The XYZed has scoured the internet for the most popular questions asked by self-starters – and now we’re answering them. We spoke with social media expert Chrissie Malloch, a strategist at Australian creative agency The Royals (who are also RedZed’s creative agency), about how social media marketing can work for you.
Half the battle of being a self-starter is letting people know you exist. Maybe you’ve got a website or taken out an ad. It might be bringing a few customers in, but maybe it’s not working as well as you’d like.
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Social media can help get your message across. Using it for work rather than sending messages to a friend can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. There are simple things you can do, and simple tools you can use.
What does social media offer?
“It offers a scalable way to advertise,” says Malloch. “Not everyone needs to launch with a big bang.”
She says it’s a great way to promote your brand, business or products in a reasonably cost-efficient manner, and a great way to create an online presence that makes you more discoverable by the audience you want.
But is it right for everyone?
Marketing via social media makes sense when you work with visuals, so it’s a no-brainer for graphic designers and food stylists. But what about tradies, tour guides or maths tutors? Does social media have something to offer?
“Social media is a broad term and encompasses many channels, many audiences and many methods of user interaction across the variety platforms,” says Malloch.
One good example is JASEKOE, a Melbourne-based cabinet and furniture maker who works primarily with recycled timber.
Built to last: Some examples of JASEKOE’s Instagram posts that show off functional products in fine style.
How do I know what to do?
It’s easiest when you put together a strategy and a plan, and can put the audience you desire at the forefront of the planning process.
“The best way to start is to decide who you want to talk to, and research how those people use the variety of social channels available to them,” says Malloch.
“Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, WeChat, WhatsApp. The list goes on. All of these channels have a unique role that they play in the social media landscape – sometimes multiple roles. And don’t rule anything out to begin with. Think about how you’d like your audience to interact with your brand and then find which channels are best suited to your strategy.”
There are a lot of affordable tools to help you create content, amplify the reach you have with your audience, promote your message, and then track your results. Malloch believes these are the three most simple steps in creating an effective social media strategy.
How much time does it take?
This is all dependent on how well you want your social media to connect with audiences. If customer service is an element of what you do, then treat social like answering a phone call, says Malloch.
“You set the rules for your brand and what is realistic for the resources you have,” she says.
“At a bare minimum, you need have a goal or an ambition for each channel you’re using. You also need an established tone of voice for your brand, a content calendar, regular community moderation and some form of reporting to track your success.”
Not all brands need to post everyday, she says. It may be more realistic to post once a week when you have something to say or share that is more compelling. Perhaps you’ve scored a big client, have a new product to show off, or have finished a job you’re really proud of. Maybe you’ve chalked up an important milestone or anniversary.
Choosing quality over quantity counts, especially if you’re doing everything yourself and don’t have the time to dedicate to a busier content calendar. If you’re finding social media is starting to take off for you, or take up too much of your time, perhaps consider outsourcing or bringing in a freelancer to ease the burden.
Securing the finances to hire a social media expert can be daunting, but at RedZed we help make that commitment less complex. Our credit decisions aren’t made by computers but by living, breathing experts. To find out more about RedZed visit redzed.com or call us on 1300 722 462.