. Our customers want to hear what we the person has to say. Consider posting on your Facebook page as you when you create original content, instead of posting as your business.
Massage is a service. We can’t provide a customer with a massage on social media outlets, but we can educate them on the benefits of massage and offer them special discounts to encourage them to book an appointment with us. Why should your clients/community visit your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Google +? What problem do you solve? What question do you answer? If you don’t know, you should!
Organizing and planning social media posts will help create consistency in your message. As in all things, consistency is key in when you post, what you post and why you post. Joe Pulizzi from contentmarketinginsitute.com calls this “Sales, Savings and Sunshine” because posts ideally are created with the intention of:
Saving your company money
And/or making customers happier
Since people trust people, not businesses, and since the customer primarily cares about themselves, they don’t really want to listen (or read) about how great you or your business is! They want to learn, be entertained and save money. So your posts should fill these needs. At the conference, I repeatedly heard two things over and over again: 4 - 1 – 1 and other people’s content.
For every 6 posts you make:
4 should be other people’s content (OPC) that is interesting to your target group. It is great if the OPC you share comes from people that already have influence with your target group. This allows you to have that influence rub off on you! Be sure to tag the other person whose content you are sharing.
1 should be a sales post, such as a weekly special, announcement of available sessions or a coupon/discount.
1 should be content marketing. This is where many of us fall short, but creating your own content is what helps differentiate you from the rest. This is where you get to share your knowledge and identify yourself as an expert in your industry. Blogs are a great example of content marketing. One caution that was consistently raised was to be sure you build your content on land you own instead of rent. So hosting your blog on your website instead of a service such as Blogger. That way you control the content and readers are viewing it from your site. Additionally, consider looking into Google authorship to help build SEO for your blog posts.
I could go on and on about all the cool social media tips I learned at the conference, but the bottom line is for your social media plan to work you have to know why you are doing it, who you are targeting and then create posts that interest those people. Ask yourself why you are creating each social media channel. Do you want more “likes”? Are you trying to support clients with their health goals? Do you want more massage clients? Once you identify your “why” and “who” you can design your marketing to fit those goals.