It’s the beginning of a new year, which means a fresh start and endless possibilities! For small businesses, a new year brings opportunities to explore different avenues for growth and success. A major consideration for many small businesses is investing in social media, but it can be overwhelming. Social media is a continually evolving landscape, but understanding the essentials removes the complications and makes it easy for anyone to seamlessly use social media marketing.
There are five tenets of social media that any business can learn and quickly adapt to its industry. Read through our social media essentials for small business and get your social presence off and running.
Align With Overall Marketing Strategy And Set Clear Goals
Before you create any social media accounts, first, you need to integrate your social media marketing efforts with your overall marketing strategy. Although social media started out as a personal, social outlet, it’s evolved into a real and impressive marketing resource for businesses. Merge your social media endeavors with your strategic goals to ensure each campaign has a clear goal and measurable outcome. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Pick The Right Platform(s)
There are multiple social media platforms in the market, but that doesn’t mean your business should have accounts for every space. Do some research and find out where your target audience and current customers are most active. This way, your efforts will reach your largest audience, and you won’t waste time creating content and campaigns on the wrong platforms. You want to most bang for your buck, and putting your time and resources into sites where your audience is active and engaged will yield the greatest ROI. A good rule of thumb is to have one or two social media profiles to start off, and once those accounts are established, consider adding more to your social presence.
Establish a Schedule
Now that your profiles are set up, you’ve got to create and maintain an active presence on those sites. Having a social media calendar helps manage your activity, and ensures you are posting regularly. Consistency is important when you’re looking to grow a community and follower base. When people can expect new posts or content, they’re more likely to return to your page and consumer your valuable content.
Each platform has best practices for posting, so investigate the options that work for you and create a schedule. The hardest part is sticking to it, but with social media automation tools, you can schedule posts in bulk, so in one hour you can schedule a week’s worth of posts, and move on to other marketing activities.
Create Valuable Content
Just like your other marketing efforts, if you’re not providing useful, valuable information, no one will read it. Establish your social media profiles as a place where your target audience can find inspiring quotes, helpful how-to guides, and early access to your new products and services.
An exciting component of social media is that because it is so visually focused, you can repurpose other content, such as blog posts or brochures, and break them up into bite-sized graphics to post on your accounts. Play around in Photoshop or use the a post designer tool to easily make dynamic and engaging posts.
Social media affords brands the chance to speak more casually with their audiences in order to show their true colors and values. Distill your ideal tone of voice by thinking about who your target audience is, and how they align with your values and mission statement. Your tone should work with your industry, but also feel more conversational and encourage dialogue on the platforms.
Followers quickly recognize when a brand is being inauthentic when their responses are canned or they lack emotion, humor, or a human component. Speak to your audience like you’re speaking to a friend you respect. In those kinds of relationships, you can be serious, humorous, insightful, and silly, all while maintaining their friendship and attention. This is what you want from your social media efforts.
Social accounts are great for posting behind the scenes images from your business, as it gives an insider view of your company, or addressing a current issue with your site or products. Being transparent and responsive feeds into your brand’s authenticity, and your audience’s likelihood of following and trusting you.