First, it was “You gotta have a website!” Now it’s “You gotta be on social media!”… but why? So many business owners don’t understand the purpose of social media in business, and so they try to post their company’s product, or salesy promotions on Facebook or Instagram for a little while, don’t see any traction or engagement and give up. The purpose of this article is to provide entrepreneurs and small business owners with a foundational understanding of the resources and techniques to do justice for and get results from a self-managed DIY social media marketing campaign. We are going to provide an overview of information, equipment, and strategies, resources, and technologies to help springboard you into using social media to shape engagement with your brand.
The Technical Details of Social media
Social media users expect a full multimedia experience. They consume a composite of text, rich visual imagery, and video content through their various social channels on a daily basis, and for producers serious about providing quality engagement worthy content, there are some basics you will need to acquire to help you create posts with the power to stop a scrolling feed.
You can start out with a camera phone and a selfie stick, or a laptop with a webcam and a microphone to begin with, but eventually, you will want to acquire some of the hardware needed to control your production and visual quality more than an ambient environment allows for, and possibly some better recording equipment than comes stock in most consumer devices.
Before you even think about doing a live video broadcast, you need to make sure your broadcasting device has a strong enough internet connection to support the best audio and video broadcast quality possible. Without getting too technical about what this means, you need to make sure that your device is getting at least 10 megabytes/second upload bandwidth. An internet connection is bidirectional. Normal consumptive usage relies on the download speed to bring content to you, but when you are creating content and broadcasting it, you are relying on the upload speed to deliver your creation to the web. An easy place to check your available internet speed is https://www.speedtest.net/. They have a simple to use interface and reliable iOS and android apps to help you check the internet speeds available on any device you are using.
After you’re confident that your location supports the necessary bandwidth, pick a location to broadcast from that has good lighting. Make sure that the environment you choose to light yourself or your subject, does so from the front. Don’t position your subject in front of a strong light source like in front of windows, or have sconces or lights turned on behind you. Backlighting = Bad. It will turn the camera’s subject into a black silhouette outline against the bright background. You might want to consider getting a Ring Light and stand to help control your frontside illumination and give you the best lighting results possible. There are tons of them out there, and they come in a whole slew of different sizes and price points. I’ve included links to a few great ring lights in varying price points and sizes below.
- Portable Pocket-Sized QIAYA Selfie Ring Light ($23.99)
- 8-inch MACTREM multi-color Multi Brightness LED Ring Light $51.99
- 18 Inch LED GEEKOTO Ring Light, Tripod, and remote with digital display. $119.99
- 18 inch Inkeltech LED Ring Light, Tripod and Remote $129.95
- 18 inch LED Ring Light & Tripod System by Stellar Lighting Systems $199
You should ideally use a device to help you optimally position and hold your recording device. Use selfie sticks for portable recording sessions or tripods for a stationary shoot. This Selfie stick/Tripod combo gives you the best of both worlds.
Invest in a good quality webcam and an external microphone. Your viewers will sincerely appreciate it when they can see you clearly, and hear you in such a way that doesn’t sound like you are speaking from the inside of a tin can. Logitech makes an awesome camera and Yeti Blue USB Microphones are amazing.
Social Media Content Tips:
When you’re working on social media there are a few keys: One is consistency. You can’t make posts or go live one time per week or month. You have to show up like you would to a job. Because every single person you connect with is a potential client. Social media is the largest and least expensive form of advertising, but the key is you have to give. It takes about 8 touchpoints before someone is willing to buy something from you. So that means you have to show up and you have to give, give, give before you ask for something from them in return (like a sale). Gary V calls it the Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. For easy math sake, let’s say that you post 4/times/day. You will only talk about what you have to offer every 4th post/Live that you do. This is the 80/20 rule. 80% great content and 20% sales.
So what are you really doing with that 80% of great content? You are building your know, like, and trust factor. You do that by showing more than just the business side of you. Authenticity is what people are looking for today. They want to feel like they would know who you were if they saw you in say, Target. No, they don’t need to know every detail about your life, but they want to know not only what you do, but they want to feel like they know you as a person…like, how many kids you have, where you like to eat, what you believe to be true in your industry and maybe across the board. They want the same feeling with you, as they would if you owned the local grocer down the street that they walked into every day.
So to put this all together. You are being your authentic self and giving people great content 80% of the time. 20% of the time it’s about what you have to offer. You can give that great content in written posts, funny memes, videos, quotes, and of course Live broadcasts. When it’s time to do your live broadcast you need to introduce yourself and explain why you are an expert and why they can trust you. Then you need to give them content that’s relevant. Something they can implement and have immediate success with. They’ll be like WHAT? If he/she’s given this for free. What is in his/her premium “xyz”? You also need to make this heart connection where they feel like you relate to them and that you used to be exactly where they’re at. There’s a method to this madness and it’s so much more than throwing out random posts periodically and doing a FB Live once in a blue moon. our biggest advice is to do it. Step out of your comfort zone. Have a plan. One that takes them where you want to lead them…
Social Media Visibility Strategy:
There are a number of different social media networks you can use to get your message out, so choosing a network that has your specific target audience is probably the most important thing you need to do before you begin creating and posting content. Once you have chosen your social channels, you should be aware of the ways that your content can gain visibility. All social networks offer free posting. Most offer a paid boost option to increase visibility beyond your current followers. It is also worth mentioning that most social networks have a built-in content search engine to help people find posts on a particular topic they are interested in. That search function should be the most important part of your organic growth strategy, beyond existing follower shares and engagement. You need to become familiar with hashtags and use them in your social posts.
If you are doing videos or video content, don’t be afraid to use visual props prominently. Props used correctly can entice your viewers into engaging with a post that they might have otherwise scrolled past. A unique enough prop or presentation can inspire just enough curiosity to compel a follower to stop their social feed scrolling long enough to unmute your video post to try to figure out what you are doing with that particular prop. It is a small trick, but it is extremely effective when done properly.
Hashtags are short, highly searchable topic-based keyword indicators that help people interested in a particular topic find and view your relevant post(s). You can even do research to find out search volumes on hashtags to use the more heavily searched relevant terms in your posts, and also see which topics are trending to capitalize on time-sensitive visibility opportunities. As an example, this article could be promoted on social media using the following hashtags #diy, #socialmediamarketing, #smallbusiness, #marketing. Anybody searching for content on those particular hashtags or topics might value the information we’ve written and shared, and potentially getting our post in front of them with these hashtags increases the chance for our own visibility.
Social Media Conversions:
When you create your 20% or “right hook” posts, they should have a strategy and process in place behind them with a clear pathway that leads people into your sales funnel and positions them onto a track to eventually purchase with you. That process needs to be clearly defined by you and positioned to the social media consumer within the post itself. Throwing up a social post simply highlighting a product or service you offer without creating the pathway for the consumer to engage with that product or service makes “hope” your dominant strategy. You end up hoping the customer will understand what to do with the information you have given them… Hoping that they proactively reach out to you to become a customer… Hoping they don’t forget about the interest your post had sparked. Hope is a wonderful thing, but without process, structure, and action it is not an effective strategy.
Certain textile products and retail-based businesses can position a product/benefit featurette right in a post, and lead people to purchase their product right within the social media’s own platform. Service-based business providers can use their post as an engagement hook to drive traffic to a landing page with a deeper content giveaway, or an appointment booking form designed to earn the customer’s contact information. Once your business has contact information, then you can take your new lead, and walk it through your nurture process to eventually turn it into a closed business win.
Thoughts In Conclusion
Hopefully, you got to this post from one of our social media links and got to experience the full lead acquisition experience demonstration we have pieced together and demonstrated here. If you didn’t and instead you got here through another page on our site but still want to experience the full social post to lead acquisition demonstration, you still can! Visit this link to one of our social media posts about this guide and follow the prompts and engagement points to walk through that experience!
Spoiler alert: You’ll eventually end up back on this page, but you will get to see a perfect example of how to use social media to direct traffic to a landing page/squeeze funnel, and how to leverage email marketing and an automation campaign on the back end to begin cultivation of a new lead.
Co-authored with Jo Pate
Featured Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash