SOCIAL MEDIA = BUSINESS SPEED[IA!]
Social media can be frustrating, right?
You post something on Facebook and spend the next few hours watching and agonizing as likes slowly trickle in. You create what you think is an engaging and witty post on Instagram, only to be upstaged by some cat video, or worse, an egg! You research what everyone else is doing and soon your whole afternoon is gone, forever lost in the social media black hole. It’s a pain, but if you’re a small business looking to increase your social outreach, social media is a necessity.
With so many changes to social platforms, it can be tough to keep up, but don’t worry! Here at webSMART, we have insider tips and tricks to help you increase your social outreach and, in turn, increase your business profits.
Check out our one-stop shop for everything you need to know to increase your social media outreach and reach your target audience with these six tips.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL OUTREACH
Take a few minutes to scroll through your social media feed. From the local ice cream shop to your favorite digital marketing experts, chances are you’re following more businesses than Kardashians. And with more than 3 billion people using social networks across the globe, and 80% of Instagram users following at least one business, according to Hootsuite, social media is now the modern way for people to find products and services.
6 TIPS + TRICKS
Here are six tips and tricks to market your business and get in front of your target audience using social outreach.
Step 1: Identify Your Target Market
Who are you trying to reach? Hint: the answer is NOT everyone!
Ask yourself a few questions: Is your ideal customer in a certain age demographic? Do they live in a specific area? Are they men, women, or both? It’s important to know who you’re talking to before you start talking.
So how do you figure out your target market?
Look at your social media insights or website analytics to see some of the data you have available on your followers. Your analytics may also reveal their age range, the hours they are most active online and some insight on their lifestyle. You might even find some easter eggs in the data, including a market that you didn’t realize you had.
Take your data to the next level by identifying the needs, goals, motivations, and buying scenarios of your target customers. Write it down and assign a fictional name to these client descriptors and zip-zap, you’ve created a persona. These personas can help target your ideal match online and have more direct interactions with those interested in your product or brand. It is supposed to be social, right?
Step 2: Pick Your Platform
With your target audience in mind, consider which social media platform works best for them.
It’s important to note that even though some social media platforms may be more beneficial than others for you to be on, it’s still important to try to maintain some visibility on all channels to increase your outreach.
Here are some guidelines for picking the right platform for targeted social outreach:
If you’re targeting corporate clients for business services, LinkedIn may be your main focus, but Facebook might be best for a more casual audience.
Are images an important factor in reaching your audience? Try Instagram and Pinterest, as these both focus on the visuals and have the ability to make the photo a shoppable link to your product.
If you are targeting those who are looking for reviews, focus on Facebook where users are leaving reviews and recommendations on company pages.
If you are targeting those who want a quick answer, Twitter will be the top place to focus your attention.
Step 3: Optimize Your Social Media Profile
Your profile is one of the first places people learn anything about your business. Make sure you’re ready for your first meetup by following some general guidelines for optimizing your social media profiles. According to Hootsuite, there are some general things you can do across all channels:
- Use bright, vivid, high-resolution images for your cover image and profile picture when you can. Moreover, use correctly sized images corresponding to each field within its platform.
- Use a consistent business description.
- Link back to your website and your social media handles on your website, emails, and newsletters.
Don’t forget that while these guidelines might differ per platform, putting your best foot forward is important across the board.
Step 4: Increase Your Outreach
Now that you have identified the best social media channel to market your business, it’s time to start posting.
Using content that is industry-related and will capture your customers’ attention is a great start, but it’s not enough if no one sees it. It’s like putting on your best outfit only to cover it up with a blanket.
So go out there and get it! Share relevant articles and tag the source as a way to boost your exposure. Incorporate relevant hashtags to expand your reach. Here are some tips on how to use your hashtags on each of the top social media channels, and when not to use them:
LinkedIn: There’s no limit on the number of hashtags you can use per post. However, according to Hootsuite, the recommended limit is five industry-related tags per post.
Instagram: You’re allowed to use up to 30 hashtags on each post, and many users follow specific hashtags, which will increase your exposure to those followers.
Pinterest: Use industry specific hashtags, as these can serve as keywords in searches.
Twitter: Although you can use as many hashtags as you like in your tweets, Twitter recommends using no more than two per post.
Facebook: This is one of the only top platforms that doesn’t have a strong focus on hashtags.
Don’t waste too much energy posting on platforms that don’t fit your market, even though you may feel the pressure to. Go back to your target market, think about where your audience is looking for information, and focus your attention there.
Step 5: Engagement = Boost
Let’s not forget that the whole point of social media is, well, to be social!
Respond to comments and messages, comment on followers’ posts when appropriate, and share relevant content from followers. More than 40% of consumers use social media to research new brands and products. But they don’t just want to know about your products, they want to know your story. Reveal some behind-the-scenes secrets and create opportunities to connect by adding questions or prompts in your posts and start engaging with the 53% of consumers who follow brands they don’t shop with and turn them into customers.
Another way to engage is by using social messaging. According to a study by Sprout Social, 88% of social marketers said that it’s important that their brands provide effective customer service through social media, where they’re already hanging out.
72% of businesses say video has increased their conversion rates.
52% of consumers feel more confident in their online purchase decisions after watching product videos.
70% of consumers have shared a brand’s video.
Step 6: Relationships = Rocket Fuel
How many times have you made a decision about a product or service because you heard someone you trusted talking about it? Ta-da you’ve just been influenced.
This old-school, word of mouth marketing strategy has transformed social media in a big way and is now known as influencer marketing or a form of affiliate-based partnerships. Influencers bring awareness to your brand from an audience that may not otherwise know who you are. You can get started with these steps:
Research who you want to reach using influencers.
Build relationships through organic engagement with those you feel represent your brand and would benefit from your product or service.
Create a guideline of what it is you want your influencers to do. Do you want them to talk about certain products? Use a specific hashtag? Share a particular post?
Determine how to recognize your influencers through giveaways, exclusives, and more exposure.
Direct message or email potential influencers about the opportunity.
From here you get your product or service in front of more than just your own followers boosting your social outreach. It’s a strategy worth looking into after spending some time digging into your web and social media analytics on launchSITE.
CRUISING THE SOCIAL STRATOSPHERE
With these tips in mind, you’re on your way to igniting a fuel-injected cyberspace mission to better connect with your current and potential customers. Keeping your business in your target audience’s mind is key to making sure they come to you for your products and services.
But even with these tips, it can be a full-time responsibility to maintain your social media, and we haven’t even started talking about leveraging paid ads and boosts, yet. So when your day is already full with your small business operations, where does the time and energy to manage everything else come from? Don’t feel defeated, it is possible! Join the launchSITE community for the guidance and support you need to succeed.