How to Make Social Media Work for Your Business
Social media marketing can seem like a daunting task, especially for small businesses. With jargon and acronyms like SEO, PPC, machine learning and AI being bounced around without any clarification, it can be easy to become disheartened, but it’s important to remember the impact that social media can have. In this post, we’ll give you some information and advice to help you make the most of your social media and how you can make it work for your business.
Know Your Goals:
It can sometimes feel like social media operates differently to the rest of your marketing, but it’s important to remember that you aren’t using social media just for the sake of it, but because it is an incredible tool you can use to build your business. Work out what exactly it is you hope to achieve using social media, and make sure that these goals make sense next to the rest of your business goals, for example driving more traffic to your website, or creating a more open relationship with your customers.
Know Your Customer:
From Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to LinkedIn and Snapchat (and everything in between!) there’s certainly plenty of social media platforms to choose from.
It can be tempting to just make profiles for as many as possible in the hopes of getting the greatest reach, but this isn’t really effective in the long run. If you’re targeting content towards middle-aged men, it’s unlikely you’ll find them on Snapchat. If you’re targeting products towards tweens, using LinkedIn is just plain stupid. There is a huge amount of variety in social media platforms and their demographics. Focussing on a few platforms that make sense to your business and offering also makes it much easier to keep your accounts active and up-to-date. By ensuring you know your customer base inside and out, you can target your social media presence where it can really make a difference to your business.
Make Platform-Specific Content:
Reposting the same content across all of your social media channels can seem like a great way to create a strong identity online, but it could be doing you more harm than good. SproutSocial found that 41% of users will unfollow a brand that doesn’t post relevant content, while tailoring your content to each site can boost engagement. This is where knowing your customer base and the platforms they use can be incredibly beneficial. For example, sharing a blog post is far better suited to Facebook or LinkedIn than Pinterest or Instagram, and by tailoring posts on Facebook to have less than 80 characters, you can receive up to 66% higher engagement, while Instagram posts perform best at 138-150 characters.
Using images is key to improving how your social media posts perform. Images grab our attention while skimming through content, and can prompt a more instinctive and emotional response than text. You can also use infographics to help convey information without getting lost in long, wordy posts.
Interact with your Community:
Social media can be used to find new customers, who may help to build a community around your brand. Avoid using your social media platforms to directly promote your business too much, as this can turn consumers off. Interacting with your followers and showing your brand’s personality and identity can be invaluable. Running competitions, asking questions and taking part in Q&As are all great ways of fostering a sense of community online. Focus on creating an identity around your brand, responding to your followers and increasing brand loyalty.
Invest in Paid Social:
A strategy based entirely on organic content is becoming harder and harder to sustain. 86% of marketers use a combination of paid and organic social content, and over 90% of small businesses planned on increasing their social media investment in 2018, and nearly all of them did. Paid social ads or boosting posts can make a massive impact on the reach of your social media content. Paid social can also give your ads access to massive amounts of consumer data to target your content to the people who you’d like to see it most.
Pay Attention to Analytics:
Understanding how your content performs can have a big impact on the way you run your business. Most social media platforms have some form of analytics software for businesses, and they cover a huge variety of metrics. For example, analytics can help increase engagement by seeing what kind of content performs well. It can also tell you more about your audience, highlight strengths and weaknesses in your digital strategy and even quantify how positive or negative the public feel about your company. As machine learning and AI software develops more, what analytics can tell you about how your business is performing online will only get better.
If you need help with social media for your business, contact us on 0161 327 2635 to see what we can do for you.