If you’re like a lot of nonprofits or small businesses, you may not have a dedicated in-house digital team to guide and monitor your daily efforts. If this reflects your current situation, don’t despair. Here are a few helpful guidelines to keep in mind as you embark upon your journey.
Be crystal clear about what you want to achieve through your social media marketing efforts. Craft real digital marketing goals that go beyond the standard ‘let’s build a Facebook page’. Think in terms of audience engagement and interactions, front of mind brand positioning, subscriptions, event participation and other profile enhancing activities.
Now, it’s worth spending a little time on this step. It’s so important to be crystal clear about what you want to achieve as the social media goals for your business will shape and drive the nature of all future communications.
Choose your channels carefully. Don’t try to be everywhere all at once. Decide which audience to target, determine where that audience typically hangs out online and then publish relevant, high value, high quality content to those channels at the right frequency.
If you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to pick just one or two channels to focus on first. Test the waters by engaging with your audience, developing the right tactics, processes, creative assets, and metrics that you can learn from. And only expand your channels once you’re operationally efficient and confident you can continue to a frequently and consistent quality that will be adored by your audience and feared by your competitors.
Closely monitor and follow what your competitors and peers are doing online. Try to figure out what’s working for them. How do you compare? Are you missing a trick somewhere? There’s absolutely no shame in emulating the successful campaigns of the biggest players, particularly when you’re able to tailor that campaign to your audience’s specific tastes.
It’s also important to keep your social channels creatively up-to-date by following the latest styles and trends that your audience will enjoy. Again, it will really help to monitor the most creative and skilful players online and derive inspiration from what they’re doing.
Pay close attention to your engaged audience. Analyse which information they seem to enjoy and interact with the most. Continue to publish more of the type of content that really gets people buzzing. But, don’t forget to experiment too. Be creative, adventurous, bold and innovative, you’ll enjoy the experience and process while keeping your audience intrigued and coming back for more.
Don’t forget, if you want to hear what people think, don’t be afraid to ask them! This is an excellent way of increasing engagement rates and giving your audience ‘permission’ to voice their opinions, comments or appreciation. You can find lots of inspiration online about what sort of questions work well with online audiences.
Monitor, measure and expand your activities by using tools such as Facebook’s Instant Post Insights and Twitter retweets and mentions. Make use of web analytics tools and track web traffic data, email sign ups, and blog post engagements. Most importantly, be fluid enough to adapt and tweak posts if you notice things aren’t working quite as you expected.
Be sure to use your social media channels to build strong networks around you. Identify and follow industry leaders, connect with those who are most engaged and industry-connected, collaborate with like-minded individuals and groups, and promote your peers through mentions and cross links. Be present, engaged and active where it counts.
Social channels tend to be wonderfully reciprocal environments. By liking, following, or retweeting someone, you’ll tend to find they’ll reciprocate in some way – thus leading to the start of what could turn out to be a very rewarding relationship. So don’t be shy, reach out, say hello, introduce yourself, and start building those relationships online.
Take advantage of readily available online tools to optimise the way you work. Explore the likes of Hootsuite, Facebook Insights, Social Mention, Social Oomph, Social Flow, Tweepi, Crowdbooster, quozio, photopin, morgue file, and others.
These will not only increase your productivity, but will almost certainly improve your ability to track and monitor each post so that you can learn what’s working well for your brand, and what is simply wasting your time.
As you forge ahead with your campaigns, don’t forget to acknowledge and thank your loyal followers and celebrate milestones and mid-term wins. Every single achievement is an opportunity to publish content that helps you connect more deeply with your audience.
Perhaps this one is key. Don’t despair if you don’t see immediate gains from all of your activity. After all, the biggest brands have massive budgets, dedicated teams and industry experts at their disposal. But they all started somewhere. With a clear strategy, and a consistent commitment to your tactics, the long term benefits will be evident and with time, you will accomplish your long term goals.
Fear not if any of this sounds even remotely daunting to you. At Digital Gold HQ, we have a friendly and reliable team on hand to help with all of your social media marketing and digital strategy needs.
If you’d like an informal chat with one of our team, you can fill out our contact form here and we’ll be in touch right away. Alternatively, you may prefer to call Nina Epellé directly on +44 (0) 1865 60 10 20 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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