Why use social media for your business success? Quite simply because your customers are there too.
Even for smaller companies, it definitely pays to be active in the field of social media and digital marketing in order to enlarge their target group. How can you do that successfully? Here are 10 practical tips and tricks around social media marketing.
More than 50% of SMEs in the US rely on social media as their primary digital marketing method. Simply because you can find new customers and network with them very effectively. And unlike some other traditional marketing methods, that does not cost a fortune. For this reason too, small businesses are increasingly using the advantages of social media marketing.
1. First comes the plan
Your social media activities also require a carefully crafted strategy. Based on the Hootsuite guide, we’ll explain how to get to your social media market plan in 6 easy steps .
- Set social media goals. Do not just deal with metrics like likes and retweets. Also focus on generated leads, conversion rates and referrals to your website. Use the SMART principle when defining goals: goals should be specific, measurable, appealing, realistic and timed.
- Conduct a social media audit: Identify who you’re already connected to on social media, which networks your audience uses, and how your own social media presence compares to the competition.
- Set up new accounts, complete existing ones. Have you decided which social networks are best for your small business? Then set up an account on each of these platforms. Make sure everything you post there matches the overall business goals and target audience.
- Get inspiration. See what content competitors from your industry share. Get an overview and gain insights on how to reach out to potential customers and stand out from the competition. Find out what makes big corporations right and how you can integrate their tactics into your own social media strategy.
- Create a social media calendar. The calendar is central to your essential content marketing plan. It should include the day and time you want to post to Facebook and Instagram, tweets, and any other type of social media content.
- Test, evaluate and correct your strategy. Adjust your strategy over and over again using performance metrics. Analyze facts such as the number of clicks per post, the reach of your campaigns, and the number of page views made through social media. You can use this data to further optimize your strategy.
2. Determine which platforms suit you
Not every social media platform is suitable for your business or the set goals. The following list gives you an overview of the most popular networks: (based on Hootsuite)
- Facebook : The world’s most popular social media network with more than 2 billion users. In addition, Facebook also has the most regular users and is, based purely on the range, thus the most attractive network.
- Instagram : Instagram owes its success to its visual approach. Successful marketing therefore has a lot to do with the appealing aesthetics of the shared content. According to a study claims the platform with 59 percent and the highest engagement level of all social networks for themselves.
- LinkedIn : With more than 467 million users, the platform is the world’s largest careers network.
- Twitter : With a limit of 280 characters per tweet, Twitter is known for brevity and spice.
- Snapchat : The platform on which the content disappears is especially popular with younger users.
- YouTube : If your brand has the resources, the best way to take advantage of the popularity of online video.
- Pinterest : It’s the users who make this platform so unique. You are looking for inspirations on Pinterest. This makes the network perfect if your target audience is going to be active, for example buying something or visiting your website.
Start your selection process with this list. Determine which social media platform (s) work best for your business. Maybe it’s only one, maybe several or even all of them.
3. Get to know your target group
Identifying the characteristics of your target audience is part of every market research. Without this information you can not possibly know how to attract the attention of your desired audience.
Identify age, gender, place of residence, average income, and other facts that are important to your business.
One of the best ways to successful market research is to create audience personas. That’s how it’s done:
- Collect demographic data from social media, surveys, focus groups and customer surveys
- Analyze this data for trends (behaviors, age groups, occupational groups)
- Use these characteristics to develop ideal customers, complete with name, job title, and career path
4. Market and sell your products via social media
Marketing on social media is more than just tweeting about your brand from time to time or advertising on Facebook . Without appropriate strategy, you will not achieve optimal results. First, when curating social media content, the 80/20 Rule (also known as the Pareto Principle )recommends : 80 percent of your social media marketing or sales success (the result) is based on only 20 percent of the cause (the content curated by you). For this reason, the percentage of advertising content in all your social media channels should be as low as 20 percent of the content. The remaining 80 percent turn to your customers — interact with them and share relevant content that adds value to them.
Second, you should use every social media channel according to their respective strengths.
5. Whenever possible: use pictures, videos and graphics
It does not matter which social media platform you’re on: focus on visuals as often as possible. In a study , 67 percent of marketing executives stated that they use visual content in social media because of the engagement effect. Whether images, GIFs and memes or videos: The integration of visual content in your social media posts is relatively simple. Just make sure the visuals are relevant to the content of both the post and your audience.
6. Quality over quantity
It is tempting to present a brand on as many social networks as possible in order to reach as large a target audience as possible. To dance at too many weddings at the same time, however, brings no real benefits. More quantity usually leads to a loss of quality, because then it’s all about naked numbers: a certain number of tweets a week or so and so many Facebook posts a month. Focus on quality rather than quantity. Present yourself where your target group is, provide them with added value and you will reap the rewards of your work. If you have carried out market research and created target group personas, you also know which platform (s) your target group prefers. Focus your efforts on these networks.Share quality content that solves the problems of your audience, makes life easier or entertains them. Always remember the Pareto principle: Most of your social media content should not market your business, but provide added value to your audience.
7. Work with the right tools
Save time and money with tools that make your social media work easier. In 2017, users spent an average of 135 minutes per day on social media. Your small business takes your time and attention in many ways — you can not afford to spend more time on social media than you need to.
Using a social media management solution like Hootsuite can streamline your social media marketing activities and increase your productivity. Here are a few Hootsuite features that will make your life easier:
- Integration of different platforms. Hootsuite allows you to manage your presences across all major networks like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn through a single dashboard.
- Plan ahead . With Hootsuite you can plan up to 350 social media posts at the same time. In addition, posts on Instagram can be scheduled.
- Keep an eye on the conversations in various social networks via a central dashboard. The constant change between browsers or tools is history!
- Commitment . Hootsuite allows you to quickly respond to news, mentions and comments across all channels with one click — all from a single dashboard.
8. Follow social media conversations about your business and respond
In today’s digital world, social media often replaces personal conversation. A prompt response to questions from your target audience will make your brand look more human. If you do not interact with your target audience, you quickly get the impression that you are not interested in their wishes. And that ultimately has a negative impact on your business. More than 80 percent of all customers expect companies to respond to a social media post within 24 hours. This is the result of a study in 2016. In addition, the interaction in social media offers the opportunity to present the unique character of your brand. Very effective to connect with your target group are, for example, posts with photos.
9. Plan content ahead and create more time for engagement
Of course it is important to share relevant content. Still, that should not give you time to actively interact with your target audience.
10. Be inspired by successful brands and their competitors
Do not hesitate to adopt successful strategy of other brands. Get inspiration from social media brands and try some of their tactics on your own social media channels. Track what your competitors are doing and let them stimulate you. Maybe a great idea can be adopted and adapted for your own campaigns.