A business social media presence bolsters credibility, builds trust, and can be a powerful way to reach new clients. Social media can also turn into a massive resource suck as you spend precious hours and dollars trying to elevate your profile on various apps. The good news is that you don’t have to show up on every platform to make a difference. For most small businesses, a social media strategy will go a long way toward ensuring you’re part of the conversations that make sense for you. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your social media marketing.
Understand where your audience is, and be there
This might just be the most important part of social media marketing. There are so many social media platforms to choose from, and new ones are popping up all the time. You can’t be on all of them, nor should you even try. It all comes down to knowing your audience and understanding where they spend time online and look for information related to your services. If you know your target customer, it’ll be relatively straightforward to research the social media apps used by that demographic. Most people, regardless of generation, use multiple platforms and have differing agendas for each.
A user who spends most of their time on Instagram or TikTok may not be active on LinkedIn, for example. Or, she may use LinkedIn to search for jobs, Instagram to get fashion inspiration, and TikTok for pure entertainment. Knowing what your target customer looks for on each platform can help you to decide where to show up, but don’t let that information stop you posting about your services in a place where your prospective customer may not necessarily be shopping for that at that time. It’s all about catching people’s attention. Know the demographics of your ideal customer or client; their age, location, gender, hobbies, and interests. By understanding your audience, you will know where to meet them.
Visual platforms, such as YouTube or Pinterest, can be a great way to show off products and some services to a younger audience. LinkedIn is a wonderful tool for networking with potential clients, particularly in B2B sales. Facebook currently has the biggest reach, giving marketers the best ROI. However, the audience has shifted to an older generation, attracting less of the late teen/young adult users that it once did.
Have a content strategy that plays to your strengths
Along with knowing where your audience spends their time, know what kind of content your desired customer will value. Although most platforms accept multiple types of media, they each have their specialties. Does your product or service lend itself to lots of visuals? Will you create video content? Do you want to drive traffic to your website to sign up for a membership or download written content?
For product-based companies, visual platforms can be a great option, so long as your audience is there. Companies are able to tell a story through the use of images relating to the audience or develop the persona of the user. If your content is more text-heavy, a visual platform will be a struggle. LinkedIn and Facebook are better suited for posts that use the text portion of the post to educate the consumer. Twitter can be a great tool for sharing articles, blog posts, and other content that might be located on another account or outside of the platform. It’s also known for conversations that happen quickly, so your content won’t stick around for long if it doesn’t quickly gain people’s interest. For companies that produce video content, geared towards a younger audience, TikTok is the place to be at the moment. The platform is created solely for the sharing of video content—both personal and business. The bottom line is that you must know what kind of content will speak to your audience, as well as what your company can reasonably produce.
You don’t have to be everywhere
In your business, you are the expert on the specific problem you solve for your customers. Stick to what you know and don’t try to be everything for everybody. Yes, you may expand over time by adding additional products or services as you grow. The same goes for social media. Stick to the platforms that are most important to your audience, and become an expert in meeting them there. Focus on one platform, adjust your strategy as you go, and learn more about your audience. As you grow and expand, consider adding additional social media platforms to your marketing strategy.
Too often we see companies posting on as many platforms as possible. While it’s highly beneficial to have a social media presence, your efforts can be in vain if you’re spreading yourself too thin. Further, you run the risk of burning out quickly by loading on too much extra work without the infrastructure to help you do it and do it well.
Provide value to your audience
Every post you make should somehow provide value to your audience. Educate them on how you can solve their problems. Make them aware of some of their biggest pain points that they might not even be aware of, and offer a solution. Provide a free content offer. Make them laugh, or at least smile. Whatever it may be, give them something of value. Posting fluff will eat up your marketing team’s time, and it won’t help you achieve your goals.
Aside from providing valuable content, don’t forget that your social media presence can (and should) also act as a way to communicate with your customers. Allowing customers to communicate directly through social media to resolve issues and inquire about services can be incredibly valuable to the customer and the company.
You wouldn’t walk into a networking event wearing a sandwich board and announcing your latest product. Think of social media as the virtual version. Unlike TV or radio advertising, it’s social. If you sound like a spammy infomercial, people will quickly tune you out. While companies do successfully use social media as a way to sell their products and services, it should be done in a subtle way and takes time. Put the content out there organically or through paid ads, and let people come to you. How often have you clicked on an ad because you loved the product, not even realizing it was an ad? Make your content attractive, informative, easy to digest, and subtle. Above all, understand who you’re selling to and speak to their pain points.
Social media can be highly effective in reaching your target audience, networking, and gaining visibility if done well. Having a business profile can also give you valuable insights into your viewers and help you stay aware of your online reputation. If you’re not sure how to add social media to your marketing strategy, send us a message. We specialize in social media strategies that are contextualized into a larger digital marketing strategy, ultimately working to serve your business goals.