In the climate we live in right now, social media is one of the most powerful tools of our generation. It is essential for every business to have a social media account. Now here’s the catch; what do you do with these accounts?
Being on different social media platforms is important, however, it is not simply about creating these accounts, rather it's all about whether or not your presence on social media is noticeable by customers. Having tons of followers is great, posting daily on social media is great too. As a business you should ask yourself these essential questions: Are my followers interacting with my posts? Are these posts useful to my followers? You may be posting a lot of content that followers may regard as junk.
Taking into account all these points, let's dive right into the essentials.
1. WHO IS YOUR AUDIENCE?
As I mentioned earlier, having a lot of followers is great, however, this is not always the best case scenario. Your page may have 2 000 + followers and only 10 of those followers actually care about the content you post. So essentially, you only have 10 followers. As a business you should be able to establish who your audience is. This will help you create content that is directed to the interests of your followers.
Every business, big or small, feels the pressure of having tons of followers. You may look at other businesses and wonder why you do not have as many followers and could be tempted to buy followers. These bought followers will not add any sort of value to your business as some of these accounts are fake profiles. However, if you focus on your audience and create content specifically directed to them, they will share your posts, invest in your business and spread awareness to your business and generate traffic for you.
2. DIVERSIFY YOUR CONTENT
Now that you have established your audience, make sure to try out different types of content. Keep it interesting! Try out anything that is trendy, fun and interesting. No one wants to read the same caption and boring content. Try and stay up to date with the trends, for example, reels are currently a great tool that is being used on Instagram. These short videos are reaching more clients than an ordinary post would.
3. PARTNER WITH OTHER SMALL BUSINESSES
Your customers will thank you! As small businesses, we have the advantage of having clients that are tuned in to anything we do, any work we produce and anything we have to communicate. Small businesses can help each other grow by working on projects and workshops together. This will introduce their businesses to each other's clients and gain future loyal clients. For example, a local travel agency can partner with another local Financial advisor and work on a project that helps clients plan out their travel dreams while simultaneously being advised on how they can allocate their finances wisely for to fulfill their travel dreams.
4. SET A SOCIAL MEDIA BUDGET
It is so easy to get overwhelmed with just how much information there is out there on the different social media platforms to use. Get in touch with a digital marketing consultant to discuss a perfect social media budget that best suits the services your business provides as well a which platforms work well for your existing audience.
What do your customers look like? What does this say about which platform they are mostly present on? This should help you create platforms that target your audience specifically and avoid going above and beyond your budget.
5. SET SMART GOALS
As a small business, you should aim to make SMART goals. Do not just create goals for the sake of having them written in your business plan. These goals are there to help you visualise your future. Meaning, if the goals are not met, it can lead to you being very frustrated with your business as things did not pan out the way you had intended.
Even if you want to challenge yourself and set certain expectations for your business, they should still be within the frame of these SMART goals.
An example of a SMART goal would be: Increase brand awareness by 5% by October.
6. BE HUMAN!
It is easy to get swallowed up in what everyone else is doing. However, always remember that being true to your brand and yourself will always attract the right customers. Create a brand around your personality. Let your clients remember you for how you love using smiley's in your captions or how you love to respond to each comment. These may sound so simple, but this creates a personalised experience for you and your customers.
7. MAKE USE OF A SOCIAL MEDIA AUDIT
No matter how long your account may have been running for, you still need to get it regularly audited just to make sure everything is in place. It will also allow you to analyse your presence online based off of other profiles in your field.
This is very vital in setting you on track, telling what seems to be working well and what is not really working as well as what aspects may need some editing.
8. CAPITALIZE ON CUSTOMER LOYALTY
Once you gain loyal customers, you can use to them to your advantage. Now this is surely not out of malice. Loyal customers bring traffic to your accounts because they basically become your brand advocates. They share your posts, like them, comment on them and invest in your brand products.
You may have to do a bit of homework to get them to become your brand ambassadors:
Ask satisfied clients to leave reviews on your different social networks including your website.
Interview satisfied clients and ask them to post and tag your brand on personal own social media accounts.
Doing giveaways , contents and different incentives that will encourage more clients to share your profile with several people.
Essentially, your loyal customers will be doing the advertising for you.
9. COMPETITOR ANALYSIS
We are nothing without our competitors, literally. We can use our competitors to our advantage. However, do not make the mistake of trying to copy every single step your competitors make. Instead work on ways you can benefit from your competitors weaknesses.
What can your business do better? What service can you capitalize on that your competitors seem to be failing at? For instance, one of your competitors might be influential on Instagram, but have a weak Facebook presence.
Conduct a SWOT analysis and review your businesses strengths and weaknesses and that of your competitors and see the gap. This will also help you work on your businesses weaknesses.
10. PAID ADS
Have you ever come across the saying, "a little help goes a long way," well in this case it's paid ads.
Paid ads will get you twice to three times more reach in just a matter of days. The more money you put in, the more reach and growth you can acquire. Despite these ads being an amazing way to reach more people, do not over use them with every post. You may include one after third post just so your followers don't feel pressured into purchasing your product or service. Doing this will give it a more natural feel.
Now is a great time to asses where your business stands after all these essentials have been made. It is never too late to perfect your craft and never feel bad if you seem to be falling behind. Work on how you can attain these essentials and deliver the best platforms for your clients!