Social media can seem daunting to some small businesses, but truth be told, it’s no longer optional. More and more small businesses have been hopping on the bandwagon for good reason.
If done right, the use of social media can be an effective and inexpensive way for businesses to build brand awareness. As well, it provides a way to connect with leads and existing customers. With competition in every industry becoming more and more cutthroat, small business owners should do whatever it takes to stand out and appeal to their ideal target audience.
Depending on the industry you’re in, certain social media platforms may be more relevant than others. In spite of this, they should all serve the same purpose at the end of the day. The most common misconceptions about social media marketing are that it only helps promote products/services and reach a larger audience.
However, it actually has many additional benefits, such as driving traffic to your website and developing hype over events and promotions. As well, managing the business’ reputation by sharing testimonials to build trust and authority for your brand. Overall, social media marketing (SMM) for small businesses is a powerful tool. It has a higher chance of obtaining a positive return on investment as it can be much cheaper than other traditional means – especially with sign-up being free.
Yes, social media can be fun and easy! However, before you go on a posting-spree, here are some tips to help you thrive using social media.
1. What are your social media marketing goals?
First off, let’s take a moment to consider what your goals are with getting into social media marketing. Are they aligned with your business objectives? Without these goals in mind, it’s impossible to measure how well you’re doing.
Do you want to gain awareness and build your brand? Do you want to see your audience engage or interact with the content you post? Or perhaps you want to use this platform to help persuade the user to make a purchase. Think about this carefully to plan your social media marketing strategy and create messaging around the goals you have set.
2. Identify your target audience
As mentioned before, each social media platform can cater to a different market. Therefore, it’s of utmost importance to understand who your target audience is. For example, if your audience is those under the age of 35, Instagram would likely be your best bet. Whereas if your audience is mainly over 40, Facebook would probably be a better option.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should only focus your attention on one platform over another. Keep in mind that sharing on multiple platforms will further your reach. It’s absolutely fine to post the same content across all your business’ social media accounts. However, ensure that you make adjustments to the content and copy to suit each platform and its users.
3. Create a content calendar
It’s best practice (and easier for you) to plan out your social media posts ahead of time. Plan out your schedule on how often you should be regularly posting and on what type of content. Once you know your target market, it should be easy to tune your message and content to appeal to the right audience with valuable information consistently.
For example, let’s say you run a local bakery and intend to take advantage of the seasonality of strawberries during spring. You may want to schedule some posts focusing on the fruit throughout March and April to highlight pastries you’ll be pushing in the coming months.
After that, you would want to find a good balance in your strategy so that you’re not overwhelming your audience but still remain top of mind. If you’re feeling a bit uneasy, start with posting once a week and go from there. There’s no right or wrong answer, just test out what works for you and your target audience. It’s all about having a solid game plan and making adjustments along the way.
4. Research your competition
A little competitive research can go a long way, but that doesn’t mean to copy and paste what your competitors post. Rather, learn from what’s working for them. Depending on the platform, you can see each post’s engagement. Things like how many times it has been viewed, liked or shared. That kind of insight can give you some ideas and help you understand what’s working for you, and what isn’t.
5. Track your social media metrics
So, what metrics are truly valuable to your business? If you intend to use social media to grow your brand and gain awareness, then perhaps focus on impressions, followers and post shares. These are the metrics that reflect whether or not your content is creating a connection between your brand and audience.
Whereas if you want the platform to help you drive more leads and, in turn, improve sales, you should focus on link clicks, email subscriptions, CTR (Click-Through Rate), Cost Per Result, and so on. Each platform has its own way of reporting these analytics. Take some time to go through what’s available and how to find what you need to measure the success of your social media efforts.
How to Create a Great Social Media Post
1. Create content for each social media channel
You have a variety of options when it comes to what type of content you could create. You can post an image on your business’ page, a video ad, an event post, and so much more! On top of that, there are a number of free tools that can help you spruce up the look and feel of your content. For example, Canva is an online resource where you can find aesthetically pleasing templates for every type of social media content you have in mind. This means you don’t have to be a Photoshop whiz to make your posts look beautiful and professional.
2. Write great copy
Next, you want to fine-tune your message. Keep in mind that everything you publish is representative of your brand. This means you’ll need to make sure you are consistent in your message. That includes your tone, branding, and audience persona. Know who you’re writing to and how they should receive the information you are providing.
3. Use #hashtags
If you don’t already know, the number sign is what we call a “hashtag” in the social media world. Using it allows your posts to be searchable and gain higher visibility. Not only that, it lets users who are not already following you and share the same interests easily find you and your content. For example, if a pet groomer adds #puppylife to their latest Instagram post, it can help expose more users who are also dog lovers to their business. This is because it gets added to a community thread with 4.8 million other posts. It’s as simple as that!
To Sum Up
The overall point is a small business has nothing to lose and everything to gain by integrating social media marketing in their marketing strategy. Feeling overwhelmed by the thought of taking on social media management in-house? We have an experienced Social Media team at TechWyse that can help manage your social media accounts for you. Don’t lose out on potential customers and start reaping the benefits of a strong social media presence now!