Social media is everywhere. For many people, social media is used daily for entertainment, socialization, and even news consumption — myself included.
Additionally, over the last two decades, it has risen as one of the primary marketing channels.
With over 40% of the world’s population on social media, it’s critical your business devise an effective social media strategy to reach your intended audience.
In this article, I will discuss five important social media marketing tips that every small business owner should know before paying for social media services.
- Know what your competitors are doing on social media
- Have a content strategy and be patient
- Engage with your audience online
- Post value-added content on a regular schedule
- Keep you website design current
Know what your competitors are doing on social media
Why perform a social media audit? One reason is to see what your competitors are doing on social media.
Do a Google search by typing in some keywords or phrases you want to rank for.
“Dry Cleaners nearby.” “Accident Lawyers in NY.” “Yoga classes near me.”
Look at the first page results. It will tell you who is ranking for these particular searches.
For each search result that looks relevant, click the link to visit their site. Look on their websites to see what social networks they are on. Most websites will provide links to this in their header or footer. Click these links to see what subjects they are discussing and how many people liked or commented on those posts.
Look at who they are following and click through to those people. Are they influencers relating to your business?. If so, jot down their social addresses.
Who is their audience? How often are they posting? All these tactics will give you valuable insight into the content / topics that you may want to pursue on your own social pages.
Have a content strategy and be patient
If people are the heartbeat of social media, content is the blood. It’s your content that people see and respond to, and that communicates your values and messages.
Just creating content and posting it on social media is no guarantee of success. You need to make sure there is a consistent style and “voice” that your business uses to communicate effectively with customers. Each brand and each company has a different voice, message, goals and an overall different approach to strategy. It’s important to discover YOUR brand’s voice and see what best represents your goals. Most important is having a clear strategy rather than haphazardly posting content on an irregular schedule.
Finally, you need to be patient. Getting organic traffic takes time. Work with a social media marketing specialist who will put together a social media calendar, create your content, post it on a regular schedule and regularly evaluate its impact.
Engage with your audience online
It is not enough just to post and pray for engagement. You need to actively interact with your customers through comments and discussions to keep them thinking about your business and brand. Running special offers and competitions online for your customers is a great way to promote online engagement and supporting your offline advertising campaigns.
Post value-added content on a regular schedule
What will help draw people to read your content is providing value. It does not matter whether you create the content or you are sharing someone else’s content. When was it written? If the post is more than 6-12 months old, it may be dated already.
If you are considering sharing another writers content, find out who wrote the article. Content written by a known author is likely to get traction, no matter what the topic. Will the topic/article/post resonate with your audience? Sharing content from a lesser-known individual also has its benefits. You get to introduce a new expert to your audience. Just make sure they have excellent content and an easy-to-read style.
Regardless, don’t share content passively. Make sure it adds value to your social presence. That will in turn add to your authenticity and that trust of your brand.
Keep you website design current
Website designs change frequently. Generally speaking, if you have not updated the look and feel of your site in the last 3-5 years, you are probably overdue for a redesign.
It is important for your audience to see your business and brand as current. Websites that look “dated” indicates to your customers that you don’t really care about appearances, which also indicates that your business is not as concerned with usability and technology which reflects poorly on any business today.
Your website is the first place most potential customers will visit to find out more about your company. As the old saying goes…first impressions count. Consider the following:
- Is your website search engine optimized (SEO) to drive traffic to your site?
- Are your products /services explained in simple terms that anyone with a 6th grade reading level could understand?
- Is your branding and voice consistent throughout your site?
- Are you making proper use of popups, landing pages and blog posts to help convert visitors into customers?
- Is your content Responsive? – meaning, is it optimized for desktop, mobile and tablet devices?
Your website’s design is very important when it comes to providing your users with a great experience. In order to be deemed as professional and trustworthy, you must avoid the common mistakes that many business owners make when choosing a website designer.