Social Media is now a vital part of promoting your business. Your customers are online and if they cannot find you, then they will find your competitors and you will lose out. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in; you need to have an online presence.
This comes with its challenges for every small business. You are running your own business, trying to keep on top of the day to day running of the business, accounts and everything else that comes with that as well as having a family life and still managing to have a social life – if you’re not already asleep on the couch by 9 pm!! So, how do you find the time to stay on top of your Social Media, engage with your audience and grow your business online? There are a few ways to deal with this. Social Media takes time, planning and nowadays if you really want to grow – money.
No. 1 – Plan Ahead
If you can possibly get a few hours that you won’t be disturbed and can really focus, we always suggest planning ahead. Looking at what is hot in your industry right now, what events are going to be coming in the next few weeks that are relevant to you is always a good way to see what kind of content you are going to post. You also need to look at whether or not you are comfortable making videos that you can edit and post or if you are going to write a new blog for your website or maybe you will just stick to posting photos. By having a plan, you will at least know where to start. If you make a plan, stick to it. Your business is not going to grow if you are not putting the time and effort into it. If you simply cannot find the time it is a good idea to hire in someone who can take care of this for you. Here at Elevate Marketing, we offer social media management and marketing packages that can take this pressure off. (I will add a link for more information at the end)
No. 2 – Know your audience
Who is going to buy your product or service? Who are they exactly? Is it going to be mainly male or female? Are you trying to target a young or more mature customer? What platforms are they using?
I was recently hosted a training day to new business owners on Social Media and I began by asking them what platforms they were working on and while there was a variety overall most thought that once they had a website and a Facebook account, they were good to go. This led to them losing out on so many business opportunities. We need to start by looking at who exactly we are trying to target and where they are currently hanging out online.
No. 3 – Know what platform is right for your business
Knowing what platforms each demographic is using will give you a head start. There is no point pouring all your energy into Facebook if your target consumers are only using Instagram. Are you getting involved in the right topics/conversations on Twitter? Having this information at the start will help you in the long run.
No. 4 – What is the best time to post?
Like posting on the right platform, knowing what day of the week and time of the day that your followers are online is also particularly important for your post’s engagement, likes, shares and the all-important conversions.
No. 5 – Customer service is now online
Did you know that customers now expect you to answer them within one hour when they interact with you online? Being able to engage with your customers online helps you to build trust and to build your business with a solid brand that people will go to in the future.
No. 6 – What metrics are important to you?
What is the goal of the campaign? Are you trying to grow your followers, generate more leads, build your brand or increase web traffic? Measure what results you are getting based on your Organic posts and your Paid posts separately. For example, you can use paid campaigns to increase brand awareness, but measure acquisition and engagement for organic social posts. Make sure to align your social media goals with your overall marketing strategy.
No 7. – Build Relationships
There are countless amounts of opportunities for you to engage with your followers on Social Media. Each platform is different, but they are all open for conversations. Depending on the tone of your account you can even have some real fun with this. One of the main things I try to work with clients on is to create both visibility and credibility for their business and brand. By engaging with your customers, you can build trust, and this will lead to more credibility in your brand. People learn to trust you by getting to know who you are, they learn what exactly you do day to day in your business and your brand becomes top of mind for when they need your product or service in the future. We all know that creating new customers costs more money than keeping customers so keeping a loyal solid customer base is crucial to any business.
There are also pitfalls to this, we have all seen accounts who are trying to cause a reaction and are known for tongue in cheek comments and while this can get the coverage for a while, mocking or abusing negative comments should not be what your business wants to be remembered for. It goes back to the old saying the customer is always right and while this may not be the case 100% of the time, trying to help your customer and fix their issue will gain you loyal followers, in the future.
No. 8 – Ask someone else for their opinion
People often create a website that looks good to them or creates advertising that they like. You should be thinking like a customer, which is why asking for an outside opinion always helps. When you run a small business, you eat, sleep and breath your business so what makes perfect sense to you might not make sense to the people you are trying to reach. Bonus tip – try to ask the opinion of someone that you know that is in your ideal customer group