So, I started my job as a Digital Marketing Consultant here at Uptick about six months ago, and even though I have an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, I can truly say I did not learn all of the ins and outs of the digital marketing world until I was able to get my feet a little wet.
In fact, now that I’m thinking about it, I’m not sure it’s possible to teach digital marketing successfully without a hands-on, trial-and-error style approach. The industry is just difficult to tackle. It’s highly individualized (strategies that work for one company may ruin another), and it’s changing faster than Donald Trump can change his stances on…well, everything!
This leads me to social media. I, for one, came into this industry feeling sure that if your business wasn’t on social media, it needed to be ASAP! Sadly, I was wrong (and I don’t love being wrong. I am human after all).
I think the millennial deep inside me was just itching with a little too much excitement, but I learned pretty quickly that social media is not easy. It is not immediate, and it is not always necessary. That being said, social media does have merit, and that’s why i’m sitting here writing this blog (a task I would normally leave to our content team — they are writing machines!).
Because I’m not on the content team, I decided to do my blog a little differently. Instead of the typical long-form read, I wanted to just lay out my thoughts for you in a nice little outline. Below, you will find everything I knew, learned, and would now recommend to anyone attempting social media marketing in Birmingham and beyond!
What I Knew
- 49% of small businesses report having found social media marketing effective for business.
- Facebook is the leading social platform for businesses and personal use alike.
- Social media plays a major role in purchasing decisions.
- Measuring ROI for social is hard.
What I Learned
#1: Having a Social Media campaign is great, but there needs to be strategy.
- Not every business will be able to generate success.
- Strategies need to be creative, exciting, and engaging.
- Reaching your audience is the goal. Not shouting off the rooftops (it’s more important to start a conversation than to sell your product).
- Research and pick the right platform for your company and industry. Ex: A therapist probably won’t see huge ROI from Instagram…unless that therapist is SUPER creative!
#2: Social media is half about content marketing. As such, you need to supply content.
- Content can be created or shared.
- Content includes blogs, pictures, videos, memes, GIFs, etc.
- Content must be frequently updated.
- Content should be educating and/or exciting.
- Content should generate conversation.
- Content should stay in line with your business’s tones and values.
What I Would Recommend
Starting Social is a do or die strategy. If you want to do, then you’ve got to do it right.
- Don’t just create a profile so you can say you have one. If you can’t commit time to finding or producing fresh and new content to share, you will not find success. Ex: Don’t try Instagram unless you are able to post at least 3 pictures a week.
- Learn who your business allies are and develop a social media relationship with them. These businesses may eventually share your content and expand your audience.
- Stay on top of what’s trending and be active in joining those conversations (Remember planking? Many businesses took advantage of that social phenomenon by sharing images of employees planking on desks, CEOs planking on rooftops, servers planking on restaurant signs, etc). Be fast to act!
- Be consistent. If you say you are going to post a YouTube video every Monday at noon, you better live up to your word. Developing a content calendar, and sticking to it, is a key part in gaining and retaining new fans.
Social Media Marketing in Birmingham
If you want to dabble in the social media pond, you have to commit. Many businesses, small and large, simply do not have the time to be actively engaging online. Are you curious as to whether social media marketing in Birmingham could help your business? As a digital marketing consultant, I want to talk this through with you, and I promise to give you my honest opinion.
If I think social media is a good strategy for you, I can work with you to develop quality content, expand your audience, and reach your goals. Interested in learning more? Contact us today!