If you own a business, chances are you maintain at least one social media channel. If you don’t yet, devise a plan to get there! But “Why?" you ask. First off, social media platforms are FREE. Just sign up and get started.
Secondly, it’s the perfect way to find a new audience or reach your existing one with information about your business. So, for all you small businesses out there, social media is a great place to start marketing. Especially if you don’t have a huge budget.
Social Media Presence
So how do you maximize your presence on social media channels? Here are five simple tips to help you get started:
1. Set SMART Goals
Having a general objective like “grow a larger community presence” is a great start but figuring out how to get there may become overwhelming. That’s where SMART goals come in. This concept has been around for a while, but in case you aren’t familiar, SMART is an acronym for:
Specific - Specifically identify the social channel you want to start with and a metric.
Measurable - Find where/how you can measure this metric.
Achievable - This isn’t the time to set stretch goals, stick with something realistic like a 25% increase in the first quarter.
Relevant - The goal should contribute to your overall social media strategy, i.e., growing your presence.
Time-based - A respectable amount of time should be alotted to achieve the goal. For example, the goal should be met by the end of the first quarter.
Setting a SMART goal helps you to stay on track towards meeting your objectives, and not spiral down a rabbit hole of randomly posting.
2. Know Your Target Audience
Social media isn’t the place to post anything you feel like and cross your fingers your followers relate to it. Just like in a brick-and-mortar store, you need to get to know who your customers are and give them what they want. So, once you’ve settled on your goals, identify your target audience. If you’re thinking, “Oh that’s easy, everyone will love my product/business/service,” well technically ‘everyone’ is not an audience.
Properly identifying your target audience is a crucial step for two reasons -- it directly affects the type of content you should be posting and which social channel to post said content on. So, to make sure you get the most out of your social media efforts, please don’t skip this step :)
3. Make It Visual
Content formats have evolved over the decades from written, to audio, to visual (or even a combination of all three). But it’s visual content - photos, videos, graphics - that have proven to be the most effective because they help people process, understand, and retain more information more quickly.
When it comes to social media, the results are no different - visual content is king! Additionally visuals help to increase brand awareness, and on Facebook, posts with video have the highest engagement at 26%. (source https://financesonline.com/fac) And with the popularity of image only platforms like Instagram, using visuals in your posts is a must-do these days.
Don’t forget to mix up your visuals too, with behind-the-scenes photos, infographics, and timeless photo/quote combos.
4. Create an Editorial Calendar
It doesn’t matter if your business is a heavyweight like McDonald’s, or the small family-owned bakery on the corner of Main Street, the one thing you both should have in common when it comes to social media is being consistent. And the best way to achieve this is staying organized with a content calendar.
Content calendars are great because they allow you to:
- See posts across multiple social channels and optimize them specific to each platform.
- Keep your posts original and fresh instead of repeating the same content
- Stay organized!
5. Stay Active
Nothing looks worse for a business or brand than an inactive social media feed. Especially since your Facebook/Instagram/Twitter accounts may be the first place potential customers find you.
However, the reality is that staying active on social media takes time - time that you probably don’t have - so here are some quick tips to help keep your feed up to date:
- Block out specific times of the day to post and engage with your followers. 15 minutes, three times a day should be enough to keep things going.
- Utilize evergreen content to make it easier to fill in the gaps
- Use a social scheduler and automation to save time - there are a number of systems out there to help.
Whether you’re just getting started or your business has been on social media for years, trying out any of these tips will help guide you in the right direction to boosting your presence (and hopefully engagement too)!