It’s no secret that social media can be a hugely effective marketing tool when it comes to strengthening the success of any business, big or small. Using social media can help increase your brand awareness, expand your reach, deepen your customer relationships and help you get ahead of the competition.
Chances are, you’ve eagerly established your small business on at least one social media platform, excited at the prospect of reaching out to more potential customers.
But what next?
It’s all well and good to set up a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram account, but you might now be wondering how best to use them to create greater interest in your services and grow your following.
At Sites n Stores we know that most small business owners are unlikely to be marketing pros. That’s why we’ve put together a list of ways you can significantly improve your social media presence, so you can better reap the rewards of this highly effective marketing strategy.
Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin
One common belief about social media is that you need to be across every possible channel, from Facebook and Twitter through to Google Plus and LinkedIn. But this isn’t necessarily conducive to a good social media strategy.
While being present on all platforms might seem like an effective way to boost your online presence, it can actually be detrimental to your small business.
Firstly, managing so many social media accounts can be incredibly time-consuming, meaning you’ll either likely abandon them after a short while, or else have to draw yourself away from running your business for extended periods of time.
Instead of creating multiple profiles that you’ll never find the time to maintain, investigate the platforms your target market spends most of their time on. Choose the platforms that work for you, your business objectives, and your demographic.
For example, if you run a business that specialises in selling visually beautiful products, such as a florist, make-up artist or a fashion outlet, then image-based platforms, such as Pinterest and Instagram would be ideal for you. Twitter on the other hand, might not be quite so beneficial.
Posting regularly on your social media will not only draw more attention to your business online, but will help to build your credibility in your industry and grow your brand.
Posting regularly ensures your business is constantly engaging with clients and looks as though it’s active, open and interesting.
Just in the same way that an active social media presence can be beneficial to small businesses, having a dormant page can have the exact opposite effect. If you leave your Facebook page untouched for weeks at a time, you risk harming your reputation and could even give customers the idea you’ve closed down.
Get Human and Spark Discussion
Social media is the perfect opportunity to give your business a human voice. Instead of just being a few static web pages, social media can help give you a voice – so use it!
Potential customers want to interact with the businesses they purchase from, so instead of just posting photos or links with little original content, post polls, questions and discussion starters that will give them something to think and talk about. This will endear you to them and help them feel connected to your business, as if they know you in a personal way.
Every comment, tag or message someone leaves on your post is helping generate more interest in your business and create more awareness of your brand. It can also give you invaluable information that can help you establish new products or better your services to suit your customer’s needs and interests.
Optimise, Optimise, Optimise
Optimisation is something more commonly associated with business websites, but did you know you can optimise your social media profiles too?
This process of social optimisation can include choosing an easily identifiable username, uploading a recognisable photo (like your company logo), including clear and concise descriptions of your business that include effective keywords people will be searching.
Bettering your social media profile’s optimisation will mean you’re even easier to find in online searches, which can result in greater lead generation and help put you ahead of your competition.
Post Valuable Engaging Content
Don’t just think you can get away with posting a single bland and boring link on your profile and expect to see results. Nowadays, it’s not just enough to post any old thing on your social profiles. If you want to stand out, engage with customers and generate sales you need to post content that is both relevant, interesting and entertaining for your target audience.
Posting a variety of content not only attracts a larger audience, but benefits you in various ways. While valuable educational content helps establish yourself as an expert in your field and serves to strengthen your credibility, funny or more personal posts help humanise your business.
Include Visually Compelling Content
The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, meaning when your customers are scrolling through their Facebook feed at a million miles an hour, posts with visual elements are the most likely to attract their attention.
In fact, a recent study from ROI Research found that people were 44% more likely to engage with content containing images.
Images allow you to convey your message quickly, effectively and often in a beautiful way, witch can make it all the more poignant for potential customers.
Images also have a ‘share-ability’ factor that text-based content often lacks. We’ve all seen the way memes and funny images can circulate social media like wildfire, proving they have huge potential to boost your engagement.
Social media has incredible potential to promote your business online, generate sales and develop your brand. But it’s important to remember that it needs to be used effectively if you want your business to reap the rewards. If managing social media is still a baffling concept, or simply takes too much time, consider hiring a marketing specialist who can take care of it for you. An expert will be able to create a social media marketing campaign that works with your business needs, industry and target market.