There is often one area that small businesses overlook: social media. Whilst advertising campaigns and PR stunts are an option, they sometimes don’t give you what social media can. With 241 million monthly active users on Twitter and 1.2 billion members on Facebook, social media networks can give you direct engagement with many of your target audiences. When you are given access to vast numbers of people, it can help to raise awareness for your company, create engagement and drive revenues.
It’s easy to just say, “We need to be on social media, ” but it’s what you do afterwards that is important. From creating the content to engaging with people, social media can help your company leaps and bounds. Having a successful strategy to begin with can lead to successful social media results.
Of course, just diving in head first is not always a good idea. You must first ask yourself questions like: Who am I trying to reach? What channels are most appropriate to reach these people? What kind of content will they care about? Social media is not a one-size-fits-all situation, but if you can answer these questions then you can create appropriate content for the different channels.
A key part of your strategy should be understanding your audience. What kind of consumers is your brand trying to reach out to? For example, are you main customers going to be mothers? Figure out whether you have a secondary audience as well, so you can clearly establish what your content will focus on.
Once you’ve established who your audience, you should then see which channels will be most useful to reach these people. If your audience were teenagers, then Facebook would give you success whereas LinkedIn would not. Facebook and Twitter aren’t the be all and end all of social media, and there are plenty of other platforms that will be good – especially for niche audiences.
Have a look at how other companies, that have been successful, are engaging with their audience. See what strategy they have down, and learn from it. Do they use more visual content? News articles? Ensure that you have balance in your content. Content about your company + content about broader topics = good content output, and keeps your customers interested.
A good example of a company that is using social media to raise brand awareness is one of our clients, Instant Print. Their success is due to putting out a stream of good content that is relevant not only to their site but also their industry, in general.
A mixture of business and humour, Instant Print’s Google Plus page has attracted over 1.2k followers – the higher the following, the more chance the brand has of garnering attention.
It will take time and dedication when it comes to social media marketing, but if you do it right you can yield amazing results. For every company, the strategy will be different, but asking these questions before you put yourself out there is setting yourself up for success.