When you’re growing a small business, it’s important to put an emphasis on best utilizing the tools at your disposal. Regardless of your industry or experience, one of those tools should be social media. While there are endless uses for social media and I have previously discussed social selling tactics, below I have identified five tips that you can bring back to your business and begin to implement today for social media marketing.
1. Cast a wide net in the beginning.
If you’re just starting off using social media, try to acquire as many followers and connections as you can, without strict qualifications. Social media has become so pervasive that clients and consumers now look at a lack of following as a lack of legitimacy. Once you’ve established a sizable following, you can be more selective with the type of followers you acquire, but in the beginning, cast a wide net and reel them in. However, you do NOT want to pay for followers or buy any lists. It won’t help you later if you don’t build your list organically with real followers now.
2. Create a harmonious balance between paid and organic.
There are two types of social media; paid and organic. Simply put, paid social media includes posts that you pay for in order to reach a target audience, so you can appear in feeds outside of your follower base. These are also known as “boosted” or “promoted” posts. Organic social includes posts that are shown to your followers through normal unpaid distribution from likes and shares. If you choose to only run paid campaigns, the costs can quickly add up and become unsustainable for most small businesses. For this reason, it’s important to strike a good balance.
Most businesses that are socially adept drive traffic with paid posts and then supplement and reinforce with organic posts. This is a good strategy, as it ensures that you’re putting money towards an objective or conversion (i.e. download a white paper, join our mailing list, view this webinar, etc.) while also keeping your audience engaged with organic posts until you’re ready to run another promoted post.
3. Utilize images and video.
The value of using high resolution, aesthetically-pleasing images and video can’t be overstated enough. Research has proven that multimedia content increases social engagement. You often hear that people don’t like to read anymore, but choose to watch videos instead. Posts with images or videos receive more reposts and shares than text-only posts. You can capture pictures and videos easily on your mobile device, or use other free or inexpensive resources if you don’t want to make a large investment in production equipment.
4. Develop a posting plan and implement it.
It’s very easy to get caught up in all the metrics and intricacies of social media. When this happens, sometimes the importance of consistent posting gets lost. There are many approaches you can take with a social media editorial calendar, but your priority should be creating a plan and sticking with it.
Social is no different than other media channel – testing is key and optimization can only be achieved with trial and error. If you can make yourself post consistently, you will start to see what works and what doesn’t. This provides you an opportunity to alter your approach and become more adept as you progress. That being said, try to share something every day.
5. Being responsive is just as important as being proactive.
As important as it is to take the initiative, create effective content, and share it with your audience, it’s just as key to respond to them. When others mention or engage with your business on social media, let them know you’re listening by responding quickly. If a positive comment or feedback is provided, let them know you’re proud of giving them a positive experience. If the comment is more negative – but not offensive – engage with them and see how their experience could be improved. Building a big marketing audience is great, but all will be lost if you don’t convert them into sales conversations at some point.
Social media marketing is no longer a channel that you can afford to ignore or neglect as a business owner. If you’re just getting started or want to better your digital footprint, make sure you cast a wide net, balance paid and organic, utilize images, create a plan, and be responsive. If you follow the steps above, you can to take your social media marketing game to the next level and boost your company’s digital footprint. Who knows? You just might end up with more sales leads as well.