How NOT to do Social Media Marketing (and 5 ways to get better at it!)

Haven’t posted about marketing in a while so here’s a good one: Someone spent thousands of dollars on buying things just to be able to post about them on Instagram.

Invest in your business, consider the ROI

Calveiro would treat herself to monthly $200 shopping sprees so she wouldn’t be seen on Instagram wearing the same outfit twice.

Imagine spending $200 a month on Facebook ads, Google ads or a LinkedIn Premium Sales Navigator ($65/month for individual account, $100/month for a team of 10+) to get more sales leads for your business.

That’s more worthwhile than spending $200 on a shopping spree just to take a few photos on Instagram.

Collectible marketing, badges, gamification

Then there was the desire to look like a jet-setter, traveling to a new location — such as Las Vegas, the Bahamas and Los Angeles — every month for a year.

“Snapchat had these [geo-]filters [like digital passport stamps] and I wanted to collect at least 12,” Calveiro said.

It looks like the marketing around collecting badges and gamification works! If you run an ecommerce site, you could have your own set of collectibles such as t-shirts, cups, stickers, buttons or some other small bit of swag that’s part of a limited-time collection (for example: orders over $100 get a free t-shirt, each order gets you a different t-shirt, collect them all!)

Usually you’ll see this kind of gamification and collectibles marketing strategy work at lower price points where it’s easier to spend, things like branded cups that come with a fast food meal or Beanie Babies or trading cards in an exclusive, limited time set.

Accept when you’re doing things for your business versus just to have fun

Although she traveled some for work, Calveiro said, “If you break it down, a lot of the travel I was doing in 2016 was strictly for Instagram.”

This is what David Allen talks about in Getting Things Done. When you’re in the moment you want to be doing the right things and enjoying yourself and not feeling regretful later on. For example, working after hours instead of spending time with family. Plan your time and know that you’re doing the right things at the right moment.

In this case, it’s traveling with a focus on Instagram marketing instead of just traveling to have fun and see the world. Be clear about why you’re doing things and be in the moment.

Don’t have the resources for social media marketing?
Use your time instead & focus on impactful strategies.

1. Reply and converse on social networks to boost your brand’s visibility

If you’re a solopreneur or a one-person business, you may not have the resources to buy advertising on Instagram or Facebook to find leads. You may have more time than money to spend and that’s what you should do. Maximize and improve your social media skills to draw in more people to your product or services.

Simple actions such as replying to someone who asks a question related to your product on Twitter improves your brand recognition. That costs you time and a little bit of thought but it is free in terms of money and other resources. It can have a huge impact because you’ll be creating conversations with potential customers and potential business contacts.

2. Recycle your content, show your existing content to new audiences

“A lot of it was recycled content,” Calveiro said of her posts.

Another good option is to recycle your content. I mentioned it on the Rudolf Podcast; you can post content you wrote years ago on to a new platform such as Medium or Pinterest, or you can create new smaller pieces of content from a larger article or video or podcast. You can also easily automate this and have Buffer or HootSuite or MeetEdgar send out tweets, Facebook status updates, and more with your previous content. Remember, that the audience you have today may not have ever seen your back catalog of great content, they may not know you wrote an amazing article years ago that’s relevant to them today.

3. Considering rentals/subscriptions/leases instead of buying

In place of her old shopping sprees, she shells out $130 for a Rent the Runway monthly membership — so she can have a revolving door of new clothes for hire.

Instead of buying a car; rent one. Instead of buying a camera, rent one. Instead of building your own email servers, subscribe to GMail for Businesses; instead of buying Photoshop, subscribe to Canva.

There are a lot of ways for businesses to save money by going with a subscription or rental plan than outright buying something.

4. Entrepreneurs and small businesses: Watch your budget, there’s very little room for error

“I had a lot of opportunities to save,” she said. “I could’ve invested that money in something.”

Save and re-invest in your business when you’re starting out or growing your small business. Check the ROI.

5. Invest in Facebook Ads, Google Ads and LinkedIn Sales Navigator

The fifth way to get better at social media marketing is to invest in advertising on the dominant platforms. If your business is selling to consumers, use Facebook ads or Google ads. Their great tools and huge audiences make every dollar spent worthwhile, each dollar spent on Facebook or Google ads has far greater impact than the same dollar spent on TV, radio or billboards or leaflets. If your business is selling to businesses (or governments), consider LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

Here are some great guides on investing in advertising on Facebook, Google and LinkedIn:

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Author: Rudolf Olah

Rudolf Olah is a software development expert with over 6 years of professional software developer experience. He has produced the video course Learning AngularJS Testing for PacktPublishing and works on the strategic as well as the tactical parts of software and web devleopment.

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