It is commonly thought that social media, as it is a free means of advertising, is great for small businesses to use. It is also considered to be one of the best ways to engage with a broad audience. However, what is not commonly known, is that what you may be saving in money you will most likely be spending in time. Without an effective social media plan you could end up spending lots of time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc but get very little back in resulting sales.
The following 5 steps will get your social media campaign started on the right track - so that your efforts are not wasted.
1. Do your Research
You first need to work out who your audience is and what social media platform they are using. There is a plethora of social media platforms and as a small business you don't have time to engage with every one of them. For example, a lot of business to business companies (B2B) aren't focusing on using Facebook - instead they are using LinkedIn. Other businesses, which are better suited to visual storytelling, are using Instagram. Instagram is quick and easy to use - all you need to do is snap a picture and upload it. The types of businesses that are using Instagram include beauty, travel, retail, hospitality and the health and fitness industry. It is also important to remember that one of the main aims of social media is to direct your customers and prospects to your website to find out more about the products and services you offer - and ultimately make a purchase - so this also needs to be taken into account when considering the best social media platforms to use.
2. Promote your content
Content is king. This means that what you are posting is relevant to your audience. A social media campaign will not be successful if all you are doing is promoting your products. Your audience will quickly lose interest and stop following you. As a general rule, 60% of what you post should be relevant third party industry information. Your own blogs should take up another 30% - this will demonstrate your industry expertise. This leaves 10% of your posts to provide discounts and specials to your followers.
3. Engage your customers
It is often forgotten that social media (no matter what platform is being used) is not a billboard but is about engaging your customers and prospects. If a customer or prospect makes a comment take the time to respond to them - even if it is a simple 'thanks for your valuable comment'. Also, remember that what you post on social media never really goes away so carefully think about the brand image you want to portray.
4. Manage your social media workload
You need to aim to spend 15 to 30 minutes a day on your social media campaign. The way to do this is by being organised. Spend a few hours to set up a editoral calendar that tells you when you need to post and a list of topics to post on. This will save you time as you will have some ideas to post on instead of wasting time each time you need to post. Leverage what you do as well. When you write a blog upload it to Facebook, Twitter etc. There are applications that can assist with both scheduling of posts and automatically uploading posts to your social media accounts.
5. Consider social media advertising
Building up the social media profile for most small businesses is slow. It is a powerful tool once you get a bit of traction so it is worth it in the long run. While building up your profile you should consider social media advertising. Both Facebook and Twitter offer various options in advertising, whilst Instagram is currently rolling out an advertising platform. LinkedIn has advertising options as well as offering premium accounts.
With these 5 tips you can begin building a social medium campaign that will build brand recognition and drive customers and prospects to your business. It will take time, but with a well thought out plan you can save both time and money but still get great results.
Dynamic Websites can help you with your social media campaign. Our services include designing your campaign, creating and posting on social media platforms, writing and posting blogs and managing social media advertising campaigns.
Dynamic Websites specialise in small business web design. We are based in the Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn and provide services throughout Australia. We understand what it takes to get a small business online at an affordable price and with the minimum of fuss. Along with designing websites for small business, tradies and online shops we provide online marketing services. Our online marketing for small business extends to Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, search engine optimisation (SEO), content writing, blog writing and social media marketing.