In a world where potential customers are exposed to advertising nearly every waking minute, it's tough to create an effective message that truly resonates with your target market. That's where effective social media implementation and marketing comes into play, but how to decide which social media platforms are best for your small business is a challenge on its own. Marketing via social media is so much more than simply posting to Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Google+, or Instagram. If all you're doing is posting blindly, you might as well be casting a net into the open ocean. It looks promising, but you're not likely to catch what you’re looking for, or anything at all.
There are some basic steps you can take to increase the effectiveness of your social media presence to promote yourself or your business. This post will touch on the key steps in determining the most effective social media platforms for your business and how to target your audience.
- Learn a little bit about each social platform and figure out which are most relevant to your company. No one says you're restricted to using only one, but for any business just starting in the field of social media marketing, we recommend starting with one or two basic platforms, Facebook and Twitter being the most common. Whichever platform you choose, however, make sure it's the one that will reach the majority of your clients. This brings us to our second point.
- Who is your target audience? Is it the general public or a highly selective niche? Knowing your target market will also help you determine where you'll get the most results with your online presence. There's a reason why Facebook has over 1 billion users, and despite being one of the older social media platforms, it continues to attract a new audience of both young and old. According to Business Insider, Facebook has a 67% coverage rate in the U.S. That means your business can target much of the United States in a single online system.
- Create the right type of account. Facebook allows you to reach your intended audience in a variety of ways. Creating a company page for your business is the first step. Facebook company pages allow you to reach out to potential clients, share industry specific resources or company updates, increase exposure and traffic, and more. For the best exposure, don’t forget to include a link to your Facebook page (and all other social pages) on your website, newsletter, marketing collateral, etc. This will ensure your clients and target audience can easily find and follow your social pages.
- Establish a personal marketing goal. What is it that you're hoping to "get" out of your social media presence? Is it just a presence? If so, then just being active with daily posts is the answer, but most of the time that's not all we’re after as a business. Ultimately, it's about engaging with our audiences and creating a space to interact with each other, sharing industry and company related resources, staying competitive in search engines, creating actionable leads, and much more. This activity not only boosts the credibility of your company, but also attracts a new realm of potential customers.
- Learn the platforms capabilities and best practices in order to effectively utilize the platforms. It’s important to carefully construct your posts, reach out to and connect with the right people, stick with a consistent and cogent posting schedule, and more. Resources like customer testimonials to show what your business is capable of achieving can make your social page stand out from a competitor.
Social media marketing can be daunting for those who haven't had any previous experience with it. You might be asking yourself "Why isn't this working?” or Where are my customers?" Because it’s often overwhelming, we recommend introducing yourself to it slowly and trying out a number of sites before throwing your resources fully into it. While practice makes perfect, many small business owners don’t have the time to do so. If this applies to you, reach out today to learn about our social media management services, tools, and experience.