Managing a small business or a startup can be quite stressful, especially if it is a new startup. Small business owners have to use time, money and resources very carefully. It is very unlikely that a new startup will have the required financial strength, resources and the time to promote their business on a large scale. This is why they turn to social media marketing to reach out to the target consumers and engage with them on platforms where they are most active.
When businesses have good user engagement on social media, they get the benefit of social shares which not only drives traffic but also increases the chance of generating quality leads for the business. Due to the restraints that small businesses have with respect to marketing budget and time, it is quintessential to use social media smartly and get good social engagement and traffic with less efforts and time.
If you are a small business owner, then make sure you follow these social media marketing tips to stay ahead of the competition in 2016.
Use Tools To Manage Multiple Social Accounts Effectively
Juggling through various social accounts can be a challenging task, especially when you need to manage the posts and campaigns on each platform. This is where social tools play a vital role in streamlining the process and providing content curation. It is important for a brand to be active on all social platforms in order to engage with the target audience effectively.
Hootsuite has been a popular option for social media marketers who wish to schedule and manage content on multiple accounts. But there are other tools such as SocialOomph which offer better content curation and also provide the option of setting up automated responses for new followers. Just compare the tools, choose a suitable subscription plan and connect the accounts to become a smart social media marketer.
Share Relevant Content
Are users engaging with your brand on social media? If not, then you might be sharing irrelevant content. It is important to find the “sweet spot” which is a mix of original, relevant and fresh content. Memes, gif images and other viral content may work for most, but usually it is just a fad which will be forgotten once the hype is over.
Don’t use these fads without personalizing them and making them relevant to your brand. It might bring in traffic and engagement initially, but it will not work out on a long term basis. After all, you need to build a brand image and the best way to do it is to share content that is relevant to your industry and target audience.
Use A Good Mix of Content
Just because a particular type of content gets more engagement doesn’t mean that you have to stick to it. Make sure that you provide a variety in content with the majority of the content being original. 2016 has been termed as the year of content curation, so it is evident that curation is gaining popularity. However, simply compiling a list of information won’t get you results. You need to analyze the information and add your own opinion to it. Try to test different content types such as animated presentations, gif images, videos, polls, etc and keep coming up with new ideas to keep user engagement at optimal levels.
Maintain Proper Schedules
Creating posting schedules is a great way to save time and overcome redundancy in content creation / curation. Based on the interests of your target audience, you can create a weekly schedule where different content themes are assigned to each day of the week. For example, almost experiences Monday Blues and sharing refreshing and inspirational quotes can improve their mood. Over time, the users start expecting particular posts on the page on different days.
Identify the Best Times to Publish Posts
There is no use in sharing or publishing posts when users are not online. While it may be impossible to get everyone online at the same time, it is feasible to determine the time when most users are active. This is the window of opportunity when you need to publish the posts in order to get maximum engagement opportunities.
The “perfect posting time” may differ across platforms and across interests. If you are not sure about the posting time, then use standard suggestions or analyze the user engagement for your brand and then determine the best time. Make sure you consider your time zone in order to schedule the posting accordingly.
Identify Your Brand’s Voice
Every brand should have a voice. That’s what differentiates the brand from the thousands of other brands that are active on social media. Without a distinct identity, the brand would not get proper engagement. In order to determine the voice of the brand, you need to evaluate personality, tone, language and content. These are the most important factors that will help you to understand the brand’s voice. Once you create the “voice”, make sure that it is consistent for all platforms and communication.
Add a Personal Touch
With the abundance of content available online, publishing general information will not help you to get the required engagement. Social media users are usually very active and they get to know about trends and news almost as soon as it is reported. The only way you can stand out of the competition and get noticed is to personalize the content. Come up with an interesting infographic, add your opinions, give your analysis or ask a question. This will really get the traction that you require on social media.
Monitor Progress With Analytics
The only way you can improve your social presence is by measuring success. Social media analytics provide the means to measure the performance of your social page and get a better understanding on your audience as well as the engagement. Most platforms have their own analytics or insights. But for platforms that do not have a dedicated analytics tool, you can use free tools such as the ones provided by Simply Measured to get the performance reports. Based on the analysis provided in the reports, you can make appropriate changes to the social strategy in order to grow your presence online.
Create a Good Following Before Promoting The Business
Don’t be hasty in pushing out promotional content about your brand or your offerings. Make sure you have sufficient followers before you push out promotional material. Otherwise, you will just be posting promotional content with little or no engagement. Remember, no one (not even you) would like to get bombarded with promotions and offers frequently. So make sure that you plan the promotions properly.
There is no defined approach to social media marketing. The more you listen to the target audience and the more you analyze the interactions, the more opportunities you get for improving your social strategy. Review the comments shared by the users on your posts, understand their interests, evaluate brand mentions and be responsive. Social vigilance is the best way to grow your social presence in today’s competitive scenario.
Remember, if you are not able to manage social media, consult with social media marketing experts for the best strategy that will work out for your business and help you to establish a strong presence online. Several businesses have grown considerably by leveraging social media to their advantage. You can do it too.