Social Media Marketing: Create a System… or Don’t Bother

Well over 10 million businesses have Facebook pages. Millions more have a presence on Twitter and on LinkedIn. Yet many (probably the majority) of these pages and profiles sit dormant. The business owner or an employee took the time to create a presence and perhaps start using it… but within a few weeks, lost interest.

This happens all the time. Business owners hear about the power of social media, decide to dip their toes in the water, but eventually lose interest. Most of the time, they stop because “the real world” intervenes, they’re dealing with some form of a crisis, and they forget about their fledgling social media presence.

Given that social media requires consistency over time in order to provide a return, this is a real problem. So here’s our advice: If you’re going to get involved with social media, don’t do it without a plan and a system.

We’ve talked about the planning aspect here, today let’s focus on the system.

This process isn’t complicated. First, identify the various platforms you want to use. For instance, your list may look like this:

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Blog
E-Newsletter

Step two is determining how frequently you’re going to publish on each of them. There’s no right or wrong answer, although we recommend posting several times a week, at least, on social media, at least twice per month on your blog, and at least once a month in an e-newsletter.

Once you’ve determined how frequently you want to publish / post to various platforms, it’s just a matter of creating a schedule to ensure that it happens. We recommend scheduling these tasks into your week, just like anything else on your to-do list. (For instance, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday could be the days you post to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Every other Friday could be your “blog post” day, and the final Friday of each month could be e-newsletter day.) Remember to take these tasks seriously—you wouldn’t just “skip” a meeting with an important client, and you shouldn’t skip your social media efforts either.

If this sounds overwhelming, don’t worry—you’ve got options. One option is delegating, either to an employee, family member, or an outside agency. (If you do decide to delegate, it’s important that you follow up and make sure that the system is being executed.)

Another option is using programs to help you schedule this activity in advance. For instance, you could spend a Saturday composing your social media posts for the entire month, along with blog entries and whatever else you’re using. Then, using tools like Hootsuite, WordPress, and Constant Contact, you can schedule the content to be published throughout the month. This way, you’ve taken care of a month’s worth of social media in one sitting.

We don’t usually recommend pre-scheduling, as that approach makes it difficult to engage with your audience and build relationships in “real time.” But it’s better than not being active at all.

Finally, if you’re concerned about committing time and resources, remember that it doesn’t have to happen all at once. If you’d prefer to start with just a single platform, by all means do so. You can always grow your presence as you become more comfortable.

At the end of the day, social media marketing requires a commitment. If you’re not willing to make it, wait until you’re ready to get involved.

When you ARE ready to begin growing your business through social media, remember that it starts with a plan and a system. Otherwise… you’re just spinning your wheels.

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Spotlight Branding

Spotlight Branding is an internet marketing and branding firm for lawyers. Our goal is to help our clients create an online presence that positions them as a credible expert in their field, keeps them connected with their network in order to stay top of mind and increase referrals, and to become more visible online so prospects can find them!