Even with the high usage of social media these days, there are still a lot of questions being raised about it. The most common one is probably about the whole purpose of it. And you’ve probably asked this misguided question yourself. Hey, this is not a blame game, there are no wrong questions. It’s just that purpose and benefits are plenty and pretty much obvious. The real question, however, should be about how to achieve and use their purpose for success. If you already haven’t given a thought of attending to social media, you definitely should.
If you don’t have the time or resources to manage social media, you could always use a social media management tool like DrumUp to simplify the process.
To read more about how you can simplify (and automate) social media marketing in 13 steps, refer to this post.
Yeah, But Why?
If you’re a small business it’s alright to ponder the question. But given the popularity of social media and taking into consideration of how everything is online these days it should be a no brainer. Sure, you may have a successful business without having to use social media. But, what lies beyond is just so good to miss.
This is another big topic to write on, but just for a little heads up, you’ll seriously improve your image, start creating meaningful relationships that can turn into business success stories as quick as that. Everything you do online and on social media makes you so much faster and ahead of the others than in real life.
Of course, there are a number of strategies and tips you can use for your social media marketing activities. However, a whole lot of those online are for businesses that already undertook certain activities and have been present on socials for some time now. This doesn’t mean they are forbidden to use.
However, if you’re a small business looking to get your piece of a pie in a relatively small time frame I recommend concentrating on these six:
#1 – The magic number three
Social media presence is a must for any business these days, but the only way you will benefit from social media is to actually use it. Use it in a smart way, that is. That’s why picking 3 channels and turning your focus to them rather than handling 5-6 at the same time with less focus might be a great thing to do.
The reason is simple, you’re merely experimenting for now and are just making your entrance. If you attend to every social network out there, you’re just going to get lost. No matter how tempted you may be, in this case, less is definitely more.
For all of you who are at a starting point, it’s even better to go with just one social network and you can gradually work your way up. Starting with the one you’re most familiar with may be the best option.
And even if you have a lot envisioned and are can’t wait to put all the content you prepared for your social media three channels are really enough. You can even diversify your channels and see how that goes which brings me to the next point.
#2 – Divide and conquer
You can pick the kind of content goes on each social network. What this gives you is a place for every of your diverse ideas. This way you won’t create a clutter that in the end just confuses your audience and sends a wrong message out.
For example, share all your articles and interesting reads on Facebook with a video and photography or a video of everyday office life every now and then while Twitter can be used for discussion provoking content or vice-versa. There are plenty of options and you can always think of what suits the best for you.
The idea is to use every social platform for one main activity. For the latter mentioned magic number three this is what it could look like:
- Facebook – mostly sharing your own blogs and promo, activities in groups
- Instagram – everyday happenings at the office and creativity
- Twitter – short updates, article sharing, networking with other businesses and your followers
This will also give the focus channel for each and every follower from your target audience. We’re not saying that manipulation is what you’re seeking to use here. It’s just a good way to imagine each channel to be a group that will reflect a certain part of interest for your audience.
#3 – Sharing is caring
Of course, social media is here to promote yourself and share your own updates but it’s also great for networking and building relationships – both with your customers and other small businesses. Your social feed should include sharing articles from other sites as well as yours, and communication with other businesses.
You should always care more about the value of the information you’re sharing rather than the source. This will keep your audience engaged and sooner or later will create some serious business contacts. Remember to stay relevant and consistent to your core work and content that goes with it, rather than losing yourself and your brand identity in the stream of non-relatable information. Consider yourself to be a grand promoter of a thing you believe in and you’re bound to make that social master level in no time.
#4 – Why so serious?
Marketing is definitely a serious business, but social media is fun (most of the time). It’s actually a big combination of both. You should be mindful about what your headlines and content are and at the same time be fun-loving and goofy. Sharing and posting some funny updates like gifs, memes and especially emojis and using them is a great way to get attention and to spread a word. They are also a great way to encourage activity and engagement on your socials as people just love tagging and sharing fun things with their friends.
Be brave about your fun side and throw in some jokes when engaging with the audience. People just love this and a good joke won’t hurt anybody. Many brands have already made a social media success through this kind of activity. Be careful, however, your jokes should be finely tempered and well intentioned at all times.
Wendy has become an absolute hit.
It just adds to exposing your brand as a tangible and being down-to-earth, rather than having that strictly corporate and business note. You’ll definitely strike a chord with people and they’ll love you more for it. It’s all about your audience having that emotional connection with you, and happiness and fun times are the strongest ones.
#5 – Make a claim – Kick-start a discussion
Don’t forget about the “social” part of social media – engaging your followers in discussions about current topics is one of the most powerful things you can do on your socials. Always seek opinions for your own products/services or even on the latest episode of Game of Thrones. Or make a connection between the two, and compare. Now, that’s where the imagination and creativity will come in handy. Using them will just spark endless comment notifications. There are lots of examples out there and you don’t have to be as extravagant. But doing something unusual and creative with which your audience can relate will come a long way.
Things just don’t stop there as that number of comment you just got isn’t only a pretty accomplishment on your page. Lots of possibilities come from this kind of activity. My favorite one is that it’s an awesome way to use those conversations as future content ideas. What’s more rewarding than using the voice of your audience in creating that new content piece? It just strengthens the connection and roots your brand closer to their heart.
#6 – Don’t forget about “media”
Just like the social part, keep the “media” one in your plans as well. People just love multimedia, visuals, videos, gifs – you name it. Add images and videos to your daily social media schedule. If it’s funny or interesting then it’s shareable, if it’s shareable then it will attract more and more people. You should always have fresh materials in stock if you decide to use this kind of activity as people will start to expect them. Especially if they’re catchy and good.
Consider the use of live videos as well. These are just great, and again go a level deeper into connecting with the audience. It’s sharing a piece of your daily life and this is what counts and shows openness to hang and have a good time. After all, 69% of the online present companies invest in their video content so you might consider getting in on the ride. Remember to keep them interesting and not to do them for the sake of it as this will only get the people bored instead of eagerly awaiting your next creative piece.
#7 – Bonus tip
Don’t forget or ignore the fact that the advertising through social channels is a must these days. Not just because of the lower price than through the Google Adwords, but also the fact that there are numerous options to segment and reach to your target audience.
For example, the image below shows just the top level of segmentation criteria available on Facebook Ads platform.
Many marketers would highly recommend using ads on at least one of social channels (for example Facebook as it’s the biggest one).
Social network users, Source: SmartInsights
Advertising on social media has become so popular that most of the businesses are now using it. The idea behind it should not be aggressive selling, but doing same things you’re already doing with existing fans and audience. Except now you’re not targeting just your existing audience, but the one you’ve segmented and consider possible future customers. This is where the magic happens. You’re getting a percentage of genuinely interested and attracted people who’ll love to see what you have to offer and this is where you are using your social media’s full potential.
Martina Stričak is a co-founder of Diversis Digital and Point Visible. She is a digital marketing addict with years of experience, who also enjoys graphic design, both @work and in her free time. And yes, she loves to travel. To travel a lot.