Social media should be part of your marketing strategy because billions of people are using it. As a small business owner, you are always looking out for ways for your brand to penetrate the market to find potential customers.
As a small business owner stop asking why you need social media as a marketing tool but rather look at the reasons and benefits.
- Everyone is using social media even your competitor.
- Your future and current customers are using social media.
- You can respond to problems immediately.
- Boosts your sites SEO
- Drives targeted traffic
- Helps you build brand awareness
- Increase customer base and connect with current customers.
Small business owners will find it easy to market their products through social media as long they are committed and post regularly on social media pages.
Start With A Plan
The number one rule is always starting with a plan. Planning is at the center stage of success and crucial social marketing tips for business. You social media actions should always have a strategy for positive results. Set your social media realist goals so that you can build a success story. Set a specific reason for social media campaign such as:
- Do you want to gain brand awareness?
- Do you want to grow your list of sales leads?
- Do you want your visitors to click through to your website?
- Do you want to increase your conversion rates and/or metrics rates?
- What do you want your audience to do?
- How does your target audience use social media?
Whatever goal you want to achieve use the S.M.A.R.T framework and let it lead you to retaining your customers and increasing sales.
Make a commitment
You will fail to succeed in other social marketing tips for business if you don’t make a commitment. Make a commitment to communicate and engage with your existing dormant and interested customers. You do not want your fan page or blog post to look like a ghost town. Create a strategy where you can post regularly and dedicate your time and effort for maximum efficiency.
If you are inconsistent with your posting you will lose followers and it will be hard to gain new ones and attract the old ones again. Being half-hearted committed to your social media strategy is like no commitment at all it’s like losing interest in your business before your audience does and that’s a loss to you and your business.
Connect with your customers at a personal level. Imagine your brand or product is a human being in which you can create an emotional bond with your audience, thus, strengthening your relationship with your audience and at the end you will have a strong customer base of brand advocates. If you connect with your audience at a personal level they will also connect with your brand this ensures success of your business’ social media strategy.
Always listen to what your customers are saying and respond wisely to negative and positive comments.
Perhaps you are confused on which area to address or topic to write about. Pick something that you are so much passionate about and love. It much easier to generate ideas from something you love.
Start following industry leaders in your niche to see what they are doing right, what content are they posting and how they do it this way it may sparkle ideas and later do it in your own way.
Use social listening tools like MentionMapp to find about what or who is being talked about or trendings and hashtags tools (trendsmapp, Hashtagify, RiteTag, Twubs) to find out what is trending and find inspiration from that point.
Choose the right platform
There are many social media platforms to choose from for your business. Choose wisely, for different consumers use a preferred platform for their needs. And again choose a platform that works for your needs, based on your goals and focuses on your target audience.
It is very important to match the demographics of your market to your social media. Pew Research Center shows the demographics of the most used social media platforms. Here is an overview of most popular platform.
- Facebook: It the most used and popular social media platform with more than 2 billion users as from September 2017. Women use Facebook more than men and the older generations prefer Facebook than other social platform.
- Twitter: It is somehow a community of elites; where tweeps come to discuss important matters or tweet something professional under 141 characters. However, twitter is not that serious- one can add some humor or a joke.
- Instagram: It uses a visuals approach (images and videos) to gain engagement. It is mostly used by the millennial (women and young adults).
- LinkedIn: It the largest social media platform where professionals meet with more than more than 467 million users.
- YouTube: Marketers and brand promoters take advantage of this platform to promote their brand or company through influencers by use of content related videos.
- Snapchat: It is where content is posted and viewed only for 24 hours. It mostly used by women and young adults.
- Pinterest: It is quite popular with young people where they share content relate images.
Before taking your brand or product to the market you must know who is your audience, on which platform can they be found, which products are they interested in. To find the right audience for your product search for industry players and followers in your industry niche.
Check what your followers and competitors are posting and what type of posts do they work for their strategy. You can also segment your audience according to their age, gender, location, occupation, income, goals etc.
Choose a social network that provides an opportunity to connect with your audience. A platform that understands your audience. For example, a jewelry business, travel business or a fashion business which is in an image-centric nature prefers image sharing services like Pinterest and Instagram.
If you need professional services LinkedIn the answer or when you need word of mouth or testimonials Twitter and Facebook is the answer.
Building your audience
Finding your audience is one thing and building your audience is another thing. Building your audience is a very important thing in your business because you are trying to keep the old customers and find new and interested customers.
Customers will always want attention from you; engage and interact through retweets, responding to their comments and questions, leave thoughtful and relevant comments on blogs, subscribe to feeds and share content.
Providing value for your posts
The Pareto Principle explains that your social content should not be much of your products or brand but about adding value for the audience.
Your social media page or blog should not always focus on your products but addressing the needs of your audience. Create content that is eye-catching and interests your audience for them to interact with you as your page.
People love when you directly respond to their questions or comments. Social media has made it easier- you only have to dedicate you time and effort for a positive outcome.
Remember that when you always post product related content there will be always less engagement. Listen to customers other than promoting your product. This way you will understand their needs and preference and at the end of the day you will create a loyal customer base because you have delivered value.
Respond to negative feedback
Social media is not always a bed of roses as you think. We have all kinds of people who respond negatively or positively to posts- they may praise, criticize or complain about you are offering.
Negative comments can be a blessing in disguise if you answer wisely and like a pro. Don’t be mean and shy not to respond to negative feedback. It is not necessary that all negative feedback will create a negative or poor image of your business; the problem comes when you try to ignore it.
Customers are not the same or do not have the same preference. When a customer has a problem with your brand or product, take a decision to handle it uniquely on a personal level.
You can also provide an actionable options like, ‘For feedback or complaints send a direct message to…’ or ‘…call our customer line…’ When you resolve customer –product problem, it relays positive image to the rest of your audience maintaining a progressive brand reputation..
Always remember to respond quickly and appropriately and do not ignore negative feedback it will make the problem worse.
Automate your social media strategies
Monitoring and evaluating your social media activities can be a daunting task. You will need social media management tools, software and apps to help you with the task and to save time.
There are many paid and free tools and resources that you can use to manage your activities- monitoring, scheduling(buffer…), email alerts(sidekick…), follow and unfollow(followerwonk, tweepi, crowdfire…) analyzing(Google analytics, segement…), reports(Simply Measured…) etc.
You might also seek the help of social media experts or third parties (freelancers).
Social media management team
Employ a team to help you manage your social media activities. Be careful when choosing your team and sure they have a proven record and testimonials if need be. Your social media team should be able to understand what you are offering to the market, your business and social media objectives–a social media and business savvy.
The team will assist you to respond quickly to prospect customers and current customers.
You will also need train your team on matters related to your brand or product so that they can answer questions to customers without hesitations. Those, understanding your products or brand are a ticket to increase engagement rates in the preferred social media platform.
Align tasks to your employees in area of their specialization for faster delivery of the content- topic research, copywriting, image design, etc.
Use images to attract your audience
Social media marketing revolves around image-centric nature to seek viewers’ attention and engaging them to earn shares and likes.
- Use Infographics- it is a visual display of information using images, numbers and words.
- Profile pictures and cover photos- It is always the first thing your audience will see. Use high quality, sized correctly and eye-catching photos that are both viewable using a mobile device or tablet device. Some platform will require one to take a professional picture for the avatar like LinkedIn. The profile picture or cover photo should tell a story about your company or brand. You can use your brand logo as the profile picture and showcase your products or brand as the cover photo.
- Add images to your texts when updating your feed.
- Update your images- you can use free tools to update and edit photos like Canva or PicMonkey.
Use videos to attract your audience
Videos have been proved to be among the vital social marketing tips for businesses with assured results. As of 2017 videos are the most reliable type of content, they to tell a story more than images or texts, they try to lure your audience into watching them. A good example is Facebook Videos which have an autoplay feature that allows videos to play with no sound as you scroll down your feed. If you find the video interesting you will increase the volume.
Before considering videos as part of your marketing campaign or strategy you need to know what type of message or video content you are going to portray, will it work for your business or do you have enough resources for the creative team.
Create a social media content calendar
A social media content calendar should be part of your social media strategy. It will help keep your content organized and keep up with your schedule. It also assists your team to track each social media post that is needed to be published.
Hope this video helps you:
Consider using ads
Increase your influence with social media ads. Ads tend to attract potential clients to subscribe to your feed. However, you will need to include social media ads as part of your social media plan and budget.
Building your organic audience is not that easy sometimes using ads to build your audience is sometimes the answer. Organic audiences are your real-time customers they understand what your product or brand is that is why they followed you or liked your page. With inorganic audience you are not sure if they are potential customers or just fans who are just building up your numbers.
Social media ads and boosted post do not come cheap. You will need to stretch your budget to accommodate your objectives and what you want to achieve at the end of your campaign. Take time to learn and understand before investing heavily into social media advertising.
If your team decides to use ads, you will need to;
- Set a reasonable budget.
- Define your target audience.
- Determine your objective and goals.
- What type of content are you going to use?
- Have a schedule of when to use ads.
Social media is the birth place of hashtags, especially twitter. It is a influential tool for your brands in social media marketing. It makes your content discoverable and allows you to find certain keywords or topics being talked about from other people or business.
Hashtags brings people of common interest together. It increases awareness since more content is seen not only by your followers and friends but the whole social media community. Therefore, if used correctly it will generate maximum exposure and audience engagement across all social media channels.
For maximum efficiency:
- Always keep your hashtags simple and short.
- Utilize trending hashtags
- Use niche-trending hashtags
- Maintain a particular hashtag for your business to create brand engagement.
- Don’t over use hashtags
Social media marketing isn’t just for leading or existing industrial players. It is a valuable marketing tool for all businesses. Every business needs it. And if used right, it is effective in the long-run. That said, try the above-mentioned tried and tested social marketing tips for business for ascertained success.