NEWS AND TIPS
Author: Joshua Brennick
Social media has many purposes in today’s world. It can serve as a channel for friends to communicate, keep someone in the loop with what is going on around them and for marketers, social media is one of the best ways to connect with people who already know about your business but many forget that it’s also an important component for reaching those who haven’t heard of your business yet.
If you are just dipping your toes in the water or are still complaining about how cold the water is and refuse to put your toes in, understand that social media is not as scary nor as expensive as most believe it is. These tips will help those who are in the beginning stages of social media marketing and how to start off successfully.
1) A Social Media Strategy Is Essential
Every business Owner or CEO understands the importance of a solid business strategy. Without one, your business is just a floating ship with no direction. Social media marketing is no different when it comes to not falling for the old thought of, “oh, i’ll just throw up some posts and the money will come pouring in”. It’s not like that at all.
Without a plan, your social media will be that floating ship with no direction and no clear goal of what you want to achieve. Without goals, there’s no way to measure results. A social media plan in the beginning will only set you up for success once you begin. Start with these tips when you start your social media strategy planning:
Set goals and objectives for your social media pages: For example, aim to acquire customers or raise your conversion rate, rather than simply racking up likes.
Research the competition: Take some time to study how your competitors are using social media and learn from what others have done so you can reduce your time of learning.
Social Media Audit: If you are using social media at this current time, take a moment to analyze and evaluate what is working and what is not.
Create a social media calendar: A social media calendar helps you post the right content to the right social channels at the right time. It should include a plan for your content mix. Try starting with the 80-20 rule. Use 80% of your content to inform, educate, or entertain your audience. Use the other 20% to promote your brand or sell your products.
2) Where To Start
There are many platforms out there and you don’t want to be that kid in the candy shop once you begin your social media marketing journey. Follow the numbers, not your gut. You may think that millennials are using Snapchat and Instagram more but in actuality, 84% are still using Facebook. Also, each platform is used in a different way. For example, Instagram is all about using imagery such as photos and videos where as LinkedIn is where it would be good for B2B businesses to have a presence on. Take some time to study the numbers and find out what platform is best to start. From there, build a solid foundation with that platform and then move onto the next one when you are ready. The exception to this would be if you had a professional managing your social media marketing for you and can handle the amount of time and effort it would take to successfully manage multiple pages right away. If you find yourself in that position, reach out to JBrand Media today to set up your free consultation.
3) Know Your Audience and How To Expand It
One of the many reasons using social media for business is so effective is that you can micro-target your audience. In order to do that, you first need to understand who your audience is.
This can be done by compiling data on your current customers. Once you have done that, peel the onion one more layer back and look at the available social media analytics. You’ll start to develop a solid picture of who’s buying from and interacting with you online. Once you have a clear picture of who your audience is, it is time to revisit that social media plan you put together. You will be looking for ways to reach more people just like them. This can be achieved organically or through paid advertisements.
4) Engage With Your Audience
A unique quality about social media marketing for small business is that it allows you to talk directly to customers and followers in many ways. Unlike when a potential customer walks into a store, social media marketing offers the ability to build relationships over time, rather than asking for a sale upfront. This is important because more than 40% of digital consumers use social networks to research new brands or products. Part of that discovery is getting to know who you are as a brand and what you stand for. Do you engage with your audience? Are you welcoming and warm with your communication or do you portray a difficult business to work with? Don’t ever pass up the opportunity to engage with your audience when they reach out. Simply engaging back will go a long way in building trust and forming brand loyalty. As fans engage with your content, you rise in the social algorithms and gain new, free, exposure. You also nurture relationships that can develop into sales over time.
5) Quality Over Quantity
More than ever, people don’t waste time with content they don’t want to see on social media platforms. With the ever evolving digital age, consumers have come to expect social content to include a visual component. This could be a photo, video, or going “live” on the platform. It’s always important to remember that visuals are key to becoming successful with social media marketing.
Going back to the sheer number of social media marketing options for small business, you may get tempted to go all in but you don’t need to do it all. It’s more important to create quality content on a couple of key social media platforms than it is to have a presence on every single network.
6) Optimized Your Social Media Marketing
As you implement your social strategy, it’s important to keep track of what works and what doesn’t. You can then optimize your efforts and improve results. There are analytics tools available that will give you a solid picture of your social efforts and can help track whichever metrics matter most to you.
Once you have an idea of how your strategy is working, it’s time to start looking for ways to improve. Using A/B testing, you can make small changes that boost your success over time.
No matter the size of your business, social tools can help you better connect with your audience, reach new potential customers, and increase awareness of your brand. If the possibilities seem overwhelming, start small. Remember: you don’t need to do it all. Take a focused approach. Start with one or two key networks and build your social media marketing efforts over time.
JBrand Media was founded in 2013 by Joshua Brennick, 2019 recipient of The Nashua Telegraph "40 Under Forty" award, with the purpose of helping educational institutions and businesses utilize digital marketing to achieve their marketing and sales goals. Since the launch in 2013, JBrand Media has provided successful services to many clients in various industries ranging in size from small to large.