Did you often hear business owners say this about 10 years ago?
"I don't think I really need a website - I'm already in the Yellow Pages."
While those entrepreneurs were making decisions based on what they knew and/or felt comfortable with at the time, it's the people who understood and were excited about marketing possibilities that invested in their digital and online space - and who jumped light years ahead.
Social Media is not about checking a box or investing your time and money with no understanding of the big picture. Even if you're paying an assistant a low rate (or paying your teenager in gas money) to tweet for you or post a couple times a week on Facebook, it's still time and money.
Why would you give one cent or one minute to anything relating to your business without an understanding of how it's going to accomplish your goals and marketing objectives?
Right now - in this moment - social media strategy is in the same place websites were 10+ years ago.
There are those that are excited about the huge marketing possibilities of a strong social media strategy, and those that are unclear, a little intimidated, and/or put social media in the "maybe if I have time for this later" box.
Get off the fence, you badass entrepreneur, you.
People buy based on the "know, like, and trust" factor - and short of wowing your potential customers in person (although there is the whole thing called video - but I digress), social media is the best way to let your customers get to know you, your brand, and how you solve their problems.
People need to be touched 6-7 times before they are willing to fork over their moolah. No other marketing tactic gives you the dynamic reach, variety, and content possibilities that social media does.
How does this sound?
- Put an advertisement in the local paper.
- Go to a networking event - collect a bunch of business cards.
- Put all those contacts on your email list (you damn well better have permission for that, by the way).
- Email your list a sales pitch.
- Have a special or sale because your business isn't bumpin'.
- Put your sale info on Facebook (the only post you've made in a few weeks).
- Tweet about your sale several times (that's the extent of your Twitter strategy).
The biggest problem with the strategy above is it is all ask and take, with no give.
You need to show your potential customers how your product or service is going to help and better their lives, plus giving them valuable content to build that "know, like, and trust" factor.
So, let's try this again...
- Create a freebie relating to your product (checklist, information, tips, etc.).
- Have the freebie related to a paid product or service.
- Set up a funnel (like LeadPages) to capture email address in exchange for your valuable freebie.
- Write a blog either on your own website, or guest blog on a complimentary businesses' website about the freebie.
- Create several weeks worth of content from your freebie and blog to post on your social media platforms - these should be bite-sized, snackable pieces of content.
- Create several branded graphics for each social media platform.
- Email those already on your list with the freebie, and let them know about your offer.
- Follow conversations on social media relating to your freebie and participate/engage.
- Track analytics to see where your freebie traffic is coming from.
- If a traffic source had advertising options, place a targeted ad.
There are several other steps, but you get the idea.
Social Media Strategists do this - all of this.
A strategist sees the big-picture and has an eagle-eyed view of how all the pieces of marketing fit together seamlessly.
So, back to Virtual Assistants and how they might fit into this kind of a strategy...
A VA would be a great fit for the execution of these steps so you can save your time for that big-picure-ness.
But as I said in last week's blog, "I wouldn't hire a VA to take over and shepherd my entire social media strategy any more than I would hire an intern to take over my marketing department."
To take this conversation one step further - you have a choice in who you hire to implement your social media strategy. It's not just a choice between a Virtual Assistant and a Marketing Agency.
More on that:
I totally understand there are entrepreneurs that don't have the resources to hire out any part their business yet.
In fact, the most common conversation I have with solopreneurs is there are frustrated by not knowing how to put together the basics of their social media content calendar.
Guess what? I have a freebie for you! Download my free mini-course on creating your social media content calendar with no bullsh*t filler content or wasting of your precious time.