12 social media essentials for small businesses
Today we’ve brought in a guest blogger – Melanie Brennan from BlueBee Social. She’s an expert in managing social media for businesses, and she has some great tips for keeping your small business’ social media activity on-track and effective.
1. Be where your customers are
There’s no point spending time, effort and money on developing a social media presence if your target market is nowhere to be seen. It’s the digital equivalent of going to the beach to sell designer gowns or a high-society ball to sell beanies. Find out where your target market tend to congregate. Are they more into Twitter or Facebook? Are you targeting young professionals? Maybe you should be on LinkedIn. Millennials? Perhaps SnapChat is where you need to focus your attention.
2. Have a clear understanding of your brand
A classic mistake that people make is to shoot too wide and diffuse their efforts into ineffectiveness. To avoid this, ensure that you clearly understand your business’ Unique Selling Point and your branding choices. Before you implement any social media strategy, ensure that you ask: “Does this communicate our USP? Does it adhere to brand guidelines?”
3. Minimise the work involved
To cut down on the time and effort required in developing content, put together image templates. That way, new content can be created on the fly as required, with all font and colour choices already made. If you don’t have graphic design software already, try something like Canva.
4. It’s social media, not rant-about-your-business media
Understand that what you want to post and what your customers want to see are probably two very different things. These days, we tend to be overwhelmed with advertising and endless push by marketers to buy this product/service. We learn to block it out – sometimes literally, by unfollowing annoying sellers. So post regularly, but avoid constant sales pitches. As a general rule, aim for 80% free information and just 20% sales.
5. Link to your social media profiles from your website
Once you’re active on social media, ensure that fans of your business can find and follow you on the various platforms. Only link to profiles that you regularly use to post content – don’t link to profiles that are quiet.
6. Make sharing easy
Got great content? Make sure that your customers can link to it quickly and easily on social media by including share buttons on your blog posts and pages.
7. Use paid advertising to boost your social media profile
It really is a pay-to-play environment now on social media. Only 3-5% of your followers willyou’re your organic posts so you need to invest in paid ads if you want to increase your reach. Paid advertising on social media platforms has come a long way over the last few years. You now have a plethora of options to target your campaigns and ensure that they not only reach, but interest, your target market.
8. Extend paid advertising to re-engage existing customers
Facebook allows you to create ‘pixels’ on your website that add very low-level tracking – known as cookies – to your customers’ browsers. You can create paid advertising on Facebook that then identifies these cookies and reminds your customers about your business.
9. Use your results to improve your results
Pretty much every social media paid advertising platform provides its customers with reports on the each piece of content, including impressions (how many people saw it) and engagements (how many people interacted with it in some way – clicking on it or sharing it, for example). Paying close attention to these reports will help you learn what sort of content your target market best responds to, so that you can improve your advertising content and get better bang for your buck.
10. Direct followers to your website
Most businesses will want to keep their website as their primary base for customers – either because that’s where product sales happen, or because they have a great range of content to keep people interested. Create landing pages for specific ad campaigns and social media platforms, and link to new blog posts on your social media account to focus your community around the website and to build your ‘website visitor’ list for targeted advertising.
11. Capture email addresses
Email marketing campaigns can be incredibly effective. Figure out ways to capture your audience’s email address – for example, by offering a one-use discount code for people who sign up to the email list. Be careful to ensure that you adhere to regulations in the Spam Act.
12. Don’t be afraid to try new things
Innovation is a key to effective marketing. We get bored when we see the same old things over and over again. Just remember to consider your target market as you develop new strategies, and if in doubt, test on a small scale first. Always get as much data as possible about your marketing results, so that you can figure out what works best for your audience.
If you would like more information on Social Media Marketing contact Melanie from BlueBee Social.
Guest blog post by:
Melanie Brennan, Director and Founder, BlueBee Social