Social media is a great tool for getting your business and brand awareness into the eyes of hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people. We know more and more people are spending more time on mobile devices, i.e. iPads, tablets, smartphones, and laptops. Most of all businesses today use social media in some form, which makes it a critical part of a company’s marketing strategy.
For small businesses, you or your business may have a small team or only one person wearing many hats to cover all marketing & branding for your company. Social Media may slowly slip to the bottom of the pile. But don’t remove social media out of the marketing plan just yet. Getting started with social media doesn’t have to be over-whelming or intimidating.
We will provide 5 tips on using social media for small businesses. Our simple social media tips can provide you valuable information to get started and expand your business & brand through social media. Before we get started, let’s review the terms Social Media Optimization & Social Media Marketing.
What is Social Media Optimization (SMO)?
Social Media Optimization (SMO) is process of optimizing (or updating) a website so that it can be shown on various social media channels. This will increase brand awareness by using diverse social media platforms to generate viral marketing. Social Media Optimization, together with interesting online content and exciting digital photos/videos, can help drive traffic to your website through user engagement.
SMO can also assist building relationships with potential and existing customers across multiple social media platforms. It is important your company profile in completed in full, which creates a professional experience for your potential and existing customers. Search engines such as Google, prefers to favor profiles with complete information available. Companies and brands can increase the number of interested customers and sales through SMO.
What is Social Media Marketing (SMM)?
Social media marketing (SMM) is the process and use of social media platforms to market your company’s products and services. Social media marketing provides companies with a way to reach new customers, engage with existing customers, and promote their desired culture, mission, or tone. This process is also known as “digital marketing” or “online-marketing”.
SMM is highly effective for building brand awareness, developing community, and getting your content and products in front of new & existing customers. Social media platforms allow you to have the advantage of appealing to a broad audience at once while still the opportunity to gain new customers from your target audience.
5 Essential Tips for Social Media Marketing
TIP #1: START WITH A PLAN
First, start with a plan, you don’t need to plan for each social media platform all at once. Start small and grow as you get comfortable with each platform. Start with the platform that you are most comfortable with and has the right audience for your business & brand. Becoming social media proficient may take some time, but it is valuable way to advertise your company or business. Below are a few points to include in your initial social media plan:
• Identify the need for a social media strategy or proposed paid campaign
• Explain the anticipated result(s) of the strategy or campaign
• Determine the budget, time, and resources required to accomplish the strategy or campaign
TIP #2: SET GOALS
Look at your current branding strategy, it may be similar to what you want to achieve in your social media strategy. Set similar goals that are measurable, attainable, relevant, to your overall business marketing plan. Some individuals like to use S.M.A.R.T Goals to reach and achieve their goals. This method can be used for almost anything. The acronym for S.M.A.R.T Goals is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, & Time-Based.
Often your business objectives will coincide with your social media goals, see below.
• Grow Your Brand = Gain Followers & Likes (Grow Awareness)
• Existing Customer Referrals = Share, Comment, Like (Engagement)
• Gain Leads & Sales = Website Clicks, Subscribed Members, etc. (Gain Conversions)
TIP #3: BUILD A CONTENT STRATEGY
Social media content & strategy often involves the creation of content that is “sticky,” meaning that it will get someone’s attention. When creating your content for social media determine the mix of content, frequency of posts, and posting pace per month or quarter. You can use a mix of original content, promotions, shared ideas, customers stories, etc.
When designing your content posts make it simple, easy to understand, & visual appealing, it may increase the possibility that the potential customer will like, comment, share, or choose to find out more information about what your company offers. Marketing professionals like to create viral content designed to hopefully spread from person to person making your business and brand a well-known name.
Here are a few ways to start using social media for your business:
- Tell your company history story
- Highlight your employees or staff
- Build brand awareness
- Unveil new products & services
- Share relatable content
- Educate your customers about your products or services
- Highlight great customer reviews
- Show your community support
TIP #4: USE #HASHTAGS
Hashtags have become increasing popular with social media marketing. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and pretty much all other top social media platforms integrate hashtags in some form or way. Users and businesses use hashtags because it is easy to track & categorize your social media posts.
Hashtags can also help with social media optimization by making it easier for customers to find your content and give your posts the additional reach to potential customers. Hashtags will also allow your content to be found even by people who aren’t following your business page.
Even though you may think hashtags can seem like a random cluster of words, there is often a strategy involved in using them. Here are a few tricks to get the hang on using hashtags effectively on social media:
- Look at the industry leaders and influencers, what hashtags are they using?
- Before adding a hashtag to your posts search for trending hashtags for your industry to see if you can relate them to your business or brand.
- Take it upon yourself to create your own unique hashtags to track specific social media marketing campaigns.
- Keep up with the trends, that’s of course what social media is all about, mix it up and insert your own style.
- Focus on quality hashtags not the quantity of overusing them.
TIP #5: MEASURE YOUR PROGRESS
Now that you implemented your social media strategy from your plan, followed your goals, created content, used hashtags, it’s time to measure your progress. It’s important to keep a record and track your campaigns, use a spreadsheet, google sheets, outside tool, or create your own.
Tracking your campaign progress will be one of the most important outcomes of executing the social media strategy for your business. Find out what worked (got the most likes, engagements, shares, comments, or sales) and what did not (no engagement, no like, no shares, no comments, etc.). Use the tools given in each platform to measure the progress and outcome of each campaign. For instance, Facebook has their own reporting tools such as, Facebook Page Insights, Facebook Audience Insights, & Facebook Ad Center. Once you have an idea of what is working for your business, look for ways to improve and gain even more success.
Using outside analytic tools can also allow you to have a clear focus on your next campaign. Use Google Analytics & UTM Codes for free and see how much traffic your website gains from your social media campaigns.
Analytics can give you a clear picture of what happened during and after your campaign, but sometimes you might struggle to meet your anticipated goals. This is where a team effort, research, A/B testing, and a collaboration of brainstorming can benefit your business in social media. Try something new or different. Then measure your progress and results again. You may find something out-of-the-box will turn great results.
Our tech-savvy team at Advantage Marketing Solutions can help make social media marketing one of the best channels to market your company or business. Contact Advantage to get your social media plan started today! Call us at (248) 916-0227!