How to Get Started with Social Media Marketing – A Handy Checklist

Your organization wants to start taking social media marketing seriously and utilize this tool to expand the reach of the brand and get more customers.

Congrats!

Now, before you go plunging head-first into tactics, setting up social media accounts, posting random things, and hoping for the best, it’s best to have a plan in place. Developing a strategy, coordinating with various staff and departments, determining your budget, and setting up the logistics of who should do what will save your brand from a lot of headaches and enable you to move more quickly and efficiently once you start.

Hire an expert.

First things first. Hire an expert. Don’t go at it alone and don’t delegate your social media marketing to an intern. Social media is one of the first places prospects and potential customers will look before deciding whether or not to work with you. Why entrust that responsibility to an intern? Outsourcing social media to an intern, your brother in-law or the young receptionist may seem like an attractive solution. It’s cost-effective and they’re young, so they totally get the whole social media thing. However, using social media for fun is not the same as using it to market a business. Mistakes on social media can irritate customers, embarrass the brand, get you into legal trouble, or result in other damaging consequences. If you want to actually get positive results from social media, then you need to take it as seriously as you would any other marketing initiative. This doesn’t mean you can’t involve interns, staff members, or Karen from down the block in your social media, but make sure they are working under an experienced social media manager. Your social media expert can be an outside consultancy or someone you hire to be in-house. Just make sure you hire someone who knows what they’re doing.

Set up an in-house team. 

Regardless of whether you hire an outside consultancy or marketing firm, you will still need to involve in-house staff members who have their boots on the ground and work within your business every day. Social media marketing

Social media marketing is most effective when it is aligned with the rest of the organization. Customers often use social media to ask questions or complain and they expect a speedy response. Therefore, make sure your marketing team and customer service departments are in communication, ready to answer queries and interact with customers on social media. If you have any special offers on social media, make sure other members of your staff know about it in case a customer brings it up. If there is little communication between the social media marketing team and the rest of your company, customers will sense you don’t have your act together, grow frustrated, and seek out the competition. Determine which of your staff will be involved in social media and what their roles will be e.g. posting, taking photos, filming, being in front of the camera, being in communication with an outside consultant or marketing firm, designing images etc. Finally, determine your marketing budget and how much of it will be allocated to social media.

Run things by the legal department. 

 

While smaller organizations and scrappy startups are not as weighed down and burdened with having to run everything by a legal department, it’s a good idea to check in with legal counsel about what things you can and cannot do or disclose on social media. As tedious as this step may sound, come up with a short list or guide that spells out the ground rules. This could potentially save your brand from legal nightmares or law suits down the line.

Execute. 

This last step is the most important. Don’t overthink or get bogged down and crippled, wondering what you should post on social media. Social media is most effective when you’re authentic, helpful, and providing value. It’s the channel where you can show the human side of your business and make genuine connections with potential customers, current customers, investors, and employees so don’t get hung up on minor details like the lighting and the video quality. Don’t be afraid to test things out and see what works. Don’t be too scared to experiment. Too many brands wait until everything is perfect. They ponder and strategize endlessly to the point where they never end up getting anything done. Hesitating and being overly perfectionist will prevent you from taking action and getting started. Once you have the above considerations in place, get to work and start executing. As the old Nike slogan says: Just do it.

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Published by

zevg1

I'm a writer and digital marketer. Communicating your brand's message and helping you to connect with the right audience is my specialty. If you are interested in: branding, marketing, copywriting, social media, search engine marketing, inspiration, success, and enjoying life, then my blog is the right place for you.

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