We know putting fabulous fresh Content online is the secret to attracting new website visitors and helping Google rank you higher in its search results. But what do you need to know to maximise your visibility?
Tactic 4 – Smash Social Media
Social Media is a fantastic and essential way for smaller businesses to compete with larger brands without having to invest huge amounts of money. You can connect with new audiences, solve customer problems, reach influencers, generate leads and drive website traffic.
Social Media is used by most people, increasingly on mobile devices, and customers expect to find you active on these platforms. For success at Social Media:
1. Plan Your Social Media Goals
Status brew https://blog.statusbrew.com/how-to-grow-your-business-with-your-social-media-strategy/ recommends developing a strategy so you know why you are on social media – this will guide your activities to grow your business online, and assist your time-management.
For example, do you want to build your brand reputation, create an audience base, connect with professionals, share your best content, generate leads and web traffic, or reach out to lots of people quickly?
Sprout Social https://sproutsocial.com/insights/topics/social-media-for-small-business/ gives examples of additional goals such as:
- Brand awareness (growth, engagements, location)
- Brand consideration (link clicks, web traffic)
- Competitor analysis
- Audience engagement (likes, replies, shares)
- Drive customer loyalty
- Customer service efficiencies (engagement speed and rate)
- Find new sales opportunities (conversations to join)
- Increase customer satisfaction
- Product launch analysis
- Positive reviews
- Event attendance
- Community presence
- Boost credibility via thought-leadership
So conduct an audit of your social presence now to find out what has and hasn’t worked, and set your goals.
2. Analyse Where Your Customers And Competitors Are On Social Media
Develop Audience Personas https://brilliantbusinessblogs.com/2018/11/audiencepersonas to understand the problems your target customers face that your service solves.
Create content that addresses their priorities, on their information channels, that fits with their buying process.
Research where on social media your target audience are, what they follow and share, what interests they have. For example, use Buzzsumo https://buzzsumo.com to see what content is popular or Google Trends https://trends.google.co.uk/trends/ to find brand mentions.
Be inspired by great competitor content, what subjects, images, tone do they use? Try tools like Followerwonk https://followerwonk.com and Rival IQ https://www.rivaliq.com to analyse who competitors follow and are followed by on social media, and what their audience reposts.
Work out optimal times to publish posts for top engagement, and effective hashtags to maximise reach https://www.123-reg.co.uk/blog/social-media/beginners-guide-to-hashtags-and-how-to-use-them-for-your-business/.
Social Media Platform Generalisations and Where To Learn A Lot More:
- Facebook: personal, often funny posts – https://www.facebook.com/blueprint?ref=fbb_home
- Twitter: informative, updates, news – https://marketing.twitter.com/emea/en_gb/solutions/create-engagement/creative-canvas.html
- Instagram: visually appealing stories – https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-use-instagram-for-business/
- Linkedin: professionals network – https://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/microsites/linkedin-guide/
- Youtube: video-based social media site and search engine – https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2018/09/20/youtube-marketing
- Pinterest: visual content to specific followers – https://www.wix.com/blog/2018/07/how-does-pinterest-work-for-business/
Don’t make assumptions, analyse your performance on different platforms and research what your target customers prefer. Start by learning one or two social channels really well, then expand your efforts.
3. Post Content Customers Love
Use great headlines and eye-catching images. Moz https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-link-building/campaign recommends finding a hook that makes people care, such as News, Comedy, Controversial, Competition or Long-form, detailed content.
Hootsuite https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-tips-for-small-business-owners/ advises making sure your posts offer value so people are motivated to follow you, and to be human, honest and authentic.
Create social media videos to increase engagement on social channels.
Use 80 percent of your content to inform, educate, or entertain your audience and 20 percent to promote your brand. Make sure it is useful and entertaining, including sharing information from others that your customers will find valuable, with some added insights of your own.
4. Use Content Scheduling Tools
A social media calendar helps you post the right content to the right social channels at the right time. Dedicate one block of time per day or per week to creating social content, using a social media calendar to plan activities based on your goals, and to help measure online success.
Tools such as CoSchedule https://coschedule.com/blog/social-media-editorial-calendar-template/ and Missinglettr https://missinglettr.com/ can automate publishing posts, sharing content, managing and engaging with your audience and finding the right people on social media.
5. Develop Relationships
Take time to build online connections with people. Use social media monitoring tools https://www.brandwatch.com/blog/top-free-social-media-monitoring-tools/ to listen to conversations about your business and quickly engage with the right people on social media.
Stay active on social media and be approachable, as people will buy from businesses that ask about their problems and solve them.For
Social Media is an amazing place to have live two-way conversations with your audience, learn about their ideas and interests, and provide awesome and instant customers service.
Constant Contact https://blogs.constantcontact.com/why-social-media-marketing/ explains that monitoring and responding to social media comments and questions allows you to showcase how much you care about providing a memorable experience and ensures no customer enquiry goes unnoticed.
Copyblogger https://www.copyblogger.com/social-media-marketing-steps/ recommends cultivating professional relationships with other people with sizeable audiences of the same type of customers – bloggers, authors, podcasters or columnists.
Link to them from your articles and comment on their blogs and social media, to encourage them to share your quality content.
Social Media Groups are a great way to build trust and brand loyalty.
6. Find Opportunities
You can discover quality leads on social media by social listening, for example, setting up a keyword e-mail alert of “office cleaning” mentions within a 20 mile radius of your business, then joining in relevant conversations with advice and solutions, providing a discount code for your service, or simply Liking or Favouriting their page, which results in them checking out your page.
Combine organic reach with paid advertising once you understand and have tried out the basics. For example, use Facebook advance targeting ads to reach specific potential customers.
7. Measure Results
It’s important to use social media analytics to see what’s working for your business. Each network gives performance statistics, such as:
- Impressions – number of times an individual saw your message
- Engagements – number of times an individual interacted with your message, including: Likes, Favourites, Shares, Retweets, Clicks, Replies, Follows
- Engagement rates – number of engagements divided by the number of impressions
- Visits – number of times someone visited your profile page
- Mentions – number of times your handle or brand was mentioned on social
- Followers – number of individuals who follow you on social, shown as an increase or decrease over time
It’s just not about the numbers, it’s about how people engage with you on Social Media. Do people respond to and share your content? Do people criticise your content? What types of post gained more attention? Did you generate your expected revenue?
You may want to use a social media management platform, such as Sprout Social, Buffer, or Hootsuite to track deeper cross-network analysis, such as the following metrics:
- Sent messages – aggregates all your social messages from all your social networks and profiles into a single location, helping you see which messages are most effective for your audiences
- Engagement rates – how responsive you are to messages that need a response, how effectively you respond to messages (Response Rate) and how quickly you’re engaging (Response Time)
- Percentile ranking – how you rank among competitors, comparing your Response Rate and Response Time for a period against the latest data on profiles similar to yours
- Engagement rates by time and day – which days of the week or times of the day you’re least responsive, to make sure you’re properly allocating time to your efforts
- Team reports – who your top performers are and who needs coaching, across multiple locations
- Paid reports – how your paid social media efforts are performing from a single dashboard
- Group reports – aggregated data in one report to see how you’re performing on social as a whole
- Keyword reports – topics and hashtags your brand is most frequently mentioned with, so you can use this information to create content you know your audience will like
- Competitive reports – competitor comparisons
Once you have a baseline picture of how your strategy is working, look for ways to get even better results. Using A/B testing https://vwo.com/ab-testing/ and make changes to your strategy to boost your success.
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