Social Media is a powerful platform to help catapult your small business into a success. While it can be quite daunting navigating the inner workings of various platforms, using social media can help your band be seen by millions daily. You don’t need to understand the complicated algorithms of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, and so on to use them effectively. After successfully creating your website, selecting a robust web hosting platform and optimising it with share worthy graphics, images and content; the next step is to start brewing your master plan to conquer social media.
Our comprehensive guide is going to breakdown everything you need to know about using Social Media to take your business to the next level. We will discuss:
- The Value of Social Media for Small Businesses
- Understanding which Platforms are right for your Business
- Make a Plan for using Social Media
- Create a Content Strategy & Calendar and Follow it
- Tips for using Social Media
Ready? Set. Let’s go.
The Value of Social Media for Small Businesses
We know running your online business can be hectic. And while balancing all of your digital marketing strategies, customer care service, shipping schedules and everything else in between can take up most of your time, and social media can fall to the bottom of your to-do list. Remember not to discount the value of what social media can do for your business. The truth is though using Social Media to find customers has a direct impact on your bottom line and sales conversions.
In fact, according to Smart Insights, 49% of consumers are making purchases through social media. What’s more, is that it is reported that 37% of online users use social media for inspiration when they are ready to make a purchase. Which means that social media has a direct effect on sales and a business’ bottom line.
The reality is that there are 3.03 billion people around the globe accessing social media on a daily basis.
Having your brand at their fingertips across these platforms is one of the fastest ways to grow your following, increase your conversions and drive traffic and sales through the roof. Social Media allows you to reach a larger audience and engage them much faster than any other means. It can be the most effective digital marketing strategy in your arsenal if used correctly.
Which Social Media Platforms are right for your Business?
While Social Media is a powerful tool for getting your brand noticed by a wider audience you don’t want to spread yourself to thin. You want to consider which platforms are best for your business by understanding the demographics of your audience.
When starting out don’t focus on more than 1-2 platforms for your business and focus on growing them first before adding any others.
Facebook boasts of the largest audience with 2.2 billion active followers and is a favourite amongst small business users as well as Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
Understanding your audience will help you to tap into which platforms they most frequent so that you can tailor your content to reach them. You can also use different platforms to reach different audiences or to accomplish different business goals.
Make a Plan for using Social Media
Every great business strategy starts off with a well thought out plan. Your social media strategy for your small business is no different. While social media platforms are free and easy to use and you may be tempted to just begin organic posting, it is better to have a strategy and plan in place first. Let’s not jump the gun.
The fact is, taking the time to plan out your social media strategy to match your business’ goals.
Create your social plan to achieve specific objectives for maximum effect. Here is a quick outline to creating a social media marketing plan:
Set social media goals and objectives
Create your goals following the SMART framework—that is they should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Set your goals to meet specific metrics that will boost your business like acquiring new customers, and elevating your conversion rate as opposed to just accruing likes on your posts.
Research the Competition
Pay attention to what your competition is doing on social media. Not to be a carbon copy of them but to learn from what works for them and how you can apply those lessons to your own strategy. This is a great way to reduce your learning curb and accelerate your own social media plans.
While you’ve researched what your direct competition is doing online perhaps it’s time to have a look at what other business are doing. Inspiration can be drawn from anywhere and if you’re feeling stuck with how you’re producing engaging content for your social media platforms, creative imitation can sometimes be the best remedy.
Have a look at a business outside of your niche and see how they are broadening their brand awareness across social media.
You can glean helpful tips from what works for others.
Create a social media calendar
A social media calendar helps you to plan out and post the right content at the right time across your social media platforms. A social media calendar ensures that you don’t miss posting content on specific days like holidays and social holidays, ensures that you stay on track and consistent with your posting, and helps you create a content mix: this includes curated articles, memes, videos, blog articles and more. We’ll delve deeper into this later in the article.
Use a Social Media Management Solution
A social media management tool is perfect for managing all of your Social Media Accounts. Where you can schedule posts, track your analytics and so much more.
Create your Content Plan & Calendar then stick to it
Taking the time to plan out your content and create a calendar keeps your content organized and on target. When creating your content plan for your various social media platforms you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- What frequency do you wish to post per week?
- What type of content are you going to post?
- Which platforms are you going to post on?
Social media audiences expect quality content over quantity every time. They also expect a brand to be consistent with their posting and broadcasting your schedule can be beneficial for engagement.
For example, YouTube influencers always mention their posting schedule so that their audience knows when to expect fresh content from them. Having themed days can also boost engagement and keep your audience coming back for more.
Preparing a calendar and sticking to it lets your audience know that you are reliable and beyond that, it helps you to build a trusted following.
How to create and use your Content Calendar:
Never miss important dates.
You want to create themed content that is centred on important holidays. That’s national holidays and popular social holidays like #nationalcatday.
Stick to a consistent posting schedule.
We recommended posting 3 times a week to start and then increasing as you go. You don’t want to miss. If you choose to on certain days from the onset then be consistent to build your audience. Posting regularly on specific days helps to keep engagement constant.
Find your perfect content Mix.
You want to mix up your content. Visual content works especially well on social media so use videos and high-quality graphics. Curate content that matches your brand’s message from other sources. Use articles from reputable sources to share information with your audience. Create and share your own blog posts. Beyond that, you can create personal status posts to engage with your audience. Start a poll or have a question and answer period. The sky is the limit with content options. Plug your mix into your calendar in a ratio of the 80/20 rule: 80 per cent helpful, beneficial and interesting content for every 20 per cent of content that’s selling your product or boosting conversions.
It saves you time.
Let’s face it. Planning out your entire social media calendar month to month will save you precious time in the long run. Sitting down for a couple hours to furnish your social media with dazzling content helps you to achieve more business goals with the rest of your time.
Keeps your content fresh.
Not only is your social media calendar a planning tool it also helps you to ensure that your content is always brand spanking new and fresh. Having a record of your content helps you not to repeat yourself or see when you’re using certain keywords too much.
A rule of thumb to be successful across your social media strategy is to plan your social content in advance to ensure you are publishing a well-balanced amount of content from each category.
5 Important Tips for using Social Media
- Know and understand your audience and the demographic they belong to.
- Build relationships with your customers. The great thing about social media is that it allows you to talk to your customers and followers so get in those comments!
- Expand your audience. Once you’ve conquered your original niche and its audience you can venture out into a new niche with a new audience. Expanding your business at the same time.
- Share high quality and compelling visuals as much as possible. Humans are visual creatures and we remember visual content more than any other type of content so use it frequently.
- Keep the focus on quality over quantity.
We’ve given you a lot to think about in terms of implementing and dominating social media for your business. Now go forth and post stellar content to drive up your sales and organic conversions to increase your bottom line.