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The biggest myth of social media marketing is that it’s easy to do and can be done by anyone with an Internet connection.

Just set it up, sit back, and watch the customers, orders, and money roll in! Whoohoo!

That’s the Myth of Social Media Marketing

Fact: Social media marketing is hard work and requires a different approach to your work.

When I started online marketing, I had some background in basic technology, having worked in a corporate environment for many years. I also had deep experience in strategic planning and project management. So I approached my social media goal of “getting online” like a project.

  • Phase 1: Basic applications setup – Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter
  • Phase 2: Develop custom branding strategy
  • Phase 3: Start a video strategy
  • Phase 4: Develop blogging platform and strategy
  • Phase 5: Advanced platforms and consistency

Each of these phases takes effort and time. And overlaying all of these phases (and ongoing) is “training!” Self-study, seminars, webinars, following various bloggers or specialists online, and then attempting to replicate their ideas.

When I first started my online business, I was still working full-time.  But I was committed to getting going. So after the kids were in bed, I pushed on for four or five more hours every single night.

Phase 1: Basic applications setup

This phase is all about getting your basic applications setup and working correctly and consistently. This means posting content every single day, following the 80/20 content rule so your online presence develops its own personality.

Most people have enough familiarity with the basic applications to get this phase going. But then they consider it done and stop at this point. And this is just the beginning. If you think about other small business owners who market the same products or servers as you, most have Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.  So to differentiate, push on to the next phases.

Phase 2: Develop custom branding strategy

Developing a branding strategy is all about creating the brand of YOU. This is more than just a logo or a character image, it’s your online personality.  It’s your personal mission statement — around which all decisions for your business will revolve. When people find you online, who are you? Are you quirky? Sassy? Tech savvy? Spiritual? Focused on customer service?

Then every decision and piece of marketing and original content develops a common look and feel, and “personality.” This is why people will engage with you – because they can relate to you and you are likeable.

Phase 3: Start a video strategy

Now we start getting into the fun stuff!

Video is an amazing platform to differentiate yourself.

Most people’s biggest question is, what should I make videos about? The answer is, any topic where you can speak confidently. You do not have to be an expert on everything to create short videos on something that YOU know well. Maybe your way of displaying or using your product. Or perhaps you have a technique for working with customers. Or maybe you are known as a graphics expert. (And if you’re not, by all means – go checkout PicMonkey and get started).

Show people your expertise, and you will develop a following.

Phase 4: Develop blogging platform and strategy

Blogging is an advanced strategy where you can further differentiate yourself as a subject expert. You do not have to be an expert in every topic, to blog about topics relevant within your brand, that YOU know well. If you blog consistently (2-3 times per month), and your posts follow your branding strategy (see phase 2), you will develop a following as people look to your blog as a source of training information for your niche or industry.

Phase 5: Streamlining and consistency

Now you have to bring it all together into a consistent schedule. Every platform has a slightly different strategy and recommendation for frequency of posting. I developed a written weekly schedule so I could use it as a check-list.

Even if you’ve gotten this far, this is where it takes ongoing effort. Consistency!! There will be new content always coming from others, so how you stay relevant is to continue posting new content.

It’s easy to tell by looking at anyone’s social media if they are “active.” When is the last time they posted? If it’s not within the last couple weeks, I presume that person either isn’t active on that channel, or isn’t active at all.

Social media is moving faster than ever and as an online marketer you are always looking for new content for your next post or video.  But if you take the time to invest, choose where you want to be, and commit to posting regularly, you can develop your online presence. The customers, orders, and community will come when you show you are serious about your online business.

The myth is that that’s easy.

#EmpowerSocial

Brenda Ster in a rectangle frame sitting at her desk with her phone in both hands with the words Social Media marketing is work. Dont' let anyone tell you otherwise for the blog post The Myth of Social Media Marketing for Direct Sales

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