Did you know that more than 65 million businesses have a Facebook business page and 2 million advertisers regularly use Facebook to market their business? As impressive as that sounds, there are still 24% of small businesses that don’t use social media at all.
This may be down to an inability to adapt to new technology, skeptical of the benefits or simply not having the time to implement it into their business.
Like most things, if you approach social media with a plan then you can effectively market your business. As I like to say – Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!
Social media is a great opportunity to present your business and story in a way that people can relate to. In order to maximize the opportunities that social media brings, follow these 5 tips for success.
1. Take time to learn how social media works
The best way to learn social media is to first use social media. Create accounts on the various channels that you are intending on using and familiarise yourself with how to navigate around the networks and how they are typically used. As you get more comfortable, you can access an almost endless list of tips and guides for social media online (both free and paid). Google even offers a comprehensive guide – Google Digital Garage – which is a great resource.
2. Use the tools available
As you become more involved with social media it will become painfully apparent that you will need help to save time, particularly if you use more than a couple of social media networks. There are some great tools out there that allow you to schedule your posts to virtually all of the channels you are likely to be using. I highly recommend Buffer who offer a free account to get you started.
3. Don’t try to do too much
It’s going to be difficult and most likely ineffective to try to be on every platform. The best solution is to focus on particular social media networks which you are sure your target market is using. Work on mastering these before considering expanding your social reach onto additional social platforms.
As you add new elements in – such as video marketing – you can expand to networks that are tailored to maximise the medium; in the case of video, YouTube would be a good idea.
4. Always engage with your audience
Social media is all about engagement and building relationships. Unlike traditional advertising such as TV and Radio which is a one-way form of marketing, social media is two-way and gives you direct access to those who reach out to you. If you take the time to respond and engage with your audience you will have a much better chance of converting them.
You also have the opportunity on finding out if customers are having issues or problems with your products or services. Social media is the main place where customers reach out and this puts you in a proactive position to deal with issues before they spiral out of control.
5. Track your results
To effectively market your business you will need to determine the success by tracking your results. The main social networks provide in-depth analytics which give a great overall view of your recent posts. This provides valuable information on what content is resonating with your audience and the best times and days to post etc. If you use a scheduling tool they also provide detailed insights into the effectiveness of your posts. You can also use a URL shortener (such as bit.ly) to track your links and use Google Analytics to find out how much of your website traffic is directed through social media. For more on creating an effective marketing campaign check out my recent blog post – How to Create a Social Media Campaign.
Hopefully, this gives you a nudge into getting started with or getting more from your social media efforts.