We’ve heard it said that if you don’t have social media accounts, do you even exist? This is especially true for businesses. It can be overwhelming to get started in social media for business. Having a successful social media presence is not about having millions of followers or a massive campaign, its about servicing existing customers & engaging new ones.
Using social media for a business doesn’t have to be time consuming & expensive.
All successful business strategy starts out with a solid plan. It’s all too easy to jump in with both feet & start posting #mondaymotivation updates. Without a plan, you can easily lose your way & post without any clear directions. Wasting time, effort and most importantly money. Taking the time to create a social media plan, in the beginning, will make sure that all your social media efforts support a specific goal.
Your plan should be based on research & clear objectives.
Set an Achievable & Clear Objective – Your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant & timely. Do not base success purely on likes, look at customer/sales figures & conversion rates
Look at the Competition – Following your direct competitors on their social media, is a great way to learn new ways of doing things, of course, you don’t want to copy them. Analysis can give you detailed information on what works and what doesn’t in your industry.
Social Media Audit – If you already have an established social media presence, it’s a great idea to do an in-depth audit & evaluation of your accounts, finding out what works and what doesn’t will inform your strategy going forward.
Inspiration – Don’t just look at your direct competition, find inspiration across all social media platforms and different industries. Ask your followers what they would like to see too.
Social Media Schedule – Timing is everything. A simple schedule or calendar with planned content which takes into account your chosen social media channels, the perfect time to post & content that both informs, educates & entertains & promotes your brand & boost sales.
Creating a social media calendar and scheduling content into a social media management tool is an invaluable time & energy saver. It allows you to write & curate content for a day, week, month etc. into a short block of time. Automated scheduling is a hugely underestimated tool.
To start with don’t make assumptions about where your target demographic spends their online time. Some basic research can help you where your audience is. Different social media platforms reach different people & meet different objectives. In order for this to be a truly successful endeavour, you need to know your audience.
To figure out who your audience is, you need to do some detective work.
Compile data from your current customers
Dig deeper with social media analytics
This will give you a clear picture of who’s buying from you and who are engaging with you online. Then you can tailor ad campaigns to a carefully chosen following base.
Social listening is the key here. Don’t just respond to direct engagement with your social media accounts, search for mentions, across the web, and respond appropriately.
It’s really important to keep track of what works & what doesn’t as you implement your social strategy. You can refine your posts, improving them based on analytics and post engagement. Using these statistics you can boost your success, by increasing brand awareness, building customer relationships & increasing post reach. Start small and build up for successful social media marketing.
One of the reasons social media is better than other marketing platforms is the ability to talk directly to your customers & followers. You can build relationships, rather than the hard sell approach, which is good for a few sales, however, a strong customer relationship will bring consistent sales and more customers through recommendations.
When your followers comment or share your original content, you can reply, helping to build trust & a rewarding customer relationship. Using social media platforms, you can also build connections with other businesses in your industry, as well as entrepreneurs & influencers. Microinfluencers can be effective for building trust in a brand and are relatively inexpensive.
Once you’ve successfully nurtured your online social media presence, you can start introducing fresh content. It still needs to be relevant, of course, but pitching to a slightly different demographic or internet user can grow your audience further, you could even try posting to local business’ networking groups on Facebook.
People are 3 times more likely to engage with a post that has a visual element such as a photo, video, infographic, GIF or meme. More than half of millennials have made travel plans or visited a restaurant based on an image or a video a friend shared on social media.
It’s important to use unique pictures on your posts to increase engagement. Every business tells a story through imagery. Maybe you can show off your unique company culture with photos from the inside of your office. Using stock photos is perfectly legitimate too.
There is a huge number of social media marketing options for small businesses. This can seem overwhelming, but you don’t need to do it all. The priority here is to create good quality content on key platforms, where you can engage with your followers. If all you do is post ad content, there’s very little reward for people to continue to follow you. Social media marketing is all about building audience relationships.
Most consumers say authenticity influences which brands they like and support. So be honest in your content.
You don’t need a presence on every social media platform, reach out to your demographic where they are already spending their online time. Once you are established on one or two social networks then you can expand to other channels.
For successful social media marketing, the key is to use tools that automate & simplify much of the work. There are lots of ways to boost your effectiveness so you can utilise social media for your business without needing dedicated personnel.
Engagement Management – Social media is not a one-way system. It’s about building relationships with customers & followers. Social media management tools like Hootsuite can help you organise engagement with your business in one browser window, so you can respond without checking each social media account.
Analytics – Can help you see which posts perform better & worse than others, this is useful information to help you write popular content based on performance statistics.
Graphics – Great infographics, gifs & photos are important for creating popular posts, use online image editors & image stock libraries to create eye-catching visuals.
Content Curation – Fresh & engaging content, every day is a difficult task. Sharing (with credit) quality content from other sources is a great way to provide quality posts.
If you would like to develop a new social media strategy or need help completing an in-depth audit of your social media channels, get touch with us here at The Just Brand and we can have a chat about your requirements over a cuppa.