There was a time when people looked suspiciously at the blooming era of social media, and they shared very few things about their personal life.
Today social media is the most natural way of self-expression and communication, especially for businesses.
In case you wonder how to reach out to your audience and how to start bonding with your customers, here is your answer: work on your social media strategy.
Don’t let yourself be stopped by biases like some business types doesn’t fit social media, it’s too complicated, or the timing is not right. Social media is for everyone, no matter what.
According to the last report from We Are Social, you can see that 2.307 Billion people are active on social media and 1.968 Billion people are using their mobile phone to check their news feed.
As a small business owner or marketer, you can not ignore these numbers.
I’m sure that you already have at least one (or maybe many) personal social media profiles. It’s the place where you share your family photos, you make them visible for your friends, and you let them keep up with your life, even if they live far away from you.
Social media for businesses is quite similar to this.
Businesses use social media to let customers peek into their communities’ life, to inform them about product changes, to communicate with them and to engage them.
Even NASA uses social media to communicate with people:
Social media strategy for us as a whole has been focused since 2009,” via John Yembrick, the agency’s social media manager.
They have a carefully planned social media strategy, and it’s genius. It works because they share valuable news for their audience and they keep them updated each day.
Businesses are investing a lot of time into their social media strategy to convert people or to keep people as customers. If you are not available right now on these networks, it’s time for a change.
#Tip1: Distinguish your audience
The size of social networks can be easily overwhelming. If you don’t have a clear image in your mind about who do you want to attract with your messages, then it will be heard by no one. The online space is a noisy one, so if you don’t know who you are speaking to, then no one will pay attention.
There are several ways of distinguishing an audience. You can do it by considering some essential characteristics of your customers: age, gender, location, interests, etc.
If you have a very unique product or service, then you should use more criteria in distinguishing your audience on social media: profession, job title, education, relationship status, etc.
If you want to get a little deeper in these criteria, you can check this Hootsuite blog post. They have shared vital demographics of the top social media sites.
#Tip 2: Don’t connect your social networks
Trust me, your customer visits more than one social network a day. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat and LinkedIn are just a few of the most popular social networks these days, and you should consider building an audience by choosing at least three of them, based on your business type and product.
Now that you are on the right way to become a social media guru, it’s time to think about the difference between these networks. Keeping updated every single profile that you’ve created is challenging and time-consuming. It may seem a good idea to connect them and share the same thing everywhere, just by one click.
Don’t do it.
Think about the difference between Facebook and Twitter. Twitter is a continuous discussion with short messages, Facebook is more about visuals. People that are online on Facebook may not be interested in your ongoing conversation on Twitter. Even though it’s possible to post every tweet on both Twitter and Facebook, it doesn’t mean that you should do it.
Don’t forget that social media users can get annoyed by irrelevant posts on their news feed.
Even Chris Brogan says
Don’t settle: Don’t finish crappy books. If you don’t like the menu, leave the restaurant. If you’re not on the right path, get off it.
Overloading your audience may lead to a loss of followers and potential customers.
#Tip 3: Always post considering your customer’s needs
People are following your activity on social media if they are interested in what you share and what you do. They are your potential customers, and they represent a tremendous opportunity to increase your sales.
Your website is your brand’s essential element. It’s the place where people can buy your product or service. Therefore you should push your audience from social networks to visit your website, but be careful with that.[Tweet “Not everything that you do on social media should be about selling a product or a service.”]
Most small businesses are using social media to easily communicate with their customers and to share valuable information, news, and events with them.
Remember: even though social networks already developed solutions to make the buying process more accessible, without leaving the page, some of the customers find it safer to make a purchase through the website.
#Tip 4: Include a Call-to-Action in each banner
You may have heard this a lot when we ’ve talked about good banner ads, but it’s just as important on social media to include a call-to-action. After you’ve shared a message about a new feature or a lower price, let people know what you expect them to do.
Be clear and specific. If you offer more information on your website about what you’ve shared and you want to lead your customers there, just use ‘Learn more’ or ‘Visit website’.
Don’t use anything misleading in your call-to-action and don’t use false promises.
#Tip 5: Start small and grow slowly. Pay attention to Likes and Followers
Social media marketing takes a lot of time.
After you’ve started to share valuable things for your target audience, people will begin to follow you. They will react to what you’ve shared with an emotion, like, comment or share. Once you have expertise and credibility, you become an influencer.
To fully understand what your audience likes, you will have to watch these reactions and to create more of what they like. It’s a full-time job, and you have to incorporate social media into your daily routine.
I would recommend only one or two social networks to begin with. Post something only if you find it valuable for your audience and if it’s somehow relevant to your business.
Don’t overload your wall with meaningless posts, because it may cause loss of followers and dislikes.
#Tip 6: Use Social Media Marketing Tools
As your social media audience grows, you will need a tool to organize and schedule your activity.
Hootsuite is great for managing social media. It allows you to analyze social media traffic, track conversions, measure reach, engagement and campaign results. They also have an Analytics feature which is quite similar to Google Analytics. You can see demographic data, location, gender and so on. You can also compare two different campaigns to see which one performed best.
Sprout Social is another great option. With its easy-to-use interface, you can quickly generate social media reports, and you can also compare your performance to your competitors’.
If you want to monitor your brand’s name on social media, I would recommend Mention. When people talk about your brand, your industry, and your competitors, you can monitor them all in one place, and you will save a lot of time for yourself. Mention is a great media monitoring app, combining web and social networks too.[Tweet “Social media marketing should be part of everyone’s marketing strategy.”]
It’s a great way to communicate with your potential users and to convert them into paying customers.
It also keeps current customers interested in your product by informing them about the newest features, price changes, and common interests.
According to Biznology, more than 75% of customers are using social media as part of the buying process. In case you don’t have a social media plan or you didn’t update your social media profiles for a long time, you should start it immediately!
Is your business already available on social networks? Let us know where!