Social media marketing is a fantastic tool when used properly – it’ll engage new people, keep you in the forefront of the minds of your current customers and drive traffic and sales. Sometimes, though it can also use up lots of time, become stressful with the pressure to create new content every day and feel a little overwhelming.
So here’s some handy hints to help you create an effective social media marketing strategy for yourself, helping you to find ways to improve your content and engagement in small ways each week.
1. Set your goals
Obviously you want more sales, but there are different ways to help that happen. You may urgently need all of the below, but ideally decide which are most important for you right now.
1. Increase likes/fans and followers
2. Increase engagement
3. Increase brand awareness
4. Increase traffic for your website
5. Consolidate your message
6. Become known as a leader in your field
2. Fun Market Research
Back in the day, even low level market research was hard work. It involved customer surveys, phone calls and trying to work out by way of covert operations what your competition were up to. Now things are a little easier if you’re just looking for overview research.
Watching the response to your posts is a great way to get an inkling of which messages are grabbing attention from your customer base. You can check out your competition on their website and in their own social media platforms and look at what’s working for them.
Remember this should be an ongoing fun exercise you do on a regular basis. Also, don’t just look at other small business – keep an eye on the big boys too. The more relevant information you have, the more you can make informed choices.
3. Create a plan
You’ve set your goals and you’ve hopefully now got some inspiration for the sorts of campaigns you can create to help reach those goals.
Now’s the time to think about a plan. How are you going to time your posts? Who are you going to aim your content at? How are you going to measure your results?
While having a plan for the next 12 months is great, don’t let the fear and burden of putting aside that much time hold you back. Think about one month now and then in 2 weeks think about next month. If you build your plan every 2 weeks you’ll have a whole year sorted in no time!
Once you’ve gotten pretty adept at planning your campaigns, start to incorporate mini plans for each social media platform. Remember the etiquette on Facebook is different to that on Twitter and Instagram and so on, so they need a slightly more nuanced approach.
4. Content is King
If you’re just starting out then it can be difficult to get content right so you’ll need to test different mediums and approaches. The key is to make sure every post has a reason. In other words, don’t post any old thing just for the sake of it.
As you go along, monitor what works and what doesn’t. When you get a really good response to something, think about how you can replicate that… without just posting the same thing every day.
Remember my top social media mantra “You can either be useful, interesting or funny” in your posts. There is a 4th hidden option, controversial. But be very wary as that’s best left to comedians and talk show hosts (and Lady Gaga).
5. Post Regularly
Be consistent and remember to keep up the momentum. Ideally, as a small business, you’ll be posting every day. You can get away with every other day, but your engagement is likely to be slower and results less noticeable.
If you have less than 5000 likes on Facebook, then posting once a day is ideal. If you have more than 5000 likes then you might want to start thinking about posting 2 or 3 times a day.
Twitter and Instagram are great for being able to post more often so posting 3 times a day (as long as the times are spaced out) is a good thing to do also.
6. Visual Posts
There are lots of different types of posts you can put out there, but remember to grab attention visuals are best.
Photos are the obvious visual post, but you can also use videos, graphics, diagrams and memes.