Establishing a robust internet marketing strategy is critical in a company’s first years of activity. If you fail to create a long term promotional plan, your beloved family business will not be able to stand its ground among competitors who might not necessarily offer better services, but are better at promoting themselves. As one of the biggest parts of Internet marketing, social media is a dynamic medium that can be hard to keep up with and that requires constant analysis. If your business already has accounts on the main social media platforms, don’t enter 2018 with the same promotional strategy you used until now, because you could be missing out on many opportunities. Instead, try to keep up with the key changes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and adapt your strategy to enjoy more visibility and user engagement.
Clients are losing trust in social media sites, but they don’t plan on using them less
2017 has been a tough year for social media. According to a recent HubSpot survey, the number of people who no longer trust social media has grown considerably and the political controversy is mostly to blame. Although the users’ perception of news was the most affected, ad perception was shaken as well. After the public found out that Facebook, Twitter and Google displayed political propaganda, more than 40% of them said that they now perceive ads on these sites as very untrustworthy. So, does that mean that you have to pivot and give up on using ads?
The answer is no. These figures show that users are concerned about the news and ad content they receive because they rely on them and use them heavily. 77% of those interviewed said that they will not delete their accounts or use social media less, so by giving up ads you are losing a lot of leads. The lesson to be learned from these statistics is this: businesses have to earn their followers’ trust on social media by giving them high quality content. For 2018, your social media marketing plan should be carefully curated and consistent. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are huge marketing channels that you can use to branch out, but as more people are using them for questionable practices, you have to clearly stand out as an ethical trustworthy business.
The business marketing potential of Instagram stories
Instagram is a powerful marketing channel that small businesses can take advantage of, no matter their field of activity. Many small business owners assume that Instagram is suitable for beauty bloggers and fashion magazines only, but that is not true. You can use Instagram to promote a small business that manufactures lapel pins, a flower shop, a wedding planning business or even a hardware store. But apart from the standard posts, don’t forget to use Instagram stories too. Instagram stories for business accounts might sound out of place, but they actually offer you some key advantages:
- Stories appear on top of the news feed, which means they are more visible and followers don’t have to scroll down to see your content.
- The more people watch your story, the more it will appear as a suggestion in the Explore tab
- Instagram stories are short, perfect for the user who is always on the go or has a short attention span
- Instagram stories allow you to be creative and engage with followers in a more personal way than by posting photos and videos
- Stories are popular among the younger demographic and businesses that use this medium are perceived as modern and dynamic.
Here are some tips on how to post Instagram stories from a business account.
Use bot management with caution
Automation has been a buzz word in business and internet marketing for the past couple of years, but be careful what you automate. While processes such as CRM, BPM and accounting can be automated successfully with massive revenue and productivity increase, social media is different. According to several online experiments, accounts managed by bots have lower engagement rates and they tend to connect with accounts managed by bots, not by actual people. This will increase your numbers of followers, but not your conversion rates, because your clients are people, not bots.
So, if you have a small business and want to automate tasks to save money, invest in accounting and business process management tools only. To truly connect with your audience and engage clients, you have to be involved personally:
- Reply to messages as quickly as possible, but avoid generic responses that look machine generated
- Reply to comments
- Think of creative, insightful captions for your image posts
- Ask for feedback constantly
- Use trending hashtags
- Contact bloggers and influencers to establish collaborations
Your business is unique and you shouldn’t be afraid to show this in your posts. The enthusiasm of starting a business should transpire on social media and a bot can never do this.
Don’t miss out on Facebook video opportunities
Facebook videos gave a huge marketing potential. One carefully designed, flawlessly executed video idea can bring you more followers than dozens of daily posts. Many small business owners love the idea of promotional videos, but end up postponing them because they think they don’t have the resources, but the fact is that video has become one of the most affordable types of promotional content. Why? Because they express in just a few seconds what you would normally say with hundreds of words and they are easier to share and remember. What’s more, because Facebook auto plays videos, you can be sure that your targeted audience will interact with your content.
Here are some video ideas that you can use to promote your business:
- Explainer videos – a great way to quickly explain to your audience who you are and what you do
- Testimonial videos – display your success stories to boost trust
- How to – show followers how your products and services work
- Product demos – images speak louder than words, so show your product in action!