“How can we build and nurture a strong social marketing presence?” This is a question we get asked regularly by our customers, and it's something that can really help you grow your business.
This blog will set out the basics for social media—the things you really need to think about before you start to plan a full strategy. This is only just the start; if you want deeper insight into how you can create and manage a full social strategy, then check out the MSP Institute webinar, How to Take your MSP from Zero to Social in One Week (or Less!), hosted by social media marketing lead at SolarWinds MSP, Anne Chaconas.
For the moment, the first thing you need to know about social media is that it’s not a place to focus on selling. People want to hear about what you have to offer, but not in the context of the products that you're selling. Don't forget: “social media” has the word “social” in it, which means that you're going to have to be willing to interact with your followers. That means inviting conversations, as well as questions and answers.
Social media is also not a place to focus on products; people don't follow social media profiles to get lots of jargon about products. They are following you to see what kind of valuable content you have to share with them. From the perspective of the managed services provider (MSP), this is going to be the type of content that will help them be better at what they do—to run their businesses more efficiently, or learn how to secure their IT infrastructure against cyber threats. These are all things that can help you demonstrate your field of expertise, so make sure you focus on educating, and sharing the type of content that helps people.
Social media platforms are also not places you should check sporadically. When you’re committing to a social media presence, it's not enough to just log in on Mondays and then not check it again until the next week. It is something you have to make part of your daily routine. You have to be willing to sit down and look at your profile, see what people have said to you, answer the questions they have asked you, and generally interact with any followers that you might have with something valuable to offer.
So, if you want to be on social media you need to commit to using it as a platform for making connections, providing valuable content, and checking it daily. If you're willing to commit yourself to those three things, then you can start asking the next big question: “Where should you be on social media?”
If you’re not ready to commit to these three areas, then you may not be ready to take your business into the world of social media. That doesn't mean that you won't ever be ready—it just means you may need to wait a little longer until your business is in a position to allow you the time to do it properly.
Also, it’s important to remember throughout this initial stage that if you're looking for a quick marketing fix, social media is not going to be your answer. It takes time and commitment to get moving, and the same to keep the ball rolling.
Of course, if you have said “yes” to all the challenges listed above and you’re prepared to take the leap, click here to view the full webinar, where Anne covers: choosing the right social networks for your business, establishing a social voice, creating a social calendar, and automation. All of these can help you start to build a solid social media platform that can, in turn, help build your business.
Aris Domesthenous is Training Content Manager at SolarWinds MSP.
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