Social Media Marketing Essentials

So everyone’s trying to get on the social media marketing action.

It’s only natural; times are rough and incomes need to be supplemented – for a lot of us it’s about making ends meet.

Truth be told, even I have been dabbling with social media marketing quite extensively for the past few months. Like helping clients strengthen their social media presence to assisting friends to build pages for their home-bases businesses.

One thing I have learned is that this social media rabbit hole is so deep that even the Mariana trench doesn’t stand a chance.

The other thing I’ve learned is that there is only so much reading and researching you can do. You got to get started, tweak and find your voice as you go along.

Otherwise you will be stuck in the rabbit hole with a severe case of analysis paralysis. Done is surely better than perfect when it comes to the social media game.

To ease the pain and get you going, here are 5 essential must-haves to start your social media selling foray on a budget:

  1. Make a Good Logo

Social Logo

A no-brainer perhaps, but I have seen far too many social profiles with scratched-up, Powerpoint-like logos. Branding intricacies aside, a good logo gives your brand (or voice) an identity and acts as a point of differentiation. And make sure your logo is optimised for social media use, meaning having it in hi-res JPEGs and most importantly transparent PNGs for easier overlays onto visuals.

TIP: Use platforms such as fiverr.com or freelancer.com to get your logo done. A lot of upstart graphic designers in these platforms can get your logo done on the cheap and fully optimised. Remember to always ask for the source file, so you can make changes in future.

  1. Have a Daily Theme

Daily Theme

The most common frustration among social media marketing professionals is having to consistently generate content to post. As an admin for 7 social media pages, I often have my pening moments too. One way to ease this process is to have a theme for each day of the week you intend to post. This helps because it focuses your thoughts on developing content based on themes, rather than thinking in general, which can lead to wandering and analysis paralysis.

TIP: List 20 themes you would like to focus on. Let’s say you intend to post 5 days a week, pick 5 themes for each day. And if you run out of content ideas for a particular theme, you still have 15 more themes to fall back on.

  1. Build Your Asset

Social Assets

While some people can get away with posting engaging content on-the-fly, it doesn’t really work that way for the rest of us. Don’t think you will post when an idea pops-up – surely this is a formula for failure. Work on creating your visual assets – be it video or images – so you have a stream of content ready, avoiding last-minute shoots or scrambling for free stock images.

TIP: If you are selling a physical product, photograph your products in every imaginable angle and setting. For service-related sellers, explore platforms such as upsplash.com for a decent selection images that you can use for free, without copyright issues.

  1. Use a Design Tool

Social Design

Between all the sizes, formats, resolutions, watermarks, layouts and optimisation are pains-in-the-ass. And using a designer for every visual you create is going to leave you with a funds-related heartache. Fortunately, there are countless online tools that you can use for free that makes design work pretty darn simple for the average design-handicapped person.

TIP: Check imageonline.com for super easy editing of your images with great functionality for beginners. For even more pro-looking visuals, you can start with a free account at Canva, Crello or Adobe Spark. Paid accounts can be expensive, but lookout for lifetime deals and you could snag a bargain.

  1. Set Aside Some Ad Budget

Ad Budget

Only up to 3% of your page followers will see any of your posts organically. Means if you don’t sometimes promote or boost your posts – especially those that show potential with good organic engagement – that’s a lot of effort wasted. It has become a necessary evil to boost posts – enabling better reach, more exposure and higher engagement.

TIP: Pick a post that shows the best organic engagement and boost it. Start small, Facebook ads start from USD5 (roughly RM25) that can get your post seen by approximately 1,000 new sets of eyes, depending on your targeting. Make sure anything you boost has a clear call-to-action, so people are compelled to click-through.

This post could have been much longer if I went into every nitty-gritty detail of each of the must-haves. But I didn’t, because the key here is to start and fine-tune as you get into it.

I know, it’s a jungle out there and there are new social media marketing trends, shortcuts, cheat-sheets, all-knowing guides popping up almost everyday.

But these fundamentals but will set you on the right direction. Then add your own common sense, ingenuity and authenticity to make social selling second nature.

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