Top 5 tips for Small Businesses new to Social Media Marketing
45 million people across the UK use social media. Making this, a critical part of any business strategy. If you're a small business, taking their initial steps into the complexities of social media marketing, then this blog is for you.
It is rather obvious that over the years, social media has become one of the best forms of communication. Whether it is between friends and family, brands, or even meme pages, social media has truly become one of the largest forms of both communication and relationship building. Over the past decade, there have been a vast number of social platforms come and go, with few and far dominating the market.
Social media is one of the best ways to both connect and interact with people who already love your brand. Whilst this is key in customer retention, and the overall customer lifetime value, social media marketing is also important for reaching those who haven't heard of your business yet.
Getting familiarised with social does not necessarily have to be 'scary', or even costly. With these top 5 social media marketing tips, your small business will be able to build brand awareness, drive sales and even reach new markets.
Build your Social Media Strategy
Social media and the tools at your disposal are relatively easy to use, with organic posts free to publish. But, as tempting as it may be to simply dive in and start posting, it is crucial to ensure you have a good plan in place.
Without a social media plan, you have no set goal in place for what you're trying to achieve. This would mean that you will be unlikely to measure your results accurately. For instance, if you have an objective of generating £5,000 in ROI through your social platforms, it is important to create content tailored for this - subsequently, allowing you to then measure the performance of your social presence via specific metrics.
Be sure to take time to create a social media strategy which specifically outlines, including your business goals and your campaign theme. This ensures that your efforts towards your social presence are concise and aligned with your businesses goals.
- Set goals and objectives for your social media platforms. Create goals that follow either the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely) or RACE (reach, act, convert, engage) framework. From this point, you will be able to base your goals on metrics that will have a impactful result.
- Research your competitors. A prime area of interest when developing your social media strategy is researching into your competitors. Actively socially listening into how they are using their social platforms can truly open a whole new world of opportunity. Learning from what they have done or are doing, can be a time-efficient way to learn more about how to effectively utilise your social media strategy.
- Carry out a social media audit. For those of you who are already using social media, then this will be a fantastic way to elevate your platforms. Taking a step back and evaluating your existing presence, as well as authority on the platform can make the world of difference.
- Find inspiration. Now that you have seen what your competitors are doing, you'd have developed somewhat of an insight into what content you could publish (tailored to your company, and not a direct copy of course!). However, researching into other industries and businesses may just be the final push you need to develop some truly distinguishable content. Take inspiration from what you find and incorporate it into your strategy.
- Create a social media calendar. Social media calendars are an effective way in ensuring your posting the right content to the right platform, at the right time. This should also include some kind of plan for your content mix. The 80-20 rule is an ideal way to start off your social presence. Using 80% of your content to inform, entertain, or educate your audience will be an ideal way to generate interest around your business. Whilst the other 20% should be used to promote your brand / sell your products. By using this rule, you can retain your audience's interest, whilst still having room to achieve your business objectives.
Decide which platforms are suited for your business
It is important to recognise, that each social platform is uniquely different. Whilst each platform have the same 'objective' in mind, they differentiate from each other remarkably. Identifying exactly where your audience spends majority of their time online is a key given when taking into consideration what platforms are ideal for you.
Currently, the main platforms used globally are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tik Tok. Despite this, the social platforms you choose does not have to be black or white. Using a variety of channels and segmenting your audience across each can be an efficient way in achieving diverse business goals.
Distinguish your audience
One of the several reasons that social media is so effective for a business is due to the capability of micro-targeting your audience.
Begin identifying your audience by gathering data on your current customers, this will benefit in developing the bigger picture. After doing this, you can start to get an idea of the demographics of your customers, subsequently leading you to a better idea of who your audience are.
Once you've developed a clearer picture of who your audience are, you can revisit your social media strategy if needed, otherwise you can move straight onto looking for ways to reach more people similar to them.
A unique benefit to social media marketing for small businesses is that it enables you to speak directly to your customers and social network. Over time, relationships can be built, leading to a higher retention rate of your existing customer base.
When users engage with your content, it is ideal to engage back. This can truly help building and forming trust between your brand, and your customer base. As your audience engage with your content, you will begin to rise in social algorithms (exposure of your brand or content through your users interactions - thus leading to content being shown on user's feeds who do not follow your account) which will lead to further exposure.
Track your performance
Once you begin implementing your social strategy, be sure to keep track of what seems to be working for your business, and what is not. After reviewing your performance, you can begin refining and adjusting your social efforts and improve results.
Measuring the performance of your social platforms is a crucial way to understand your audience's interactions with your account. Additionally, measuring the performance of your efforts thus far can present to you, exactly how you are performing against your business goals and objectives.
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