I recently had the opportunity to interview Linda Coles, digital marketing coach, international speaker and social media expert. Linda is the author of Marketing with Social Media, in which you’ll learn how to use social media effectively, establish a simple marketing plan and measure the results of your efforts.
While researching authors for my latest article the Top 25 Social Media Marketing Books to Read in 2015, Linda and I got to talking about leveraging social media as a marketing tool for small businesses and she was kind enough to answer several questions I had on the topic.
Your latest book, Marketing with Social Media, is a step-by-step guide to using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube to promote your business in just “10 quick and easy steps”. Can social media marketing really be that simple?
Yes it can. We tend to over complicate things, looking for every nook and cranny that might give us a slight edge on engagement figures or fan figures instead of being real. I don’t like the word authentic, again it seems over complicated. Keep it real, speak as you do off-line, smile and be helpful.
If you are just starting out, don’t be overwhelmed, start with one site and get that going first before moving on to another. And there may only be one site that suits your business anyway!
As New Zealand’s only LinkedIn Influencer, do you have any advice for wannabe social media influencers?
Keep working on raising your profile, adding short bits of info where you can, it doesn’t need to be a whole blog post if there is no time for that. Ask “where do I see myself in 6 months” and strive for that point. Make connections genuinely, not by being pushy but by again offering something of use, maybe angle your story for the TV or radio.
Do you believe there’s more power to be had in leveraging your business/expertise over 1 social network better and more often or in posting over all the major networks? And how do you go about finding the right balance?
Tough one, it depends on your business really. I am B2B so LinkedIn is where I get the most benefit and really nothing from Facebook so for me it’s easy to focus on the one platform. As you get to know what works for your business, that is where you tend to hang out.
Where do you find inspiration for content ideas?
Always have a notebook ready because inspiration comes from the strangest places each and every day. Also, I watch what others are doing online and if I do see something clever, I tell everyone else. No secrets here! That’s adding value again, but make sure you mention where you first came across the great idea. “I love Jamie Oliver’s 1 minute tips he does on YouTube, can I do that in my business?”
Do you have a posting schedule that you stick to or do you produce content for your audience as inspiration hits?
I did have a schedule when I started out and encourage others to do so to get some continuity going but as I see stuff, I tend to share it then and there and think about what is currently in the news. If it’s negative I keep quiet, but lighthearted, then go for it.
Which social network have you found to be the most successful at marketing your own business, Blue Banana, and why?
Definitely LinkedIn and that’s where I share the most content. With 260,000 followers around the world, it makes sense to talk to that audience than the few I have attracted on Facebook.
Lastly, what is your favourite social network on a more personal level and why?
On a personal level, it has to be Facebook. Its relaxed, (hopefully) funny, entertaining and its great keeping up with friends and relatives back in the UK. Mark Z has done a great job in connecting folks for pleasure. If you spend time on Facebook, make your content relaxed, funny and entertaining and you will be on the right track. It’s where people spend their down time.