Introduction to Social Media Marketingby T.M. Williams
As someone who has spent more than 15 years in marketing and learning the methods via “street smarts,” I’ve had to conquer many different mediums – some more successfully than others. Social media marketing, compared to everything else, was an enigma. So it comes as no surprise that the number one question I get from clients and readers is how to marketing via social media. This isn’t an easy question to answer because I want to say “Do you have about 3 weeks? Because that’s how long it would take for me to really explain this monster.” Even then, admittedly, I have not conquered this ever elusive giant.
Neither has anyone else.
When I wrote The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Sales and Marketing, I contemplated including online and social media marketing in the book. There simply wasn’t enough room. I’d have to write one or two more books on this subject alone.
If you’re brand new to this and really want to take your product to social media, these are the four steps I recommend taking first.
- Create a Facebook fan page. Facebook is not the greatest tool for social media marketing. However, with 1.23 billion monthly active users, it’s still the leading place for online presence so, as of now, it’s important to be there.I recommend using a program to help with taking your page to the next level. My favorite is Pagemodo. It has features like autopost, tab creator, cover maker, contest creator, will pull up articles for you, quotes, and pretty much everything you can think of. There is no magic number, but it seems like three times a day is a good number of posts per day. Most of us don’t have time to stay on top of it (unless you have a social media department, in which case you’re probably not reading this blog post) so Pagemodo is a great way to do that because you can pre-schedule our your posts.This has been amazing for me, especially on weeks where I do a hosted theme week (e.g., Halloween Horror Week), and I can’t be manning my page 24 hours a day. It’s very user friendly and it’s free. (I have the paid version, which I recommend upgrading to eventually – but the free is more than you’ll need to start.)Then, you’ll need to stay on top of your algorithms. Facebook now provides insights so you can see which posts are working and which aren’t, but if you want to add to your arsenal, Sumall is another free program that can help you gauge your views.TIP: Your posts need to be engaging and irresistible. If you’re always selling, you’ll lose viewers. Create a personality for your page and have a conversation with your viewers. The #1 social media tip is you need to be engaging and responsive. If people are commenting and you’re not responding to them, you’ll lose all viewership. This is a fatal mistake for your page.
- Choose a second social media outlet you can stay on top of. You really don’t want to be managing more than three social media sites, because that’s all you’ll be doing. Get set up and comfortable on one, then add a second one, and when you’re comfortable with that – add the third. The other three social media sites that have the biggest presence right now are: Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
- Emulate those who are successful in the way you want to be. If you’re an author, it’s important to see which author is doing the thing you’d like to be doing. For me, they are Jennifer Armentrout and Stephen King. (Hey, if I’m going to aim – I’m going to aim high!) I love both these individuals’ social media presence. Armentrout has an amazingly loyal readership, an incredibly busy schedule, and a great online presence. Stephen King has turned into an empire. These are both things I want, so I follow both of them closely. I don’t copy what they’re doing, but I emulate it.Your mentors don’t have to be people who know you’re their mentees.You can be mentored from afar. Start Googling and looking for people who have websites, blog sites, pages, etc. that you love, and model what they’re doing. That’s how most of us in the marketing world do it. We are all picking ideas from each other and then tweaking them to make them work for us.
- Last, but certainly not least, remain consistent. It makes no sense to spend a few months building your pages and your sites only to take a hiatus. You don’t get a break in online marketing, and that’s where tools like Pagemodo come in. If you need to add administrative rights to other users on your blog or site, or if you need to add admins to your fan page, then by all means – do it, if that’s what it takes to keep the momentum going. Set a schedule or an alarm on your phone. Plan your posts, and don’t be afraid to ask your readership what they like to see.
If you want more information on marketing, including building relationships, sales, and how to make an irresistible pitch, then be sure to pre-order my marketing book which is coming out this November. Because you’re a reader of Publishing and Book Promotion, you can use a 25% off coupon code for the month of October on my site, The Accidental Writer. The coupon code is HORRORMONTH14 . You can also follow me on my blog: The Accidental Writer Blog and my Facebook fan page The Accidental Writer.
T.M. Williams is a novelist, speaker, and entrepreneur. She started her first business when she was 17 years old and failed miserably. Learning from her mistakes, she went on to start successful businesses, create and sell brands, create training programs for large direct-selling teams, and win multiple awards in sales and marketing. She’s the published author of several books, primarily focusing on horror. She began her writing career late in 2012 when she accidentally discovered her passion for storytelling, earning her nickname: The Accidental Writer. She was picked up by a small press publisher in 2013 and has since gone on to write 7 novels and 6 short-stories, 2 of which became bestsellers. Williams is currently signed with AZ Publishing Services and continues her ventures in the business and marketing world. She resides in Arizona with her husband and son.