Whether you are new to social media or you've been at it for a while, it may be time to rethink your strategy. So many of the small business owners I speak to know they should be on social media, but beyond setting up an account and making a few posts, they aren't sure what to do next. Figuring out a social media strategy can be daunting. Here are some quick tips I have found useful.
Quality over Quantity:
While it may seem like we all need to be on every social platform (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), it's best to focus on quality over quantity. Figure out where your target audience is and then choose one or two platforms where you can best reach them. One of the reasons people stop following a business on social media is that they are too quiet. If you create a social media account and then don't post consistently, then you may have been better off not creating it at all. Don't overwhelm yourself. Large companies have a presence on many platforms, but they also have a whole department dedicated to social media. If you are just starting out and are doing this yourself or with a small team, start small and build from there.
Have you determined what your goals are for your social media strategy? Of course, we all want to drive more sales, but social media is more about connecting with customers, building relationships, brand awareness and customer service. You will need to build trust and loyalty before you start seeing new sales from your efforts.
You need to remember that your presence on social is another extension of your brand. If you are inconsistent with your messages, replies, and content, that will reflect poorly on your business. Make sure that everything you post (new or curated) is something that aligns with what you believe. Be sure your voice (the tone and feel of the words you use on social) reflect your brand personality (serious, fun, friendly or quirky). Folks may have started following you on social because they have heard of your brand before and like you, but if you aren't meeting their expectations, you may lose their interest.
Think about the reasons YOU might follow a brand on social media? Are they providing you with interesting articles that educate? Do they post fun videos or gifs that entertain you? Remember the term "EDUTAINMENT" - Education and Entertainment. Provide content that your followers perceive as valuable, and you will likely retain your audience.
Some of the top reasons people unfollow a brand include:
Too many promotional messages (not enough valuable content)
They post too much
They don't post enough
They don't reply to messages sent through social media
Some of the top reasons these items above occur:
You don't have the time to dedicate to a social media strategy or respond to comments and messages
You haven't identified the correct audience to target
You haven't come up with a plan to schedule content
Some Quick Tips
Facebook: Almost everyone should be on it. It's like a modern version of the Yellow Pages. Try to post 1-2x per day.
Instagram: It's growing fast and has a focus on visual content. Post 1-2x per day.
Twitter: Has lost of content that makes it hard to stand out. Tweet about 3-10x per day.
Pinterest: Has potential to drive sales and traffic but requires a lot of content and time. Post 5-10x per day.
Snapchat: Appeals to a younger generation and will help you develop relationships. Post 5-20x per week.
LinkedIn: Great for brands looking to connect with customers. Post 1-2x per day.
Look to your peers and competitors to see what's working. If something isn't working for you, try something else. Be experimental.
Read and digest all curated content you are sharing and be sure it aligns with your brand voice (curated content refers to anything you share, but didn't create yourself.)
Check out my other blog article regarding social media.
What is your social media strategy?
If all of this sounds like a lot to you, choose consistency. If you like to only post once per day, stick with that. Don't post just to post something. Make sure each post has a purpose towards your goal. Remember that you will get better over time. Marketing on social media is a constant learning process that works best when you are open to the idea of experimenting with what's best for you. What works today might not work tomorrow. These platforms are changing the rules every day and it most essential to learn to adapt and focus on your goal.
Looking to discuss more of your marketing strategy? Let's chat!