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Flint Gets Social

Published: 01/11/13

Flint gets social

Like other smaller sized companies we are still finding our way through the social media landscape and like many of you we also have limited resources in terms of both time and money. However social media is undeniably here to stay and the benefits impossible to ignore.

So in line with our own research, here are some of the key points to consider:

Firstly, it’s not a race, if you can’t throw lots of resources at it the advice is to start slowly and build up. As with all marketing activity you need to plan ahead and consider your strategy. When small businesses bite off more social media than they can chew, they become both exhausted and unmotivated to carry on – remember - results can take time.

Matt Broderick in his recent article How to Plan Social Media Content for Small Business provides this example:

“I recently spoke with a marketing director for a local law firm who took a more balanced approach to social marketing. Like most of you, he has limited resources and is responsible for all of the firm’s marketing collateral, including design assets and copy. He told me, very openly, that he initially thought social media was a waste of his marketing dollars and time, until he took a more balanced approach: one giveaway or promotion per month, and Facebook posts every two to three days. Six months later, and the firm receives 15 potential client calls per month from a tracking number posted on its Facebook page. Fifteen calls may not seem like much, but cases are worth an average of $50,000. And that is only the direct return; the firm’s page has also grown from 350 to 3000 fans, and 95 percent of those fans are local—all from a very moderate, but consistent social media strategy.”

In the same article Matt warns about being inconsistent with posts and making sure that content is varied and interesting. His suggestion is to create a simple Content Calendar (pictured)

  • Big Ideas Sunday – Share expert advice or a short quote.
  • Humor Monday – Share a comic, humorous image, meme or phrase.
  • Interaction Tuesday – Ask a question, launch a photo contest or post a fill-in-the-blank sentence.
  • Current News Wednesday – Share POSITIVE news about your business, your industry or your community.
  • Giving Back Thursday – Feature customer, launch/share a giveaway or make a coupon or discount available.
  • Day in the Life Friday – Share candid photos from your business or feature an employee.
  • Education Saturday – Tell people about your product, what it can do or teach people how to use it better.

 

Promotions, competitions/giveaways and special events are also great ways to generate interest from followers and crucially to get more of them. And of course as many others are keen to point out – content is king – make sure your content is good quality and relevant to your audience.

Another great piece was by Heidi Cohen called How to Setup a Social Media Business Strategy in which she lists 7 key steps to setting your strategy. Here we’ve pulled out a couple of really helpful points that we think have been very well made:

  1. Set out your social media objectives – they could be any or all of the following:

 

  • Build your brand - by getting people to recognise your name and associate it with your product.
  • Attract new customers - by driving traffic to your social media page or company website.
  • Support sales - by answering prospects’ questions and showing them how to use your products or services.
  • Engage with your fans - by giving customers a reason to talk about your brand and encourage others to purchase from you.
  1. Who are you aiming your strategy at, e.g. categorise customers and prospects

 

  • Understand your target market’s point of view and activities. Think demographics, psychographics and past purchases, as well as interests and priorities.
  • Consider influencers, buyers and end users. Most purchase decisions, including consumer purchases, are made with input from more than one person.
  • Know where your audience engages on social media. Not everyone is on Facebook.
  • Consider your audience’s social media behavior. Does your market lurk, share or create social media content? What incentives will make them act?

Another important consideration and actually the point of this piece is - tell your clients about what you’re doing. We’ve just started with Twitter and Facebook; Google + to follow soon.

There are lots of on-line resources to get more information from, however this still takes time so find a particular site or information provider that you like and try not to get too distracted!!

Naturally we would love you to follow us on Twitter and become a Facebook friend. We are currently researching Google + - and intend to start using this soon.

 

 

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