Social media provides a powerful tool for outreach: Small businesses can share stories, talk about events or offers, or discuss services or solutions with interested customers or potential clients. But not every company has set aside the time and money to establish an online strategy or presence.
Even if you haven’t optimized your social media presence, there is still time, and the benefits will be well worth the effort. There are many advantages to cultivating your brand on social media, including that it can help you improve your customer service, allow you to communicate with customers and prospects on a new level, help you engage your audience and reach new audiences, help you build authority, and drive traffic to your website.
- Listen To Customers Rather Than Promote
Social media offers an open-ended platform to communicate and engage with your customers, so use it as such. Utilize the little time you have on social media to understand your customers and address their needs, not to promote your product. This approach will not only help you better understand your customers’ preferences, but it will also help you create a loyal customer base who trusts your brand.
- Choose the Right Networks
Social media has exploded since Facebook went public back in 2012, and there are thousands of networks out there dedicated to anything from connecting old classmates to social activism and everything else under the sun.
So with all these options out there, how does a business hone in on the right ones? The advice from most experts is to join four of the most popular, and choosing the right ones comes down to your audience (and where they are) and your goals. Here’s some information to help guide you:
- Facebook:the largest platform, has 2 billion-plus active monthly users, and the site is ideal for businesses that want to generate leads and build relationships
- LinkedIn:the platform for business networking can be used by both B2B and B2C businesses to create trust, build authority, and engage audiences
- Twitter:whose platform is immediacy, is perfect for businesses whose major audience is under 50 and who need to stay apprised of time-sensitive information like breaking news, announcements, and trending topics
- Pinterest:the photo sharing site, is a fantastic platform for businesses with visual appeal (think restaurants, fashion, art, travel, and weddings), and it’s great for driving sales because so many users look to the site to plan purchases
- Snapchat:the expiring content platform, is one of the fastest growing social networking sites, and businesses can leverage it by offering promotions, providing personalized content, giving exclusive access, and building relationships with influencers in order to drive brand recognition and loyalty
- Establish A Goal Before Moving
Develop a social media strategy the aligns with your goals and define your metrics for success. Don’t just jump into social media without a specific reason and a goal that you are trying to accomplish. Think about how it can help with customer retention, brand awareness, lead generation and sales, then take the necessary actions.
- Come up with a Strategy
Having a goal for improving your social media presence is great, but it’s only the beginning. Once you know what you want to achieve, you have to come up with a plan to help you get there.
Start by designating the person or people who will be part of the social media team, and break up their roles and responsibilities clearly so everybody knows what’s expected and when.
You should also decide on your posting frequency, and create a content calendar that will help you plan posts and make sure you don’t miss days. The content calendar is a big part of your strategy because it should lay out:
- Who your audience is
- What topics and subjects your audience is interested in
- The usable content you already have
- What kind of content you still need to create or curate
- When and on what platforms content will be published
- Make a Content Creation or Curation Plan with Your Audience in Mind
Knowing your audience is critical when it comes to finding success with social media engagement because the interests and needs of your audience will determine the type of content you should be sharing and the way you engage your followers.
For instance, if you were a coffee roastery, your target audience might be interested in recipes for fancy coffee drinks, brewing tips and techniques, and other Java-related articles. Some of the important things you should know about your audience include age, location, gender, goals, likes, needs, behaviors, challenges, and pain points.
No matter who your audience is, however, the content you share should always be high quality and relevant, and you should prioritize video, images, and other types of visual content as often as possible because these are popular among all demographics and all audiences.
- Automate Your Social Media Strategy
There are a number of tools and resources that help business owners increase their social media presence. Business owners can set aside a couple of hours at the beginning of the month to schedule posts for the entire month using software such as Buffer or Hootsuite. Alternatively, they can outsource the entire process to us at Digivizo for online marketing (Contact Us).
- Actively Engage Your Audience in Relevant Ways
Although content is supremely important on social media, it’s not enough to just post your content and walk away. Social media is also about connection and engagement, and that’s the only way you can foster the relationships you want to build and gain the trust of your audience.
There are many ways you can engage with your audiences, and they include:
- Commenting on posts
- Starting and participating in conversations
- Sharing relevant information
- Sharing user-generated content
- Posing and answering questions
- Addressing complaints and criticisms
- Showing appreciation for customers
- Minimize the Time You Spend Promoting
Even though the practice of social selling is becoming increasingly popular among salespeople and marketers, the actual process of using social networks to drive growth is much different from what most people are used to. Rather than using social as an active promotional platform, it’s best to use it as a tool for engagement and communication.
In fact, it’s recommended that businesses keep their promotional content to 20%, while the lion’s share of content should be dedicated to meeting the needs of your audience.
10. Watch the Right Metrics to Monitor Your Progress
Social media use is growing all the time, and every month there are more active users than the one before, especially on the top sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Snapchat. It’s not necessary to have a presence on every social network out there, and it’s a much better strategy to define your goals, locate your audience, and pick the sites that are right for you based on those factors.
Social media relationship building has a number of benefits to confer on your business, but it’s important to put in the time cultivating your presence if you want to take advantage of them all.
There are many resources you can rely on for metrics, including Google Analytics, Facebook Analytics and page insights. We at Digivizo can help you improve your social media presence.