for growth-driven brands.

We all know that we should be doing something about our social media marketing, but many marketing managers and business owners wonder what, specifically, it is they should be doing to gain traction and get consistent leads from their social media efforts. Whether you’re in Calgary internet marketing or anywhere else in the world, these tips will give you actionable tools and steps to take, and ensure that your efforts are actually paying off. So let’s get started.

When you look at your marketing plan, it’s essential to know exactly who your target audience is, before you make any decisions about media vehicles and social media platforms. At BottomLine, we always start with proper market research and building an in-depth customer avatar.

To see how effective proper research can be, skip over to our post How We Found $76K for a Business Using Only Market Research.

This is where we recommend that you start too, but you can certainly get going with just the basics.

You want to really understand your customers from every level, working out the demographics and psychographics, so you can understand what will really motivate them to interact with you, and eventually purchase from you.

We’ve created a handy-dandy downloadable worksheet for you to fully build your customer avatar.

Customer Avatar Worksheet – Get yours here.

Print it out and follow along.  Building customer avatars is part of our market research process, because you can’t properly market to someone until you understand them.

We start with wants and values of your current and potential clients.

  • What does the customer really want in their life or their business?
  • Is there something that they’re trying to achieve?
  • Is there something that they really value?

Then we move onto their pain points.

  • What sort of challenges does your target have?
  • What are they frustrated with?
  • What are they tired of?

Next, it’s important to take a look at where they hang out, and what makes them tick.

  • Are there particular publications they would read?
  • Blogs they would follow?
  • Interests they have?
  • Places they go?

All of this information will help you with your targeting.

Now that you’ve built an avatar of who your customer is, you need to look at creating a strategy around it. We recommend creating content, not only your around your avatar, but also around a specific goal you want to meet. That way you have a clear direction for your posts.

Having an editorial calendar is key to success with social media. We all get caught up in the day to day of our businesses, and if you don’t have a plan to follow, it will be exceptionally difficult to execute on the specific plan you build. You can create an editorial calendar in something as simple as excel. Be sure you are posting on each social media platform daily.

We suggest writing a blog post a minimum of once per week, and then repurpose the content inside it. So select your blog topics first, write the blogs, then pluck out quotes from the blog that can be worked into posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. This will give you some quick and easy posts to start with. You can then fill in the rest of the month with quotes, articles that are from other sources, photos, questions, and so on. The idea is to create a really good mix of content.

The biggest factor is to make sure is that ALL your content adds value to your specific avatar.

I’ll say that again…content that adds VALUE.

This is probably the biggest mistake that’s made with social media. People think they need to broadcast “buy from me, buy from me” but what you really need to do is set yourself apart as an expert and a leader in your industry. Be someone they can turn to for help. Then once your customer trusts you, they’ll buy from you. So continue to add value wherever you can!

Your next step is to take a look at the keywords and hashtags related to your particular product or service. Is there a strategy you can build around the hashtags and/or keywords in your posts? Be sure to choose keywords that truly fit your business. For example, Advertising Agencies Calgary is one of our keywords. It is exactly what we are, so it makes sense to use it in our hashtags as well. Sometimes companies use other keywords or hashtags that don’t support their business, which won’t support a marketing and SEO strategy to create the consistency necessary to drive business leads.

Linking back to your blog or website with your social media posts is also important to your strategy because the backlinks will help with your website’s organic ranking. It also gives people new to you and your business a quick way to get to your website to learn more about what you do and how you might be able to help them.

The last thing to plan with your organic content is – how will you engage your users? Tagging people in your posts, running contests, chatting with people, is what social media is all about.You have to be SOCIAL. Remember that it’s a conversation and a way to build relationships, not a broadcast platform. The more that you reach out, connect, and engage with people, the stronger your relationship will be.

There are also paid ads on social media, which can definitely gain a lot of traction for your business when they are done well. But that’s a whole other blog post!

Good luck…and remember – be consistent.

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