For Thursday’s Brown Bag lunch in the Starter Studio, Mark Krupinski talked about social media marketing. I’ve known Mark for a while and he’s a very smart guy – he presented at FLBlogCon back in 2012 and is currently the Director of Marketing and Growth at Code School.
I found Mark’s information particularly helpful, because as a blogger, I already know the power of social media and have some idea how to harness it. However, Mark took it all a step back and stressed that we shouldn’t be tweeting just to be tweeting, or going willy-nilly with the Facebook postings, Instagrams, or pins. But instead he urged us to have a real reason, a solidly developed strategy, to guide our efforts.
Mark stressed there has never been a better time to start a business, and boy, isn’t that the truth! With today’s technology, you can set up a blog and start selling items on it in very little time and with very little start up costs. The explosion of blogging is proof that you can start a successful business right from your laptop. So as you are doing just that, keep these things in mind as you set about marketing your blog.
Myths About Social Media:
1. People are waiting for your product.
Just because you build a blog, doesn’t mean anybody is going to read it. If you are trying to monetize your blog, be sure you are meeting a need that is out there – are you supplying valuable information? Are you a resource your readers need?
2. Social Media is a must.
Just because everybody else has a fan page on Facebook or a Instagram account, doesn’t mean you necessarily have to have one for your blog, too. In other words, don’t jump on the latest social media band wagon unless it makes sense to reach your readers.
3. You need a lot of money.
Fortunately this is not the case or we bloggers would be broke! As we know, social media mostly takes a whole bunch of elbow grease!
Use the POST Method
To guide your tweets and Facebook postings (or whether you need to have a Facebook fan page at all), Mark suggests employing the POST Method.
Assess your readers/customers’ social activities. Where are they online? Do they naturally use Facebook or Instagram? Are they pinners? And beyond that, what are their wants and needs?
Decide what you want to accomplish with a social media campaign. Have actionable items, such as to fill out a form for a give-away, to buy a t-shirt, or to sign up for your email list. Remember, that something like a whole bunch of Facebook likes does not necessarily equal the ability to get your readers to take action so keep an eye on your objectives.
So after you’ve done your research with P and O, develop a strategy that makes sense. If you decide that organic Facebook reaches aren’t working for you, develop your email list further, so then you can reach your readers directly.
Once you have decided on your strategy, pick the tools which will help you implement it best. Do your readers get a free download of as a bonus for signing up for your email list? What tools will you use to accomplish this? And how will you get word out about the free give-away? Twitter? Facebook?
Mark then listed some overall best practices to keep in mind for social media marketing:
1. Start small.
Take baby steps. For example, build the email list before you do an email marketing campaign.
2. Create a qualified lead pipelines.
Translated to blogspeak, this means you need to analyze where your blog traffic is coming from, and then capitalize on growing that pipeline.
We probably don’t do enough research and technology changes so quickly. How often do you spend time analyzing your analytics, technology, trends, human behavior, etc.? Take a little time out of each of your days to do this research. Alltop and iBlogMagazine and Mashable are all great resources for our trade. (And don’t forget about Google and YouTube, too!)
4. Review, adjust, repeat.
Every once in a while step back and look at what you’re doing. See what worked well and what didn’t. It is this reflection that will help us quit wasting efforts and time and focus better on growing our blog.
Finally, Mark touched on social media as being organized into specific stages:
Stage 1: Community Manager
You’ve built this great community of friends and enjoy interacting with them through the various social networks. Bloggers are great at this!
Stage 2: Social Strategist
You do social media publishing and monitoring and employ social media strategies. Bloggers are pretty good at this, too.
Stage 3: Social Media Analyst
You gain insight and action from understanding the social data in context with other areas of your business and objectives. This is where bloggers could probably do a little better job through research and analysis.
So I challenge you to take a step back and analyze what you are doing with your social media channels and to identify why you are utilizing each space you are in. And then I encourage you to move beyond being just a community manager or social media strategist, but to add in being a social media analyst, too.
Note: FLBlogCon has been selected to participate in the second round of the Starter Studio, an accelerator for tech start ups. For the next three months, I will be sharing the things I learn with you as they are applicable to blogging. Here are my previous posts from the Studio:
Let’s Get It Started!
25 Things I’ve Learned in Business
Boomerang Your Blog
Finding a Blog Mentor
15 Lessons from Success and Failure
10 Reasons Businesses Fail Financially