Social media can be overwhelming, especially if you’re just starting out. It feels unfamiliar and uncomfortable, like someone asking you to paint a picture without any reference. If you’re new to social media, or you’re not sure if you’re doing things right, I’m glad you stopped by.
Building a network that provides real value takes both savvy and hard work. Beginners can make it harder on themselves because they stare at a “blank canvas” and begin painting without any preparation.
In fact, many people invest resources into the various social channels to get likes and followers without truly knowing what success looks like. Their profiles show that they’re not really being social at all. They’ve looked at other’s work and copied it, without realizing the magic lies in their uniqueness.
It’s been 10+ years since the beginning of the Social era. Today, it’s nearly impossible to go a day without hearing some mention of social media and its value. It’s no longer an optional afterthought but an integral part of any digital marketing plan.
An expert in anything was once a beginner.
As a beginner, or if you’re stuck without much results, it’s important to stay grounded and not get overwhelmed.
Remember: the great artists did not become great overnight. There’s a lot to be said for taking small methodical steps to create your masterpiece!
10 Best Practices if you’re new to social media
These 10 Best Practices will help clear your mind, cut through the noise and help you begin making the magic on social media.
1. Set Up Goals
You need written goals in order to understand results and map out what next steps are best.
If you haven’t determined your goals, it isn’t enough to say you “see” results because that’s not real data. You’ll never know your Return on Investment (ROI) without goal setting and strategy.
2. Clarify Your Message.
One of your most important goals will be to engage people. The best way to engage more people is to have a clear message.
When you connect what you’re selling to an ideal of how things should be, you create a greater value for your product. This could even apply to selling you!
Become a problem solver. Speak to the practical, external problems customers are facing, as well as the internal fears and motivations they may have.
Tesla does this beautifully:
- External problem: I need a car.
- Internal problem: I feel cool when people see me driving the latest technology.
- Philosophical problem: I should to do my part to save the environment.
3. Know Your Audience
Recently, an organic skin care company was able to lure me away from their competitor. How? By understanding me at a deeper level than their competitor did.
Get out a piece of paper and describe your target customer. Who are they?
- Where do they live?
- What are their interests, concerns and issues?
- How can you help them come to a purchase decision with the content you publish?
- Don’t forget about those fans who are not in-market. What can you offer to keep them engaged?
4. Establish a Budget.
Social media is not free, it’s pay to play.
Facebook ads are ideal for growing your fan base and promoting your content, but you need to know at the outset what you’ll need to spend to get to your goals.
Determine the budget it will take to get your content seen. If you’re a beginner company, $500-$1,000 per month should be sufficient. But, keep in mind that if you’re paying someone to manage the ads for you, there will be an additional fee involved.
5. Utilize a Content Calendar.
I know it might not seem like it but a content calendar will be your best friend.
The content creation process can be overwhelming, especially when you’re new. It can seem like everything is all over the place. A content calendar helps keep everything in one place with an outline to plan your posts.
Even I once thought content calendars were merely a suggestion but now I’ve proven to myself (and my clients) that they are invaluable. The world is a crazy place and it’s nice to have a touchstone where all your ideas live.
6. Plan out Your Content Mix
With video becoming more and more the go-to type of content that customers enjoy, it’s crucial to plan out the types of content you’re going to produce.
A good content mix if you’re new to social media is:
- 25% Images
- 40% Video
- 25% Links
- 10% Text
Planning your content mix allows you to map out all the players needed to produce it and the tools and equipment you’ll need. As time goes on, you’ll discover what your audience is engaging with the most and adapt your mix to their liking.
Pro Tip: Show a side of your business that’s consistent with your “personality”:
- Content that unmasks a more intimate or fun-loving side of your business.
- Tell a story: the genesis of your business is a great place to start.
- It’s perfectly ok to showcase your products and services but do it in a way that doesn’t annoy.
7. Schedule Engagement Into Your Day
I was recently speaking with a great Facebook ads manager about the sometimes-ignored subject of engagement. Social media is social. If people are connecting, you need to engage too! Social ads are great but they are only part of your social media strategy.
Community management is vital. Some customers prefer to communicate via social channels and it’s your job to be there with customer support. Take at least 10 minutes in the morning and evening to listen, respond and be their guide.
As your page grows, so will the comments. You’ll want to engage people as often as possible to build rapport. If you’re the boss, designate at least one person to listen, respond, ask questions and engage with your audience.
8. Plan How You’ll Promote Your Content
Once you’re fan base begins to grow and you’ve done a good job of engaging them, your next step is to plan how you’ll convert them into customers.
Due to the massive growth of Facebook ads, managing them correctly is becoming more difficult for beginners. Depending on your budget, please consider outsourcing Facebook ads management.
But this doesn’t let you off the hook of planning your promotions. Recall the work you did so far, especially with respect to knowing your customers. Now, design a promotion that will attract their attention.
- What’s the offer?
- Why should the customer care?
- What do you want them to do?
- How long will it run?
- How much will your budget be?
- What would success look like?
9. Measure and Analyze.
You’ll need to determine the KPI’s (key performance indicators) that matter most to your social media success. Here are the top Facebook 8 KPI’s that we measure and analyze at Kruse Control:
- Audience growth
- Audience profile
- Audience engagement
- Content reach
- Engagement by content type
- Response rate and quality
- Negative feedback
10. Give Yourself a Break
I hear from a lot of overwhelmed people whose source of frustration is social media.
Frustration can come from being stuck in outdated, long-held beliefs. Take a look at what you’re holding onto and identify what you’re willing to let go. It only takes a small step to welcome a whole new world.
If you’re new to social media….
Remember, everyone starts somewhere. No matter how far behind you think you are, there is a solution to help you capitalize on social media.
Don’t underestimate yourself. Social media is a valuable tool to engage customers. You’re only new once and from there, it’s a fantastic and fun journey.