Have you ever heard of the KISS Principle?
Keep It Simple Stupid: The more explanation something needs, the less effective it will be. Well, not always, but when it comes to getting started on a new project, simplicity is the key. And when it comes to Social Media Marketing, I would say that the KISS Principle is what is missing. Sure, it seems a simple process of setting up a bunch of sites and then posting pictures and quotes, but why then is it so hard to get businesses to do it? They all know they need to get it up and running, but when it comes to explaining it to the CEO it is not so simple to explain exactly how to do it. Am I right?
So here you go, a 3-Step KISS Principle to get your Social Marketing up and running in 2015.
1. Write Out and Post your Goals. Without these there cannot be a marketing plan. You knew that already, but what you may not know is that “goals” does not equate to percentages, numbers, and metrics. Goals are your simple, heartfelt reasons you do what you do. Yeah, like a mission statement, but more directed to the year ahead. You see, social networks don’t give a hoot if you want to sell 35% more widgets. Social networks care about your reasons for selling widgets. Because behind the blinking colors, on the screen are people. So instead of writing out: Sell 35% more widgets in 2015, try this: Help more small businesses solve the problem of (fill in your solution to their problem.)
Why is that goal better? Because we all have problems that need to be solved. If your widgets will solve them, it feels like a solution when you say to want to help me, rather than sell to me. Get the subtle shift? You want to connect with me, help me. You want to engage your social network with things that we care about. Your P&L Statement doesn’t impact our lives at all, but get rid of our problems? You got a deal.
Stick with your top five goals, and be sure to post them everywhere.
Everywhere? Sure, did it ever occur to you that your employees would like to know why they do what they do for your business? Don’t you think there might be a bit more smiles if they knew you were problem solvers rather than number crunchers? Try it, it works.
2. Have and Post Your Social Marketing Calendar. “What is that?” you ask. Well, that is the calendar of events in the company and community that matter to your employees and customers. Break it down into three-month intervals–like the seasons perhaps. Look at the community where your business is located and see if they are having any local events that your company can participate in; find a cause and invite your employees (and customers) to join you on a 3k run/walk for the local animal shelter; is it restaurant week somewhere? Post it, encourage your employees to participate in it….and then what?
Take lots of pictures of happy smiling people, colorful visuals, and yummy food and then post them. Make sure to hashtag the #eventname, #city, #yourcompanyname. Encourage people to vote on the pictures or share their own from the same event. Engage in a conversation with the people in your company, your community, your current and future customers. Don’t stand on the sidelines trying to get people in your door, go outside and participate in the world around you!
Benefits include: Employee fun and happiness. Community involvement and goodwill. And most likely, some good press for your company and customers who stay loyal and refer their friends. But it starts with posting the calendar and the OK for everyone to participate. And that brings us to number three.
3. Have a Simple, Do/Don’t Social Media Policy in Place. The key words here are “simple, do and don’t.” You do not need a lawyer to write up a 32-page list of social media posting mumbo jumbo, but you do need to have a policy in place called “Social Media Policy.” Two pages Max! Do’s on one page, Don’t on the other. (KISS remember?)
Start with the goals sheet from #1. What are you trying to do? Establish relationships with customers and the community? Well, then encourage your employees to participate in that by giving them guidelines on how to help.
Don’t post personal, confidential or proprietary information.
Don’t misrepresent yourself or your company.
Don’t lie or make personal attacks.
Don’t post political, religious or personal views in the name of the company.
Do let people know you work for the company.
Do think before you post.
Do post only things related to the work we do and the goals we want to achieve.
Do let someone know if you think you messed up so we can fix it.
If you give people guides to behavior, and you yourself are participating, then it will work out. Too many Don’t and not enough Do’s and people will not take the time to participate, and you want them to participate so that your “social marketing” is social. Not to mention, it will engage your current employees and attract new ones who want to be a part of your business.
Yes, I know there are metrics, SEO, hashtags, and a whole lot of other “marketing” things that need to be addressed, but you just need to get things started. You need tracks in the snow so people will find you. You need to get started, 3-months at a time, and before you know it, you will have likes, connects, shares, comments, and ultimately you will sell 35% more widgets by year end. In fact, you may just surpass 35%, and pick up some really amazing clients and employees in the process. So jump in and please let me know your progress!
If you need a simple Do/Don’t Social Media Policy just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you one for free. It is so simple that anyone, any industry can use it.
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