It is very clear that social media is a powerful force for marketing your business. Instead of making 8 cold calls to a single prospect, we can now build relationships quickly through live tweeting.
Facebook has 1.19 billion users. That is over 1/7th of the entire world’s population. This is a sales highway to your customers no matter your industry.
What is your social media game plan for 2015? Let’s break it down and give you some perspective to create a social plan. This is what I usually suggest to my clients as an initial game plan for their social media budget.
This is a rough social media budgeting guide.
Your budget should include allocating the following:
- Spending money on advertising
- Creating content (designing images, photos, videos, blog posts)
- Outreach & promotion, conversations with audience, gaining coverage from bloggers
- Giving away product
- Paying for a social media manager, designer, or other staff members needed
There are guidelines below for budgeting your social media for 2015. Only use what you feel guided to explore in your business.
Please note, depending on the industry you may wish to adjust your budget accordingly.
For example, if your primary market is 13-year-old girls. Then you should put most of your marketing efforts into Snapchat and Instagram to build long-term brand equity. This is because 13-year-old girls attention currently is on those platforms.
If your primary audience is 45-65-year-old professionals, I would focus more time and energy promoting on Linkedin and Facebook.
Recommend Budget: 30-50% of your social media marketing budget should be going into Facebook.
Facebook “dark posts” have the highest ROI of any other social media activity.
A dark post is an “unpublished” post or an advertisement. They show up on the main Facebook news feed and look just like normal posts. Dark posts are effective because you get full access to the massive amount of data Facebook owns. Using the data, you can target people with specific behaviors and interests that match your market.
As you create content for Facebook, promote each piece to your customer demographics. This will drive higher levels of engagement, create more trust and brand awareness.
For example, if you are selling the newest Playstation you could create a piece of content for 18-26 year old male gamers. Something like “Have you seen the trailer for the new game XYZ?” Then you can create a different piece of content targeting moms with kids 14-16 showing teens receiving the Playstation as a gift with a line “happiness can be bought.”
Creating content that adds value to the lives of your audience and engages them in a conversation creates a community.
When the time comes that you ask for the sale, your audience will be more willing to buy because you’ve invested in them and build or rallied a community. You will net more sales on average than those not investing in creating a community.
Facebook has so much information on each and every one of us can be scary. Facebook is like a spotter for a sniper, able to call out exactly where to aim. The spotter calls out important information for the sniper. Facebook does the same for businesses. It helps businesses target exactly their perfect customer based on interests, behaviors, demographics, and psychographic information. Our job (as businesses and marketers) is to utilize this information to drive engagement, sales, and create happy customers.
It can be slightly intimidating for the new advertiser, but spending time exploring the Facebook platform will give you much of the experience you need to win. The more you explore the more you will understand.
Recommend Budget: 20%-30% of your budget should go into Twitter and Twitter advertisements.
Twitter’s power comes from the ability to create one-on-one marketing efforts in a scalable way. Traditionally you would have to spend an hour at a chamber mixer, collect 10 business cards, set up lunch or coffee with each and see if you can generate business.
It is exhausting even typing that scenario.
Instead, as you are working, you can send out tweets to different people. You can have real time conversations, find mutual grounds to bond over, and set up a Skype call to network. All the while before you first cup of coffee, in the comfort of your home or office.
Which one sounds better?
Creating conversations with customers and bringing value to their life of course!
The emotional value of having someone talk to you on Twitter is enormous! Use Twitter advertisements to generate a conversation, and convert into leads/sales.
Note: Twitter just released video integration seamlessly! You can now record videos on your phone and make posts directly to other users. This allows you to get your face directly in front of your customers. A 2-30 second clip to one individual makes a massive impact in building relationships. Gary Vaynerchuk says in perfectly in this video https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/new-twitter-video-upload-969824164.html
Try it and see what happens. Remember, people buy people—making this a great tactic.
Recommend Budget: Allocate 20-25% of your budget into making content and promoting it in Instagram.
Instagram HUGE! For all my upstate NY peeps it is—Billy Fuccillo HUGE! Here is the breakdown of why…
Back in 2004 when Facebook first started, whenever you made a post everyone would see it. Each post was delivered to your news stream based on when it was updated. As more users joined and more posts where made, Facebook created an algorithm to determine what posts to show based on engagement and importance. Only the most prevalent posts and status updates per user are now being shown in the news feed.
Instagram is the 2004 Facebook right now. Whenever you snap a photo on “Insta,” every one of your friends and followers will see it in their feed. Additionally, your photos will show up on the various feeds of hashtags. The more hashtags you use, the more awareness you can drive.
These are some popular hashtags to gain a little traction: #selfie #me #instagood #happy #love #food #photooftheday but I would caution to use hashtags that make sense for your demographic
The big reason your attention should be on Instagram is, EVERYONE IS ON IT! Not the vast amount of numbers as Facebook… but it’s growing fast! Especially in the 13-36 year old market. I personally spend about 1-2 hours a day checking my Instagram, liking photos, and chatting.
This is creating an opportunity, for entrepreneurs to gain exposure and build relationships. Right now, put the time and energy building an audience, engaging with people and growing your following. You will more than likely have the opportunity to cash in big in 6-12 months.
This is a land grab! Be like the Spanish conquistadors in the new world. (Sorry Aztecs and Mayans.)
Our time is now to rock hard on Instagram.
Imagine buying the Apple stock back in 1980 at the initial IPO of $22. I bet you are wishing you got in early for the IPO of apple. This is where Instagram is for entrepreneurs. It is the social equivalent of a new apple IPO! Get in early and create massive results.
Make 15 second videos, create beautiful engaging photos, quote cards, contests, share and like others posts. Get on and learn it! It’s worth the time to get in the game now while you have the attention of your audience.
More than likely Instagram will employ some sort of algorithm in the future to segregate content. My advice? Build the audience while you have the luxury of attention. It’ll save you money down the line and build your brand simultaneously.
Recommend Budget: 5% to 15% of your budget should to go into creating content for Medium.
Medium is a new blogging platform that is gaining major traction. Why? Someone with no following can create a post and be exposed to the entire Medium community if it is promoted by the Medium staff on the news page. This happens more often than you would think—similar to Linkedin Pulse. Linkedin Pulse promotes published content daily on their news feeds giving you the opportunity to promote your corporate blog articles, for free.
Medium has an internal feedback loop. If you receive hundreds of endorsements on your blog post and they recommend it—it will be shared to more members. This is the power of social media at it’s finest. Receive free promotion, new brand awareness and new customers.
Marketing is like farming. A farmer is consistently planting new crops, cultivating them, and reaping their efforts at the end of the season by selling off their crops. A smart farmer never has one crop. He has multiple harvests for different times of year to diversify his business and his income. If one field or crop didn’t do well for the season, the farmer has others to choose from and rely on.
Some other Social Medias to Explore:
I quickly want to touch on Pinterest, Snapchat, and Meerkat.
Recommend Budget: 5% to 15% of your budget should be allocated to creating content & advertising on Pinterest (if your audience is women & moms with higher incomes).
Pinterest has recently just opened up advertising on their platform. This could be very beneficial to your business for two reasons. First, Pinterest statistically is the largest supplier of referral traffic to websites. Traffic should also equate to sales for your business. Second, the culture of Pinterest is “looking to buy.” Most users are either ready to make a purchase or are finding things that they want to purchase in the future.
Recommend Budget: Any additional resources you can allocate.
Snapchat has recently released an update to add a feature called “Snapchat stories.” This feature allows you to add pictures and videos into a playlist that only lasts only 24 hours.
As you go about your day, you can add pictures to your “story” allowing others to see you throughout the day. It’s real-time storytelling and is currently commanding massive attention of Millennials. Don’t believe me? Add me on Snapchat @austiniuliano
Meerkat… and now Periscope
Recommend Budget: Any additional resources you can allocate.
Meerkat is an app for only ios devices and is absolutely addicting. Meerkat is real time video streaming that meshes perfectly with the Twitter interface. Not to be confused with Twitter’s native video integration, Meerkat is a downloadable app. Users can jump into your stream, talk to you via Twitter, and share through a retweet.
Essentially,you have the opportunity to create your own live TV channel. For instance, you could go to a major event like SXSW and share a live stream of your favorite keynote speakers.
I have found that the real value of Meerkat is in slowing down the Twitter stream and creating a deeper connection with other users. I have over 3,000 followers on Twitter. I can read around 1 out of 100 tweets in my feed. To connect with my followers on a more personal level I jumping into a stream of only 40 users you can have more engagement. Everyone in the Meerkat stream engages with each other and stronger relationship can be made.
As of yesterday, Twitter just released their native version of Meerkat called Periscope. Jury is out on how it will do. Check it out.
Facebook is mature and ripe for picking. The majority of businesses should be focusing their marketing efforts on this platform.
Twitter is in cultivation stages with some early fruits. One-on-one engagement is extremely powerful for entrepreneurs. The new changes being made to the Twitter platform such as Meerkat and video integration are creating exciting times.
Instagram and Medium are new fresh land to plant lots of seeds. So go forth and spread your seeds!
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