There seem to be two camps when it comes to online marketing:

  • People who rave about how easy it is and how anyone can do it
  • People who find themselves spending hours trying to keep their social media up to date and then give up as it simply takes up too much time.

They are both right.  @Online marketing is easy and anyone can do it, BUT without a systematic approach it can gobble up hours of your time.  So the secret is in the system.

Know where you’re going

Step one is establishing where your target audience are mostly found.  This might be on Facebook, on LinkedIn or on other social networks or in forums.  Start by targeting the places where the biggest gathering of your ideal clients are found; you can always add other places later.

Step two is knowing what will be of value to your target audience and creating content that will deliver that value.  This doesn’t have to be rocket science – it just needs to be tips, advice and suggestions that will be useful to the people who you want to engage with.

Step three is developing a schedule.  This needs to be integrated into your diary so you take action regularly and consistently.

Build your system

If you want to keep your profile visible and build awareness over time you will need to post regularly – that means several times a day.  Nobody wants to sit in front of the computer posting comments on various social media platforms when they’re busy with customers and delivering to meet their needs, so you need to explore the tools that are available to schedule content.

Remember that it’s not just about social media – blogging regularly may be a valuable part of your marketing, writing articles, creating a regular newsletter, growing your list of people who are interested in what you do, creating and delivering press releases are all possible means of marketing your business.

SM process

If you take it one step at a time you’ll soon find that it will develop into a powerful tool.  For example this is what I do:

  • Blog on my own blog and one guest blog on Monday morning, which I then promote via my social media (one post into Hootsuite).
  • Use Hootsuite to post tips and hints through their scheduling system to Twitter, Facebook Page, LinkedIn and Google+ Page (typically 7-9 tips a day and maybe 6-8 marketing messages inviting people to visit the website with free downloads, etc.)  Most of this content is reusable.
  • View my Twitter feed for 5 minutes morning and evening and respond to mentions, comment, promote other people’s blogs that I like, etc.
  • Visit my Facebook Page 2-3 times a week and answer any posts.
  • Visit LinkedIn 2-3 times a week and respond to connections, read my Inbox and see what is going on in the main groups I’m a member of.
  • I also have on my website a plug in called Tweet Old Post that randomly reposts blogs I’ve written over the past months and years to keep them visible.

This is not necessarily what you should be doing – but it will give you an idea of where to start – and do what you can.  You’ll be surprised at how much you can do in relatively little time.