RELATE - from DMS Connect

Late last year we decided to add another element to our marketing mix: social media. It was an interesting project to put together as there’s so much more to it than meets the eye. We took a couple months to plan our strategy and launched our Facebook page early in January with our goals, plans and a working schedule in place. Here’s a behind the scenes look at how we planned, what we did and what we learned. We hope you are able to glean some insight from our experience that you can relate to your social media marketing strategy. Also, if you have any tips or suggestions, please drop us a line on Facebook: @DMSConnectCanada. PLANNING • We chose to have a Facebook presence because it seems to be where most of our clients (and prospects) are active on social media. Facebook is also easy to use; we’re familiar with the platform from our personal use and it fit well with what we wanted to be able to communicate (images, text, links, questions, etc.) Our suggestion to you would be to look where you’re most comfortable and start there. • We decided we needed to pick a particular day (or days) to post and a time. Studies from numerous social media experts say that posting daily is recommended. However, consistency is even more important. We set a schedule we could keep up with – Monday, Wednesday, Friday worked for us. We post throughout the day, but concentrate the majority of posts between 1pm and 4pm as historically they receive the best interactions. When choosing your schedule and time, think about how you’ll maintain the frequency when you’re busy and set realistic expectations for each week. • Thankfully Facebook has a built-in scheduling feature so we can set up our posts ahead of time. Other apps are available too like Buffer and Hootsuite. It’s great if you can plan posts in advance and focus on your social media once during the week. In the long run, it will save you time. Just remember social media is a communication tool. Don’t set and forget – monitor your reactions, comments and messages. It’s as important to respond to people personally as it is to put up a post. EXECUTION • Armed with our plan and three months’ worth of posts, we started making our page. It took us a while to decide on the right header image, page type, information we wanted to include and how it would look. We learned that Facebook is a very complex tool and there are many customization options. We go back periodically and tweak our information. • Our research told us that images get the best interactions on social media so we include a visual with most of our posts. That being said, it’s even more important to post interesting and valuable content people will engage with, so we vary our post types as should you. Posting the same thing repetitively gets old and followers are less likely to interact and find value in your messages. • Once we started inviting people to like our page and sent a couple emails to our clients to let them know about our Facebook page, we started to get notifications on our reach, likes, friends and followers. We’ll save that information for another post, but there is sure a lot of information you can find out – except for a very detailed list of who likes your page (we thought it would be easy to find out, but turns out, not so much.) What’s next for us – well, we plan to keep posting at least 3x a week. We want to increase our friends/followers base so we’ll boost a post or two. We’ll also try Facebook Live (gulp) because we hear it’s the next big thing. We’re excited to see what type of engagement we get. FACEBOOK 101: PLANNING YOUR STRATEGY

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