Where to begin with social media marketing?
Sales & Marketing for Professional Services

Where to begin with social media marketing?

October 9, 2013

by Tony Vidler

As professional advisers begin contemplating how to use social media as part of their overall marketing and client communication strategies 3 huge questions dominate their thinking:

1.  Which social media platform should I use?

2.  What should I post or publish?

3.  How often should I put information, or posts, out there?

There are numerous books out there now providing answers to these questions of course, and a gazillion social media guru’s or consultants offering an answer.  Are the questions really that hard to work out the answers to though?

Here’s the succinct advice in 30 seconds:

a.  use the social media platforms your target market clients are using, or heading into using.

b.  you should publish information that is relevant and adds value to your target market.

c.  you should post often enough to be visible and create top of mind awareness, without being a nuisance.

This is just common sense really isn’t it?

THAT is one of the key points for new users to grasp: the medium might be a new method in the marketing of your business, but fundamentally the rules of marketing remain the same.  Put your message where your target market is most likely to be; give them good value and useful information that highlights your expertise and ability to help them; and do it regularly without trying to dominate their life.

Over the course of the next few blog posts I will explore each of the big questions in a bit more detail, beginning with trying to determine which social media channels might be best for you.

A really useful site for checking out the options is:

Top 10 Reviews

Best Social Networking Site Reviews and Comparisons

They have reviewed a number of the main options, and rated each of them on the basis of features, security, search functionality and ability to personalize or build profiles.  They have also provided an excellent checklist of key features for each, including some basic demographic information as it applies to each of the social media platforms own target market.

Before heading there, or to wherever your research takes you, it should be obvious that defining your “target market” matters (that is the 4th time I’ve mentioned it now!).  If you wish to maximise the impact of your message, and give it the best chance of resonating with the potential clients you most want to attract, then you have to be very clear about who that audience is.  Be aware of what their issues and concerns are, and know where you can add value or provide answers, and then be able to deliver effective information that resonates with them.

A key objective of any marketing you do will be to create a position of credible authority for yourself.   So finding the social media channels that your desired audience are using is part of the equation, but so too is showing an innate understanding of them, their world, and their issues.

With that in mind, the one platform that every professional should be using in my view is a blog.

Considering that a blog is a controlled medium, where you can determine the message, style, tone and frequency of your published content, it becomes a compelling platform to consider.  When you add in the ability to establish a personal brand built around credibility, transparency and authority (or subject matter expert) that is overlaid with your personality, it becomes the ideal vehicle for creating presence and demonstrating expertise and value.

An excellent article written a couple of years ago gives some very good pointers as well for selecting the appropriate channels (Which Social Media Channels Should You Be Using? ), but the following chart is an excellent example of working through the choices, depending on broadly what business model or market segment you wish to reach and the degree of effort required.

The final point to highlight when working through the selection of platforms to use to reach your audience is that you will be far better to select a single platform to begin with, and work on getting that right and delivering effectively rather than opting for 5 platforms and doing all poorly to begin with.

If there are (say) 3 platforms that would work well for your business, establish one, and do it well.  The incorporate the second and do that well….and so on.

As the old saying goes, it is best to begin at the beginning….get each part right, and build up sequentially for a truly effective digital marketing platform.

 

© 2013 Tony Vidler.  All rights reserved.
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