Social media has revolutionized the way in which we communicate with others, share information with the people who matter, and market our businesses. Oh, and we can also broadcast funny cat videos too, and show off the meals we have prepared in our kitchens!
From Facebook to YouTube, millions of us use social media every day, for personal as well as business reasons. Nearly three-quarters of American adults use social media to stay in touch with the world according to this fact sheet, and you’re probably one of them.
As a small business owner, you need to capitalize on the popularity surrounding social media and as we said, use it to market your business. By reaching the people who are likely to buy into your product or service, you will attain new customers, make more profits, and ultimately, grow your business.
So, how do you get started?
Well, check out our essential guide for using social media to grow your small business, and then contact our social media experts at Pivotal New Media for further advice and support on this important aspect of your digital marketing strategy.
Start With A Plan
Every good marketing strategy starts with a plan, so this is something you need to start with when considering social media marketing for your small business.
You need to set goals. These will invariably include:
- Reach new customers
- Bring back previous customers
- Attract more visitors to my website
There are more social media goals here, with information on how to track them.
You also need to consider the social media platforms your potential customers might be using. You will already have an idea of these if you have connected to your customers through them already, but if your marketing hasn’t been very effective, it might be time to explore the other social channels your demographic might be using. Facebook is still the most popular choice for many according to published data, but there are a number of other platforms that you might want to tap into.
Check out the social media demographic guide provided by HootSuite and find out which social media platforms your demographic is likely to be using. Set up accounts with the relevant platforms when you have a clearer idea of the way forward.
Within your planning, check out your nearest competition too. What social media channels are they using? What kind of content is making an impact on their customers? What are they doing well, and what are they doing badly? Using the information you find, make use of it when planning your social media marketing strategy, and make every effort to surpass the efforts of your rivals.
Commit To A Social Media Audit
If you are already using social media to market your small business, you should do this before going forward with a new marketing plan.
Using social media analytic tools, you will be able to:
- Assess what is and isn’t working
- Understand what attracts your customer’s attention
- Identify your best (and worst) content
- Make the necessary changes according to your findings
Analytic tools are great for measuring the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts, and they can give you a greater insight into the behavior and mindsets of your customers too. You can learn from any mistakes you have made, enhance those aspects of your marketing that are going well, and as a result of both, start to grow your business thanks to the information you have gained.
Plan Your Content
You will understand what content does and doesn’t work after your social media audit. But if you are new to social media marketing, you need to consider carefully what you might post online.
So, think about the people you are trying to reach, and consider the type of content that might appeal to them.
Visual content appeals to many, so consider adding images, videos, and infographics within your posts. According to an article on LinkedIn, you will see a 94% increase in views if you do include some kind of visual content. Of course, if you are using Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat for your marketing efforts, you will be focussing on visuals anyway. However, you should also incorporate them into your Facebook and Twitter posts to increase user engagement.
When considering videos, you might want to include:
- Insights into what is happening within your business
- Tutorials on the products you sell
- Interviews with satisfied customers
- Announcements about new products and services
- Eye-catching promotional deals
For more, check out these different types of video for social media.
When including images, you might want to include:
- High-quality pictures of your product
- Memes that pertain to your business or industry
- Behind the scene pics of your business
Check out the other social media marketing images you should consider using.
As we suggested, infographics can be useful to you, as you can get across a lot of information without the inclusion of a lot of text. These infographic tips will give you all you need to know.
And, of course, there are those posts where you might simply use text, but when doing so, remember to keep them short, to the point, and relevant to the people you are trying to reach.
No matter what content you include on your social media posts, remember to include links back to your website and call to actions. You might include a photo of a product, for example, with a link back to your site with the words ‘order now,’ for example.
Finally, remember that quality counts. So, while you should post regularly, don’t do so at the expense of quality posts, as you will only cheapen your brand if you put little effort into your content. Ensure your posts add value to your followers, use words and phrases that appeal to the demographic they fall under, and consider using the expert skills of a freelance writer, marketer, or videographer when producing the content for your social media platforms.
Use Social Media Scheduling Tools
As we suggested, you do need to post content regularly. But bearing in mind the fact that you’re probably very busy in your day-to-day activities, you might not have the time to focus on your social media platforms very often, especially when you factor in the need for quality posts.
For this reason, we recommend the use of social media scheduling tools. These will save you a lot of time with your marketing efforts, and you will be able to schedule them at the times when your demographic is most likely to engage with them. Especially when they expect posts at a specific time, you will be able to maintain their interest, without the risk of losing them should you fail to post new content regularly.
Engage With Your Followers
Social media is great for building relationships, so don’t overlook this when posting online. Encourage comments and questions from your followers, and make every effort to respond to them when they reach out to you.
Of course, you can engage with your followers in other ways. Use these contest giveaway ideas to generate more interest in your business. Encourage your customers to share stories about your business on their social media pages (as well as on your own). Conduct polls and surveys to gather feedback on your business. And use these other social media engagement tactics to build your community.
You will humanize your brand when you engage with your followers, and consequently, you will develop trust in your business, and that should convert into sales.
Use Social Media Listening
You can use social media listening to find out more about what people are saying about your brand. You can use this technique to monitor what your competition is doing. And when you have learned more, you can use the information you have acquired to make changes to your business. You will be able to react to customer opinion, for example, and you will have the impetus to outrival your nearest business rivals.
We go into more detail on social media listening here, so check out our article. And check out these social media listening tools to help you plan your strategy.
Benefit From An Influencer
When sharing information about your business on social media, you can do this using your own efforts, or with the assistance of your marketing team. You can encourage your customers to share info on your business with their social media networks too, perhaps with the offer of a discount if they bring in new business for you. However, there is another way to share news about your business on social media, and that is by hiring a social media influencer.
Influencers are the people who have a strong media presence and who have a following of their own. They are the people that others look up to, for whatever reasons, and they can influence the ways others behave. In short, they could drive a lot of traffic to your website if they give you the shoutouts you need, so check out our guide on influencer marketing and check online for those people that might be able to support your business.
We hope our guide has been useful to you. To learn more and to find out about the social media expertise of our marketing team, contact us today. We can help you create a social media marketing strategy to push your business forwards, and give you the marketing support you need to ensure your business experiences growth. Use the contact details on our site to get in touch, and arrange an appointment with our friendly and experienced team.