In the modern world of Small Businesses, using social media has become crucial. It gives you access to potential clients at your very fingertips, so why not use it to employ a marketing strategy? If you’re not, you could be doing yourself a big disservice and exiting the Digital Marketing race before it even begins.
We know tackling social media can be a somewhat daunting and intimidating task if you’re unfamiliar with the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. That’s why we put together these few tips to help you simplify your social media success.
Do your homework
One of the best ways to figure out what you should be doing on social media is to look at what your competition is doing. Observe what platforms they’re utilising, look at the types of content they post and when they post it. Try and identify which of their posts gain the most traction amongst their audience and why this might be.
This kind of competitor analysis will give you a good idea of the kind of social media strategy which could work for your business. You’ll better understand how to appeal to your market, what you can offer them that your competition isn’t and discover the most effective way to interact.
Take what you’ve learnt from their social media platforms, whether it be Facebook, LinkedIn or Pinterest and do it better!
Set yourself goals
After analysing your competitor’s social media, the next step is to set your own social media goals. The best way to do this is to think about what you want your social media to do for you. Would you like it draw more traffic to your website? Do you want to accumulate more followers on your Instagram account? Whatever it might be, use this to establish exactly what it is you want to achieve.
Make sure you set specific and achievable goals that have a timeline that will work for you and your business.
For example, it would be unrealistic to say you want 5,000 new followers by the end of the week if you’ve only just begun your social media campaign. Instead, see how many you gain in the first week, and then try double it in the following week. This will motivate you to regularly post your best content, in order to increase audience engagement and interest.
Don’t do it all
The common misconception is that you must be on as many social media platforms as possible in order to increase your sales and customer engagement. Well, we’re here to tell you that THIS ISN’T TRUE!
When you try to be on too many platforms at once, you stretch yourself thin and, as a result, the quality of your posts will likely suffer. Alternatively, if you carefully choose the platforms that are best for your business, you’ll have much greater success. Not only will you see better results, but you’ll feel more confident with managing your digital presence.
When deciding which social media platform is right for you, consider how your business will appear on each of them. If you have aesthetically appealing products, like beautiful clothing or flowers, then platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram would be great to display your services. Something like LinkedIn, for example, would be much less appropriate.
Initially, if you select just two platforms and you do them well you’ll experience a lot more success than if you tried to be across all channels. After you have mastered those platforms, you can choose whether or not to branch out, but always start small and get it right before taking the next step.
Coordinate your social channels
Once you’ve established yourself across the appropriate social channels, coordinating these will help you create a strong and unified marketing strategy.
You’ll find that much of your content will be suitable for at least more than one of your platforms, so make sure you don’t let any of your content go to waste! If you’ve taken a particularly beautiful picture of one of your products, then post it to both your Facebook and Instagram account.
However, while this may work in some cases, it’s won’t work all the time. What could look great on Facebook, might be a flop on Twitter, so consider what will work before you post it. Similarly, captions and headings will probably need to be changed to suit the platform, and hashtags might need to be added or deleted. Remember, each platform is unique and your posts should be optimised to reflect this.
Never forget that while social media can be used for promotional purposes, it’s also one of the most effective ways to build relationships with your clients. This is where you get feedback and show the personal side of your business, which in the modern world of digital marketing is truly invaluable.
By adding your own voice and humanising your social media platforms, you are essentially making yourself more relatable to your customers. It’s easy for customers to dismiss and distance themselves from a brand that’s uncommunicative, but by injecting a likable and relatable element to your social media you can strengthen client relations. Show your clients that you’re human and you might be surprised at the positive response you receive.
When it comes to your social media strategy it’s crucial to constantly remain active. If you suddenly drop off the face of the earth and stop posting, your followers might think you’ve closed down. Or they may even just forget about you.
Your social media platform is there for you to build a relationship, so if they stop hearing from you, their connection to your brand will start to dwindle.
Alternatively, keeping active will ensure they remain interested and engaged with your business. Your followers will look forward to your posts, get excited when they hear about your sale and might even start re-posting your content. Take that away and you lose all the rapport you have worked so hard to build.
If you’re finding it really hard to find free time to post then consider employing the services of a social media expert, who can post on your behalf and keep your followers engaged.
Use management tools
A great way to run your social media campaign is to plan ahead. The best way to do so is to use management tools. There are a range of different tools available to aid in your campaign, the simplest of which is using Facebook to schedule posts in advance.
Through Facebook’s publishing tools you can choose the exact day and time you wish to publish, going as far ahead into the future as you like. Not only does this free up your time as a small business owner, but it also allows you to assess which times and days are most effective for you to be posting.
Adapt and Develop
It’s important to regularly check and analyse your social media profiles. Keep a list or table of what worked, or what bombed out, and learn from that. Rearrange your goals, and then make new ones. Maybe you even feel ready to branch out onto a different social media platform. Find what works for you.
Digital Marketing is constantly shifting and changing, and you need to do the same.
The most important thing to remember is that your social media platforms essentially act as “outposts”. These are designed to initially engage clients before bringing them back to your website, or your “home base”. So, when it comes to driving traffic to your site from your social platforms, have a play around and see what works best for you!