We’ve come a long way from thinking social media is only about sharing pictures and talking with friends you haven’t talked to in a while. A lot of businesses have realized the potential for social media in helping them achieve their business goals.
So here are 7 Expert Social Media Tips To Help Your Small Business
Always Start With a Plan
Social media tools might be free and easy to use but it has a lot of pitfalls if you’re not too careful. It’s very tempting to just dive in and start posting. In business, you need to pay close attention to what you post, how often, and your target audience. A good marketing strategy for small businesses that focuses on social media should be well planned and executed.
Going into social media marketing without any plan will make it harder for you to achieve your goal for several reasons. One, you don’t have a clear focus on what you want to achieve and therefore won’t have a direction on where you want to take your social media marketing campaign. Two, because you have no clear goal, you won’t have any accurate way to measure if what you’re doing is making any difference in your business.
Tips for crafting an effective social marketing plan include:
- Set clearly defined goals and objectives. Your goals should follow the SMART framework. Meaning, they should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.
- Know your competition. See what they are doing differently, what strategies are working for their business and which ones are not. What makes theirs unique and draws customers in and how you can apply it to your business.
- Conduct an audit. If you already have an existing social media campaign for your business, then it’s time to take stock of your efforts and if it’s making any difference towards reaching your goal.
Choose the Best Platform for your Business
Just because you prefer Instagram over Facebook doesn’t mean that’s where all your target audience is. Similarly, if your target audience is millennials, don’t assume that you need to ignore Facebook. In fact, a whopping 84% of millennials are still actively using Facebook.
In order for you to know which social media platform is right for your small business, you need to spend a little time and effort researching your target audience to help you better understand where they spend most of their time online.
But bear in mind that just because you chose one platform over the other doesn’t mean you’re stuck using that one platform. You can use different platforms to meet different business objectives or reach different audience groups.
Respected marketing agencies have stated that brands use Facebook when it comes to customer acquisition while Instagram is used mainly for social commerce.
Know Your Audience
One main reason why social media marketing is so effective for small businesses is that it gives you the ability to target your specific demographic. But in order to do this, you must first know who your target audience is.
You can start by compiling information on your existing customers. Then you can do further research using social media analytics so you can develop a clear picture of your ideal customer.
Social media analytics is the practice of accumulating data from different social media platforms and then analyzing it to gain a better understanding of how people behave and interact with each other in those platforms. The data gathered can also be used to create better tools to make better business decisions.
Common metrics that are tracked using social media analytics include customer engagement, interactions, and sophisticated analysis such as sentiment analytics that make use of machine learning to understand a person’s post or comment about the business.
Expand Your Audience
Now that you have a clear picture of your ideal customer, you can now revisit your initial social media plan to look for ways to reach more similar people.
Some tips in expanding your audience using social media include:
- Creating a strong and unique profile. This involves posting branded cover photos as well as profile photos. You should also make sure that you complete all your profile details. Include profile bios, website links, and location on your Twitter profile. If you’re using Facebook, include a short description, site link, phone number, and address.
- Share good content. The best way to pull audiences to your social media account is through posting relevant and interesting posts. It doesn’t have to be purely about your products or services. You can also share relevant information about the industry your business is in.
- Add site links on your social media accounts. This can be done by adding social network icons on your site’s header, sidebar, and footer.
Build Meaningful Relationships
Social media attracts a lot of businesses compared to all other marketing strategies mainly because it is through social media that businesses are able to interact more fully with their customers. As a general rule, it’s always better to build lasting relationships with customers rather than asking for an upfront sale.
More and more consumers are turning to social media to look for new brands and products. Part of their research is going to include getting to know the company and what they stand for.
When customers engage with your content or ads, it’s always a great idea to engage with them. This will help to build trust turning them into loyal customers. The more you gather loyal fans and followers, the more you increase your brand’s visibility as these fans will share not just your products but all your content as well.
Focus on Quality
Looking through several business accounts on social media, it’s easy to see that most only share posts for the sake of sharing. They think that effective social media marketing is all about sharing as many posts as they can. On the contrary, too many posts from one profile will discourage a lot of people from following that account especially when their feeds get saturated with posts from a single account.
Instead, it is best for business accounts to focus on sharing quality posts that actually entices viewers to engage or react to it. It could be anything from interesting blog posts to a beautiful product photo with a compelling caption.
In deciding to share or post, make sure that there is value in what you have to offer. If all your posts are around pitching and selling, very little people will be motivated to follow your account.
Schedule Your Posts
Any social media influencer will tell you that the first rule in sharing posts is to schedule. This means avoid posting several posts in one sitting. You can post content spaced out in a couple of hours to allow for engagement from viewers.
You can start by creating a social media calendar. Once you have that setup, you can create posts way in advance and use tools to post them automatically without you having to physically press the button.
This method will help you to free up time in the day to create good content and it’s much more effective than thinking of new posts the entire day.
If done right, social media can be a huge asset for any business, big or small. But like all marketing strategies, it needs a lot of planning and research, not to mention the right execution.
Leanne Brooks is a passionate young blogger who loves to write about SEO techniques, digital marketing, social media and more. She is currently working with GalaxyMarketing, one of the leading providers of Social Media Marketing services in Germany.
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