Social Media Tips
There are now 4.2 billion active social media users, which is almost twice as many as five years ago. And they spend on average 2 hours and 25 minutes a day on those social media channels.
This offers businesses an incredible opportunity to build brand awareness, develop customer relationships and make sales on those social media platforms.
To effectively use social media as a small business there are a few social media tips you need to do:
1. Create a Social Media Marketing Plan
The first thing you should do is decide your audience and the tone of the communication to them. If you’re attempting to connect with young adults or teens, you might want to use humor. For parents, you could take a more educational tone.
2. Decide Which Social Media Platform Works For You
3. Know Your Audience
Using social media for business is effective because you can target your audience. Compile data on your current customers. Dig into social media analytics. You will start to understand who is buying from you and interacting with you online.
Research the competition. How are your competitors using social media? Don’t copy them, but it can increase your learning curve.
What about other businesses? Take inspiration from businesses that are successful on social media.
5. Create a Content Calendar
The next step in your social media marketing strategy is to plan out content in advance – create 30 days of content at a time. The rule of thumb we like to use is 90% educational or interactive content, to 10% sales or promotional content. Make sure your content has some substance to it.
If you’re just going to slap something up for the sake of creating content, it may be more profitable to forget the social media and go look for loose change in the couch cushions. Remember this: Good content is timely and relevant.
6. Build Relationships
One of the great benefits of social media marketing for small businesses is that it allows you to have a discussion directly with your customers. You can build relationships instead of asking for a sale. Also, consider that internet users use social media to research a brand. They want to know what you stand for. It helps to build trust and form a loyal group of followers.
7. Build a QUALITY community, not a QUANTITY community
Yes, some people need to see big numbers to help them feel warm and fuzzy about their marketing efforts, but if there are only 3 out of 1,000 people who actually engage with you then your message is falling on deaf ears or blind eyes.
If your company sells fashionable diaper bags look for people who are parents or parents to be, not single college students who play football and love motorcycles. Depending on the business, a few thousand, a few hundred, or even a few dozen might be a great number. Just remember, as compared to yesteryear, today’s marketing goals are even less ‘how many’ and more about ‘who.’
8. Post regularly
It is important to determine a posting schedule. Fact: 56% of Facebook users check their account at least once a day and 39% of Twitter users check their account more than ten times a day. If social media users are checking their accounts on a daily basis and you want to make your presence known on such platforms it is crucial to post regularly.
Our rule of thumb is posting creative/quality content at least once a day. Also consider posting content people want to share with others: such as blogs, fun facts, humorous videos of pets doing silly things or people falling on their faces, or even just a good quote. By doing so, you can continue building your community.
9. Engage with Fans
Get to know the people following you or liking your profile. And doing so is simple… ask questions! My company is a car dealership. Here is an example dialog:
Car dealership: “What is your dream car?” (this is a question almost any person knows the answer to and would be willing to answer)
Follower#1: @CarDealership 1965 Mustang
Follower#2: @CarDealership 2012 Tesla S
Car dealership: @Follower#1 That is one hot car! What color would you want it to be?
Car dealership: @Follower#2 ooooh… classy and environmentally friendly. We like that!
Follower #1: @CarDealership Candy Apple Red
Another way to create that open door for two way communications is to:
1) Encourage feedback – Have you ever considered where people are saying things about your company on the internet? How many of those circumstances have you been able to address firsthand? By having a presence on social media platforms you give your customers an outlet to engage firsthand with your company.
So instead of them making a complaint to some random website they are now posting it directly on the wall of your Facebook or tweeting you from Twitter, therefore, allowing you to directly respond and provide better customer service.
2) Hold contests or giveaways – Who doesn’t like winning something, getting a discount, or a free offer? If you are a restaurant consider offering a free appetizer for Facebook fans/Twitter followers or give a dinner for 2 away to a random fan.
Something else to consider is creating content that gives fans something to look forward to. If my company was a fitness center I’d consider posting series of content on certain days like seen below:
- Mondays: highlight techniques of a certain workout
- Wednesdays: healthy receipts
- Fridays: weekly blog posts
And last but not least – post content is not always related to your company but that gets people involved and/or shows you are interested in them. Whether it’s seeing what people are doing for the weekend, wishing them a happy holiday, or just talking about the weather. This will help with your engagement rates and increase your followers.
10. Share news about your company and promotions
There is a reason people are following your company… they like it or what you offer. So keep them up to date on what is going on. Tell them about your products or services in a way that helps them without focusing on a sale.
Always remember that your social media campaigns should drive traffic back to your website! If this isn’t happening consider restructuring. Think about how you can use ALL online efforts to generate traffic to your website.
A few extra tips for social media for small businesses:
- Mention followers in posts and stories.
- Use the social platform’s tools
- Pay attention to trends
- Mix up your formats – photos, videos, live feeds, stories.
- Pay attention to your analytics for social media.
- Track and improve your performance on social media.
Now start posting.
If you need help building your social media audience let us know. We can develop a social media strategy that is just right for your business.