Social media is a great tool for any small business that wants to build brand awareness, engage with their audience, and reach new customers. However, without the right strategies and tools in place, your social media marketing efforts can end up hurting – rather than helping – your business.
If you’re currently using social media to market your small business and the results are disappointing, use the following tips to get back on track.
Know Your Goals
Some companies set up social media accounts without knowing exactly what they’re trying to achieve. While the ultimate goal may be to boost sales, in the short term you might want to attract leads, build your reputation, or improve customer service.
Before you publish anything, be aware of why you’re publishing it. Having a clear goal for each social media post will result in more compelling content, and you can track the results over time.
Use a Social Media Calendar
Creating content and managing your social media presence is time consuming, so it’s important to plan ahead. Once you know what you’re trying to achieve, you can outline your content schedule by using an editorial calendar. Calendars help you deliver a broad mix of content and improve your productivity. You’ll be able to view content deadlines, and you can also create content in advance if you’re using scheduling tools to post content automatically.
Take Advantage of Hashtags
Using hashtags is key to expanding your reach on social media and ensuring your content gets discovered. You can use hashtags in a few ways:
• Create your own hashtags to start conversations and learn about your audience.
• Find hashtags that are relevant to your industry and join in the conversation to build your credibility.
• Join in with trending hashtags to increase brand visibility.
There are various online tools to help you search for industry-relevant hashtags. You can also join in with recurring hashtags such as “Monday Motivation” or “Small Business Saturday.”
Be More Active
The more active you are on social media, the more opportunities you’ll have to engage with potential customers. Many businesses set up their social media accounts, post a few links, and then forget about it for a few days. But any brand that is too inactive on social media will find it difficult to get noticed among all the other posts.
How often should you post on social media? Around 79 percent of businesses post weekly, but only around half of all small businesses post on a daily basis (1). By posting more frequently, you’re more likely to stand out from the competition. Just remember not to be too promotional. If you’re unsure what to post, think about your goals. For example:
• Deliver useful information to build your credibility.
• Respond to followers’ posts to build customer relationships.
• Join in with trending hashtags to increase brand awareness.
• Promote special offers to drive website traffic and sales.
Respond Quickly to Comments
If you’re too slow to respond to comments or questions, it could seriously undermine your reputation. In a 2017 survey of social media users, being responsive on social media was considered the most important thing a business could do to encourage consumers to purchase (2).
Take Advantage of Social Media Tools
Many small businesses struggle to see great results on social media because they don’t use the right tools. There are various tools you can use to take your social media game to the next level. Search online for the following:
• Content creation tools, such as image editing and graphic design tools.
• Content management tools to automate content distribution.
• Monitoring tools to track brand mentions and specific keywords.
• Analytics tools to track your social media performance and measure engagement.
Give People a Reason to Follow Your Business
There are various ways to encourage more people to follow you, but these are six of the most common tactics:
• Be more entertaining. Use conversational language and be less serious.
• Offer exclusive promotions to followers.
• Follow other relevant social media accounts.
• Share trending news stories and interesting statistics.
• Use one or two relevant hashtags in posts.
• Reply frequently to comments.
Share Engaging Visuals
Social media networks such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat are more visually oriented than other channels. But even on Twitter and Facebook, visual content tends to get more attention. Tweets with images receive 150 percent more retweets than those without, and Facebook posts with images get twice as much engagement (3). Share pictures of your team at work or at company events and post attractive graphics to boost engagement.
Find Your Audience and Build Your Brand
While many companies have a presence on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, they’re not necessarily the best choice for your business. LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, Tik Tok, Tumblr, Pinterest, and other platforms have millions of users that you can connect and engage with.
The choice may seem daunting, but you only need to focus on a couple of channels that your target audience use. You can then create quality content for these platforms without getting overwhelmed with work.
No matter the size of your business, social media can help to boost your marketing reach and build a loyal customer base. However, to improve results, remember:
• Set goals you can measure.
• Use an editorial calendar.
• Post frequently and respond to comments quickly.
• Use hashtags and post more visual content.
• Use social media tools for productivity and analysis.
• Give people a reason to follow your business.
You don’t have to do it all at once, but hopefully these tips will keep you on the right track and ensure that social media helps your business thrive for years to come.
If you have any questions, our team would be more than happy to help. Call us today at (484) 893-4055.