Got a Small Business? You’ve all heard the buzz – you HAVE to be on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram etc to market your local business. But is it that easy?
The short answer, regardless of what the advertising gurus want to tell you (and sell you!), is NO! Its not that easy to weed out your potential audience and market successfully to customers. Most posts flash by in less than 2 seconds on a rolling scroll of other posts. So what CAN you do to attract attention?
If your company is Apple with mega millions for a marketing budget, then the landscape looks very different. Having a captive audience loyal to the brand and half the rest of the world knowing exactly who you are gives a huge advantage. Of course having that super smooth and glossy looking website where people can instantly buy products also helps immensely.
Growing Your Audience
For the regular person on the street, sometimes it can seem tough to get a ‘like’ never mind a comment. When you think in those terms them how likely is it that you will actually make a sale from your Social Media feeds? Not very likely at all as it happens but keep reading….
So how to recreate what a marketing power house like Apple does on a small business level? There are some things you can do to make your posts stand out to your potential customers and keep your audience engaged.
Want to Work remotely and be a Digital Nomad? Find out how HERE.
Invest in some high quality photography or stock images. Research shows that better quality photos drive higher engagement. Quality pictures also reflect on your brand making it look more professional.
If you don’t have a creative eye or a super swanky camera at your disposal, see if you can enlist the services of a friend or student that may do it just for the exposure (that’s not a photography pun by the way!)
There’s loads of sites out there if you need to buy your images. Shutterstock, Big Stock Photo, Fotalia, Getty Images to name but a few, all selling fantastic quality reasonably priced images.
Take time to research keywords in your industry and see what is working, many of the social media platforms offer a ‘Business account’ that’s packed with useful insights, analytics and metrics.
Using this data you can determine what kind of postings, content and keywords are inspiring the most interaction.
Learn How to Avoid Common Social Media Mistakes HERE.
Promotion vs Selling
Focus on ‘promoting’ not ‘selling’ – what’s the difference I hear you ask? Your audience does not want to be bombarded with sales messages asking them to buy from you or use your services because they are the best, only the best, and nothing but the best; so help me God!
There is some solid research that show IF you are going to try and win sales on social media then it should be NO MORE than a 1 in 7 post ratio; the ‘1’ being the sales pitch. Turn your talents instead to PROMOTING your business, who you are, what you do, what you stand for.
Advertise your causes
If you have a social, charitable or environmental cause – 5% of sales goes to saving the Spotted Owl for example; let your followers know that. Many younger folks are more likely to use a company or brand that has a responsibility and commitment to a cause.
So sing your own praises, if you donate money, goods, services or help clean up the motorway then include that in your posts. And don’t forget to add those high quality photos 😉
Get More Social Media Marketing Tips HERE.
Have a cute dog, or cat, or a goofy practical joker as a sales assistant? Post photos of them too. Your office, restaurant, vehicles, people on job sites. Before and after photos of your work if its the kind of thing that you can demonstrate visually.
People like to feel involved and by including them in your day to day or behind the scenes stuff they are much more likely to resonate with you as a business, and consider you more seriously as a contender when the time comes to make a purchasing decision.
It’s there on most social platforms now so use it. Again, the higher quality the better, but use to show walk throughs of your office, project, day whatever you are doing currently.
Add a couple of tags and links to your profile or website. Highlight some of your best work. Again, this serves to give your customer that connection to your business. Try it out HERE.
This is one that gets overlooked. Post, post, and post again. And then again for good measure. To truly manage a social media presence, grow an audience and drive engagement 1 or 2 posts per week when you remember, or when sitting on the loo (C’mon, we’ve all done it!) is not going to be enough to keep you fresh in your audiences mind and drive any kind of engagement.
To help you there are a ton of social media management tool out there that can be used and are FREE if only managing a couple of account with limited number of posts. Buffer, Hootsuite, Social Pilot, eClincher, Zoho Social, Sendible are just a few of the social media scheduling tools out there. A more detailed blog about the pros and cons of each one coming soon.
This will take a bit of trial and errors but after a while you will get a feel of what works best in terms of posts, how many times to repost, and what times of day to post to drive better engagement rates. Over posting (posting too much) can reflect negatively, but its a calculated risk, and something you will just get a feel for over time to know how much is too much. Some more information about that HERE.
This is where those analytics can come in useful. Giving you a visual representation of clicks, likes, comments, follows. Software scheduling tools allow you to set up a calendar and schedule posts at various times.
Some handle your reposting automatically – an invaluable time saver.
As I am sure you have realized by now, allow yourself enough time to manage this. Social Media management is not an instant results kind of game. Results come from consistent and persistent effort. Driving your company message to your users and to engaging with them on a human level.
As you become more expert with your social media channels you will hopefully see growth and interactions gain momentum. It will move slowly at first but build over time. Make sure you avoid some obvious mistakes by reading this article.
If you think you don’t have time, engage services of a social media management company. When compared to the time you have to invest to manage social media, a management company can be a relatively cheap option.
I hope some of the tips and hints help with your Social Media and may have provided some valuable information in terms of statistics and engagement motivation. What tips have you learned along the way?