Social Media Marketing. How much time could it take?
Many business owners assume they have the time and knowledge to run their social media programs effectively. After all, there’s not much to it – right?
The truth is this: Social media marketing takes a lot more time than you’d expect, assuming you want to do it well. You can definitely do bad social media quickly, without sacrificing much time. But good social media? That takes an investment.
It is scientifically proven that a consumer’s perception of your credibility will directly affect their likelihood of engaging with your brand (1), and social media can play a huge factor in determining your credibility and defining your brand. If your social media is sloppy, consumers will assume your business or product is sloppy. In fact, 46% of consumers say that they rely on social media when making a purchase (2). That’s almost half! What kind of image are you portraying about your brand through your posts?
Social media is also extremely important because it makes consumers feel personally connected to a brand or company. Replying to a Facebook comment or re-tweeting someone’s Twitter post creates an immediate and direct relationship with that person. How you handle those interactions is extremely important.
Now that we have talked a bit about why good social media marketing is important, let’s dive into what makes a great social media campaign.
1. A Clear Vision
Before you even log onto Facebook (or Twitter or Instagram or Tumblr…), you need to do some real introspection into what kind of message you want to deliver. What do you want people to think when they think of your company? Are you high-tech and professional? Down-to-earth and relatable? Hip and socially savvy? If you don’t know what you are, your customers won’t know either – or worse, they’ll decide for you.
“If you’re not branding yourself, you can be sure others do it for you.” – Unknown
For our client Asturia, a new community near Tampa, Florida, we wanted customers to feel warm and welcome, just like they would in the neighborhood. We also wanted to focus on a sense of community, eco-friendliness, and of course, quality homes.
2. Consistent Visuals
Social Media is a great way to build brand recognition – how many brands can you name just from their logos? What about the look and feel of their ads and products? Before you begin posting, think about your color scheme, what fonts you will use, and what kinds of images you will use. This blog on mastering Instagram has some great examples of brands using consistent imagery. We’ve also talked about color psychology on our blog – the way different colors can evoke different emotional responses.
“Colour creates, enhances, changes, reveals and establishes the mood…” – Kiff Holland
3. A Well-Planned Schedule
Have you noticed that we’re on Step 3, and we haven’t even started writing posts yet? The majority of your social media strategy should be complete before you even think about creating your page! We told you earlier… good social media takes time!
Now that you have a vision and a mission, it is time to create an editorial calendar. Some people do these week-by-week or month-by-month. I like to build my editorial calendars in 15-day increments. Here is an example of a 15-day editorial calendar for a Johns Hopkins Medical:
Of course, you don’t have to post every day, and you can post about the same topic more than once within your calendar; just make sure you are offering a variety of topics that are interesting to your followers. Posting that you’re having a sale is great, posting an advertisement for a different product every day is not. For our client The Mondrian, a community of townhouses in Orlando, we post pictures of the project, but we also post about events happening nearby, fun things to do in Orlando, and support for local businesses.
4. Quality Content
Now that you’ve got your brand vision, consistent visuals, and an engaging schedule, it’s finally time to start writing your posts! Make sure you post thoughtfully. Use content from a variety of sources, including a lot of great original content! Snippets from your blog, photos, and videos are all great to share! You can also post articles from other sites (with attribution), upcoming events, and more! Just ensure that your focus is on quality, not quantity.