For many small businesses, creating and maintaining a presence on social media is overwhelming. With so much information and software to manage, it’s easy to feel behind before you’ve even begun! To make it less burdensome, I’m sharing my favorite tips to give your business a solid start.
Whether you handle social media marketing in-house, or hire a consultant to do it for you, these four tips will help you stay organized and set a good foundation.
Tip 1: Get Google Analytics on your website
Google Analytics is the most widely used analytics software on the internet. It tracks and reports activity on your company website, giving you valuable data to measure your marketing efforts. Plus, it’s free. Setting up an account and installing the code on your website is easy. Once in place, it will do all the hard work for you, capturing data in your Google Analytics dashboard until you need it.
As your digital marketing efforts evolve, the reports and tools that Google Analytics offers will become increasingly valuable. But, for now, just set up your account and make sure it’s working. This alone will gather historical data that will be incredibly helpful later.
Tip 2: Organize all account information in one place
As you set up your business on different social media platforms, you’ll have more accounts, passwords, usernames, handles, and URLs than you’ll know what to do with. Capture all of this information in a spreadsheet. It doesn’t need to be fancy, just functional.
These platforms become marketing assets to your company, so you don’t want to forget how to access them. Save and protect all of your site information and make it readily available to your marketing managers and company executives.
Tip 3: Prioritize your platforms
Most companies set up profiles on the leading social media platforms to cover their bases. According to SmallBizTrends.com, the most popular sites include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+. Beyond social media, many companies also set up accounts for e-mail marketing (such as MailChimp) and digital advertising.
It’s great to keep your options open. However, consider that with each platform you add, you increase your commitment to develop, post, and manage content exponentially. Who has the time? This is why I recommend ranking your platforms in order of priority. Your decisions should be based on factors including your target audience, your goods or services, and your marketing strategy. This will help you be in a position to allocate resources and time most effectively.
Tip 4: Customize your profiles for brand consistency
Each platform offers the opportunity to customize the profile to your company’s brand and marketing messages. While the number of text fields and images vary, most sites give you a place to upload the following: a logo, a cover image, location and contact information, and a company description.
At a basic level, it is important to be consistent in the information you share. However, you can use each platform to speak to a specific target market. It’s possible to position your marketing messages and images differently on different sites. For example, Facebook has a fun, social vibe, while LinkedIn is strictly professional. But, if you’re just getting started, keep it simple and ensure that all your profiles match, and are complete and accurate.
Note: If you haven’t already signed-up for social media accounts, it’s a good practice to choose a username (or a “handle”) that is the same across platforms. An easy way to check availability is to enter your company name on a site like namecheckr.com.
Bonus Tip: Create a style guide
Although it requires an up-front investment of time and energy, creating a style guide for your company will streamline marketing tasks, build consistency, and reinforce your brand. This document becomes the brand Bible for your business, documenting the “rules” for using your fonts, logo, brand colors, key messages, images, and tone-of-voice in all the communications you develop.
And now for the next challenge… Content!
The topic of social media marketing is so broad that this post barely scratched the surface. However, the key to building a successful program is to have a strong and well-built foundation. With these four steps in place, your business will be in a position to begin selecting and developing content. That’s a topic I’ll explore in an upcoming post, so check back again soon!
Want help with any of the steps above, or have a question? Send me an email.