For many small business owners, you have to wear a lot of hats. Juggling the different sides of the business can be hard and often some things don’t get as much attention as you’d like to give them.
On average we spend 2.25 hours on social media everyday (often a lot more). That offers an incredible opportunity for businesses to engage with their customers, but often social media is neglected, with small business owners not understanding the potential a strong social media strategy can offer.
That’s why we’ve made it simple, our handy social media guide aims to empower small business owners with the tools they need to produce a winning social media strategy.
Always start with a plan!
The good thing about using social media for your business is that most of us these platforms for personal use, day in day out, so there’s already a level of comfort attached to them. There is also no cost attached to setting up pages on popular sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, until you choose to invest in adverts of course.
Because the barriers to entry are minimal, there can be a temptation to jump headfirst into the world of social media, but every good business strategy begins with a good, solid plan. Yes, these tools are free and easy to use, but the time and effort involved to build a successful strategy will represent a significant investment of your time.
Here are some of our strategic tips to make the most out of your social media plan.
Any of you with even a basic business knowledge know that your goals need to follow the SMART framework: Specific (simple, sensible, significant), Measurable (meaningful, motivating) Achievable (agreed, attainable), Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based), Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive)
Base your objectives on metrics that are going to have a real impact on your company. For example, increasing followers, improving your conversion rate etc.
Conduct an audit
Establish what’s working for you so far, what’s not. Who are your competitors, who do they follow, who follows them? What content works well for them?
All of these questions will allow you to build a better picture of what type of content will drive the highest engagement online.
Create a calendar
Almost every company that is successful in their social strategy will create a social media calendar. This allows you to plan what content will be posted on what channel and when.
We advise following the 80-20 rule. This means that 80% of the content you post will educate and entertain your audience. The other 20% will promote your brand and sell your product/services.
Schedule your content
Now that you have your social calendar, use tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule your content in. This means you can share content at higher volumes with minimal effort required. Just be sure to regularly visit your accounts to monitor comments and engagement
Establish which platforms are best for you
Please don’t just make assumptions as to where your audience spends their time online. You may instinctively think because you’re targeting millennials/gen z that you should bi-pass Facebook and just target platforms like TikTok and Instagram right? Wrong.
Conduct your own research, this will help you truly understand the specific details of where your audience spends there time online, and how they interact.
It is said that on average we have 8.4 different social media accounts, so you have lots of opportunity to target your customers across a multitude of platforms and all for different purposes. For example, many brands use a platform like Facebook to build up an audience and generate leads. They will then use something like Twitter exclusively for their customer service.
Know your customers
A really great feature of many social platforms is their ability to produce detailed analytics. Utilise this data to learn more about your customers; where have they come from, what do they interact most with? Then tailor your content to suit their needs. Give the people what they want!
Utilise Facebook groups
A great way to build a community and develop strong brand loyalty is to start a Facebook group.
Facebook groups can sometimes be like free advertising and customer service wrapped into one. Your customers are already there because they love the brand, they love to talk about it, and happy to share their experiences with others who may be new. Win win win.
Utilise the interactive tools on offer
Instagram stories, Facebook live, Twitter polls! All great ways of igniting interactions with your customers and driving that engagement up.
Try and spot a trend
We do not by any means suggest you chase your tail leaping on the bandwagon of any new viral meme, but it could be a good idea to pay attention to social media trends, so you can get a feel for the sort of content people are searching for when they sign into their social media accounts. Here are 5 of the main reasons people are using social media:
- To find and watch entertaining content
- Keep in touch with friends
- To stay up to date with current events
- Sharing photos or videos
- To kill time
Always have the customers needs in mind when you’re creating content. Consider social listening tools to help you better understand your audience and what they want to hear from your brand.
Keep changing the format of your content
Rich sources of content such as videos, GIFs and images always work well on social. But make sure your using them on rotation and not overwhelming your feed with the same type of content.
Use the best tools
We’ve already discussed handy tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer and the in-app analytics features across different platforms.
Tools like BuzzSumo and Pocket are a great place to start when trying to think of what content to post.
Also consider tools like Canva to create attractive rich content posts with ease.
For more helpful tips like this be sure to visit the Stamp Marketing blog!