It’s always been a challenge for marketers to reach a large portion of the right audience, but the digital age changed that for the better - particularly social media marketing. Social media allows brands to not only increase visibility and awareness among consumers but build and maintain genuine relationships in the process.
In fact, it's arguably one of the best mediums for advertising. There are more than 3.78 billion users on social media today (about 48% of the entire population!), with an average of 2.5 hours per day spent on social networks and messaging. This means that not only will small businesses be able to reach a significant portion of their target audience — but they'll have nearly three hours a day to do it successfully.
Whether you're improving your social strategy or you’re new to the game, here are some of the best small business social media tips to get you started.
1. Remain Consistent
Consistency is important to everything you do with your brand, but it's vital to your social media strategy. Users have a lot more companies fighting for their attention on social media, so brands must keep their presence on platforms consistent, meaningful, helpful, and interactive for current and potential customers.
The best way to do so is through a scheduling app or making a schedule of your own. A scheduling app will allow you more freedom because you can put in your content and the app posts it at the specified time without any more action from you. However, if you're good with keeping up and have the time, you're perfectly capable of doing it on your own — just keep them coming at a pace users can come to expect from you.
2. Engage with Your Audience
Consumer engagement is so important on social media, yet many companies overlook its importance. This is because they believe just having a social media presence is enough, but in reality, more than 61% of consumers find audience engagement to be the most important characteristic of brands being on social platforms.
Engaging with your audience can include liking and commenting on other posts, responding to comments on your post, liking your shared content, and making your content more engaging (i.e., encouraging responses like asking a question). When asked what type of content they like to engage with, 68% of consumers preferred images, 50% preferred videos, and 30% enjoyed text-based posts.
3. Create Content for Your Target Audience
Your target audience should always be on your mind when crafting your ads, but this is especially so on social media. After all, consumers don't HAVE to follow your account and interact with your brand — they choose to.
Creating content specific to your audience ensures that they are interested in what you have to offer on the platform every time, making them more susceptible to staying updated with the latest on your brand and giving you their sale.
4. Cross-Promote on Different Platforms
Cross-promoting is very important because your target audience isn't only on one platform, so you have the opportunity to increase your odds with multiple. Be sure to only stick to the ones your audience is on, so you're not wasting any time on platforms that don't reach the right people.
However, you must keep in mind the importance of not copy-and-pasting your posts on multiple sites. Be sure you’re sticking to a given social platform's best practices and purpose. For instance, LinkedIn is business-driven for networking and hiring. Instagram is an image-focused platform that values high-quality photos. YouTube is for various forms of video content relevant to your audience.
5. Utilize Different Types of Content
Mix it up! There are an array of options to choose from when it comes to the type of content you can post to your social media account. There are not only images, videos, and text-based posts, but short-form, long-form, and 'snackable' content as well.
Video content is the most popular, and 93% of marketers say they've landed a new customer thanks to a video on social media. Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram are the top 3 platforms for marketers posting social marketing videos and video ads.
6. Drive all Followers to Your Website
Believe it or not, 32% of consumers check out a brand's social media presence before checking out their website — meaning social media allows you to connect with the right audience and then direct them to your website to make a sale or take a given action.
Take this opportunity to update your website as well, to ensure your social media efforts don't go to waste by having viewers off-put by your website design, speed, or navigation.
7. The Power of Social Media
There's no denying the power of social media marketing in the digital age anymore. It's where everyone's at and a place where consumers are more than happy to interact, follow, and support their favorite brands. This doesn't mean other marketing methods aren't as effective in helping you reach your business goals — it simply means that whatever direction you decide to go, social media should be integrated into your marketing plan.
For more on social media marketing and other tips and tricks, follow our Meredith Nashville blog.