Facebook is the most popular social network for small businesses. 86% of small businesses have Facebook pages and 46% of them have Instagram accounts.
While social media isn’t the only important form of marketing to engage in, it’s one you’ll need to pay attention to in 2019 if you want to arm your company with the right tools for success.
However, there’s more to a great social media strategy than simply setting up a Facebook page for your business. What else should you be doing to ensure social media success? Keep reading.
Understand the Effectiveness of Social Media
Maybe you’re new to this whole social media thing. That’s okay. Social media isn’t that hard to get the hang of, but to truly understand it, you’ll want to know how it works for businesses.
Some of the most important facts to consider for social media for beginners are that:
- Social media helps drive targeted traffic.
- It helps you gain insight into your target audience.
- You can build brand loyalty.
- 40% of Internet users follow social media accounts of their favorite brands.
- People spend up to 40% more with brands who engage with them on social media.
Understanding these types of statistics will help you understand just how to harness the power of social media. If you know how to take advantage of the power, you’ll see more effectiveness across the board.
Review Your Social Media Efforts
What have you done in the past in regards to social media? This is a good time to take a step back and look at what’s working and what’s not. Some metrics to take a look at include:
- How have you built your audience in the past year?
- Are you connecting with people in your target audience?
- Are you active on the social networks that people in your target audience use?
- How does your social media strategy compare to that of your competitors?
- Are you achieving business goals by using social media?
- Are you growing your business in a way that you want and need to be?
Answering these questions will help give you a good idea of what you need to do in order to prepare to optimize your strategy.
Make Sure You’re On Social Media
If you’re new to the social media game, then this means you’ll want to start by creating accounts. You can still answer the questions above, but try to think about what you want to achieve.
How do you want to build an audience? Who are the people you want to connect with? What platforms will help you reach these goals?
It helps to set a goal for each social media platform you plan to use. Writing out this mission statement will help you optimize your campaigns and stay focused on the goals for each.
- Facebook is great for advertising to a specific target audience and increasing direct sales. It’s also great for customer service due to the Facebook Messenger option that allows clients to easily get in touch.
- Instagram is great for promoting and sharing company culture. Behind-the-scenes videos uploaded to Instagram Stories and short tutorials help you connect with your audience on a more personal level.
- Twitter is great for communicating with your audience as well, but it’s less used for sales and conversions. If you’re present on Twitter, you’ll want to make sure you’re interacting on a regular basis with your customers.
Revisiting your social media campaigns will help you understand which platforms to use and how to craft a mission statement around each one. Once you’ve got that covered, you’ll want to take another look at your target audience.
Redefine Your Target Audience
You might have created an idea of what your ideal customer looks like. But, you’ll want to do it again.
Your company changes and so do your needs and marketing campaigns. This means that it’s a good idea to redefine your target audience at least once a year.
During this process, be sure to think about things like:
- What is your product or service? Who is it designed for?
- Who are the customers who currently use your product or service? What are customer profiles that they might fit?
- Who are your direct competitors targeting?
- Get specific with your demographics. Think about income level, education level, marital status, and even occupation.
- Factor in the lifestyle of your ideal customer. When are they online and what are their purchasing behaviors like?
Answering these questions will also help you get a better idea of what you’re selling. If you find that your target audience isn’t large enough, then you’ll know that you can tweak your product or service.
If you’re able to answer all of these questions, then you’ll know how to create a great social media strategy for business that works. The content you’ll be creating will be attractive to all of the right people. This will lead to conversions and more sales.
Plan Yearly Social Media Goals
Now that you know what social platforms you will be on and what kind of people you’re going to target, you’ll want to clearly lay out your goals.
What are you looking to get out of social media?
No campaign is going to be successful if you don’t have a solid understanding of what you want to get out of it. To do this, you’ll want to track meaningful metrics. No beginners guide to social media would be complete without discussing the SMART principle.
This principle means that your social media goals should be:
Plan yearly goals that keep these principles in mind. Then, you can move on to measuring more specific metrics.
Track Meaningful, Specific Metrics
Every business is different. The metrics that you want to track might be different from the metrics that are important for another type of business.
Consider taking a look at what your company truly needs to get out of social media. This might include a few things.
Increased Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is a great metric to measure for companies that are just getting started. When you’re building a business you’ll want to build awareness around your brand first, right?
The goal when measuring brand awareness is never about sales or conversions, so if you’re measuring this then don’t expect to be focusing on building sales.
However, you will see an increase in interaction with your target audience and you’ll see more people understanding who you are and what you’re about.
Again, increasing your traffic is a little different than converting visits into sales. If all you’re looking for is a little more foot traffic to your website or eCommerce store, then measure this metric.
Increase website traffic might inherently increase sales and conversions, but that shouldn’t be the main goal. Instead, focus on optimizing your campaigns to push visitors to wherever you want them to go.
This means that if you want people to visit your blog, make this call-to-action clear in the Instagram or Facebook post.
Increased Brand Loyalty
Once people are aware of your brand, you’ll want to foster deeper connections. Instagram and Snapchat are great for this as they allow you to post more personal and behind-the-scenes content that builds trust.
In the marketing world, people call this relationship marketing. You can accomplish this type of marketing by using the help of brand ambassadors, amongst many other techniques. However, the end goal is to form deeper relationships with customers and build trust that converts them into lifetime clients.
Other Meaningful Metrics
If you’re just getting started, it can be helpful to track other things like hashtags or customer comments. Are more people commenting and interacting with your posts? Is there a new hashtag that promotes your brand and its purpose?
If you can answer yes to these questions, it means your efforts are working. If you aren’t quite sure how to answer these questions, then go back and test more campaigns!
A/B testing can be great here, and many platforms provide you with the opportunity to test multiple posts and campaigns at once.
Facebook Ads, for example, will allow you to test multiple images and texts to see how they perform with the same audience. Tools like these are especially helpful when you’re creating your voice.
Take a Look at Competition
As part of this type of competitive research, you can also take a look at brands you love! See what they’re doing and what kind of content they post.
There’s no harm in creating campaigns that are similar to other successful social media efforts you’ve seen from others. If it works, it works.
Take a look at what their audience is sharing and commenting on. Are they particularly drawn to a certain type of content? Do they interact with video more than text?
These are things you can consider when developing your own social media strategy.
What you’ll likely notice in your research is that successful brands maintain a consistent voice and style. If your competition is doing great, it’s probably because they’re consistent.
Consistency is key and it will also help your audience understand what to expect from your brand. If they know what to expect, they’ll continue to follow you and look forward to the value you provide them with.
If you’re providing quality and value throughout all of your social media posts, you’ll find that your campaigns are naturally more effective. Soon, you won’t have to mirror your campaigns after others’ success. You’ll have your own, clear voice that people love and trust.
Follow a Content Publishing Schedule
Once you’ve got all of the details worked out, you’ll be ready to publish your social media content. Great! But, when?
Nothing can crush a well-planned social media campaign like poor execution. So, go and get yourself signed up with some sort of social media planner. To make the most of this tool, you’ll want to create a posting schedule and plan your content wisely.
While you can purchase actual programs that help you with this, you can also go the DIY route and organize a social media calendar. List the times and dates of when you’ll publish your content on each platform.
Take the time to really plan this out. Include everything from social media posts to blogs and even set aside time for responding to comments and questions on your posts.
Then, you’ll want to plan your content so that you’re not publishing the same thing all the time. Typically, experts suggest that 50% of your content should drive viewers back to your blog. 25% of what you post should be from outside sources that help increase SEO efforts.
The rest will feature a mixture of company culture updates and lead generation. Selling tactics come into play here as you’ll need to keep that in mind when creating your messaging.
Make sure you’re posting at the right time. Sunday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday are the best days. Publishing in the morning and around lunchtime are both great ways to ensure that your content gets seen by people as soon as it goes out.
Constantly Tweak Your Social Media Strategy
Take advantage of the analytics available to you and use them to constantly tweak your social media strategy.
No matter how you choose to use your data, you’ll want to ensure you’re always working towards improving your social media content.
Need some additional help? Contact us today to find out how we can work with you to build your marketing strategies and put you on the right track for long-term growth. You’ll receive a free proposal based on your needs.
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