How to Automate Social Media and PR for Small Business




  • May 29, 2016

    It ain’t easy being a small business competing against the big boys. They’ve got the budget, the expertise, and the size to push you around. That said, it doesn’t have to be half as hard as some small businesses make it. For example, for many businesses, their social media and PR plans can be a lot easier and communicate far more authority besides.


    To that end, today we’re going to look at how you can automate both to make your efforts both easier and more fluid, using some simple best practice and strategic planning.


    Who is your audience?


    What is your audience


    The first thing that you need to establish is who your audience will be for the next few months. The goal here is to be is to be specific. Are you going to target crossdressers with a taste for sushi? Home-schooling homemakers? Middle aged Asian men who enjoy line-dancing?


    Okay, that might be a bit too specific.


    Still, by finding which market you’re going to target you’ll be able to hone your message and really get your message across and make these people feel like you’re personally addressing them. It’s all about personalization today. And it’s a trend for good reasons. Because when you personalize you make certain that one group feels specifically addressed, meaning their engagement is much higher.


    This matters, as a somewhat engaged market, doesn’t get you very far. After all, they either share, or don’t, they either sign up, or they don’t, they either buy your product, or you don’t. That means that having 50 ‘maybes’ isn’t worth 25 ‘yesses’.


    What’s more, after you’ve targeted one group you can easily switch over to another slightly different group in the next three-month slot.


    Listen to what they want


    listen


    Once you’ve got your market segment, figure out what they want. Don’t make assumptions here, as they’re going to undo all the hard work you did in selecting your segment. For there is nothing worse than being targeted and realizing that a company has no idea what motivates you.


    So, actually, go out of your way to find out what people like this are into. Check out their forums, their Facebook pages and wherever they gather. Then find out what content they like, what they share and what doesn’t get any traction.


    Use that to Brainstorm


    brainstorm


    Use the information you gathered about this group’s likes and wants to brainstorm ways that you can generate content that will resonate with them. Make certain here that you’re creating content for them not content to market your product to them.


    That doesn’t mean your content can’t mention your product, but that’s not what the main focus of the material you’re creating should be. Why? Because if it’s about your product then it won’t get any traction. I mean, do you stick around when you’re promised some insight into something you like or are interested in, only to find out that it was just click-bait and the real post is just a thin-veiled attempt to shove a product down your throat? Chances are, you’ll immediately click it away and never return. And obviously, that’s exactly what you don’t want from your marketing campaign.


    Now you’ll need to do a little bit of simple math. Do you want to post three times per week for three months? Well, then you’re going to need 36 titles. Think about serializing some of your blog content. What do I mean with that? I mean that you find some big themes and then divide these up into several smaller posts that continue on from where you left off. This will make your job a lot easier and will give your blog more continuity besides.


    Create it


    create


    Now you write it. Ask Employees what topics they think they can write about then get them to write about it. Write a few yourself. Consider outsourcing some of it to other writers (there are tons of sites, like freelancer.com, where you can get writers that aren’t too expensive).


    Whatever you do, get somebody with actual editing experience involved to turn their words into something that really works. This might cost you a little bit of money, but high-quality writing is going to attract far more eyeballs, which in the long run will certainly be worth it.


    Also, remember to add photos! These are essential. A lot of research demonstrates that content with image gets read 80% more often and viewed 94% more often. Find it difficult to find images? Check out this app. It has a library of 50k images associated with it.


    Make a schedule for your content


    schedule your content


    The next step is to build yourself your calendar so that you know when you’re going to publish what. Now don’t just go scheduling wildly. Make certain that you know on what day and when most of your followers are online, through such tools as Facebook Insights, then schedule your posts to coincide with those times.


    Schedule the social media campaign


    schedule social media campaign


    It’s not just your content that needs to be scheduled. It’s your social media as well. Make certain that you have a worked out plan when each piece of content will get shared on the different platforms. Also, don’t be afraid to re-share material, as this can double the number of views you receive. And that’s a lot of extra eyeballs for only a little bit of work. This means you push a piece of content on the day it is published, a little later in the week and one more time the week after.


    This isn’t all that you do on social media, of course. You want to link to other content that your fans might like, answer questions people have, reach out to influencers and make certain that you’ve got the right hashtags selected so that you punch above your weight.


    Reach out to media


    reach out to media


    Do you know any press? Get them involved by sharing your publishing calendar with them so that they know when you might be doing something that interests them. Don’t know any? Then use some of the services out there that automate your press outreach.


    Also, don’t be afraid to target media directly if you think they might be interested in the content you’re pushing. After all, though they might say ‘no’ that’s what they’re saying all the time when they don’t know anything about you. So what have you got to lose?


    Last words


    And then you rinse and repeat. Yes, this strategy might be a bit of work initially, but the great thing about this system is that once you’ve got the content in place for one stretch of months you can start working on the next three-month period with little to no stress.


    What’s more, your campaign will feel like a unified whole with the whole effort pulling in one direction, rather than it looking like you’re trying to quarter your brand. Now doesn’t that sound far more appealing?

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