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Marketing Monday #4: Social Media for Business Marketing 101

Whether we love it or hate it, social media is here to stay.  It continuously grows, with more and more sites becoming significant: Twittering has become the new email, IM, and advertisement in one, Facebook statuses can replace the customer survey and LinkedIn is placing people in jobs more accurately than and as frequently as career search sites like  New social media sites emerge regularly and people grab on to them for dear life.  As a result, social media is the best way for businesses to connect with current and potential customers.  However, with the vast number and various types of social media sites, it can be tricky to know how to maneuver in this arena.  Businesses usually want the most “bang for their bucks” and social media is definitely one big bang!  However, to accomplish this you must have a game plan which is called a Social Media Marketing Plan.  A few questions will start you off:  What sites should I use?  How many to sites should I use?  How often should I post to be effective?

Step One

These are all good questions but the bigger; maybe the biggest question to ask is “What is my goal of using social media to market my business?”  You should think this through and figure it out before attacking any of the other questions.  The answer will guide the direction you take and this is how you begin to develop a social media plan.  So, step one is to figure out your goal for using this type of marketing.

Step Two

Let’s revisit the initial questions. What sites should I use?  How many to sites should I use?  How often should I post to be effective?  Let’s attack the first two.  The specific sites your business decides to use can and should be determined by your customers.  Ask them!  When closing a deal or selling a product include a quick question about what social media sites they use most frequently and proceed accordingly.

The number of sites to post on depends on your bandwidth.  Most small companies and/or companies just starting out will be best served by starting small with a blog and one social media site.  Work diligently to build these up with content and SEO in order to create a following, reputation and email list (if desired).  Once these sites are consistent and effective, you should look into gradually adding more sites to your Marketing Plan.

If you are a part of a bigger company, look into having a dedicated person or people to manage social media.  Do this by assigning people to their own sites or hiring a Social Media Coordinator/Manager to manage all of your efforts.  If you choose the route of multiple people, be sure that everyone understands the Social Media Plan and the ultimate goal so that there is consistency amongst the various platforms.

Step Three

The third question…How often should I post to be effective?  Frequently!  If you are looking for specifics, I would say 3 to 7 times a day.  Posting one time will not be effective due to many reasons but most notably because of the vast amount of content flowing through these sites and the timing that people log onto the sites.  All of your customers do not log on at one time every day, which means many of them will miss that one post.  In order to prevent, what may seem like a lack of presence due to low posting, post sporadically through out the day.  At a minimum, you should post 3 times a day (morning, noon and night).  However, posting closer to seven times a day will definitely increase brand recognition and customer engagement.

Hopefully, this information will boost you in the right direction.  If you run into any issues or need assistance feel free to contact us.  We’ll be glad to help.