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social media marketing

Social media marketing is one of the best ways to promote your small business.

Here's a fun fact for you: Go back in time to 2008 (that was yesterday, right?), and you'll discover that only 10% of Americans had social media accounts.

It's hard to comprehend that minuscule figure. Social media has evolved into a central part of most of our lives. We use it to stay in touch with old college friends, get tips on weight loss, or fight our corner in a political debate.

Naturally, with social media playing such a pivotal role in our daily lives, your business must adapt to this changing world of online marketing.

To help you, we've put together our definitive list of 21 tried-and-tested social media marketing tips. 

1. Craft a Content Plan

Your social media content needs to be coherent. Your social media feed should be an effective ambassador for your brand.

That means planning content ahead of time so that what you post aligns with your brand and your broader business strategy.

You'll need to create a content plan calendar. There are plenty of free social media calendars online, or you can craft one yourself.

These calendars are typically matrix-style forms with columns and rows. You can jot down the type of content you intend to publish on your social media profiles, what time and date you intend to publish, and on what platforms.

Don't forget to think about mixing up the types of media you use. Customers love to see various images, videos, and memes when browsing social media. 

2. Invest in a Scheduler

It takes time to grow your social profiles and gain followers. The best way to do that is to post high-quality content to your account and do it regularly and consistently.

The challenge for many small businesses is that trying to focus on social media consistently every day is not that easy.

Client responsibilities and product launches get in the way, to name just two of the multitude of tasks most entrepreneurs have on their to-do list. 

Instead of trying to do this labor-intensive task each day, invest in a scheduler that will automate your social media activity. A schedule will allow you to publish hundreds of content items according to your set timetable.

The other great feature of most modern schedulers is that the data and analytics collected help you optimize your social media strategy.

You'll learn the best times to post, how to connect with your most receptive audience, and what platforms are generating the most high-quality traffic for your website

3. Pick the Perfect Platforms

Is social media success waiting for you on TikTok? Perhaps you're wondering if Facebook is too dated for your modern brand. Should you duck out of posting on argumentative Twitter?

There is no correct answer. But there is one definite rule to follow when adopting a social media platform: Quality trumps quantity, and if your time is limited, it's best to concentrate your efforts on a handful of platforms rather than attempting to master them all.

Choose the most suitable platforms for your target audience. Profile your ideal customer, and use your information on demographics to figure out the best platform choice for your business.

Another way of choosing the best platform is to pay for a small amount of advertising. The response from that advertising will tell you more about whether there is a receptive audience with whom you should connect. 

4. Focus on Your Customer Avatar

The risk with social media is that your carefully crafted content will fall into a sea with millions of other pieces of content. It will become lost and won't create the impact you want.

You can avoid this by focusing your social media strategy on a very finely-tuned target audience.

To do that, create a detailed customer avatar. You'll need to include basic information on their demographic profile. Still, you also want to take this one step further for social media.

Think about what motivates this person and why they are on social media. Discover the types of content they love on social media and the types of accounts they tend to follow.

The more you know about your customer, the more effective will be your content strategy. You'll learn about the right hashtags to use, and you'll learn where to go on social media to find your perfect audience. 

5. Think Relationships, Not Followers

Do you still think of social media as a numbers game? If so, it's time to rethink that strategy.

There was a time when you could get away with simply adding thousands of followers to your account and running promotions to that vast audience. Those days are past, for two reasons.

First, it's harder than ever to grow a more extensive follower base. Second, even if you have many followers, social media platforms make getting your content shown on each follower's feed increasingly tricky.

Instead, approach your social media accounts as an online space where you can build deep and lasting connections. Start a one-to-one conversation with those interested in the content you publish.

More meaningful relationships will make your audience feel valued, and it's a highly effective way of turning a follower into a customer. 

6. Try Social Listening

If you use a scheduler, invest in one that offers social listening tools.

Social listening is the ability to monitor keywords and hashtags to get a quick overview of what people are discussing at any moment in time.

Some big brands use social media to monitor their brand name. They use that to respond quickly to positive or negative conversations happening online.

But social listening is also a helpful way to spot trends. When a keyword or phrase grows in popularity, you can use that information to create a relevant and timely promotional campaign. 

The pandemic is a good example of where brands can quickly adapt to trends.

Home delivery demands surged when people went into lockdown. Some delivery companies saw a spike in complaints about late or missing deliveries.

Suppose you were a delivery company that differentiated your brand with premium customer service.

That would have been an excellent opportunity for you to launch a promotional campaign sharing the positive experiences your customers have had with your company.  

7. Get to Grips With Analytics

Most social media schedulers come with built-in analytics platforms. But many companies don't make full use of this suite of tools. If that's you, you might be missing out on a valuable business asset. 

Create a custom report that outlines the most critical data for your business. Here's the type of information you'll want to capture:

  • What posts had the highest engagement
  • What time of the day your followers are most active
  • What day of the week your followers are most active
  • What content generated the most clicks through to your website or landing page
  • How your accounts are changing over time (follower growth, for example)
  • How many views do your videos receive

Get into the habit of checking your social media reports each day. It will help you manage your social media priorities while keeping your workload relatively low.

8. Have a Goal

Ultimately, social media is a means to an end for small businesses.

You must have an end goal in mind to get the most out of your social media strategy. Doing so will give you something to measure and help you stay on track with your social media campaigns.

Here are some ideas you might want to consider as your social media goal. Your goal could be one or many of these objectives: 

  • Boost sales over a specific period
  • Grow an email list
  • Generate new business leads
  • Launch your business
  • Launch a new product
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Reach a new demographic

Establishing these goals will also help you communicate your needs when working with external agencies on your social media strategy.

Our expert social media marketing team can use these goals to help you achieve measurable results for your business. 

9. Check Out Your Competitors

Take the time to monitor your competitors' activity on social media. That isn't simply to ensure you are keeping up with other businesses. It will also inspire you to think of new ways to approach your social media strategy.

The easiest way to monitor your competitors is to follow them. Still, there are also plenty of social media tools that will automate a lot of this activity for you. 

You can see what brands are making an impact in your niche by monitoring keywords.

You can see how an audience reacts to your competitors' promotions on their social media feeds.

You can also attempt to spot new competition entering your marketplace. That will give you time to think about how you can adjust your business promotions to counter an increasingly crowded online market.

10. Make It Fun

Social media might be a central part of your digital marketing strategy. But that doesn't mean it has to be boring and corporate.

Websites tend to take a more formal approach to content, with messages that communicate the features and benefits of whatever service (or product) you sell.

But you can relax a little when it comes to social media.

It's a more informal environment. You can shake up some of your content and make the whole experience more fun for the person in your team who takes charge of social media.

Don't be afraid to share some memes or respond to customers' comments with a fun and friendly reply. You could even reveal some mistakes your business made recently. You'll seem more human.

One word of warning, however: Stay away from political messages unless you support a cause central to your business brand.

11. Start a Trend

It's easy to follow trending hashtags. But have you ever considered starting a trend from scratch? That is more achievable than you might think and doesn't require the difficulty of that ever-elusive viral post to make it happen.

The best way to start a trend is by encouraging your followers to post their content to a hashtag of your choosing. You can incentivize this by running a competition.

Try and get some influencers involved, too, as their sizable audiences will help you get some momentum going. 

With an attractive prize and a good buzz, it's possible to get your hashtags trending on social media, and that will introduce a fresh new audience to your brand. 

12. Promote on Special Dates

Social media regularly embraces special dates in the calendar. You are likely to see themes such as Thanksgiving and Black Friday trending in the run-up to those days.

That allows your business the chance to run a promotion that ties in with dates that have a special meaning to your target customer.

For example, a gift company might choose to run a special promotion in the run-up to Father's Day. 

Start by reviewing key dates that happen through the year and circle those you think might be of interest to your customer. Do plenty of research and look for some of the less apparent dates.

These more unusual dates often trend well, but you won't have as much fierce competition standing in your way.

For example, Grandparent's day is an excellent opportunity for a gift company. With this trend, you can get noticed more effectively than you will with significant dates like Christmas and Mother's Day.

13. Hire Micro-Influencers

Influencer marketing is still popular and a proven way to grow your brand on social media. But nowadays, the real success lies in hiring micro-influencers.

Micro-influencers have a good following in a specific niche. Their followers are often more highly engaged than followers for some big celebrity influencer accounts.

You won't pay the same sky-high rates you'd need to get a high-profile celebrity to promote your brand. But you'll still get a well-known influencer telling their audience how fantastic your product or service is. 

Opt for more than one influencer and focus your search on those with a niche audience that fits well with your business brand. 

14. Experiment With New Formats

Suppose you have a long-established Instagram account and regularly post new images to that account. You may want to mix this up by experimenting with Instagram reels and see what response you get from your audience.

Audiences like to see brands trying new things and daring to be different. That means keeping up to date with new features that the major social media platforms release to their audience and testing these out for yourself.

Don't worry about getting things wrong. One of the great benefits of social media is that if you create content that falls flat with your followers, you can delete it.

15. Revamp Your Account Profile

When you've been on a social media platform for several years, it's easy to forget about your profile page. But a good profile can considerably impact your ability to turn followers into customer leads.

Take stock of all your current social media profiles, and compare them to your peers' and competitors'.

Could your brand benefit from a more engaging description? Should you add some hashtags? Are your call-to-actions strong enough to entice people to check out your business website? 

If you choose to hire an agency like ours, it's worth getting your existing profiles audited. An outsider can sometimes step back and spot problems or opportunities that you might not see. 

16. Focus on Customer Service

Some companies have done a fantastic job of boosting their brand by using their social media accounts to provide swift and friendly customer service.

For example, UPS has a dedicated customer support handle on Twitter. Customers can tag the company with their support queries, and since a support team operates it 24/7, you will get a swift response.

The beauty of this approach is that if your business excels at customer service, you can show that skill to the world (and your potential future customers).

What's more, it will save you time, effort, and money building a more sophisticated online support website. 

17. Amplify Other Accounts

It's easy to forget the social aspect of social media. It's a collaborative environment, so don't use it to post endless content promoting your brand, or you risk your audience becoming bored.

Instead, discover the most interesting, diverse, and uplifting content on social media, and share that content with your followers.

Not only will your audience enjoy this range of content, but you'll also find it helps boost the level of engagement you get from your followers.

That, in turn, will help your brand get seen the next time you want to publish a promotional offer.

18. Survey Your Audience

How often have you explicitly asked your audience what they want from your social media account? For many businesses, the answer is never.

The truth is that most of us are good at creating content that looks like many other social media accounts. Still, we forget to start at first principles and check with our customers to find out what they need. 

Create a simple survey and post it on social media. Here are some ideas on the types of questions you could ask:

  • What motivated you to follow our account? 
  • What type of content do you prefer to see?
  • Would you like more exclusive offers on our social media feeds? 
  • What can we do better?

Take the time to craft an easy and fast survey to complete with a fun and attractive incentive for people.

Avoid a cash incentive, however. Go for an offer that ties in closely with your core service or product so that only your target audience completes the survey. 

19. Experience the Power of Testimonials

Some companies, particularly in the beauty industry, have long understood the power of testimonials on social media.

But you don't need a before and after make-up reel on Instagram to get the benefit that testimonials and customer feedback can offer to your social media profile. 

Ask recent customers for a one-comment statement that you can post on your social media. An even better option is incentivizing customers to send in a one or two-minute video testimonial.

Publishing regular testimonials can help convert those customer leads who are still sitting on the fence. So you'll see an improvement in the number of referrals you get from social media and your sales conversions too. 

20. Redesign Your Visuals

Social media users scroll through their feed so fast that your post will likely get missed if you don't have something that looks bold and eye-catching.

Think about using a consistent font and colors to help your visuals tie in with your logo and website. Keep visuals striking and straightforward; complex or small fonts are difficult to read on mobile devices.

An agency like ours has the experience to produce beautiful, bright, and unique visuals that can help showcase the best of your brand.

That means you'll get better engagement on your account. It also means that your social media visuals will align perfectly with your brand and look professional

21. Partner With Another Brand

A partnership is a beneficial strategy for small or new social media accounts. Search for a brand or business that aligns with your own company avoiding direct competitors, of course.

Together, agree to promote each other's content and accounts regularly.

When partnering with a similar-sized account, this strategy enables you to double your audience overnight, without the usual cost of doing that via paid advertising. It's a win-win for everyone involved. 

Social Media Marketing Tips to Transform Your Promotions

Don't get caught out by the fast-changing world of social media. Take full advantage as a small business by adopting these practical social media marketing tips. 

Of course, the wise and fast way to generate a social media marketing plan is to hire experts to get it done for you. We're here to do just that, and you can take the first simple step today by booking a call with our team.

We'll find out your small business needs and help you put together a social media marketing strategy to reach your business goals.

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