With everyone and their mom (literally) on social media nowadays, it can be distracting, overwhelming and wildly competitive to stand out as a small to mid-sized business. There’s only so much time in the day, and only so much in the budget than any extra time can be spent perfecting your products or services, while internal affairs such as keeping up with social media can fall to the wayside. But what goes even more overlooked are the benefits that social media can bring to the table for your business in terms of new clients, ease of customer service, and budget friendly marketing. With all the new features social media is offering, you can stay ahead of the curve by creatively AND easily sharing content with your network.
- Live Streaming Video Content: This one may seem scary at first, but we promise you, it isn’t. Last month, it was announced that Facebook hit 100 million hours of watched video content PER DAY. Let that settle into your thoughts for a moment. We live in a day and age where people want to get to the point. It’s less likely for people to read a lengthy post than to watch a video. Live streaming not only let’s you communicate your message in an authentic way, but you can set a more accurate tone to your message as opposed to a readable post. Users can increase their brand loyalty and form a deeper connection to your products, services, and your staff on a personal level. If having a video on your website’s homepage alone can increase conversions by up to 80%, then why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of this moneymaking avenue?
Recommendation: Keep it genuine and interesting. If you want to take about a new product or service, share it as if you would share to a friend. Or maybe you’re moving into a new office and you share small videos of the process to take your network along on the journey. Either way, keep it real.
- Let Your Consumers Do The Legwork: If you believe in the quality of your products and services, this one will be a breeze. Encourage your clients to share about their experiences about your products or work using hashtags to their videos or posts of their reviews. You can offer discounts, free products for a review, or other creative approaches to get reviews to start. This not only gets their connections on board with trusting you, but it allows more content for your business to share.
Recommendation: Offer incentives or products or ask for reviews first from your most loyal clientele. Since they already love you and have a standing relationship with your business, their review will be most influential.
- Stay On Top Of Engagement: One of the biggest things everyone will tell you about social media marketing and account management is that it is time consuming and it’s hard to keep up with users. Well, no more excuses there. There are plenty of sites and software that can not only manage your account’s content, but also effectively manage engagement from your audience. Social media management software like Sprout Social allows you to keep track of analytics on all accounts, and saves valuable time by scheduling posts, offering organized feeds to gain new content and houses a all-in-one inbox so you can reply to a tweet, a LinkedIn message, or follow someone back all in one place. If someone authentically engages with your content, this is no time to be patient. Reply back with enthusiasm and keep the conversation going!
Recommendation: If you’re worried about the cost of any software, crunch the numbers of how much it costs to have you or someone else run the accounts per month. I can assure you it’s usually more than $100 and will save you ample time in both management and administrative time.
- Prioritize Your Efforts Based On Results (And Analytics!): Not every business will greatly benefit from every single social media channel. What results are you hoping to obtain? Who is your demographic? What accounts do they use? Spend time doing your research to decide if you need Facebook and Instagram or if just Facebook will do. If your business is more lifestyle driven, maybe Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook would be the best avenues to dedicate your time and money to. If you’re more technical, perhaps Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are better for your audience. Take time to revisit your efforts by checking your analytics on each account. (Again, Sprout Social organizes this for you too!) See where you can pull back on some and put in more effort and content into others. Be in the know about when your audience engages and why. Recommendation: If this is above your head and the budget allows for it, consider hiring a professional marketing consultant to help you in not only communicating what all those numbers mean, but also strategize and create a plan for your brand moving forward.
- Create YOUR Story: Social media is ultimately telling a story. Who are you and what do you do? Who is involved in it? Where are you headed? Be aware of what of your brand image actually is and effectively communicate it. Be the teller of your narrative. Someone left you a negative post complaining? Show your brands composer and quality customer service by promptly replying with a rectification. See influencers that you want to love your brand? Offer them products or services in exchange to offer them to their audience. See a video that ties in to your brand’s mission or beliefs? Share it! Let your audience know where you stand and create a connection to them on a personal level. You brand is not only what you do, but also WHO you are.
Recommendation: Create a plan. Sit down with your team and revisit your mission. Set goals. Organize your brand’s desired feelings. Stay on target with these each time you post!
Overall, knowing your brand, doing your research, and staying up with the latest trends are all essential keys to your marketing success. Whether you decide to tackle these efforts in-house, or work on your branding or marketing strategies with a professional digital media company, you can be assured that your business will grow honestly and financially.