You heard promises of huge growth if you just started marketing your business places like Facebook and Instagram. You know a huge chunk of your audience visits social media at least once a day, so it seemed like a good idea. So you took photos, maybe shot some video and started posting. Very little happened.
Social media is tough. Part of the problem is with business owners’ expectations. Some expect social media marketing to be free and the results to be immediate. Like everything worthwhile, it takes time and money.
If you’re feeling frustrated, you’ve come to the right place. We’re about to show you how to use social media marketing for word of mouth referrals, to create a buzz and to build a loyal customer base. Let’s get right to the checklist.
Know Your Audience
If you’ve noticed, we say this in almost every one of our articles. Traditional in-your-face sales techniques broadcast to everyone don’t work anymore. You need to make a personal, intimate connection and to do that you have to know who you’re talking to.
Social media allows you to refine messages for a target demographic. Look at your best, most loyal customers and see what they have in common. They may look different and come from all over the place, but find commonalities in their age, gender, profession, family income, industry or business type etc. Seek also to uncover what are their favorite social media platforms.
Target The Right Platform
People might have accounts for multiple social networks, but they visit them for different reasons. Unless you have unlimited funds, you want to focus on the ones most likely to bring them to you.
If you try to make an impact on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat and YouTube all at the same time, you’ll stretch your time and budget too thin. Here are a few of the current trends you’ll want to know.
- Twitter – 80 percent of Twitter users aren’t from the United States. Of the overall 326 million adults who use Twitter, 259 million are international. Platform users tend to have a higher income and education level than those of some other networks, and they’re more urban than rural. Pew Research found 46 percent of Twitter users in the U.S. visit at least once a day.
- Facebook – This one is still the most popular, with a quarter of the planet’s population checking in at least once a month. Sixty-two percent of American men and 74 percent of women said they used Facebook in 2018. Ages 18 to 49 are most likely to check in frequently, as are individuals with incomes and education across several levels. Also, 51 percent of users check in multiple times a day.
- Pinterest – Pinterest has fewer users, but they’re shoppers, with 61 percent of pinners buying after they saw something on Pinterest. Females are more likely to visit and engage, with the biggest age groups between 18 and 49.
- Instagram – Users tend to be younger, and they’re drawn in by Instagram’s simple, visual displays. Teens and young adults prefer posting to this photo-heavy platform, and it’s slightly more popular among women than men.
- LinkedIn – This one is for professional networking, and can be great for B2B companies. Users are more likely to earn above $75,000 a year and are evenly split between men and women. The biggest age groups are between 25 and 49. About half have a Bachelor’s degree or higher.
Your business should be on the platforms your customers use most. If you’re just starting out, Only target one. Once you have success there, you can branch out.
Complete Your Profile
We see a lot of business owners skip this step. When you create your business profile, fill out every single field that applies to your business. Even the ones that take time to figure out. Think it through, look it up, and make sure it matches your website. Your business name, address, phone number and hours should match what’s everywhere else online. If it doesn’t, it can create a problem with search engines.
Your profile photo will show up everywhere your business appears. It’s best to use your company logo.
Create Winning Content
Don’t just post sale ads. You worked hard to gather information on your target audience, now put yourself in their shoes. What do they want to see that relates to your products and services? Think in terms of being helpful, entertaining, informative and engaging.
At Spade Design, we work with SMART goals. It’s best to set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-sensitive goals for all your digital marketing activities. For social media marketing, create a content calendar.
So what exactly should you post? Here are a few ideas for your content creation calendar:
- Photos of your staff working behind-the-scenes to highlight company culture
- Company blog posts
- Industry news
- Curated content from others in your industry
- Questions or polls
- Videos that explain your products
- Customer testimonials in print or on video
- Posts that show your company’s holiday spirit
- Industry related infographics
Post systematically according to a plan, then start gathering data. Note which posts get the most engagement and create more of that type.
How often should you post? It varies, but for most businesses, there’s a better question. How often can you regularly provide excellent content? Don’t schedule TGIF memes once a week just to put something out there. Everything you post should offer value and be for a purpose. Emphasize quality over quantity.
If you can, post once a day. After that, it depends on the platform. With Facebook, posting more than twice a day doesn’t generally lead to higher engagement, so only post if you have something important. If you have great images and users are responding, post to Instagram up to five times a day. The average tweet is around for about 18 minutes, so post your content, useful articles, tips and industry publications frequently.
Don’t just schedule your posts and walk away. Part of growing your audience involves interacting with the ones who follow you. The other part is reaching out industry leaders and influencers.
When your customers ask questions and make comments, try to respond every time. When they see you’re active through social media, they’ll engage with you more. If you ask for their feedback through comments or a poll, when they give it be sure to express gratitude.
Thank customers for positive reviews and respond to negative ones. Come up with a strategy for queries through Facebook’s messaging app. If you know you can’t respond outside of business hours, set up an auto-response and get back with them when you promise to do so.
Listen for mentions and respond quickly. Comment on peoples posts to score brownie points with your audience.
Get Measurable Social Media Management
Social media management can more than pay for itself and start generating traffic and revenue when it’s done correctly. Spade Design believes social media marketing should be fun and engaging, but it should also get results. We’re a leader in social media management because we tailor our services to your business and allow you to finally start seeing increased traffic and sales. Get in touch to find out what a difference that could make for your business.