Did you know, every 8 in 10 Australians use social media every day? Just based on this statistic itself, it’s no wonder social media is so popular. Social media is a powerful tool that allows users to share content all over the world, just at the touch of their fingertips. With such a large scale, building brand awareness seems easy, however, many small businesses struggle to do so effectively! To succeed on social media, a social media strategy must be implemented, so today here are 9 holy grail steps to help you drive more leads, more customers and more sales with social media!
1. Is Social Media Right For Your Business?
Being a small business owner, it’s tricky enough trying to juggle all your tasks yet alone stay consistent with your social media efforts. While most people assume that being digital, is using social media, that is not always the case! Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the Social Media Strategy, as a small business owner, ask yourself is it so necessary for me to use social media? Is social media the best method to connect on with my consumers on? Because being time poor, we need to make the most of our time and resources. So will social media really help your business or will it burden it?
Don’t forget, engaging digitally with your consumers doesn’t always have to be on social media. It can be through direct emails, online advertising like Google Ads, SEO etc. Although we encourage digital means, don’t forget to take advantage of local publications too like your local newspaper!
If your research shows that the most effective way to reach your customers is through social media and it will do your business wonders, then AWESOME!
However, I am a firm believer, that small business owner should never try and juggle 10 social media platforms at the one time and spread themselves too thin. I know many of you are guilty of this! It’s more effective if you focus your efforts in one or two baskets. Consider which platforms will benefit your business the most – that means considering where your customers are spending their time on, and connect with them there. If your customers don’t use Facebook, it’ll be pointless centering all your attention on Facebook. So have a look at your consumers, and ask yourself – is Facebook the right social media platform for my business. If you don’t know, don’t be afraid to ask them. Asking never hurts!
2. Create Social Media Goals That are Aligned to your Business Goals
So great! You’ve decided on the social media channel that will win you leads and customers. Now you must align your Social Media goals to your business goals. Why are you using Facebook? Or Instagram? Or Youtube? Whether you want to create an audience, drive traffic to your website or create brand exposure, you need to decide which objective so then you’ll be able to have a clear idea and goal on what social media activities you need to do to achieve them.
- Boost sales: To increase your sales, it starts with targeting the right people. You’ll need to consider what demographic, location and interests to target so that way, you’ll be able to reach your ideal customer more efficiently. Major social media platforms like Facebook are a grand place, and finding the right people may seem hard. However, it’s not impossible if you know who to target and how to target them right.
- Create an audience: To engage with an audience that will listen to you, it comes down to the content you share. It’s very common for people to share things they like, or want to be associated with, so by understanding your customer’s needs, interests, hobbies,and even pains, you can compel your audience through valuable, interesting and “shareable” content. (keep reading to learn how to create “shareable content”)
TIP OF THE DAY
Don’t work hard. Work smart! Avoid diving head first before knowing why and how you’re diving. By knowing exactly what goals you want to achieve, and how you’re going to achieve them, you’ll be able to save more time and resources doing things that have a greater impact on your business.
3. Know Your Customers Like They’re Your Best Friend
I know this step is coming in third, but really, this is the most important one of all. Understanding your ideal customers at a deep level (like how you understand your best friend) is crucial for ALL successful digital marketing strategies. Do you know what they need? What do they want? Their interests? Their hobbies? Their pain points The typical language they like to use? Etc. By understanding them, you’d be able to communicate exactly what they want, which makes it 10 times easier to convince when it comes to making a purchase. Understanding your consumers also helps build stronger bonds too. When someone understands you well, you may be more willing to listen, and trust their advice. That is why when it comes to your customers, by learning to understand them better, you’ll be able to post the right and appropriate content at the right time, right place and with the right language. And then will they simply be following you, liking you and talking to you, because, they like you!
If you would like to learn more about understanding your customers, read here. You can also learn how to create customer personas for your business, here.
4. Viral Posts; Enhancing Likes, Comments and Shares.
Do you want to engage with your audience? Do you want them to like, comment and share? It’s simple. From the last step (understanding your customer), create content that they will enjoy, content that brings value to them. It is very important that you don’t push the sale. Talk to them, talk about them. Don’t always talk about yourself and your product. Talk or share things that they love to be associated with i.e. designer brands, celebrities, holidays. Engage in a conversation, reply to their comments. Establish your brand personality and voice. Use the language that they can understand. Social media platforms are a place for your customers to interact on, so make their user experience enjoyable.
Sometimes the simplest things have the greatest impact. Using short, compelling texts can be powerful and you can use emojis, hashtags, location tags, colourful text, and vibrant backgrounds to attract their attention. And don’t forget, you can ask questions and make polls! Facebook is all about interaction and engagement. Take down the walls, and become approachable to your customers.
Don’t have time to create your own content? Don’t be afraid to share content. Sharing links to articles, photos and videos is a great way to entertain your audience without the efforts of making one yourself. Don’t be afraid to always test the things you share, because you never know what really interests them and their friends.
To learn more about creating shareable content for your chosen social media platform, check out our top tips and tricks for social media here.
5. Create Compelling Visuals for your Audience
Did you know, quality, relevant image, and video posts drive 2-3 times more engagement than text posts. We all know a picture is worth a thousand words, so by posting more visual content, your audience will be more likely to engage with your brand.
The power of video has grown immensely in the last couple of years. According to the video marketing statistics from Learn.g2crowd.com, 69% of internet traffic is consumed through videos (Cisco), 51% of all video plays are on mobile phones (Adelie Studios), 78% of people watch online videos every week, 55% view online video every day (Hubspot) and videos generate 1200% more shares than texts and image content combined (Wordstream). This just shows how powerful video content can be when it comes to engaging your audience.
For images and videos, use vivid and eye-catching content that is consistent with your branding. What I mean by branding is keeping the colour of your brand consistent throughout your business page. Colours play a huge role in social media so don’t forget, when it comes to taking your own photos, remember the rule of thirds, bright lighting, and the angles. You might not be a professional photographer and you might not have a DSLR, but ensuring you capture your images in bright lighting (natural is best!), and a well-balanced angle will help a lot! You’re not a professional photographer, but you can with your mobile camera with these tips. Fake it till you make it.
To learn more about creating visually appealing and aesthetically pleasing content for your chosen social media platform, check out our top tips and tricks for social media here.
Rule of thirds
Red Bull Facebook Marketing Campaign
As of recent years, live content and in the moment content have been very popular. Facebook Live, Instagram Live and Youtube Live drive three times more engagement, while Facebook Stories, Instagram Stories, and Snapchat stories are becoming the hot trend at the moment. By using these types of in-the-moment content, it breaks the barrier between you and your audience – which makes it more relatable and personal for them. It is no wonder why users love sharing their in the moment clips throughout their day. For this reason, you should consider Live and Stories Feature too!
6. How to Minimise Input and Maximise Output.
This step is about saving your precious time. By scheduling your posts a week or month ahead, you’ll be able to save more time while also helping you to develop a more structured social media content strategy. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming when you want to post something every day. By planning ahead, and writing down a strategy on what content you want to share, this can help you stay on track and have a better idea on what’s the best content to create and share.
Create a social media calendar or use a social media management software (like Buffer, Hootsuite) to plan and schedule your posts. There are a lot of social media management softwares on the market, including popular ones like Buffer and Hootsuite. With my own experience, thanks to Buffer I saved 2 hours a week from planning and scheduling my posts ahead of time. Do your research, test different software and see which ones work the best for you and your business.
Also, another tip, try and see which times are most interactive with your audience. Is it 9am, 4pm, or 10pm? Is it Monday – Friday, Weekends? What popular time does your customers use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc?
Note: There have been issues in the past using 3rd party apps to schedule Facebook posts, claiming that Facebook will reduce your organic reach and engagement of your posts. However, from experience, this will not happen if you create engaging content for your audience. For this matter, keep this in mind, and if you find that a 3rd party scheduling software is limiting your performance, consider changing to using a more manual method – a social media calendar.
7. Social Listening and Social Commenting
Here’s a neat trick! Don’t wait for your audience to reach out to you. Social media is a two-way street, so it’s absolutely okay to reach out to your consumers and introduce yourself like introducing yourself to a new friend.
Also, join or create groups and communities on your social media platform to create an engaging relationship with people who are interested in your offering. For example, if you sell sport shoes, join sports communities that would need your product. By asking what your consumers’ common interests and hobbies are, you’d be able to fit yourself in tight-knit communities who’d be interested in your business.
There are many social listening software that can assist you when your customers mention you in their posts or comments. By notifying you, these social listening software will allow you to be aware of your customer’s conversations, so you’ll be able to converse with them immediately.
8. Use Ads to Maximise your Reach
While the steps 4-7 are all organic, to branch out to an even bigger audience, paid advertising may just help. Since Facebook changed its algorithm in 2018, it’s harder to reach a large audience through organic posts on your business page. Consider investing in social media advertising. For example, what’s great about Facebook and Instagram ads is that you can be flexible with audience targeting and from our experience is a cost-effective way of advertising. Whether you want to target by demographic; age, income, gender, income etc. or by location, and even by interests and hobbies, you can determine your audience reach by budgeting how much you want to spend on your ads.
When creating ads, here’s my 2 cents (3 tips). Tip 1. Always use a compelling headline that will instantly gravitate your readers. Tip 2. Always use a captivating image or video that will instantly get your audience glued to their screen, and tip 3. Always Always Always link to a landing page on your website, because that’ll drive them directly to the finish line-ish only if you have an awesome/strategically perfect website! (If you don’t have one, or you don’t know what is considered “strategically perfect”, that’s okay. Speak to our Digital Specialists today, and we can get everything fixed for you)
9. Track and Analyse Your Social Media Performance
Okay. Last step which ties everything together – tracking and analysing, which is super important for continuous improvement. Without tracking and analysing your performance, how else would you know if your posts are converting, driving or even working! For example, Facebook offers Facebook Ad Manager, which is a great Analytical platform that gives a holistic view of all your Facebook post and ad performances all in one dedicated place. You can see how your ads are performing, you’ll gain insight for your future campaigns, you’ll also be able to see a summary for how all your campaigns are performing and understand your viewers’ demographic information too! All this can help you better improve your social media activity, to generate more leads, more customers and become more successful.
Facebook Ads Manager
Effective engagement on social media may seem frustrating when you don’t see the results you deserve. However, once you master the social media strategy with these 9 steps, you’d be able to engage powerfully with your customers. Hope these 9 steps give you a clear understanding of what you need to do to become a successful digital strategy expert in 2019.
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