When you think about all the things you have to do as a small business owner, you might be overwhelmed if you put it all down on paper. Besides ordering, keeping customers happy, building relationships with vendors, and, well, making money, you also have to keep new customers coming through your doors. Marketing, all by itself, is often a full-time job, but if your company doesn’t have the bandwidth to hire a team of experts to do this work, it all falls in your lap. Sure, you can create postcards and write emails, but are you really reaching people where they are if that’s all you’re doing?
In 2020, there were 3.6 billion users on social media worldwide. That’s no small number! If your marketing strategies don’t incorporate social media into the mix, you’re likely missing out on quite a few potential leads that could otherwise be loyal customers to your brand. Of course, the idea of social media marketing all by itself is a big endeavor for anyone to take on—particularly if you already have a million other things to do in your day. Rest assured, you can climb this mountain, and Surefire Local is here to help you get started! Here are six simple tips you can employ when you’re ready to build your local business social media strategy:
1. Determine Your Channels
Not every social media platform is created equally. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Snapchat all target different users for different reasons. You don’t need to be on every single platform; instead, you need to find out where your audience is, so you can prioritize the channels that make the most sense for your business.
The trick to finding the right social media space for your company is to confirm the goals you’re trying to achieve through this form of marketing. From there, figure out which platforms your audience is on, and choose a platform that invites the type of content you wish to share with the world.
Here’s a quick rundown of the main channels available on social media today.
There are roughly 2.8 billion people who actively use Facebook each month around the globe. This means it’s one of the places where you can get the farthest reach if you’re looking into social media marketing. Despite overwhelming competition in the social media space, Facebook still seems to be the reigning king when it comes to creating social media marketing (SMM) campaigns and outreach to potential customers. It’s a powerful tool that reaches nearly all demographics and regions, and it can work well for businesses of all sizes.
Instagram was created with the idea of sharing high-quality photos in mind. If you’re able to showcase your products or services using photos, this might be a great channel for you to explore. You can take followers behind the scenes of your business and re-post user-generated content so you can boost your credibility with followers.
YouTube can be an incredibly effective marketing tool for small businesses. It doesn’t matter if you’re service-based, sell products online, have a brick-and-mortar location, or offer your customers software, you can readily acquire new customers if you put YouTube to work for you. Since YouTube is owned by Google, it puts it high up in the world of searches; in fact, this second-to-only-one search engine reaches 2+ billion users, many of whom are in the 18-to-34 category.
Twitter is a great place to share updates about your company, offer up industry news and engage directly with your audience. Twitter tends to be used by nearly an equal number of males and females—most of whom fall into the 13-to-29 age category. It’s mostly used for timely content, meaning it’s a great place for news and up-to-the-minute updates about your business.
LinkedIn’s target is those with professional careers. Although daily usage isn’t as frequent as Facebook or Instagram, it’s still a great place to be seen if this is where your target audience hangs out. According to Sprout Social, more than half of LinkedIn’s users have a college education, and almost half make $75,000 annually or more.
Newcomer to the social scene, TikTok has made a big name for itself in not so much time. This platform targets the youngest viewers, with nearly 50% of people on this app falling between 18 and 24 years old. Another 27% are just teenagers, hitting the mark between 13 and 17.
Snapchat also tends to skew younger with around one-third of its users falling between 26 and 35 years old and a whopping 48% between 15 and 25 years old.
2. Be Creative with Content
Links to your blogs are great, but that’s far from the only way to use social media. With each platform, you have the opportunity to truly get creative with the content you put out into the world. Consider using social media to showcase:
- Customer spotlights
- Special offers
- Ask-me-anything (AMA) hangouts
- Live videos
Think about how you’re using visual content and transform your ideas or existing static content into engaging, lively social media posts that your audience will consider sharable.
3. Focus on High-Quality Content that Educates and Entertains
Your customers want to know the latest and greatest updates about your business; that’s why they’re your followers on social media. Bear in mind, however, that they want to see updates that look like they came from an actual human—not a robot! They also don’t want to see an endless stream of promotional content that doesn’t really add value to their social media experiences.
When you post content, shoot for a bit of humor in your updates. Take this opportunity to show some behind-the-scenes footage so your customers can get to know the people who make your brand tick. Social media is also a great place to educate people about how to best use your products and what they need to know to make the most use out of their purchases.
The more educational and entertaining your content is, the more engaging your audience will find it to be.
4. Showcase Your Brand’s Personality Through Storytelling
Again, it’s all about engagement. You can engage with people through storytelling using different mediums. For example, great imagery and videos can help you show off your company’s culture, how your brand has evolved over time, and how the people on the inside contribute to the overall personality of the company they work for.
When you’re using social media for storytelling, you want to develop a long story arc, which essentially means bringing together a sequence of events with particular key elements. Every clip, blog, or video you post should be a story in itself, but when pieced together, should tell a greater tale of your brand.
Also, show, don’t tell. Storytelling on social media isn’t as much about the words you would use to convey your history; rather, it involves the incorporation of compelling videos, stunning infographics, and other visuals that will make people stop scrolling right in their tracks.
5. Don’t Use Social Media to Impress People; Use It to Help Them
Sure, people want to hear about what your business is up to, but they don’t want to be bombarded with “me, me, me” every time your brand pops up in their news feed.
Instead of trying to impress people with your social posts, look for ways to inspire them. Maybe you can help them optimize the use of a product you sell, or perhaps you could highlight some greater social good that your company stands behind.
Use your social channels to bring positive change into the lives of the people who follow your brand and inspire them to be the very best humans they can be.
6. Establish Your KPIs and Continually Review Performance
You may have any number of goals you’re trying to achieve from your social media campaigns. Maybe you’re looking to boost:
- Site visits
- Brand Awareness
- Something else
You should know what exactly you’re trying to achieve before you even get going on sending a strategy out into the universe. After all, if you don’t know what your goals are, you won’t have a baseline from which to start. And if you don’t have a baseline, you’ll never know when you’re actually succeeding or running into opportunities for improvement.
You definitely need to establish your KPIs upfront and continually monitor them so you can make changes as needed if there’s an opportunity for improvement. Social media is far from a set-it-and-forget-it marketing channel!
Request a Demo of the Surefire Local Marketing Platform
If you need help getting your social media strategy delivered to the world in the best way possible, you’ve come to the right place. With our all-in-one local marketing platform, you’ll soon realize that social media is a thing to be loved, not feared. Schedule your demo with our team today!