It seems like just about everyone is using social media as a means of communication nowadays. In 2019, 79% of Americans used some form of social media. If your small business is not using social media to connect with customers and prospects, you might be missing out on opportunities.
Social media can help you connect with customers who already love your company and reach those who have not heard of you yet. Whether using Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter, the following tips will help your small business succeed on social media.
Like any good business strategy, using social media should start with a plan. Set clear goals for what you would like to achieve through your social media accounts. These goals should follow the SMART method: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. For example, create a goal to convert more customers rather than get more likes.
If you are already using social media, take stock of what is working and what is not and create a set of goals for the next year.
Use Relatable Content.
Social media gives you the chance to show you are an expert in your field. Post content that is helpful to your audience or solves an issue they might have. Offer solutions that are tied into your business. The more authority you can give on your industry, the more opportunities will come your way.
Engage with Your Audience.
Facebook is based on an algorithm that shows users the most popular posts. If your business posts something, and no one responds, no one else will see it. Engage with your audience by asking questions and responding to users. This builds trust and forms a following. The best way to get your posts seen by the greatest number of users is to engage with your audience. For new potential customers, this is their opportunity to understand what your company is about. Social media analytics can help you create a solid persona of who is engaging with you online.
Posts can be scheduled via social media management tools like Hootsuite, which creates one central location for all messages and mentions directed at your company. You can then respond and engage without having to log on to each social media account.
Create a Calendar.
Social media activity needs to be tied into your marketing calendar. Content is most effective when it is shared regularly. So, sharing once a week, and then five days straight, and then not again for two weeks is not ideal. Create a strategy and timeline and automate your posts ahead of time. The calendar should also include what you plan to post. The 80-20 rule states that you use 80% of your content to inform, educate, or entertain your audience, while 20% is dedicated to promoting your brand.
Social media offers you the opportunity to really connect with your customers who have supported you. Recognize those who have supported you with recognition to their posts and tweets or like, follow, and share their messages. Your customers will appreciate your small business even more.
Follow Your Customers.
To ensure that you are using social media most effectively, you will need to collect information from your audience. Find out which platforms your target customer uses. Choose one or two social media platforms to concentrate on and where you know you will be reaching those in your demographics. eMarketer reports that more brands use Facebook for customer acquisition, and Instagram for more social commerce. When you share content to your potential and current customers, share no more than four pieces of others’ content to every piece of your own content.
Small businesses can use social media to interact with their customers, generate new leads, and potentially grow their business. A comprehensive social media strategy can help you achieve the goals you set for your business.