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Social Media 101

With the evolution of all things digital still rocketing, social media is often seen as the key to successfully promoting your brand-new business or current venture. As good as social media can be, it isn’t as easy as putting an ad in the local newspaper or paying for a radio advert as the old traditional marketing techniques may be. Lucky for you, I’ve researched 5 simple steps for launching your social media below.

1. Set high but achievable aims & objectives

Being realistic when setting your goals at the beginning is key; ensure they’re not too timid so you see no change and not too big of an expectation that they are unachievable. Set your goals with a time frame so you know exactly what you want to accomplish and when by, as this will help you visualise all the smaller steps you’ll need to take to reach your bigger, overall goals.

Your social media aims & objectives should be broken down into short and long-term goals. Initially, you should look at increasing brand awareness, boost your follower counts and reach more people through your social media posts with the over-riding aim to boost follower interaction as much as possible.

In the long term, you should start generating new leads through your social media, this can come from new followers, content engagement and driving traffic to your website. Start converting these leads into revenue. If you don’t have a long sales process, you can use social media to turn your audience into paying customers directly.

2. Choose the right platform for your business

There is a vast array of social media platforms to choose from out there and finding the right ones to promote your business can be a bit overwhelming. The first step is to conduct a bit of research to find out where your target audience spends most of their time.

Secondly, think about the type of content that you’ll be posting. Blog posts and article sharing is better suited for sites like Facebook and Twitter but if you focus heavily on visual content like photos and videos, platforms like YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest might be better matched to you.

3. Set the right tone for your content

One mistake commonly made by businesses on social media is using the wrong tone in their content. You’ll find that B2B companies tend to use a more professional, direct and serious tone to address their audience, whereas B2C businesses are usually more informal, friendly and entertaining.

Finding the right tone for you can vary on a few different things such as audience type, company culture, objectives, and branding. These parameters aren’t set in stone though, as you’ll find competitors in the same industry that have the same target audience can have a different tone to their content, depending on how they want their brand to be perceived.

4. Create and schedule your content

Create a variety of different content for your social to avoid your page becoming a hole load of boring posts trying to push your products and services down your followers’ throats in attempt to try and make them buy. The best way to prepare and visualise a content plan is to use a content calendar (many companies like & help you manage all your social in one place).

It is essential to keep your material fresh and relevant, relate your scheduled posts to upcoming public events, holidays and even things like current pop culture trends. If you let your content stagnate and don’t plan posts in advance, you risk deviating from the schedule and disconnecting from your audience.

5. Test and measure your results

With so many factors involved in launching your social media, getting it perfect on the first attempt is near impossible. Some of your posts may get no engagement at all while others might go viral.

Analyse your social media, look at what’s working and what isn’t. Test and measure the success of the platforms you’re using, content you’re publishing and the schedule you’ve got in place. This can help your business streamline its strategy and get better results.

Get the ball rolling! Following these simple steps will help you launch your businesses social media strategy in the right way and move you further towards your goal of gaining followers, building brand awareness, boosting engagement, and eventually, capturing more leads.

Want more? There's a whole schedule of Digital Marketing and Social Media master-classes at the Northern Business Expo in March, and they're all free to attend. Google Digital Garage are also hosting free sessions - so why not get digital marketing tips direct from the experts while you're there? Simply get your free ticket here and then we'll see you on 17th & 18th March at Manchester Central!

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