So you recognise the importance of social media marketing, but you have no idea where to start?
All you want is a simple old-fashioned marketing plan template. The kind we downloaded from the website back when marketing was a simple tick-the-box formula.
These days you need to know where you want to be in social media and how to get there. How your plan is working or not working for you. You’ll need an editorial calendar and a content calendar. And you’ll need to know the difference between the two. Then you’ll probably have to learn how to use Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter, and a content scheduler such as Buffer or Hootsuite.
Social media marketing advice
Or do you? Maybe you could just find someone else who’s done it, and copy them?
For example, let’s examine how an accountant might develop a step-by-step social media marketing campaign. For the sake of this story, we’ll call him Mr. BeanCounter.
Mr. BeanCounter’s business is built on three major principles
- His target audience is small to medium businesses or mid-to-senior level professionals.
- His business relies on promoting and maintaining a high level of trust within his client base.
- With up to 90% of his work coming from repeat business, he wants to attract more new business.
Target audience? Find them on LinkedIn
Let’s start with Mr. BeanCounter’s target audience—small to medium businesses or mid to senior-level professionals. The best place for Mr. BeanCounter to find this demographic is LinkedIn. LinkedIn, according to Wikipedia is a business-oriented social networking service, used for professional networking.
Mr. BeanCounter never was good with words so right now his profile is abysmal. It has no photograph, no summary, no rich text media, no skills, none of his university degrees and only minimal experience.
He quickly learns that complete profiles attract 40x more opportunities. And that his profile is 11 times more likely to get viewed if he includes a photograph and 13 times more likely to be viewed if he lists his skills.
He then uses the rich text media function to showcase his achievements with images and presentations, changing his LinkedIn profile from a simple online CV to a digital interactive portfolio.
Mr. BeanCounter is starting to impress himself, but as he’s in his 40s, he questions the relevance of including his old university degrees. This changes when he finds LinkedIn’s powerful “alumni tool” which shows him a list of past students, and where they now work.
“Hi,” he writes to each of them through LinkedIn. “I also attended Griffith University and I also now live in Melbourne. I’m keen to stay in touch with other alumni working here as well.”
Before long he has extended his LinkedIn network to more than 500 connections, most of whom are warm leads.
There is no doubt that LinkedIn is going to deliver the goods so Mr. BeanCounter Googles ‘LinkedIn profile writing tips’, and follows the advice given on multiple blogs to polish the rest of his profile.
Generate trust: Mobile app
Now that Mr. BeanCounter has identified the advantages of using LinkedIn for business, he returns to his second principle—promoting and maintaining a high level of trust within his client base.
How to achieve this? An obvious way is to start actively engaging with his existing clients.
He joins relevant LinkedIn groups, contributes to discussions and even writes a blog. But the blog is exhausting so next time he outsources that task to a ghost-writer. All he has to do now is think of a topic, and find a 20-minute slot in his calendar to be interviewed each month.
It all seems to be working, but there’s a catch. Not all of his clients are on LinkedIn.
They all do, however, have a mobile phone. He investigates mobile app development benefits and finds that that mobile apps now cost less than $200/month to buy with no upfront fees.
A mobile app will enable him to ‘push’ notifications to his entire client base about tax legislation changes and income tax returns that are due. Clients can send him copies of their tax statements and even pay for his services via their mobile phones, as well as a host of other functions.
Mr. BeanCounter recognises the benefits of mobile applications even though it can initially be difficult to get his clients to download it in the first place. He overcomes this by entering all of his clients who do download his app, into a random prize draw then announces the winner at the end of every month.
This encourages other clients to download the app leaving him with one final objective—attracting more new business.
Find new clients: YouTube
He investigates YouTube and video marketing tips. Research tells him that:
- Video accounts for half of all Internet traffic and by 2017 it will dominate 70% of Internet traffic.
- Work-related video can drive senior executives to take action. Overall, 65% have visited a vendor’s website after watching a video.
- Younger executives tend to be more fully engaged with this type of media, and appear more likely to make a purchase, call a vendor, or respond to an ad.
- Having video on your landing page makes it 53% more likely to show up on page one of Google.
- The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video.
- Video and email marketing can increase click through rates by more than 90%.
Mr. BeanCounter isn’t very confident about speaking on camera but he recognises the importance of video marketing. For this reason, he initially employs a company that specialises in creating YouTube videos.
This company sets up a YouTube channel for him and quickly produces an ‘about me’ video followed by several video blogs where he explains, “How double-entry accounting works”, “The 5 biggest mistakes small businesses make with their accounting records,” and “How to do a balance sheet.” It all costs him less than $2,500.
He finds these video marketing ideas are very popular on his new Youtube channel and on his website, so he reposts them on his LinkedIn profile in the rich text media section, and in his mobile app.
After a while he downloads his own free autocue software onto his iPad that enables him to read his sales script while maintaining eye contact with the camera; he buys a good quality radio microphone and lights (about $500); and he uses his own camera to continue capturing his monthly video blog.
His video blogs now cost him nothing but time.
Mr. BeanCounter is quite proud of his basic video marketing strategy. In fact, he’s quite proud of everything he’s achieved. As a result of using just three strategic social media channels, he’s managed to achieve his original objectives with minimal effort.
“You don’t need to know everything about the latest trends in social media marketing,” he wrote in his next blog advising his clients on the value of social media. “You just need to know where to find this information when you need it.”