Whether your business has had a presence on social media for years, or you’re just now thinking about getting started, social can be a highly effective marketing channel for many businesses. In this article, we review:
- How to use SMART goals to better craft your social media strategy
- How to better understand your target audience and competitors
- And more
Creating social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, TikTok, etc. are all free. That means that it’s possible to build a highly engaged social audience and begin funneling real leads and prospects to your business without spending any money aside from what you spend to execute your strategy.
Aside from the economics, social media marketing is effective because social media is where people spend an increasing amount of their time online. By embracing a social media strategy, you are meeting your potential buyers where they are, increasingly the likelihood that your content and message will reach them and resonate with them.
Download our free Social Media Checklist for more great advice and tips.
Consider these statistics from conversion marketing software OptinMonster, that illustrate the importance of social to most modern businesses:
- 73% of marketers believe that their efforts through social media marketing have been “somewhat” to “very” effective for their business
- Social media has a higher lead-to-close than outbound marketing
- 78% of salespeople engaged in social selling are outselling their peers who aren’t
Social Media Tips for Small Businesses
1. Find the right platform.
As you likely already know, there are many different popular social media platforms. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn are some of the more “established” players, but Snapchat, TikTok, and Pinterest are rapidly gaining traction amongst younger audiences, and new platforms emerge every year. When deciding which platforms you weave into your social strategy, it’s important to consider which platforms your target audience use.
Because Facebook has the most active users (at 2.7 billion people), we believe that all businesses should weave Facebook into their social media marketing strategy. Creating a Facebook Business Page is a relatively easy way to begin growing your audience, and comes with powerful tools like analytics and advertising that is unavailable to regular profiles.
Finally, Instagram currently rounds out the top three with 1.2 billion active users. If your business involves visual aspects, Instagram can play a powerful role. Creating an Instagram account for your business brings many of the same benefits as does Facebook.
2. Choose your goals.
In implementing any strategy, it’s always important to start with a goal. We recommend the SMART Goals model, which involves identifying goals which as Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based
When starting your social media strategy, ask yourself what objectives you are looking to achieve. Do you want more followers? Trying to increase engagements? Looking to produce more sales and content via your social media accounts? Do you want to improve other metrics? Understanding what you want out of your social media strategy is key to a successful business.
3. Target your audience
Understanding who you are trying to reach (your target audience) will help you achieve your goals.
The simple truth is that different people like to use different platforms, often for different purposes. Younger audiences have recently gravitated toward platforms like Snapchat and TikTok, for example. Professionals have gravitated toward LinkedIn. The list goes on. By understanding who you are targeting and what channels they are most likely to engage with, you can prioritize those channels in your strategy.
4. Create catching graphics.
Social media is increasingly driven by visuals. Photos, images, and video is what gets people to stop scrolling and actually engage with content. This means you need to include graphics in your strategy.
The good news? You don’t need a fancy, expensive camera or several subscriptions to sites promising graphics. You can create stunning graphics simply by using your phone and a few free (or inexpensive) tools. Eye catching graphics will not only help maintain the attention of your audience, but the aesthetics of your content could also drive sales up.
5. Use tools to help schedule your posts.
If you’re on the go a lot or short-staffed, using applications that can help schedule your posts can be an effective way to keep content continuously happening. Scheduling your posts is an easy way to be consistent in your delivery, while also ensuring that you are posting at the optimal time each day.
At Pepperland, we recommend using HubSpot to schedule social posts. With HubSpot, you can schedule and link posts for LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. There are other platforms such as SproutSocial and Hootsuite that offer similar services.
6. Know your competition.
We’re not telling you to go out and copy what your competitors are doing, but it’s important that you understand their strategy. What are they doing on social that seems to be working? Can you incorporate those tactics into your own strategy? What are they doing that doesn’t seem to be working? Can you avoid those tactics? Knowing your competition not only gives you creative ideas to help brand your business, it also creates a healthy business mentality to keep you focused.
7. Interact and engage with your audience.
It’s very important that you interact with your audience on your social media platforms. Not only does this help increase your brand’s engagement, it also lets customers know that you care about their needs, wants, comments and concerns.
A Key Marketing Channel for Your Business
There’s a lot to understand and know about creating a compelling social strategy. From optimal posting times, to grasping your SMART social media marketing goals, your business will need to know to better aid in branding yourself.
Does your social strategy need a boost? Partnering with marketing specialists can help! At Pepperland, we specialize in inbound and content marketing and can help your business grow exponentially through our expertise and resources. Contact us today to find out how we can help achieve your goals.