How to get started on social media - 5 tips
Updated: Mar 10
If you aren't on social media, you don't exist! Its specially true for brands. But being on social media is one thing, and doing it right is another. It's essential to get the fundamentals right in order to squeeze maximum benefit. Here's the top 5 first steps to get you started.
1) Who is your audience?
It may sound like a very obvious question but you will be surprised to know how many people don't give it a serious thought. This needs to be your starting point or checklist before deciding to do anything. It will determine:
Which social platforms to be on and then out of this list, which ones to prioritize.
Your content plan and tone of voice
Color schemes that you will use for developing content
The list is literally endless. So yes make this your stating point of any marketing communication plan.
2) What is your end goal from each social platform?
I understand that the end goal is always conversion but you need to be realistic and data driven about this. I know of so many instance when companies have reallocated their resources away from a particular channel which they see is not contributing to sales, or shall I say direct sales. And then over a period of time, they notice a dip in total sales, they go back to drawing board, shut another channel, reallocate resource to another channel and the cycle continues.
You have to have a birds eye view of your marketing plan. As per xx study, a person interacts with your brands at least xx times before making that final purchase. So don't worry if you figure out that one channel is not getting you the numbers. It may not be contributing to direct sales, but if its leading your audience to continue engagement with you, then its doing its job.
What I would recommend is:
Based on your experience, industry and target audience, make an initial plan with primary objective stated against each channel.
Over a period of time, look at Google Analytics or any other source of data that you are using, analyze it to understand which channel is contributing to what.
Use this data to then make required adjustment in your objective plan.
Some of the tools to user for analyzing this data are:
Google Analytics 360 : This would suit large enterprises who have large volumes of data that needs to be analyzed on a daily basis.
Google Analytics attribution map This sits within Google Analytics and is suitable for small to medium size companies. It has almost all the features that Analytics 360 has but in its basic version. But its really enough to get you started.
3) Plan about 3-5 content buckets
Content buckets are basically the topics that speak about different aspect of your business to your target audience. It can be about your product, brand, what's trending, motivational quotes, offers and promotions etc. You can think of them as a spoke of chakra connecting to the hub. The hub in this case being your business objective. So essentially all the content buckets should contribute towards fulfillment of this objective. Why do you need content bucket you ask? Well, the answer is:
Consistency of message: It's important for your users to know who you are and what you stand for as a brand, and it can only be delivered over a period of time through consistency in communication.
Acts a very essential checklist during any content brainstorm.
Content creation can be a humongous task but if you have the buckets it really help narrow down your search and saves a lot of time and effort.
4) Create your content calendar well in advance
This point can be broken down into two sub-points:
Create your content calendar: Content calendar helps you control the chaos of managing publication across multiple channels. When you have a Facebook page, Instagram, Blog, E-book and Emails to manage its very easy to make errors. So a content calendar helps you see complete set of communication across all channels in one go. Some tools to help you with this are:
2. Trello : It's a really good tool to help you plan, organize and prioritize projects.
Plan your content calendar well in advance: It's really important to take out time, brainstorm, look at trends, your own business from product, marketing, PR point of view and plan your content calendar in accordance with all these. It helps you immensely by:
Ensuring you don't create last minute content because you 'have to'. Lets be honest, these last minute content serve absolutely no purpose.
Saves times: If you are struggling every day with content creation, when will you have time for other things.
Have enough time to make changes if required: Business and environment are constantly changing so its important to account for some time wherein you might have to create new content, make adjustments in content plan etc.
5) Develop a visual guide for your social media
I cannot emphasize this enough! A user spends about 10 seconds looking at your ad/post before deciding whether or not to engage with it. So what exactly do they view in these 10 seconds? The image/video and first line of the text. That's all you got to convert this user into your prospective customer. If you already have a brand guideline in place, then great. But if you don't, you must develop a visual guide to make sure your page look professional, consistent and visually appealing. This guide can consist of:
Types of photos to use
Font style and usage
Filter for images
Video style guide
Anything else that contributes to developing your brand post/video