Effective Marketing means a well-rounded combination of marketing mediums for every business. Yes, social media is a big part of it but it’s only one piece of the pie!
Effective Marketing means a well-rounded combination of marketing mediums for every business. Yes, social media is a big part of it but it’s only one piece of the pie!
If you follow my blog (and you should ), you know that I talk about your tribe* often. Your tribe* is the group of people you influence. They are your brand champions, your friends, your fans, your clients, and your prospects. Without your tribe, you don’t have a business.
The narrower you get when describing and then marketing to your target audience, the easier, more effective, and less costly your marketing will be. If you try the “spray and pray” method, you will waste your two most precious resources – time and money. Unless, of course, you have a marketing budget the size of Starbucks’. (Didn’t think so.)
Determining a target market for an existing business
This process is a bit easier, in my honest opinion (IMHO), if you have been in business for more than a year and a half-ish because you can look at past client demographics and data and narrow down from there. Looking at this data is much easier if you have a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system that tracks important information about your clients.
Hint: if you are just starting out in business now, get a CRM system (which can be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet) and keep track of important client data. Here’s a list of data to track, but add to this list as it makes sense to your business.
Are they local/national/international?
What industry do they work in?
What is their position there?
What is their family situation (you are looking for common threads here like divorced, moms, dads, etc.)?
Where do you get this information? Some of it will be guess work, and some you can obtain from LinkedIn. I would also consider making note of who your ideal clients were and using their data over those who weren’t.
Next, what are the psychographic pieces of information? For this part, I recommend you bring up the top five clients you’ve worked with in your business over the last year or so. Then answer these questions based on them.
What were they feeling before they hired you? What were the problems they were running away from? What are the top pleasures they are running toward? What were they calling out for help with?
What did they love most about your process? When they sang/sing your praises, what do they say about you?
What are the biggest results they achieved in working with you, both tangibly and emotionally?
What do they care most about in life, in general?
What do they fear most in life, in general?
There are many more questions that can be taken into account at this point in the process, depending on your business, your industry, whether you are B2B or B2C, and more. After you have given much thought to this information, and written it down, you can now draw the parallels and see the commonalities between the people you love to serve.
What you should come up with on the other side looks something like what I’ve done here to describe my client Mallory, who is a reflexologist and healer:
Denver-based single women, 35-55 years old, educated and professional (career women), who is overwhelmed, swamped, and seeking instant relief from daily stress; typical industries her clients fall within: marketing, authors, speakers, those who travel a lot for work.
Determining your target market for a new business
If you are new in your business, your process is going to look a lot different. Google will be your best friend, as will other people who are experienced in your industry with your products or services. You may also be doing a bit more testing than determining, initially.
My client Sara is an author and her genre of writing is somewhere between Paranormal Romance and Sci-Fi. She began doing research and found a gold mine of statistics here. http://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=582 This kind of data is invaluable, and you can likely find some of your own.
She also started reaching out to other writers with books and styles similar to hers and asked to do “informational interviews” with them. She asked questions about the kinds of people who come to their book signings and who write to them as raving fans of their work. Some of these people were not receptive to talking with her, but plenty of others were willing help!
In the end
Looking at, tweaking, and refining your target market is a continuous process. Your tribe will shift and change as your business evolves.
* Target market = tribe = target audience
Lately, I’ve seen a growing epidemic … people launching Facebook business pages like they’re going out of style… with no apparent strategy or plan of action for WHY they are starting them or WHAT they are going to do with them. And resulting in the millions of untouched Facebook pages, so sad ;-(
Recently, I saw a friend start 4 new pages ALL in one day, all for herself, with different names and the same message across the different pages. When I asked her why and discussed it with her, she quickly understood that keeping up with four separate pages would basically consume her life and wouldn’t yield anything more than one. We came up with a strategy for a unified approach that made sense for her goals.
Your social media marketing should be done intentionally. Having a strategy for what you are going to do, when you’re going to do it, who’s going to keep it going, WHY you’re doing it, and how you’ll keep up is PARAMOUNT to your success in social media. What is success in social media? Return On Investment, of course! So, why am I choosing to stand on my soap box with this subject? More importantly, what should be done instead?
1. Know WHY you are starting a FB business page (from the perspective of your target audience). What are you going to provide your new fans that they can’t get anywhere else? This should require some thought. No No: ”like our page cause we’re going to give you great tips, coupons, ‘n stuff.” With that type of a strategy,you’ll be joining EVERYONE else already using the identical call to action. Ya Ya: What makes you and your brand unique and what value are you going to provide your specific target audience that will BENEFIT them. How is your Facebook page going to stand out from the millions of others? “Love daily inspiration, a community of like-minded conscious friends and FUN content, contests and prizes that you won’t get from us anywhere else? Like our page today and get involved!”
2. Know WHO will be updating the page, HOW often, and WHEN you will be updating it. No No: Put up a page and let it hang in outer space, posting on it once in a blue moon. This won’t help move you toward your goals and objectives. This is like getting married; you don’t just go to the alter and then the next day say “peace out” to your new spouse and go MIA for months. Ya Ya: Choose the right person to be in charge of your social media maintenance – someone who knows contemporary marketing well. Someone who knows how to provide value to your audience and how to engage them regularly. Create a calendar. Test and analyze the best times of day and frequencies to post to garner the most attention and interaction from your specified target audience.
3. Figure out what your target market wants. No No: Use the “spray and pray” marketing method, where you just post and hope that someone somewhere sees it and engages with it. Ya Ya: Answer these questions and devise a plan based on them: Does your ideal client enjoy reading detailed posts and clicking links to read more? Are they more likely to pay attention to, like, comment and share visual posts emphasizing your expertise? Do they like short, impactful videos? What is your content strategy and how will you continue to provide valuable, entertaining, engaging content to your Facebook fans? Learning the optimal ‘post mix’ for your target audience will make or break your engagement on Facebook.
4. How does this page fit in with the rest of your marketing? What are your objectives beyond your Facebook page? No No: Working to increase fans and up engagement levels isn’t enough. That rarely converts to business done. (And by the way, Facebook is not the place to promote, promote, promote. That will turn your potential clients away faster than a knife fight in a phone booth!) Ya Ya: Where will you provide them more information about your area of expertise? On your website through blog posts or value-based video posts (vlogs)? How will you track that website traffic? How will you get them on your email list so that they enter in to your sales funnel? These are all questions to answer before launching your page.
5. How will you monitor your Facebook page performance as they relate to your overall business goals? No No: Set no goals as they relate to your business, and run your Facebook marketing devoid of its contribution to your business overall. Ya Ya: Know what your main business objectives are quarterly, bi-annually, and annually. Understand which goals your Facebook page will directly help you achieve. Example Goal: To increase attendance at quarterly live events by 20% each quarter. Facebook’s role – to increase fans by 20% each quarter and increase engagement 30 % each quarter. Create engaging campaigns directly related to the topics and teachings of your live events and use a mix of posts, promoted posts, and ads to drive new users in your target audience to the events.
There are, of course, other objectives that should be discussed when it comes to your Facebook page strategy, but meeting these is a great start! Do you have any other words of inspiration for setting up a strategy before launching your Facebook business page ship?
Also, share your Facebook page URL here as a comment so that we may all take a look, like and comment, if we so choose!
Englewood, Colorado based Garvin’s Sewer Service got its start in 1940. After 70 years this family-run business is going strong and still serving many of the same customers after decades. However, reaching new customers in the crowded online space has been challenging for Garvin’s for a few reasons.
The Seeds of an Idea
While I’d love to say that dreamed up the solution to Garvin’s social media challenges on my own, this creative plumbing company did a lot of the work on their own. I have been the catalyst to help them get content in place, create new and fun branding ideas, and track progress to prove it is working.
“I met Meghann at a networking event awhile back,” Kris explained. “At networking events I would introduce myself as ‘Kris Plumbing Girl Jordan’ so that I’d be more memorable. When we hired Meghann to do a marketing assessment she saw the Plumber Girl as an opportunity.”
Since those early days at networking events, Plumber Girl has come a long way. Now this seemingly “boring” plumbing company has a character straight out of the 1940s to share blog and social media content in a fun, interesting way for customers, for those interested in plumbing, and even for those who have an interest in a Rose-the-Riveter inspired, sexy yet family-friendly Plumbing Girl.
Implementing the Solution
Each month I visit with Kris to evaluate contemporary marketing performance against their goals and objectives, and then we go into FUN content production mode using Kris’ expertise in plumbing.
“What I love about working with Meghann is that we time block and get it all done,” Kris said. “I’m an organized person, but I break appointments with myself. I don’t break appointments with her. She keeps things fun.”
Client Spotlight: Brenda Abdilla and A Magic Social Media Strategy
In the spring of 2013, Career Coach Brenda Abdilla and her team planned and subsequently cancelled six workshops designed to promote her new book and MOMentum Mastermind Group. All six of the cancellations were due to low registration numbers.
Brenda knew she had identified an untapped market – moms unsure of what they should do work-wise – and she knew there was demand for career coaching and camaraderie among moms. That’s what frustrated her the most. She could see the promise land, but her wheels were stuck in the mud.
Meanwhile, Brenda continues to operate a highly successful career coaching practice -http://managementmomentum.net and was launching this mom coaching business alongside, because she is so passionate about it.
I started working with Brenda in May. After establishing a contemporary marketing strategy aimed at targeting the right tribe with the right offers, we managed to promote a June workshop and fill it with moms (new clients), fast.
“I’ll never forget that first meeting with Meghann when she put her hands to her head and said ‘call it this, delete that, and change this,’” Brenda explained. “It was so clear to her that we had confused our audience with our content and approach. Her advice literally worked like magic.”
Turns out marketing strategy using various marketing mediums to execute it isn’t actually magic. It’s more about speaking to your tribe (that specific group of people to whom you speak and with whom your product/service resonates). Here’s some specific actions Brenda and I identified that led to a revitalized marketing environment and workshop sign-ups:
All of this allowed Brenda to focus her attention on what she does best: high-level career coaching through http://momentummanagement.net while at the same time fueling a huge passion of hers to help mothers in career transition. She’s got an awesome book, you should read it (if you’re a mom in career transition of course).
Brenda will tell you that prior to working with me she was already using social media, writing blogs, creating email newsletters, but, as she later learned, she was using all of these without a strategy. Her tactics had only gotten her so far and she was ready to get some return on her marketing investment. That’s what it’s all about, right?
“It felt good to know that the advice Meghann gave me was not the same advice she gives everyone,” Brenda said. “It was so obvious she had studied my brand and industry. She was the clear voice I needed.”
Strategy – the preeminent component of your social media marketing efforts. Without it, the question, “what’s the ROI from my social media marketing efforts” cannot even be answered or addressed accurately. When I hear people say “I’m not getting results from social media,” my first question to them is “where is your social media strategy?” and “What are you measuring your results with?” Their response is typically the deer-in-headlights look.
So, over the next several months, I’ll be covering my Mistress of Social Media™ Strategy Model, a step-by-step roadmap for building your measurable, rock-solid strategy.
The first component in this formula is setting goals and objectives. This is where you set the targets for your online efforts; how can you know where you’re going or if you’ve arrived there if you don’t know what you’re measuring, or measuring against?
Your social media goals and objectives should directly relate to the goals of your company. I will use a fictitious business as an example throughout these blog posts to illustrate how this all gets put into play. A close friend of mine in Denver and I tend to get bored always saying the same thing when we meet other business owners and get the standard question “what do you do?” So she made up a response – she’s a “Jellymaster” for the nation’s aquariums. She travels around the country as a consultant to the aquariums, mating the jellyfish and ensuring their quality and longevity of life. And, she has mastered the art of delivering this information with a straight face. Yes, you can chuckle She usually throws in fun facts like “Did you know that jellyfish are the #3 attraction at most aquariums?” She then follows up with the comment, “It’s my mission to make it the #2 attraction by 2015!”
Typical goals and objectives for companies who are using social media to market their brands:
• Increase brand awareness, strengthen brand
• Acquire contacts
• Generate prospects
• Generate sales
• Increase customer retention
• Improve customer service/contact
• Increase SEO & website traffic
• Grow business partnerships
Here are the steps, simplified: Determine an overall business goal or objective, then lay out the social media goal(s) that can help you achieve that overall business goal, and lastly, nail down the action steps you and your team will take to reach these social media goals.
Using the Jellymaster as an example, one of her overall business objectives is to increase her jellygigs by 20% this calendar year (from 20-24.) My friend, we’ll call her Sandra, knows that this objective requires that she get introduced to and have webcast demo meetings with 10 new VPs of Sea Life Quality at aquariums each year. This year she needs 4 new VPs to hire her. Knowing this, Sandra can set her social media goals in order to meet her business objectives.
One of her major social media goals will be to increase brand awareness through her online efforts. She can break this down into tactical action steps to get her to her goal. First, she will want to identify her tribe (more about this in Part 2 of this blog series), then make sure that her online image is consistent across platforms and represents her brand culture, core competencies, design look &feel, and overall marketing message.
Next, she could reach out to four new aquarium CEOs or VPs of Sea Life Quality via social media each quarter in order to secure enough webcast meetings. Sandra also sets the goal to blog & vlog weekly using keyword optimized content to keep and boost Search Engine Optimization & to be seen as the Subject Matter Expert in her industry.
Sandra also attends the annual Aquarium Enthusiasts Expo, which attracts her potential clients and presents her with an opportunity to get connected with them in person. She uses LinkedIn to conduct research on the people she knows will attend the conference and arranges mutual connections to introduce them in person while she’s at the expo.
We’ll get into the tactical, day-to-day implementation ideas for Sandra’s social media strategy later in this series of articles. We will also show the importance of measurements and metrics in determining your level of success in achieving your objectives in further articles. Gather your team and set those goals!
Have you seen? You can embed public Facebook posts on your blog or website!! This example is from my Facebook page and is posted as a blog post on my WordPress blog:
So, what is this good for?
Logged in to your Facebook Business page, you can go to any status update that is a public post, then:
Click on the little drop down arrow in the top right hand corner of that status
Select “Embed Post”
Copy the entire code that pops up and then you can paste that code in to the “text” editor field of your blog post, save draft, preview, and voila! your Facebook status is viewable in your blog post.
For a bit more information, straight from the mouth of Facebook, click here.
Have you tried this embed functionality yet? What do you think about it?
Quick Update: You can now comment with a photo on updates… via your personal profile…
Cool, huh? Much more fun to engage with a photo… and perhaps this will result in me using far less emoticons to convey my sarcasm or other emotion. I can just take “selfies” of my reaction to someone’s post:
I love this new feature! Give it a try!
A question I get frequently from small business owners is “how do I get more fan engagement” This point usually points to the lack of a developed content strategy, or the need to tweak their existing strategy.
As marketers of any brand, there are two assets to work with – time and money. Large companies (Starbucks, Nike, etc) have almost endless amounts of money and time to spray content out to wide gamut of audiences. Small businesses have one of these assets and that is time, which we need to spend wisely targeting the people we enjoy working with, those who know, like and trust us and will recommend us to everyone they know. As you know, social media and contemporary marketing as a whole relies on ROE – Return On Engagement. There are many pitfalls small business owners fall into that contribute to minimal engagement in the content we produce – on your website (blog, vlog, audio) and on the social sites in which you participate.
The first is that you haven’t truly identified who your target market (or as I like to refer to it, tribe) is and therefore you are not creating content specifically for them, which means that you are probably trying to be ‘all things to all people’ which translates to serving no one online. The content that twenty somethings want to consume is very different from that of the sixty year olds, as one illustration of this point.
The second, is that you are not giving them content in the format they want to receive it. This point ties directly in with the previous because knowing the demographics and behaviors of your audience is key to deciding what type of content to deliver. For instance, is your content primarily text based and does it point people to countless articles on your site and other sites? This tends to work well for readers who are over 50, however, if you don’t shake up your content and delivery now and then, you may see drops in participation. As another example, is your content consumers and clients made up primarily of 30-somethings? In this case, you’ll definitely want a healthy mixture of video, images, audio, and some written content.
The third is the content itself. Producing content that is strictly related to your business can be boring, while producing “entertainment” content can muddle your message. A healthy balance of educational subject matter expertise content and entertaining content is best. For example, if you are a cosmetic dentist who’s clientele is affluent women 45-65 years old, a healthy mix of content would be related to cosmetic dentistry (showing before and afters, videos of case studies, etc.) and also would share information about the community events she’s interested in and the articles on topics that matter most to her). This all, of course, requires getting to know your tribe well. If you would like to create a DIY Content Marketing strategy, I recommend reading Get Content, Get Customers by Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett. Your content strategy is an important foundation of your social media strategy. If you already have a content strategy and you feel as though you are looking for more ‘tactical’ step-by-step ideas for Facebook fan pages and such, I recommend checking out Amy Porterfield or Hubspot. Your overall social media strategy is comprised of: Objectives, Tribe, Content, Team, Brand Guidelines, Onboarding, Channels, Tactics, Metrics, Monitoring, and Modifying. When these items are applied to your social media efforts, they will create engagement, and they will create habit that you and your staff can adhere to and re-examine semi-annually for ultimate social media marketing success.
What hit you as the biggest “aha” in this article? Or what’s one thing you can go and apply to your business?
A concept I learned many years ago, which has helped me understand the psychology of Internet users and my clients, is known as the 90-9-1 theory of Participation Inequality. Studied and reported first and most by Will Hill and Jakob Nielsen. This theory states that, on the Internet, 90% of users are lurkers, producing almost no content, 9% of users are producing and contributing from time to time, and 1% of users are very active and produce most of the online contributions.
Why is this theory so intriguing to me? I would go to networking events, coffee shops, cocktail parties, and interact with people and time and time again I heard “Meghann, I just read your blog or watched your video or read your post on Facebook, etc. and I loved what you had to say.” And inevitably, looking at said blog posts, videos, other content, I noticed those people didn’t comment, share the content, or even “like” it! I was really befuddled by this because I am a flagrant commenter, interactor, sharer, and liker of other people’s stuff. I was having a conversation with a friend one day and he told me about this theory and it all clicked. A vast majority of people are lurkers.
What does this mean for my business and for my clients? I keep putting out quality content. Even if it seems like people aren’t reading, watching or listening, I keep creating. I use new tactics to draw comments and shares out of my followers. I niche in more to my tribe and laser-focus my content to them. After all, there are an estimated 7 billion internet users out there. Am I going to be reach all of them? No! Nor do I want to; I want to reach the members of my tribe with the content I produce.
My tribe is women industry leaders and their teams who want to transform their marketing and catapult their business into the spotlight. Industry leaders are subject matter experts. They have a lot to say about their area of expertise. And for the most part, they are able to express their expert content well in one of three forms on their website: blog (written content with visual aids), vlog (videos), or plog (podcasts). And because their website is the hub of all of their marketing, and there is so much value in producing regular content for their tribe (and an unending supply of content ideas), I encourage my clients to strive to be part of the 1%.
What’s the general formula for becoming part of the 1% you ask?
What will you get for being part of the 1%? Great SEO, a loyal tribe of raving fans who shares your viral content regularly, a positive reputation that precedes you and leaves you little need for introduction anywhere, more clients/customers than you know what to do with. Sound good? I think so!!
Here’s an incredible case study of an industry leader, Marcus Sheridan, who has proven this theory to be true. And to prove that this can be done by any leader in any industry, he’s the perfect example – he sells fiberglass pools.
Are you a leader? Do you have what it takes to be part of the 1%?
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