Solid Foundations

WHAT… you’ve not firmed up your marketing plan?

Is that really such a bad thing? In my opinion, no.

There are so many external factors that shake up even the best marketing plan; just look at the news over the past 2 years - the unpredictability of life will always have a direct effect on how you market your company.

The most cost effective way of marketing your products and service is through social media. Executed well, social media marketing will drive traffic to your website, generate leads and sales. Great interaction with your customers will lead to brand loyalty too.

I don't worry too much about the flexibility of my marketing plan. Why should I, after all I have a solid foundation.

Let me share with you some steps on how to achieve that foundation.

1. Get to know your customers

And by customers, I don't mean who the product or service is aimed at, I mean who is actually spending their money with you. I worked with a company who sold the most exquisite men's shirts. The company had profiled their customers as men of a certain age with a certain wage. Reality was that 80% of their ACTUAL customers were women. Lo and behold their customer engagement and sales increased once they'd toned down the masculinity of their advertising.

2. Be on the same platform

Here's some social media lingo for you; lurk. To lurk is to find out about people via their biographies, likes and shares. Lurking will also reveal what social media platforms your customers use. Time is well spent finding their preferred platforms and make sure you are using these too.

3. Be on time

You should now start to see a pattern in your customers’ profiles. From this you should be able to make an intellectual guess as to when they will be most active on social media. Business people tend to log on prior to meetings, so 5 minutes to the hour is a good time to hit; not forgetting their lunch times between midday and 2pm. Busy mums will be online waiting at the school gates 3pm to 3.30pm. Music lovers will be active during X Factor breaks and so on. There's only one way to test this theory and it's to post at these times and analyse what is best for you - and your customers.

4. Stay on track

Research proves that people share posts when they have an emotional connection with the content; it may make them look cool, reaffirm their beliefs or know it will make someone smile. Now you understand your customer's interests you can consider how your social media content will connect with them emotionally. Don't be afraid to spend a few hours searching for your top customers on social media. It can tell you a lot about what makes them tick. What is the point of having a stiff corporate approach when your core customers go weak at the knees at the sight of a kitten and addicted to the whereabouts of Kim Kardashian?

5. Content

Whatever your content - be human, show your customers that you are a real person. Showcase your personality; people buy people.

Social media is just that – social; unfortunately it also means that many people don’t really want to be sold to in this way. Here’s a way to act like a friend and ensure your followers are receptive to your marketing. 80% of your posts should be about you – make friends with your followers – be social – be interactive. The remaining 20% should be about your service or products.

I always remind myself that social media is like attending a dinner party. You wouldn’t barge in telling people what you do without them getting to know you first would you? Equally you would bring them into the conversation asking them about their hobbies and interests. Just be you.

If your business would like help building foundations and getting on the right track then you would benefit from my Big Voice workshops. Together we can further explore the science and psychology behind social media marketing.

— Amanda