Social media was once an optional marketing channel for growing a business. Today, using social media to market your business is a necessity and can be one of the best, and most affordable strategies in your marketing toolbox.
The downside is that it can be overwhelming to try and keep up with the ever-changing social media landscape. And being overwhelmed often leads to either no execution or very poor execution.
Below are five tips to help you successfully market your business on social media without becoming overwhelmed. These simple guidelines will make the difference in creating a successful social media presence.
1. Know Your Audience
It may sound obvious, but it’s amazing how many business owners miss this first step. You must know who you are targeting and how they behave online before you can successfully market on social media.
It’s exciting to jump on the latest and greatest social media channels, but before you do anything, know exactly who your ideal customer is and which social media channels they prefer. It’s not about which ones you prefer. It only matters what they prefer.
Where do your customers hang out?
If your target customer is a millennial female who likes to cook, Pinterest is going to be an ideal social media channel for your business. If you are targeting small service-based companies, you might look to Twitter or Facebook for your audience. Have a clothing shop? Instagram may be a winner for you.
The key is knowing who you are serving, and which social media channels those people are using. Identify that before you start any social media marketing, and you are well on your way.
2. Pick One or Two Channels
There was a phrase floating around for a while that stated, “be everywhere.” That may be true if you have an entire marketing department dedicated to your social media marketing, but as a small business, you need to focus your efforts and resources.
Don’t try to master three or four channels at once. Pick one or two where your target audience hangs out and be consistent and intentional about your content on those channels.
You will have much better success if you go deep with one channel, then if you do a little bit with four.
3. Create a Content Strategy
Throwing up random posts here and there won’t get you much traction, or sales! You need to create a strategy for your social media marketing before you start posting a bunch of content.
If you’re unsure of how to create a social media strategy, it’s best to hire a consultant to help you get a plan in place.
You can also start by looking at your marketing calendar and crafting social media content around events, promotions and new product and service launches.
Be creative and don’t get in a rut. Mix up your content with different types of posts that will appeal to your audience. You may have an instructional video one day, and an inspirational quote the next. You could make a fun infographic relevant to your industry, or top ten list. These posts tend to be shared a lot.
Keep your content interesting, visual and attention-grabbing, but always keep your target audience and your main marketing strategy in mind. Also, share other great content that is relevant to your audience so that you can build relationships with influencers.
4. Engage First, Sell Last
The main purpose of social media is to engage with people and build relationships. Your goal is to engage, educate, inform and/or entertain. Sales pitches should not be your top priority in your social media posts.
Sure, you can sell and promote occasionally, but every post should not be a push for a sale. You need to gain trust with your followers. You get that by helping or entertaining them in some way, not by selling to them. That may sound counterintuitive, but it’s the content world we live in now. You must build that trust before people will buy from you.
5. Stay on Top of Trends
Social media is constantly changing, often making it even better for small business owners to market their products and services. Stay on top of these changes so you can better leverage these platforms to market your business.
For example, Facebook launched the Marketplace to help businesses sell products locally. Pinterest and Twitter both introduced Buy buttons to help promote sales within the platforms. There are also interesting features like Facebook Live and live video capability on Instagram, making it possible to do live demonstrations, instructional videos and interviews.
Take advantage of the free marketing tools offered by the social media platforms. They can grow your brand identity and sales by using very little resources!
The possibilities to market your business using social media are endless. The important thing is to not get overwhelmed by all the options and instead, focus on a few keys strategies that will best allow you to engage with your ideal customers and grow your community. This will ultimately lead to more sales for your business!
Not sure how to start your own social media strategy? Our team at Business Marketing Engines can help you! Contact us today.