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Series 1 Episode 5: Strategy

Now let’s talk about how to devise your social media strategy.

There are several ways to do social media for your business or professional practice. There’s no right or wrong way to do it… though what you post could be wrong or right …. And there are studies that have determined the supposed best time to post on Facebook and on other platforms.

Now you can post sporadically, hit or miss throughout the day. It’s not the worst way to go, especially if your strategy is to be news driven and spontaneous. And if you’re simply responding to posts from customers and others who like your page or are following you, that works too.

There are so-called best practices for social media marketing, but I’m going to tell you a secret about social media marketing that you might not hear from alleged experts…. Just between us. Ready? Here it is…

Social media marketing is a moving target. Things change almost daily. Facebook’s algorithm — the thing that affects what is seen by whom — changes all the time. Twitter is trying to figure out how to be more engaging AND how to monetize their platform. Instagram is facing strong competition from Snapchat and others… Etc Etc.

The point is, things are changing rapidly. Any advice or information I offer here is current and given in good faith but things change, so the best way to proceed is to try something and see what works best for you. The big companies test and test and test. You can, too. Always keep that in mind. Unlike print and broadcast, your expenses are minimal so take advantage of that and try different things.

That said, I do recommend a posting calendar. It will help you see … at a glance (as they say) what you’re posting and when you’re posting it. You can also ensure that you’re hitting all the important areas you need to cover.

Here’s a posting calendar template that you can download and customize, but here’s what you need to know: Develop a strategy: do you want to sell stuff, educate your followers, engage with them back and forth or what? Do you have promotions you want to run; specials, sales, offers … that kind of thing? Are you going to have a special offer on widgets, a ‘buy 1 get one free” offer, an appearance by a celebrity or something else you want to promote? Put it on the calendar.

If you’ve ever read anything about advertising theory and practice or had any training or taken a course on the subject, you’re probably familiar with the term “frequency and concentration” which means repeated exposure (frequency) to a message in a specific place (concentration). It’s one of the fundamentals of advertising. It’s the most effective way to make an impression. It also applies to social media marketing.

If you treat your Facebook posts, for example, as an ad campaign, you’ll want to hit the same message consistently. That doesn’t mean you have to do it every day or even every week, but make a list of the products or services or other things about your business or professional practice you want to promote. Write a brief paragraph — two or three short sentences — and take a look at your calendar and figure out where to place them. You can do a month or two at a time. Also take into account holidays, seasons, weekends, special occasions, local events …

What you post need not just be a series of ads — in fact, they better NOT be. Engage with people; ask questions, things about your company history, your staff, your industry. Make sure you post a minimum of once or twice a day and then if you have other things, you can either plug them into the calendar or do ‘em spontaneously.

When you do set up your calendar, make sure it’s consistent across the board. If you’re posting an image on Instagram, do the same thing on Pinterest (with a link to a landing page or the relevant page on your website) and the same on Facebook and Twitter. The power of your social media posts is amplified by consistency — frequency. And repeatedly posting the same thing in the same place — over time — not all at once, is concentration. So, frequency and concentration, right?

You should also promote the review function on Facebook and Google. When you get a good review, link to it. (We haven’t really discussed Yelp but they run reviews too, so when you get a good one, post about that on the social sites you ARE on.)

Back to the calendar: Should you post every day? Maybe. Some brands don’t post on weekends but others do. It’s your choice. Even if you do establish a schedule, you can deviate from it when you need to and post additional messages or links. When news that’s relevant to your business breaks, post about it as soon as possible. And when you do set up your calendar, you can repeat your posts monthly, every three weeks, every 6 weeks — whatever.

Just remember that you want to elicit action with every post; ideally a like, a tweet, an email, a phone call, a visit to your website or even a sale! All of those things are important but you also want to establish trust, build your brand and reinforce top-of-mind awareness.

Now, as far as how to do all this operationally, we’re going to get into the nuts and bolts of all this in our next episode, the final one in this first Modern Marketing series. We’ll also have information on our next Modern Marketing series, which spoiler: will continue to focus on small and growing businesses.

Now remember I mentioned earlier about how things change rapidly and that social media marketing is a work in progress? Here’s a perfect example. This happened as we were producing this episode, in fact. According to TechCrunch, “Snapchat clone Instagram Stories has hit 200 million daily active users, surpassing the last count of 161 million that Snapchat announced alongside its IPO. Instagram Stories launched in August, hit 100 million dailies in October, and 150 million in January, so it’s hardly slowing as it grows. Meanwhile, Instagram is getting faster at copying even Snapchat’s most technologically advanced features with a series of global iOS and Android updates.”

“Snapchat’s growth sank 82 percent after Instagram Stories launched. Now all eyes will be on whether Snapchat can get user growth back on track when it has its first earnings call next month. Slow growth could make Wall Street fear it’s being left in the dust, while strong growth could show it will continue to battle Instagram for dominance of the new sharing medium.”

What does this mean for you?

Probably nothing but it does reinforce the notion that there’s no rush to jump on SnapChat. It could prove to be as vital to your social media marketing efforts as … MySpace.

Remember MySpace? No? Well… there ya go!

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Modern Marketing Series One

Host: Richard Pachter

Engineer: Brian Campbell-Skyhawk Studios

Introduction: Brit Somers

Music composed and performed by Peter Freudenberger

Modern Marketing written and produced by Richard Pachter

Executive Producer: Pablo Alberti

© 2017 Modent Marketing.