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 The Social Science of Internet in 10 tips

28 June 2018

The Social Science of Internet in 10 tips

How to effectively market your brand, no matter your size.

With Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and roughly 60+ other social media platforms available and active in the global market, Digital Marketing is becoming a Social Science in itself. Big data, patterns, online social behaviour, digital marketing psychology techniques, disruptive technologies. Hundreds of millions of voices, all heard (and tracked) in unison, real time, all the time.

This is what internet brought to the future of humanity, and this is a reality everyone must deal with, each to their extent.

But what does it all mean for a small business? A local coffee-shop? A plumber? A small medical centre?
You’ve built your cute little (or not) website, and you’ve now realised there’s plenty more opportunities for you to drive more business.

Well, it means that there’s more channels, more opportunities, and more people you have the chance to talk to to help your business grow, and your brand to be recognised locally or globally.

While we always recommend our clients to get professional help where possible - read: where there’s a digital marketing budget allocated - but it’s not feasible for everyone. Digital Marketing specialists are highly qualified professionals that must keep up with the ever changing and improving technologies, and that kind of expertise doesn’t come for cheap - big surprise uh!

So what to do?
If you look around, there will be multiple agencies or freelancers that can help you achieve your goals, and give you the occasional consultation once every month / quarter / year to help you stay on track with your marketing strategy, but that requires that you do most of the heavy lifting. You might even have to consider flying solo, at least until your online marketing returns enough revenue to justify the aid of a professional.

Thankfully, there’s plenty of material online to help you through setting up a successful branding and marketing campaign to help your business grow, no matter your size and area of expertise

If your business is ready to make the jump to the Great Interwebs, make sure you do your homework, arm yourself with plenty of hours, pen and paper (real or digital, depending on what your buzz is) and the will to learn and adapt your strategy as you go

Here’s 10 tips to help you set up your online marketing strategy and get the basics covered

1. Define your business objectives through few, specific SMART goal

Remember SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound. We would also suggest to start small, revise regularly and be ready to re-adjust both goals and plans.
Make sure your goals are set to help your current business challenges, to make sure you don’t put your own business off track and create noise.

2. After defining your business goals, find the right target audience

Keep in mind that business objectives and target audience are two separate concepts. The first refers to what your business is all about, and what you want to achieve, which is why it's important to have, possibly in writing, as your first step. Once you've established that, make sure you know whom you're communicating with. Deciding the type of customers you want to engage with shapes every other step of your marketing campaign building process, so don't miss this step, or think you intuitively know what the answer is. Take your time, research and write down the thinking process that takes you to define your audience: you'd be surprised to see how many things you realise you might have let slip past you.

3. Focus only on Social Media accounts relevant to your goals. Don’t over do

Depending on what your goals, and consequent KPIs are (Key Performance Indicators), focus on the social platforms that can practically help you achieve them

4. Gather as much data as possible about your audience

This might be time consuming, but essential to your success. This step should happen at the same time as step 2, as it helps deciding what social platforms might be best suited to reach your goals

5. Put one person in charge of the marketing campaign, content management, and general social media management

This is important to maintain consistency and focus on your business goals. Have them run regular reports, and give them all the necessary support especially if they’re new to the task. If that person is you, make sure you block time each week to focus solely on marketing and branding

6. Establish your most relevant metrics, and put measurements in place

Don’t let follower count and likes get you off track - your goals might have nothing to do with volume, but rather sales conversion, or customer re-engagement. Again, we recommend you start small and work your way up: for your first quarter, you might stick to “increase brand presence by XX%” and just make sure you open the relevant social media account to work on solid, original content that attracts new potential customers, or start an AdWords campaign.

7. Research the competition

By all means, you’re not getting online to copy whatever your competitors are doing - you’re always focusing on your point of difference. Before you start creating your content though, whether it’s an ad, a YouTube channel, a FB page, a blog, it’s helpful to see what works and what doesn’t for competitors. It saves you from burning unnecessary time and resources.

8. Create a content calendar, and stick to it

It never looks important, but it’s a crucial step to take if you want to be successful. You never know how busy you’re going to be in the future, and you cannot count on always having the right brainwave at the right time, and the time to type it in.

9. Be consistent

That is valid for appearance (i.e. your company logo), design, and the general look and feel of your business no matter where you are on the internet. This is also valid in terms of type of content, frequency, language style, and conformation to the specific needs of the particular platform you’re using (i.e. Instagram hashtags, tweets length, etc.)

10. Cross-promote across the platforms you decide to use

This can be considered part of the previous tip. There’s nothing wrong with promoting the same content across multiple channels, the most important thing is for you to always make sure the content you want to share is relevant to the channel (i.e., don’t try to promote a blog post on YouTube, but rather create new original content for that channel that refers to what you’ve talked about in your blog post).

 

If you follow these 10 tips, you will make life much easier for yourself and for your business, and you will give yourself the best shot at building a successful marketing campaign.

One last note though: efficacious digital marketing requires constant work, which is why we always recommend you to budget for it and leave at least some of the work to a professional agency or a good freelancer.

Should you require assistance, we’re here to help - we can either help you setting up your campaign goals and go through the basic rules, or we can recommend experts you can employ for your digital marketing needs.

 

Serena Cappellini