I created this as a speculative lesson plan for a brief introduction to Social Media Marketing for those who want to know more about how to start marketing their business or even themselves personally.
Digital Marketing is a huge subject – it includes advertising on digital platforms including YouTube, digital advertising and beyond. This session concentrates on the social media side of digital marketing, which is helpfully called Social Media Marketing.This session is just the starting blocks. Afterwards you can dip in and use social media effectively to promote either a business, initiative, project or even yourself. We will look at how to get the best out of social media and start you on the route to mastering becoming more confident in selling yourself and your business.In a digital world, where there is an increased focus the internet, connectivity and mobile devices, being able to effectively promote and engage with potential customers, employers and clients is vital skill. There are five things to bear in mind when you start to look at promotion and over this session we’ll think about methods and techniques you can use to get the best out of social media-
Strategy – What are you going to say? Who are you going to say it to? When are you going to say it? It is important to have a consistent and regular plan of content. Branding – Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but in the word of corporate image making sure you have a snappy logo and effective use of Header Images can effect first impressions Message – You know when you’re going to say it, you know who you’re going to say it to, but WHAT are you going to say? Having a clear idea of your message is important. Professionalism – Staying professional and on-point will make a lasting impression. How do you deal with trolls? Maybe customer complaints? Time – Time is money, are you really getting that Return On Investment? What if you haven’t got enough time?
You will be able to:
Understand the importance of using social platforms for promotion and advertising Identify an appropriate social network for your marketing strategy Gained a familiarity on the importance of content posted with tips and ideas for effective content to post
Our world has made fundamental shifts in recent years. Forty years ago there was only a few narrow channels – TV advertising, radio advertising and newspaper/magazine advertising were pretty much the only methods that businesses could use. These traditional methods were, compared to digital methods, not overly cheap and in order to create an effective strategy to promote businesses, business owners would have to have the resources to hire an advertising agency and if they didn’t have the resources then it was often hard to make an impact. Resorting to cards in shop windows, regional newspaper adverts and posters were often the cheapest and easiest way to advertise budgets limited.For business owners and sole traders in our modern age, the possibilities are endless with those traditional forms of advertising still existing alongside the new digital mediums. It is easy to reach a large audience for very little money, and effective content along with a hefty dose of engagement, can really open doors.
Digital Marketing is a massive subject but there are a few starting points – this session is designed to get you started and will give you some ideas about where to go next if you want to learn more about maximising your digital presence.
Everyone in the room will have heard of if not used at least one of these social networks – Using social media to advertise and communicate to potential customers is:Cheap – it costs nothing to set up an account and there is no subscription charge – there is nothing to pay unless you opt to take advantage of advertisingGreat for control freaks - There is no subscription and you have complete control over what you post.Excellent if you want to reach an audience fast – those followers that you do have, you can reach them whilst they are on the move via their mobile devices.
This chart only goes to support the size and reach of social networks in the UK in 2017.One thing to note here is that Google Plus is still active, but Instagram has grown in popularity and now surpasses Google Plus.Snapchat is mostly popular with teenagers – most adults look at in desperate confusion.
It is best practice to come up with a Social Media Strategy. This helps codify and clarify what you’re going to do, who you’re going to engage with and when you’re going to post. When writing your strategy, ask yourself the following questions - Why do you want to use social media to market? It seems like an obvious question why do you want to use social media? Is it to gain new customers or promote yourself or possibly a charity?How much will it cost? Can you afford to allocate a budget to marketing – if your budget is zero, what tools might you want to use to make life easier for you? Can you afford professional advice? If you don’t fancy letting a PR firm do it, can you hone your skills online as part of a MOOC? There are lots of resources available online, but not all of them helpful or impartial.Which networks will I use?You don’t need to be on all networks. Depending on your demographic, audience and objectives, will depend on which networks you invest time into.How much time can I dedicate? One of the most important elements of using social media marketing is regular and consistent updates. Can you put aside time each day to plan, create and update interesting and engaging content? If not are there tools that can save you time? Time is as precious to your business as money, you need to know how if you’ll get your ROI (Return On Investment)
So which social networks should you concentrate on?There isn’t a clear answer as everyone’s message might be slightly different - but it very much depends on your audience and who you are trying to reach. When deciding which networks you should concentrate on think of the following questions.Who is my audience? Age is important. Teenagers generally gravitate to Instagram and Snapchat - older people are still using Facebook. More women use Pinterest - Twitter is popular with a wide demographic but increasingly teenagers as well etc.What is my message?
LinkedIn – Perfect for selling your skills online to potential employers. More formal than other networking sites. Businesses can create pages on LinkedIn as well as Individuals.Facebook – by far the biggest network with 72% of adult internet users having used or actively using Facebook. Facebook has an ad program that allows companies and inviduals to boost posts and content for a small amount. Allows for customisation and highly versatile. Very versatile social network which is used for both professional and personal activities. Widely known that teenagers are leaving Facebook given their parents are more than likely to be on this network too.Allows users to post video, images, create events and stories.Instagram – Owned by Facebook. Perfect for photos and highly visual storytelling. Instagram stories are popular with their users being the first network to introduce them. Popular with teenagers, Instagram became popular because of the vintage retro look filters that allowed quick and easy editing. Also has an Ad program which allows users with a budget to promote themselves/brand/service quickly and cheaply.Twitter – The network with an identity crisis. Doesn’t consider itself a social media platform, but rather a news platform. Has a large userbase and easy to spread a message quickly. Also good for professional networking like LinkedIn. Because of the brevity of posts and the volume per day, users need to send a lot of tweets daily to make an impact.Pinterest – Like Instagram, a very visual platform. Really good for showing off food, design ideas etc. Very Niche in audience and scope. Needs visually attractive content.YouTube – The second biggest search engine behind Google. The increasing popularity of video makes YouTube very relevant to users with a story to tell. But given the increasing quality of video making and the expectations of users, be prepared to make an investment if you use this platform. If you have terrible quality video, it can be hard to stand out if video content does not give value.https://www.123-reg.co.uk/blog/online-marketing/social-media-platform-business/https://blog.kissmetrics.com/which-social-accounts-matter/http://theweek.com/speedreads/754688/teenagers-are-abandoning-facebook
Having a consistent visual message across your platforms shows your brand is cohesive. A unified image only goes to strengthen the image of professionalism as a business and an individual.Not all profile pictures are created equal. If you have a lot of text in your logo, it might not stand out on a mobile device so its worth creating a version of your logo just for social media so it fits in and is clearly visible. Sometimes the simplest things make the biggest impact. Choose a ‘hex code’ for your colour and stick to it across all your networks.
Coca Cola is a great example of a company that has a unified branding strategy. The logo is the same across all platforms and the only colours visible is white and red. Little things like this can make a huge difference.
What are you trying to say and how are you going to say it? These are two important elements of your message that you need to be clear about from the offset.
Not sure what I mean? Think about two businesses, a solicitors and a toy shop.
The solicitor will choose to advertise using language that might be much more formal, yet still maintain and friendly tone. A toy shop will use energized language with an enthusiastic tone, they won’t need to be so formal as their potential customers will be generally younger.What is the difference between voice and tone? When you jump into the discussion of voice in social media marketing, you can’t help but touch on tone as well. The two go hand-in-hand and are often used interchangeably. In this sense, it’s less important what the definitions are as long as you have definitions. You’ll be better off knowing where you’re headed with a well-defined direction.The definitions that make the most sense to me are the ones that note a difference between voice and tone. Gather Content breaks down the difference in this way: Voice: Your brand personality described in an adjective. For instance, brands can be lively, positive, cynical, or professional. Tone: A subset of your brand’s voice. Tone adds specific flavor to your voice based on factors like audience, situation, and channel. Essentially, there is one voice for your brand and many tones that refine that voice. Voice is a mission statement. Tone is the application of that mission. Another way of looking at voice is through a four-part formula suggested by Stephanie Schwab, writing for Social Media Explorer. She takes the general topic of voice and breaks it down into not only tone but also character, language, and purpose. In the graphic below, she uses adjectives to define each different area of the overall brand voice: Character / persona – Who does your brand sound like? If you picture your social brand as a person (a character), here is where you can flesh out this identity with specific attributes that fit who you want to sound like online. Tone – What is the general vibe of your brand? – Toy Shop would be fun, enthusiastic and excited – Solicitors would be professional, succinct and formal Language – What kind of words do you use in your social media conversations? – Toy Shop would be uncomplicated, simple but not patronising (the parents are the ones with the money!) – Solicitors would also use simple language but could be using more drier terms. Purpose – Why are you on social media in the first place? Together, these four areas can help define the overall voice of your brand. It’s a helpful exercise to go through these steps to gain insight into each area, and as you’ll see below, the process for determining your social media voice includes many of these same ideas and parts. https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-marketing-voice-and-tone
Social Media can convey your message to thousands of people quickly. Once a follower has seen your post, it will be hard to unsee!
Spelling and grammar – Make sure you’ve spelt everything correctly and double check your grammar too. Read your post out loud to make sure it sounds right! In the days of typesetting and Fleet Street, The Guardian newspaper always contained spelling and grammatical errors, giving it the unfortunate reputation which earned it the nickname the Gruniad. Don’t be a Gruniad!Never reply in anger – One of the big mistakes many of us often fall into is the feeling they need to defend themselves against unfair comments and reviews online (Tripadvisor is a good example). Wading in and arguing with customer online is most probably one of the worst things a business can do. It looks unprofessional and can be damaging to your companies/your own reputation. Here are a couple of ways of defusing a situation online. Encourage the disgruntled party to contact your company via email. This means the argument has been taken out of the public eye and will save you some embarrassment. Walk away from an argument. Reply twice at the most, keep the language convivial and friendly which can often deflate an angry keyboard warrior, but don’t enter into a rally of words. Don’t be afraid to block. All social media networks give you the option to block unwanted followers if you feel harassed.
Personal versus professional – If you are promoting a business or a cause, then it is advisable to create a separate account for your business/cause. Don’t be tempted to amalgamate it with your personal life, keep them separated! This means you are conveying a consistent message related to one thing rather than a message interspersed with pictures of puppies. If you’re promoting yourself, consider setting up a LinkedIn account to promote your professional activities and network. Facebook can be used for networking, but it is not advised given its personal nature.If you’re a big fan of Twitter, consider creating a professional Twitter account and network with others in your industry. This isn’t a strict rule given everyone is different, but it is recommended in keeping professional and personal separate.
For a business, time is as precious as the money it earns. To begin with, time spent building followers and engaging with potential customers and advertising your company or cause can seem wasted if you don’t immediately see results. Patience and consistent engagement is needed.
But consider how much time might be too much time? For everyone this will be different and you might enjoy the process of being on social media networks, but there are a few time saving tips to help you along the way.There are online tools that will let you post to multiple networks and schedule posts too. Tweetdeck is a free tool provided by Twitter that is only available via desktop, but it will let you schedule posts days if not weeks ahead.Klout is a free tool that also allows users to post to Facebook and Twitter, but it gives you important information about when those on your social network as most active which allows you to optimise the timing of your posts.Hootsuite is a paid for service that allows much of the same functions.Planning posts in advance mean that you don’t have to waste too much time hunting for interesting things to say. If you pre-schedule your posts, don’t forget what you’ve published! If you want to know more about these services, you are able to book an IDP one-to-one session. They would be able to go through some of these with you.
Right – so you’ve set up your social media channels. Now what?
We’re going to have a look at three things to bear in mind once you’ve set up your accounts.1. Engagement – the importance of communication and relationship building 2. Hashtags – finding out the most used and relevant hashtags and how to use them3. Influencers - the popular people who will help spread your message
Whats a hashtag?Hashtags have become one of the most useful tools in social media. Many of the top social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram use these to generate more followers and keep people abreast with the latest news and products. Hashtags have also turned into very effective marketing tools. Almost all things can have a hashtag made around them. They were first developed to gather posts about certain topics, but have become much more than a method or sorting information. Chris Messina, a social technology expert, is credited to have come up with the very first hashtag on Twitter. He first posted the hashtag #barcamp in August 2007. The whole tweet appeared like this: ?how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?? Messina came up with the hashtag with the purpose of gathering discussions and online exchanges regarding Barcamp, a technology unconference gathering activity that spans worldwide. Since then, hashtags have spread to other social media sites and all over the internet to become one of the most widely used functions.Hashtags can be used to advertise, show emotion, announce an event, introduce a product, recommend or find people with the same interests. The main purpose is to make the topic easy to find and to look for relevant users that can help expand your network. For example, you can come up with the hashtag #SuperBowlXXXIX to talk about the biggest event in American football, #dogaddicts to find fellow pet lovers or #Ferrari2013 to find out more about the new features and characteristics of the latest model from the car company. There are also top trending hashtags on Twitter and other social media sites which you can observe to determine the general traits that make it highly popular and successful.Many social media users incorporate hashtags nonstop and put five or more in a single tweet. This can be very confusing to users. Another annoying mistake is hashtagging every word or several which pertain to different topics. Many posts turn out to be very confusing or lack sense because of too many words being hashtagged. Also avoid hashtagging the same word in a single statement more than once. Put the proper capitalizations, instead of spaces, to separate words. Use about 2 to 3 hashtags per tweet which refer to the same idea or at least related to the main topic.Hashtags are usually placed at the end of the post. Do not try to fill up all the available characters though. You can also include hashtags in the middle of the sentence or in the beginning. The rule is not to use too many in one post.Some popular are connected with the day of the week: #MotivationMonday #CharityTuesday #FeelGoodFriday #TipTuesdays #ThankfulThursday are just some…
Interaction is key – just posting content and not interacting with customers or other accounts reduces the potential for your message to be shared.
Here are some tips for engaging. - Ask questions. If you’re interested in something someone is saying, follow it up and start a conversation. This works really well on Twitter as you can mention others and view the past history of a conversation.- If an account you follow is asking for advice, try and answer it (if you know the answer) or put them in touch with someone who might be able to help. This is a great way of solidifying a good relationship as you might be the person who is remembered as ‘the one who helped during that crisis’.- Get involved with hashtag conversations – on Twitter a popular concept is the ‘hour’ accounts. For a certain time every week, a group of interested users can network and create conversations using a particular hashtag - #devonhour and #exeterhour are two local ones. -Competitions – a really effective way of gathering followers AND engaging.https://www.forbes.com/sites/miketempleman/2017/01/26/how-to-really-engage-with-your-social-media-audience/3/#702ec1049f78https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/7-ways-to-improve-social-media-engagement/https://thrivehive.com/examples-engaging-social-media-posts/
Influencer marketing is a whole topic in itself, but in the world of social media, one good way to spread your message will be through social media users who have a large following because of a specialism or interest that they are considered experts in.This is more relevant for businesses but, as an individual, if you can actively engage with an influencer this will go towards boosting your presence and could get you noticed by other influencers.
Important Social Media Data Let’s look at some examples of analytics that can help you with your social media marketing. Analyze followers. This is an especially useful thing to do on Twitter. Finding out, for example, who your followers are following helps you understand them better. It also provides you with lists of more potential contacts. This can also be helpful on other social networks, including Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. You can use the information you learn about your followers to make your business more customer friendly. Analyze the reach and results of your posts. It’s crucial to be aware of the impact that all of your posts are having. Which posts are being shared or liked most frequently? Which are leading readers to your landing page or website? On Twitter, you want to know which posts are being favorited and retweeted. The same is true with photos on Instagram, Facebook posts, videos and other content. Identify influencers. Influencers don’t necessarily have to be famous. They can be people hidden in your list of contacts who create a disproportionate amount of activity around your content. You want to know who is most active in sharing, liking or commenting on your posts. By identifying influencers and their characteristics, you can engage with them better and bring more into your circles. Compare platforms. There are more social media platforms every year. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, there’s LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat, to name just a few. You can’t have a strong presence on every single site. Analytics can help you identify which platforms work best for you. That way you can maximize your efforts on these sites and either drop the others or scale back your efforts with them. Save time. When you are diligent about tracking your results and using the most efficient analytics tools, you save time. As you observe what kind of content works best for you, it’s possible to stop wasting time on less effective content. Improve your ROI. While you may have to spend a little money on analytics tools and services, in the long run, they can help you save money and make your business more profitable. You can track how many leads your social media efforts are bringing in and how many of the leads turn into customers.
First steps in social media marketing
First steps in
Evaluating search results
Why use social media to market?
72% of adult internet users use Facebook.
(Pew Research Center, 2015) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)
As of the third quarter of 2017, the microblogging service averaged at
330 million monthly active users.
(Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/282087/number-of-monthly-active-twitter-users/ )
Over 95 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram
every day. (Instagram, 2016) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)
Evaluating search results
Why use social media to market?