Promoting your business using social media is a smart move for companies of all sizes, not only does it extend your reach, it also helps you gain visibility as a business or independent trade professional and build relationships with potential customers and other businesses. Once you’ve learnt the basics of social media and why it can help you boost business, it’s important to think about strategy and in particular, YOUR social media marketing strategy. After all every successful social media campaign is built on these 5 steps to social success!
Set Out a POA
Good social media marketing relies on a targeted ‘plan of action’, also known as a strategy. The core values of successful social media are to know your aim and your audience. Before you even start setting up your social media accounts, ask yourself these questions – what is your main objective? Who is your customer?
Answering these vital questions ensures that all your social media interactions are customer-driven. For example, when promoting Localtraders via Facebook and Twitter, we tend to focus on home, garden or trade-inspired content as the customers who use our service will be focused on improving their residential or business properties. On the other hand, the tradespeople on board with us will come to us as a point of reference for the latest trade news and insights. By targeting your content (however loosely or closely), you can ensure that you are promoting your brand as well as providing valuable information to potential customers. A strong social marketing strategy is dependent on you knowing your customers and not forgetting your business objectives.
Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thinly
The key with social media is to start small, there are hundreds of social networks out there, but by just focusing on a couple (like Facebook and Twitter) you can concentrate your efforts. After all just 30 minutes of social media interactions a day should be sufficient for any small to medium-sized business or individual professional to promote themselves and carry out a cost-effective marketing plan. Think about what social platform is more applicable to your customer profile too, for example, image focussed networks like Pinterest are a favourite with product-based businesses.
Over Promotion is a Big No-No
With any form of marketing there is a fine line between promotion and over promotion. Don’t focus on selling, instead do discreet forms of promotion, i.e. writing a blog post and including a link to your site or a phone number for your business at the bottom for reference. While you shouldn’t focus on selling, don’t lose sight of your objectives and always be business focused with every Tweet, Facebook post or comment. The golden rule of discreet promotion is to use social media to build relationships with potential customers and in turn, become a valuable resource.
The key to successful social media is to be consistent, don’t update your Facebook or Twitter accounts once then leave them for a few months before updating them again. Aim to complete a certain number of posts on your social networks of choice each day to fulfil your social targets. Generally aim for between 5-8 posts per day on platforms like Twitter and a little less on Facebook, with 4 or 5 per day. If you are unsure about what frequency you should be posting at, take a look at your competitors or similar companies, taking notes on how many posts they are doing per day, what they are posting and who they’re interacting with.
Patience is a Virtue
You have to have one big budget if you are looking for social media marketing success overnight. As with most marketing, results take time and patience, especially if like other SMEs your social media budget is tight or non-existent! Remember social media is your portal to cost-effective PR that you have complete control over.
Author Bio: Brittany Moodie is Content and Marketing Manager at Localtraders.com.