Whether you have recently started your new business, or have been running your small business for a while, one of the main things we are sure you are focusing on is your social media appearance.
Digital marketing has certainly taken center stage for most start-ups and small businesses globally when it comes to marketing. Not only can you reach larger audiences quicker and easier, but it can be more cost-effective too.
Research shows that 77.6% of all small businesses rely on social media for their marketing, with Facebook being the primary platform that is used.
About 90% of all start-up marketers say that social media has increased their brand awareness, while 75% say that it has driven traffic to the store. And the stats aren’t only coming from the companies.
One in three customers says that they go and check the social profiles of companies before actually buying from them.
So, what do you need to do to get your social media off the ground, and what steps should you be taking to reach audiences that you never would have been able to before? We broke down some key pointers to help you get started, and succeed on your social media journey.
Automate As Much As You Can
Let’s be frank. Social media can be incredibly time and resource-consuming. If you are running a full business by yourself, and trying to manage the social media aspect too, you will know how much time and effort it takes to get regular posts out across the various platforms.
The trick is to plot out the content in advance, replicate it for each platform, and then adjust it slightly to suit the different platforms. Instagram can take a bit more content, and hashtags can get your content seen by more people, while Facebook needs stronger CTAs and offers a wide variety of posting options.
Get this all planned out first and then use social media management tools to help you get it scheduled for the upcoming week, or even month, and let them do it automatically. Not only will it take hours off your day, but all of your posts will go out at the same time, and as planned.
Map Out A Strategic Content Plan
We cannot stress just how important content plans are. Ideally, you should be planning your content for the whole year as a basic idea of what you can include seasonally. Thereafter, you can flesh it out monthly, and if need be, add in some last-minute content that has come up.
Content should focus on key events (festive season, Black Friday, etc.) and industry-specific calendar events.
You can also work content around trends that are popping up (COVID-19 sparked a plethora of new content) and relevant product launches and specials that you are having.
Let’s take a look at an example. Let’s say you are a pet food and accessory retailer. A line of dog food will be going on special next month, and you want to advertise that.
The first thing to do will be to write a blog around the topic, something like Five Reasons Why Your Dog Is Putting On Weight.
WordPress makes it really easy for you to create informative and educational blogs that include relevant subheadings, keywords, and CTAs that take you to the relevant product pages.
Social posts can be created, banners made, and all of this, including the blog, can be sent out in emails and posted on social media. Remember, the more content, the better.
Factor In Affiliates and Influencers
Let’s face it, your social media can only take you so far if you are not putting some money behind it. So, you will need to get some partners and affiliates to get the word spread on your incredible offerings.
We mentioned blog posts earlier, well, these are perfect ways to get your content out to other sites and partners for them to share.
Look for highly reputable sites though, and not just any site that is willing to share your content. When it comes to your SEO, Google picks up on your link building, it actually ranks you according to where links are going to and coming from.
But it’s a matter of quality over quantity. So rather approach sites that have a good reputation. In this way, not only is your brand being seen by its audience, but it is being ranked by Google as well.
The next thing to look at are influencers. Now, we are not talking about a celebrity who will charge you hundreds of thousands of dollars to put up a poorly-thought-out copy-and-paste post on Instagram. Micro-influencers have very specific, targeted audiences that they actively engage with.
So, look out for someone who is an expert in your industry. Remember, you want to be educating and informing people on your brand, so find someone who will be able to add to that and actually provide their and your audience with useful, empowering content.
Test Everything. Yes, Everything!
One of the only ways to really perfect your digital marketing and social media strategies is to continually measure and monitor the success of it. How much traffic is it bringing in to your site? How many click-throughs are you getting?
What’s your lead count for your campaigns? How many opens are you getting on your emails and how many click throughs to the Facebook pages or landing pages from there?
It is integral to keep an eye on this at all times, and luckily, you can with the platforms. Facebook and Instagram give you metrics of how each campaign performed. You can see how many people the post reached and how many actually clicked on it to go through to your site.
You can then use Google Analytics to measure the traffic to your site. It provides you with detailed information about how visitors behave on your site and where they become leads or bounce off the site.
Use this information to test everything that you post and put up. Watch the success rates of each post and then mold future content and posts around what works. You will soon start picking up a pattern of what hooks your customers and what doesn’t.
In wrapping up, one of the most important things to consider in your social media strategy is customer experience. Remember, you need to make sure that each and every touchpoint reflects your brand and your company’s key messaging.
So, having that reflected on social media is key. Images, content, and posts need to be brand-aligned.
Customer engagement also needs to reflect the brand identity, so if you have instant messaging available (highly recommended), make sure that your customer is talking directly to you!