If you’re looking to dip your toe into the ocean that is social media then here are five tips to get you swimming in the right direction.
With 44% of small to mid-sized business (SMB) decision-makers using social media and reporting higher sales and customer engagement, it’s important your business online profile is properly managed.
1. Make a commitment to social media
The first thing that businesses and entrepreneurs can do to succeed is make a commitment to social media. Like any other form of marketing, social media for businesses can be a real challenge. It’s hard to grow an audience, create great content, and increase engagement. And some businesses give up on social media after just a few months.
In our experience it can take eight months to one year to really get the hang of social. Not only to get a consistent content stream going, but to figure out what works with your audience and what doesn’t.
Planning is key. Write down your social media strategy which should include a basic company mission statement, content plan and goals. And most importantly, a powerful statement on ‘why‘ people would follow you on social media, what kind of content you plan on creating and posting and what you hope to achieve.
2. Understand your audience
This is a big one and a point many overlook. Social media is broad and diverse. Keeping up with all of available channels can be an overwhelming and fruitless task. Instead, focus on who your target audience is – if you need help with this then head over to our blog A Proven Way to Attract More Customers.
Focus on the social networks that provide the best opportunities for you to connect with your target audience. And this is why you need to understand your audience. The specific nature of your business and industry will have a big impact on what platforms your audience uses. If you’re targeting over 45 year olds then Facebook might be the best place to be. If your product is very visual then Instagram might be your platform of choice. And if you need to reach a professional audience, then LinkedIn will probably be the solution.
Here’s a great external blog on How Different Generations Use Social Media Apps. Now this doesn’t mean limiting yourself to a single social media platform. But by understanding your audience and focusing your efforts on the most relevant sites, you’ll get better results for your time and investment.
3. Be active
This may seem obvious but it’s important enough to reiterate. A half-hearted commitment to social media marketing is really no better than no commitment at all and can make your online profile appear stale and out of date. Jump in and stay in. With the speed of social media, you need to make sure that your business is posting frequently and consistently. If you allow your business to become lax, you’ll quickly lose followers and fail to attract new ones.
Video marketing is one of the most talked about topics in social media right now and so here are a few strategies to create awesome video content.
Many people say that they struggle with about what to create video about. Try these ideas:
- Look at what works well on your blog content and create videos around those topics.
- Look at your competition’s Facebook Pages to see what kinds of videos they are posting.
- Look outside of your industry at other brands to see what recent content they producing.
The key is to start with what works and gain some confidence.
- Video length is important. On Facebook, for example, the highest engaging videos are between 60-90 seconds. The second highest are between 30-60 seconds. Same holds true for Twitter. So keep your videos short and to the point. Save the best for first.
- If you’re going to feature a person (or group of people) in your video, you’ll need a good lavalier microphone, natural light from a window, and a tripod. Sound, lighting, and camera stability are key in creating a quality video.
- And if animated or text-only video are more your style then all you’ll need is great resource for stock video, quality background music, and a video editor. A great site for stock video is Videvo and Lightworks is a powerful video editor.
For some more video tips read our blog Can Video Produce Better Sales.
5. Goals and Measurement
Our final piece of advice for marketing your business with social media is to make sure you are clear about your goals and how you measure your social media success. You need to know not only want you want to achieve with your social media marketing efforts, but also whether you’ve succeeded. It’s pretty standard to track social media activity, but a lot of businesses fail to connect these measurements to actual outcomes.
As the saying goes, if you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it.
Take the time to develop a thorough, achievable set of goals that you think social media marketing can help you to achieve, and then invest in the analytics and other tools you’ll need to determine your success or failure. Depending on these outcomes, you can adjust your strategies going forward, making your social marking efforts even better in the future.
You can set goals and objectives to analyse virtually any variable in social media marketing, from the best blog post length, to most popular type of tweet or hashtag, website visits and more. Use analytics tools to gauge what is working best and what is not.
So now it’s time to jump in, look at your business and see how the above fits in. Still paddling in the shallow end?