While most of us probably log in to our social media accounts on a daily basis, how many really understand the breadth of influence social media can have on sales and the bottom line? Small business owners, as part of a holistic marketing campaign, strategic use of social media can have a huge impact! At a basic level, promoting your content and services on social media can:
- Drive traffic to your website
- Improve your organic google rankings
- Promote your brand
- Help to position yourself as a market-leader
As a starting point, these are my tips on getting started:
1. Choose the right channel… and stick to it
A number of businesses assume that they should take on all of the channels because it will mean access to a wider audience. While that is technically true, it is highly unlikely that you’ll have relevant audiences across all major social media channels. Nor is it likely you’ll be able to maintain all of them, since each will require different posts, and different tones of voice. Do your research to find out where your target audience spends time before committing to a channel. You can always register the handles on other channels, just in case you decide to use them later.
2. Always update your posts regularly
Social media requires ongoing commitment, just like a dog or a relationship! For each channel, there are varying expectations on how frequently you should post. As a guideline to getting started, I’d recommend the following frequencies for each channel:
- Twitter: Daily – twice daily
- Facebook: Every other day – daily
- Linkedin: Twice a week
- Snapchat: Twice a week
- Instagram: Twice a week
3. Use a scheduling tool
I like Hootsuite. It’s what I’ve always used and it’s easy to navigate. The benefit of using a scheduling tool is that you can connect all your social media channels to one dashboard view, and schedule them all in one go. It gives you a sense of the volume of your activity and emails you weekly reports so you can keep track of your performance. Tidy.
4. Promote your own content as far as possible
Simply promoting your website, one page at a time, is not going to cut it on social. To boost your brand, encourage traffic and contribute to your overall content marketing strategy, you’ll need to promote a healthy mix of both your own and external content. Promoting your own content will mean people your audience will become more aware of your brand, but importantly, they’ll also click through to your website. The more traffic that Google sees coming to your site from various sources, the more they’ll recognise you as an authority in what you do.
5. Engage with your communities
Social media is genuinely supposed to be social. You only get out what you put in, as they say. If you’re on Twitter, for example, make sure you like, retweet, comment and reply to comments that are relevant to you. This will help you to grow your social media following and enhance your position online. Equally, when people approach you on social, whether it be positive or negative, you have a duty to respond. Ignoring negative reviews or comments will not make them go away. I recommend responding with a request to take the conversation offline so you can deal with the situation away from prying eyes. No one likes to air their dirty laundry in public, after all.
Before you start, have a think about some of your objectives. Do you want to focus on brand awareness? Increasing the volume of followers? Click-throughs to your website? Whatever it is, note it down and consider how you’ll achieve those objectives. Measurement along the way will help you to refine what works and what doesn’t. From there, you can refine and hone your techniques to ensure you achieve maximum impact and engagement.