You’ve probably heard social media success stories from other small business owners like yourself and you’re wondering how in the world they make social media marketing work for them. It’s really just a matter of coming up with a plan and sticking to it. In this article, we will give you some items to consider before creating a social media strategy that will work for your business.
As a solo entrepreneur or small business owner, you probably have a lot to accomplish with limited resources. Traditional marketing may be too expensive or may not reach your target market. Social media marketing is cost-effective and makes it easy for you to connect and build relationships with current and potential customers. By using a combination of quality content, consistent posting, Facebook advertising and analytic reporting, you will learn how to reach your target market and effectively beat out your competition.
1. Quality Content is Key!
So, what makes content “quality content”? I think blog posts and social media updates that include case studies and testimonials may be considered quality content especially if before and after scenarios are presented or the benefits of using a particular product or service have been demonstrated. I also like to see valuable information such as tips for using particular social media platforms, changes in industry, new products and business trends. What types of content do you consider “quality”?
When developing content, you should consider your overall goals. Are you trying to raise awareness of the products and service you offer? Generate new sales or boost traffic to your website? Having these objectives in mind will help you build your content strategy.
A good social media strategy consists of three different forms of content: educational, promotional and engaging.
Examples of content include:
Content can be shared on a variety of platforms such as:
- Your Blog
- Company website
- Other blogs
2. Educate your Audience
Use social media to educate your target audience about your business or industry. Share industry related articles to teach or inform your audience. Post information about the benefits of using your products or services. Share related articles and news that your target market wants to see. You want to get the attention of your audience so they will not only share with their friends and peers, but keep coming back for more information.
- Avoid repetition: It’s tempting to frame content around the many different ways that a product or service can help a business’ target audience, but just like the hard sell, if this is all the content you have available, your content quickly loses any educational credibility.
- Use experts: Conducting interviews with industry experts is one of the best ways to provide an audience with quality information they can trust. Whether these come from within a business or elsewhere in the industry, articles with valuable and hard-to-replicate insights go a long way.
- Don’t skimp on engagement: Just because an article is educational doesn’t mean it has to be boring. All of our favorite school teachers were the ones who made their subject leap off the page, and regardless of your industry it’s important not to get so caught up in providing educational value that you forget to be entertaining.
3. Promote your Products and Services
Your audience on social media is already interested in the products or services your business has to offer. It’s a great opportunity for promoting your own business.
A high-quality image and one or two sentences with a link back to your website is an example of the type of promotional content to post. We recommend keeping your posts short, but intriguing. Include special offers or discounts you’re offering for a specific product or service. A good rule of thumb is to post promotional content only 20% of the time.
Examples of promotional content:
- 30% Off All Purcharses
- Sign Up for a Demo
- Try Our Product for 14 Days
4. Content Should Be Engaging
One of the many advantages of using social media is the power to engage and connect with people who may not currently follow you on social media. The ability to share on Facebook or retweet on Twitter, for example, makes it a possibility that your post may be seen by hundreds or go “viral”. An overall goal for any post is for fans to like, comment and share thereby organically growing new fans and followers ultimately leading to an increase is leads and sales. Content most likely to go “viral” for a business, is a funny picture or video that people outside of the industry can relate to.
Examples of engaging content:
- A call to action
- Ability to share
- Facts and links
- Interesting titles
5. Facebook Advertising
Facebook has the largest, most highly-engaged audience, with a significant percentage of the world’s population logging on daily. Facebook reports over 1.19 billion monthly active users and continues to add more each month. For small business owners, Facebook advertising can level the playing field. Ads can be relatively inexpensive and the results can be easily tracked and measured.
It’s more than likely that your target market is spending time on Facebook. With the right types of ads, advertisers can reach more of their target market and build lasting connections with those customers. The two Facebook campaigns that work well for small businesses are engagement campaigns and traffic or conversion campaigns.
If your brand is new to Facebook, it’s imperative to generate a lot of exposure for a low cost. A Page Likes campaign, targeted to your specific audience, is the way to do this. Once people like your page, you can push out high quality content and continue to engage with them.
We recommend using a standard call-to-action (CTA), such as, “like our page now”. With this type of campaign you want to be clear and get your message out. An engaging image and short sentences work well.
Facebook Traffic or Conversions Campaign
If your business already has a strong following on Facebook, a web click campaign is the next type of ad to run. A web click campaign takes the user to a destination off of Facebook, in this case, to a website. The targeting options on Facebook make is really easy to reach exactly who you’d like to reach. With Facebook, you can target an individual based on location, age, gender, specific interests, and more.
A Facebook web click campaign can be a little more difficult to setup. In your ad, you want to make sure to highlight your product or service and show why you are better than the competition. The three important indicators to think about when building a Facebook web click campaign are: understand your audience, have a call to action and address the problem and provide a solution with just a few words.
Following the strategies we have outlined above is great, but if you don’t analyze the results, how will you know if what you’re doing is achieving the results you desire?
The most basic analytics to look at on your Facebook page are people, posts, reach and likes. By reviewing this type of data, you will have a better idea about the kind of content and promotions your demographic will respond to the best. Likewise, by analyzing the data from Facebook advertising, you will see which type of images and text resonate with your target market. Using Google Analytics in conjunction with Facebook Analytics will give you even more insight into your audience and how well your target market is responding to your content and ads.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can use social media to market your business, please contact us for a consultation.