Getting started with social media
Updated: Sep 16, 2020
In our last article we got to the point where you’re ready to kick off your social media engagement.
You’ve identified your target audience personas, and you’ve confirmed where your existing and target customers are active on social media.
Let’s assume you’ve identified Facebook as the best platform to start with, because that’s where your customers are. Do you have your virtual pen poised, worried about how to get started?
How about if I share an experience of an old client who was also new to social media? This is how they built a growing following in just three years.
Where it started
My client provided home-based services aimed at families, teenagers, and older Australians (65 years and over).
They were a small division of a bigger company. They and the bigger company shared many customers.
The bigger company had an established Facebook presence and an experience social media marketing team. So, to start with they posted updates to the bigger company’s Facebook page.
They started by promoting new policies customers needed to know.
Then they shared stories from existing staff as part of a recruitment drive.
Plus, they posted news about events they were hosting with suppliers and partners.
My client encouraged these suppliers and partners to share their posts via the suppliers’ and partners’ social media channels.
This approach meant they could create content using existing staff and learn as they developed content. This content was then passed onto the social media marketing team to check and publish. In the early days, there were a lot of rewrites as content had to be shortened to meet the optimal post settings and image dimensions for Facebook.
This was OK while they were learning how to craft content for social media. Once they got the hang of writing engaging Facebook posts and started to get a following, they wanted to create their own Facebook page.
First, they got the help of an experienced designer to create their Facebook page, because they didn’t have the skills to do this and it was the quickest way to get the page up.
To launch their page, they posted updates to existing followers, redirecting them from the bigger company's Facebook page to their Facebook page.
Then they promoted their new page at community events, in their website and by word-of-mouth. They did this to grow their following and to build their brand online.
New hashtags were created to direct followers to the new page and new content, which included:
personal experience stories from customers,
photos and stories from local community events and
staff updates on new services being rolled out for older Australians, students, and families.
As the team’s confidence grew, they expanded their social media presence to include Instagram (to reach more students and young families) and added video stories to their Facebook and Instagram posts.
Their following has grown to over three-thousand and they’ve built a supportive community of customers who they engage in person and online.
In the beginning, they didn’t feel confident about engaging with social media. They were anxious about getting it wrong and offending customers. They also felt they lacked the knowledge and experience to build connections this way.
By starting small and focusing on building their skills with Facebook, my client showed that a small company, who was new to social media, was just as successful in engaging with customers as bigger and more experienced firms.
They did it and you can do it too.