Social media has grown over the years and became more suitable for businesses and organizations instead just individual users. Nowadays, social media and networks are the main focus for every marketing campaign and advertisement that businesses can come up with. Companies that are not leveraging the potential of social channels and the benefits they offer for business promotions are falling behind.
However, social media does, in fact, look like a competitive battleground these days. The main reason so many companies are focusing their efforts on social media marketing is that it offers the best way to reach the target audience and establish relations with them. In addition, it’s the best way to spread the word quickly and cover a large number of people in a short period of time.
For instance, there are nearly two billion Facebook users in 2017, which makes spreading the news fast and easy. Another great feature about social media that makes it so popular is that it allows small businesses to quickly build their online presence and increase their awareness. That’s quite beneficial since there are around 543,000 small businesses starting out each month in the U.S. alone. Here are a few social marketing strategies that every small business owner should be using.
Define Goals You Want to Reach on Social Media
Social media and networks offer a wide variety of ways to extend your reach and improve your business. However, trying to leverage every opportunity at once may be more than small businesses can handle. That’s why it’s of the utmost importance to clearly define your social media goals and develop a strategy that will help you reach those goals. For instance, this year, your small business needs to grow revenue, increase the brand awareness and boost customer engagement.
Those are the three goals you should focus on and find the most effective ways that will get you there, so don’t try to drive more traffic to your website or generate new leads while you’re strategizing on your current goals. Instead, focus on what your business really needs and do it effectively, because focusing on additional goals may strain your budget, as well as your time and, in the end, you may end up doing everything poorly.
Leverage the Influencer Market
One of the best ways to attract more customers or generate new leads is to leverage social media influencers. Influencer marketing is one of the most efficient ways of spreading the news fast and delivering your company’s message to the audience. The main reason is that influencers drive the crowd and have an army of followers that accepts every trend they promote.
You may be surprised that word-of-mouth recommendations influence 20 to 50% of purchases. As a matter of fact, 49% of consumers on Twitter look for reviews from social media influencers and 20% of consumers stated that a tweet from an influencer inspires them to make their own recommendation to friends and family, while 40% of consumers on Twitter stated that a tweet from an influencer encouraged them to make a purchase. Therefore, leveraging a social media influencer may boost your sales and further promote your business, through direct word-of-mouth recommendations.
Invest in Paid Advertisement
Paid ads allow you to efficiently deliver personalized content to individuals on social networks. The main reason as to why you should invest in paid advertisement in 2017 is that social networks are reducing the amount of organic traffic made by companies and organizations in the newsfeed of individuals and prioritizing posts from their friends and family. The new algorithms make sure that an individual’s newsfeed isn’t cluttered with content from various businesses.
For instance, organic traffic on Facebook has dropped by 52% in 2016 and will continue to decrease in 2017. Social networks are focusing on the individuals, while at the same time forcing businesses to start using paid advertisement to have their content seen. However, it’s not all bad because social networks are offering additional features and more benefits to businesses that use their paid services. Even though social networks will become paid channels for content distribution, it’s still a good investment to opt for paid ads and deliver your content to individuals on social media.
Understand Social Media Demographics
There are many people that inhabit social media, around 2.8 billion worldwide. In order to successfully plan out and execute your promotions and social media marketing campaigns so that they can have the most impact, you’ll need to understand the social media demographics. It’s the best way to identify where your target audience spends the most of their time. Also, the understanding of demographics helps you create strategies for your campaigns and discover new ways to reach your customers or potential customers.
Furthermore, you need to know every little detail about your target audience so you can create and distribute top quality content to them. For instance, what’s the average age of your target audience, and which social media platform do they inhabit the most? It’s also important to know what percent are women and what percent are men in your focus group, so that you can adjust the content accordingly. Also, knowing where most of your audience lives and what their average income is will help you develop your strategies further. All the information you gather from demographics helps you to better understand your target audience and how to best tailor both your message and your offers to them.
Create High-Quality Content
Content is king and it will be the king for years to come. Placing high-quality content on social media is the surest way of getting attention and attracting more visitors, that is if your content is relevant to your target audience. Relevancy is the key to the acceptance of your content, because your target audience expects relevant information. In fact, 70% of consumers in the U.S. stated that they get highly frustrated when they receive content that isn’t relevant to them, while 61% of consumers state that relevant content is highly important to them.
If you want to create flawless content that you know your audience will love, then the best way to do it is to offer them paid surveys in return for their feedback. Your audience will more likely open up when they know they have something to gain and the information you collect will prove invaluable when creating the content for them. The most important thing to remember is that your content needs to be creative, innovative, entertaining and very informative aside from being relevant, so that it will become widely accepted among your target audience.
Remain Consistent on Social Media
Social media promotions and marketing campaigns demand a lot of attention. However, it’s not only your promotions that demand attention, but your social media presence as well. It’s important to understand that an effective social media strategy doesn’t only consist of personalized content and spot-on promotions, but of establishing relationships with the target audience and maintaining those relationships as well. The most important factor in your social media efforts is consistency. Whether you’re updating your status on Facebook or promoting something on Twitter, consistency is what your audience will truly value.
For instance, if you’re updating your audience on the latest features in your product then make sure you answer all the questions they may have on time. Don’t leave them stranded for days at a time before you start answering or replying. Consistency is a sign of a lively business that engages its customers regularly and your audience will appreciate the fact that you always have time for them. The same goes for delivering content to your audience because consistency proves that you’re committed and determined to deliver valuable information to your viewers and followers.
Encourage Your Employees to Engage the Audience
Social networks are a great place to leverage employee testimonials and employee advocacy. If you leverage team work and encourage your employees to start sharing content or to simply engage with your target audience on social media, you’ll be able to maximize your efforts and extend your reach on social networks.
Another great reason to ask employees to help out is to get more organic traffic on social networks and work around the algorithms. That way, your employees can share content and testimonials with their friends and family, as well as promote your company further on social media. After all, both the employer and employees are on the same team working towards the common goal, which will benefit everyone.
As Patrick Lencioni, a bestselling author, said:
“Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage…
If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.”
Surviving the competitive market and staying on top of the game can prove quite difficult for small business owners. Luckily, social media networks offer countless opportunities for various businesses to truly stand out in the crowd. The key is to pick the right strategies and have enough innovation and creativity to make something unique.