6 Steps to social media marketing
If you own a small business and are looking for ways to promote your company, social media marketing is a must! If you’re not online, you’re in the minority. Whether you use Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram or all three, your customer is on social media and you need to be too.
Setting up your accounts and maintaining them takes a little time and can seem like an intimidating task at first, but it’s worth it. Use these 6 tips as a guide and you’ll be a master in no time.
Step 1. Create your social media business accounts.
Keep business and personal separate.
It’s important to create business social media accounts and not to use your own personal page/account. These accounts create an online showcase of your business and your future customers don’t need to know what you got up to at the weekend.
Creating social media business accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is relatively easy with great step by step guides that help you along your way.
These social media accounts will provide your company with a platform to promote all you do. This is a great way for small business owners to gain the trust of their current and potential customers and gives businesses the perfect opportunity to build brand awareness. There are plenty of types of social media and I’m sure we have all heard of many of them but we focus on the top three, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Keep things uniformed.
If you use more than one social media platform and the chances are you will, it is massively important to keep them all looking the same. You are creating a brand, an online image of your company and if that image changes with every media platform your customer will go else where.
Make sure your company logo is on each platform, use the same graphics in your cover photos and keep colours the same.
Step 2. Build your community.
Highly important– build your community! It’s now to focus on follows, likes, content and growing your audience. Social media makes this relatively easy by allowing us to follow other people, pages and profiles, joining relevant groups, reposting content, and respond to comments. It isn’t something that happens instantly; it takes time and continues effort. By all means start with asking friends and family to join you but most of these people won’t be your potential customers. Don’t be tempted to pay for followers, these won’t be people from your target market and will be added very quickly. You may well think that’s great but it can be seen as spam and lose you potential customers but also could result in your account removed. Think quality, not quantity.
Engage and interact with your audience on a regular basis, daily preferably but most definitely weekly and your community will begin to expand before you know it.
Step 3. Content, content, content.
Now that you’ve set up your social media profiles, you have started gaining an audience; the next step is to fill your profiles and pages with good relevant content.
Social media marketing can come in many different forms, it’s important to remember to focus on the quality of your posts as opposed to the quantity.
What makes good content?
This is a whole blog on its own so for now we’ll focus on the basics.
When creating content, ask yourself;
Is it relevant?
Is it interesting?
- Take time to plan your content.
- Avoid click bate at all costs, it’s cheap, tacky and annoys everyone.
- Graphics and videos work well.
- Keep it relevant.
- Be unique.
- Keep it short and sweet.
- Include a link.
Step 4. Share and promote.
The wonderful magic of social media is that its reaches a huge section of the population. No longer are we restricted to advertising in the local paper and crossing our fingers, hoping that it will work. With social media we can target our campaigns and connect directly to our customers in real time. We know who they are, what ads work and what get us results.
Once you have created an eye-catching, informative post you need to get it seen and spreading the word across social media involves some effort- if you want to do it for free. All the social media platforms have ‘paid for’ advertising and can work very well for lots of business but if your budget is tight you can do some of this yourself. By building your community you will increase your engagement. The more likes you have on your Facebook business page, the more potential customers will see you post on the newsfeed. By sharing that post to other relevant Facebook groups remembering to include a link back to your Facebook business page or your website, you will increase the amount of people seeing your post and hopefully encourage them to connect to your page.
Step 5. Analyse your results.
Once you have created, shared and promoted your post, make sure you take the time to analyze the results. Which posts received the most hits? Which created the most engagement? Which didn’t work? What social media network works the best and why? All the different platforms give you excess to analytics whether you pay for ads or not. These can help show where your marketing has been the most effective.
Step 6. If it works, do it again.
Once you know what works with your audience, don’t be afraid to reuse content and posts that have given you good results. If you have the greatest following on Facebook, make that your main focus. If you know your audience shares and interacts more with a certain types of post, create more of them.
It will take some time to find the perfect social marketing method for your business and it may well change from time to time, the key is to keep with it, constantly reviewing, refreshing and analysing.
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