Help! The subject line exclaimed.
I’ve been tasked with coming up with a social media strategy for a local pub and I have no idea what I’m doing.
There’s an event coming up in September that they want to promote and they want me to run their social media for it.
The problem is, I’ve only just started getting into social media marketing. It’s really only been a hobby of mine.
When I sent a proposal to them I never thought they’d go for it. And, they actually hired me!
But I have no idea where to start.
Do I create a Facebook page so I can start distributing content? Do I run some ads?
I’m really quite lost. Help!
This was part of an email I received over the weekend from a new listener of my podcast.
And because this is a common challenge for a lot of people, I figured this was a good opportunity to take a minute here and see if we can help get them started so that everyone can benefit.
I’m a giver, what can I say?
Of course, I can’t always do this, as this is one thing I would do with clients during a personalized Social Media Review, but I’m feeling extra generous on this Monday morning.
Start With Your Goal, Not Tactics
First off, I love the fact this person took a chance and sent a proposal to the pub. I don’t think many people would do that given the fact they had only just been dabbling in social media.
I will say, though, dabbling in social media for yourself is one thing, dabbling for a client isn’t something I’d recommend. Businesses work hard to build a reputation and that’s something that can be hurt pretty quickly.
So let’s take a look where our fearless listener should start.
Always start with your goal.
Like most small businesses, though, he immediately went to tactics like: should he create a Facebook page or should he run ads?
Tactics are what you employ once you have a goal in mind and a strategy to achieve it.
So start by asking yourself what it is you’re trying to achieve.
For example, are you trying to…
- Increase revenue over last year?
- Get more people to come to your event?
- Increase buzz around a new product?
- Improve customer sentiment about your business?
In this case, it sounds like the pub wants to get as many people to their event as possible. I’m assuming this, by the way, because I don’t have all the information.
Once you know exactly what you’re trying to do, you can develop a roadmap to get you there. But you start with your goal and work backwards.
Then, whom are you trying to reach? Who is your target customer?
Again, not knowing the pub, let’s assume their target customers are professional men and women who work near the pub. They come over after work for happy hour and to unwind from the day. They’re 25-35 years old, not married, ride their bike to work and love the local soccer team.
Once you know these pieces to the puzzle, you can start putting your strategy together. Which marketing strategies might help you get closer to your goal?
Keep in mind social media may or may not be one of these strategies.
Let’s say, though, social makes sense for what you’re trying to do.
Know Exactly Which Social Platforms to Use
Now that you know your goal and target customer you can then look at the social platform(s) that align best with them.
Where do your customers hangout online? Are they on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter?
If you don’t know, ask them. Seriously. Too many people forget to do this and it’s so simple.
Setup Google Alerts about your business so you can monitor what’s being said. Use the Search feature in Facebook and on Twitter to pick up on conversations being had about your business or industry.
This will give you valuable insight into which social platforms to be on. After all, if your customers are there, you should be there too.
Is your business best served with colorful images like a restaurant? Facebook or Instragram would probably make the most sense. If your target customer is female, Pinterest might be where you want to focus.
Or do you have a carpet cleaning business that video might work better for? Facebook and YouTube would likely be your go-to.
One Possible Strategy for the Pub
For the pub, let’s assume their customers use Facebook. It sounds like from the email, though, they don’t have a Facebook page yet.
So yes, since your customers are on Facebook, you’d want to be there too.
- Create a page and then start creating content that serves the community. Add value to your customers with cool content, news about local events, etc. Highlight your regular customers through pictures.
- Build your fans up by letting everyone know you now have a Facebook page and run Facebook-only specials like coupons for free drinks or food. Maybe consider running a contest to build excitement.
- Print up some flyers promoting the September event and go to the local soccer games and hand them out. Include your Facebook page on the flyer and tell people you have regular contests on your page where you give away awesome prizes and offer special discounts.
See where I’m going with all this?
Granted, I actually know very little about the pub, their event, or their goal so I’m making assumptions here. But you get the idea.
Then it becomes about measuring your progress, making any necessary changes, re-measuring, rinse and repeat.
I’ll save all that for another post, though, since this call for help was about getting started.
Remember…know your goal, know your target customer, figure out where they are online.
You then have the pieces for your strategy.
And congratulations, by the way. You’ve just set yourself apart from your competitors because most people don’t start by answering these questions when they’re trying to market something.
You’re now thinking like the big brands do.
(photo courtesy e-magic)