Are you looking forward to finding new customers on the internet?
Whether you own a startup or a small business, social media is one of the most widely used platforms to connect with your customers. Today, there are over 2 million active account holders worldwide, available throughout the day on one or more networks. Developing a well-planned social media campaign can help your business to spread brand awareness, grow faster, and communicate with the consumers.
If you are not using social media yet to establish brand identity, herein are some of the tried and tested ideas to get started talking about your business without seeming too promotional.
1. Plan Your Social Media Strategy:
In order to succeed amid the neck tight market competition, you must have a well-planned social media strategy. It is extremely important to develop a plan before you start posting on social media. The marketing across social media needs to address your business goals to engage the customers, direct them to your website, keep them informed etc.
Take enough time in planning the social media strategy while ensuring you address the following areas before proceeding any further:
Understanding Social Media Goals:
This is the prime consideration for every business when it comes to planning social media objectives. Set up realistic goals that are relevant to the type of product or services you intend to promote, track and attain.
It is important to realize that your social media goals should not be limited to gathering likes or shares. Your efforts should be directed towards acquiring customers, addressing their requirements, establish communication and relationship, and maximizing the conversions.
More or less, the majority of the marketers leverage efforts to achieve the following social media goals:
- Build brand identity online
- Direct traffic to the company/business website
- Engage and communicate with the consumers
Competition Research and Analysis:
This stage of your planning is time consuming but helps in your overall learning about the social media trends that can actually prove beneficial for your business growth. Answer the following questions to decipher the competition:
- Who are the prime competitors on social media?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- What is working well for their business and what is not?
- What is their promotional strategy?
- How well they communicate with their consumers?
The learning process helps in gathering insights on how to conduct marketing across different social media channels. While it is not suitable to copy others, it will still help in designing a similar promotional program to get started.
Content Distribution Strategy:
Every social media site is different and so is the audience on the platform. Research well about the websites where you want to post promotional content to drive traffic to your website, interact with the customers and so on. Your content should not sound too salesy to the audiences. Provide contents to engage, educate and inform your audiences. However, it is good to mix up some promotional contents to create brand awareness, sales etc.
Apart from knowing the right content for the concerned channel, it is also necessary to schedule your social media calendar. Publishing worthy content at the right time is the key to success. Set up your calendar for the coming time so that you can follow that when posting contents.
2. Knowing Your Customers:
This is the first step towards your business marketing campaign. Unless you know your customers and their interests, problems, needs or expectations, it is not possible to succeed with the social media marketing goals.
All your efforts in designing contents, scheduling posts, or page design can go into vain if you do not build an active customer base keeping them engaged and interested for a long span.
What is the best way to identify the target audience on social media?
This is where a lot of brand owners get stuck and confused.
It is not your goal to reach out with the brand message to everyone on the channel. It is all about connecting with the right people at the right place.
An ideal way to find the people interested in a similar product or services is to use relevant search terms. Try using different keywords (including semantic keywords) or phrases that you think your target audience may use to find a solution to their problems, for buying similar products etc.
3. Choosing the Right Network:
Every social media website is different and so is the need for curating content for marketing your business on the platform. Formatting contents for each channel can be time-consuming and tiresome during the strenuous process. If you own a small business or in the process of launching a startup, it is best to go by the words of several professional marketers. Most of them opine, that it is good to pick one or two platforms where promoting your stuff can be relatively easy.
By far, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are among the most popular platforms channels to reach your target audiences.
4. Proportionate Content Balance:
Content plays the most vital role in engaging your audiences, educate them about the products and services your brand is selling, motivate them to respond to the call to actions (CTA) and much more. Categorize your posts into promotional stuff and informative matter. You can create posts that are entirely promotional.
Maintain the right content mix of promotions within a piece or text or image you publish on any social media channel. If you create one overly promotional post, make sure to include at least 20% informative stuff in it. However, one such post should be published in a series of 6 to 8 informational contents to keep the audience waiting for more.
How to write a good social media post?
- Ask interesting questions relevant to your business to start a conversation
- Start a vote or contest
- Encourage your audiences to share their opinion (you may give prize or discount offer for the winner)
- Give reward points for participating in conversations, taking votes etc.
- Use a different language when posting the same content across multiple channels
You can always promote your business in the informative posts as long as it has very high-quality content.
5. Building Trust and Customer Relationship:
This is where social media outruns all other forms of marketing.According to the research be Social Media Examiner, 79% of marketers consider social media as the most effective platform to find “loyal followers”.
How to build “loyal fans” on social media?
It is easy to build customer relationship on any social media channel, provided you are managing your business page following the tips below (as recommended by leading digital marketing professionals worldwide):
- Provide as much information as possible including address, contact information, website (if any) etc.
- Develop and publish contents that are interesting and informative to the audience
- All information should be unique and genuine well presented with interesting images, graphics or videos
- Never attempt to copy anything from any competitor’s page (you can always follow similar pages for inspiration and research purposes)
- Respond to the queries, comments, messages, and feedback from the customers at the earliest
Note: It is extremely important to respond to the audiences at the earliest. Receiving a customized reply always feel special and overwhelming. Taking time to reply to the messages or comments may direct the potential leads to the competitors who are doing a good job faster.
6. Be Fast and Responsive to Your Target Audience:
As discussed earlier, social media is the best platform to build a relationship with business associates, professionals, and even potential customers. Once you create a compelling business profile and start posting contents, you will eventually start receiving queries, feedbacks, comments and of course several likes from people who wish to receive new updates about your business.
What is the best way to respond faster to the audience?
This is a question for several business owners who find it difficult to manage enough time to view the business page throughout the day. Well, you do not have to keep a track of the messages throughout the day. Schedule a time at least twice a day to view your profile to respond to the queries.
Research shows that audiences who receive a response within 12 to 24 hours are likely to stay connected for future updates. This may also influence their purchase decision as well.
7. Conduct Social Media Audit:
Are you running a social media campaign for a while? Are you dissatisfied with the results?
If “yes”, it is time to audit the social presence of your business/brand.
Taking an audit helps in getting insights about what has proved beneficial for your business and where you need to improvise. This helps to plan the strategy for the future, update the business profile, and much more.
8. Building Brand Awareness:
Creating brand awareness among the potential customers is one of the most important goals especially for small businesses.
The customers tend to buy products or hire services from a brand or company they know and trust. Social media surpasses all other forms of marketing when it comes to reaching out with your brand message to the right audience much faster and in an easy way.
Professionally developed company logo on your profile page creates an impression on the visitors. You can spread awareness through different forms of content including infographics, explainer videos, images, humorous graphics etc.
You do not have to shell out huge investment to launch a social media campaign for your brand. With these best social media practices, you can start creating compelling posts to rise high on organic searches. This means you can do a lot of promotion free of cost, provided you excel the marketing strategies following the rules stated above.
Do you have any social media marketing tips for small businesses? Please feel free to share your tips on social media marketing in the comments.
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Alex Ibrahim is naturally passionate to write articles on different niche like business, digital marketing, SEO, health and travel. He is also passionate to promote business by high quality articles. He naturally write articles by day and read at night. He is now executant of TravelatDestinations