The New Year is approaching and you may still be wondering about a simple social marketing strategy for 2016. You may have already jumped into the deep end with social media marketing or perhaps just your big toe in 2015 but there is no doubt that you must include a social media marketing strategy. I have found after talking with and training clients for the past six years, that the toughest part of all of the social media information is how to incorporate a simple social media strategy into a small or medium sized business. I am talking about businesses that do not have the budgets of the “big boys” or their brand recognition such as Coke, Nike, Victoria Secret, McDonald’s, etc.
Most of the businesses we deal with are small to medium sized and they are working as hard as they can to figure out a simple social media strategy that doesn’t consume too much time or money. In most cases, people inside the company will be designated responsible for the social media marketing. I always encourage that the entire team get involved so that every employee is an ambassador for the company on social media. Of course, this requires a comprehensive social media policy which is approved by an attorney and/or human resources professional and it must be communicated to all levels of the organization. Then all levels of employees must be properly trained on social media so that everyone understands HOW to be an ambassador for the company on social media.
Back to a simple social media strategy for 2016. Here are some basic steps to get you started or get you on a more organized schedule. Remember that not every social media platform is suitable for every business and when you are looking at a social media marketing strategy to fit your manpower and budget, begin by focusing on where you are most likely to see ROI. Return on Investment is still an ambiguous factor in social media marketing because unless you are putting an offer and getting a direct response to that offer it is hard to determine exact ROI. That being said, you want to focus on where your customers are likely to be. Using contests, offers and social advertising to a specific landing page can help but let’s not lose sight of the fact that NOT using social media marketing puts you at a definite risk of becoming irrelevant and looking like a marketing dinosaur. You may not have exact figures for your social media marketing strategy but you also will not know the business you are NOT getting if you aren’t visible on social media platforms.
Steps to get deeper into the social media pool or just dipping your toe in:
Here’s a question I often get – should I use a social media dashboard such as Hootsuite? I don’t recommend it for small businesses unless you are sure to engage and monitor. I prefer to go to each platform because each platform is different and should have a different “tone” even if the same thing is posted.
Be sure to integrate all of your marketing with your social media marketing strategy. Whatever promotions you are doing via your website, landing pages, email marketing, direct mail and print should be coordinated with what you are doing for your social media marketing.
Keep it simple. You do not need to feel overwhelmed by social media marketing. A simple social media strategy that reflects what is going on with your company, your employees, educates and uses humor can go a long way to building a loyal customer following on social media. Let your customers become advocates for you by incorporating a simple social media strategy for 2016.