7 Steps For Social Media Success In Small Business

If you’re anything like me, social media is a big part of your life and has changed some of the fundamental ways your business interacts with your customers. Whether it is keeping up with out of state family and friends, or watching cat videos until two in the morning, social media is all around us. For businesses, this digital marketing platform can show the world how amazing and unique they are. But it also gives brands a chance to lose the interest of people who would otherwise be head over heels for their product. Make sure you hold the audience’s attention as they fall in love with your company while helping you reach your business’s goals by doing the following things.  

1. Set Your Goal 

The first thing that you should be doing even before setting up any account, is setting a goal for what you hope to accomplish through your social media account. If you don’t set a goal, you have nothing to work towards and less purpose in your content.  Each platform has its strengths and best fits for certain industries.  

Make sure that your goal is clear rather than wishy-washy ideas such as “increase sales.” Instead of such an obscure goal, change it to something like “increase sales by 15%” or “increase sales to 200 units per month.” That way you have a clear road map of what you hope to accomplish.  

These are called SMART Goals and they are: 

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Bound

Setting these goals will not only help you with planning your social media content but also with measuring their effectiveness and knowing when you might need to make a change in your approach.  You can learn more about SMART goals here.  

2. Define Your Audience 

It may seem a bit obvious, but you need to take your audience into consideration when determining what the best course of action would be. This will affect the way that you use your social media to make it best work for you.  Make sure that you are looking at real data for social media use and not making prior assumptions on who uses what platform.  Much of your success with social media is dependent on this part being right.

Pick the social media platform that best suits your audience and your business. If your audience mostly consists of people under the age of 30, Instagram or Twitter could be a great option for you. On the other hand, if you have an older target audience, those are less likely to work for you if your product is also not a good fit. Make sure you take the time to research your audience and where they have a higher chance to see your content.  Then also think, where can my content be showcased in the best manner…is it best conveyed by visual like food or landscaping, or are you trying to sell something like insurance or maintenance agreements where a longer-form format like video or writing works better.  

Make sure to also focus on growing your audience. As a business, you want to expose more and more people to your content. Constantly be looking for new ways to reach new people who could become big fans of your work.  A special growth hack… go to your social media platform of choice and look for questions you can answer.  Don’t try to sell yourself, just be helpful, and you will notice a steady increase in your followership, and ultimately your sales.  

3. Build Relationships

Not only are you trying to get your content out onto the web, but you’re also trying to engage with as many people as you can. Respond to the people who take some of their valuable time to engage with your company. Build relationships with people who interact with you to show that you care about your customer base and are more than some money-hungry machine. If a customer takes the time to write a review, good or bad, take the time to respond.  As a consumer, you can normally appreciate that everything doesn’t go perfect, and sometimes how you handle the bad says more than how many times you can get people to say you’re great.  

It could also be a good idea for you to like and respond to other’s content. Rather than focusing only on those who already came to you, reach out to those who may not have otherwise bumped into you.  Not only does this boost your own reputation and give you more visibility it also fosters better community and a willingness to assist others.  We will even comment and share direct competitors’ information when it is a good piece of content or we can contribute positively to the situation.  We are very careful to not self promote or attempt to poach any of their customers though if we do decide to interact.  We are simply there most times to reinforce good information and contribute to the conversation.  

4. Create Content 

It helps to put out useful relevant information that readers will actually be interested in. If you are a cleaning company and suddenly put out a post with the best travel tips, then you may need to rethink your goals.  Although you have the ability to cover many different things on your social media profiles, you will want to make sure that your profiles have an overall theme and a reason to follow.  Don’t be afraid to add a little personality and some “lifestyle” posts.  But also keep in mind that you have an audience and they have certain expectations of what they see on your profiles.  However…The #1 MISTAKE anyone makes in this regard though is to overthink it and ultimately not post anything.  Want an easy way to start?  Write down the top 10, 20, 50, or 100 questions your customers ask you and just answer those.  With today’s algorithms and data structure if you put out a post that doesn’t resonate with your audience you will likely see your engagement drop since the Social media companies will show your post to fewer people. 

5. Post Regularly 

One of the biggest mistakes that companies can make with their social media success is to not post on a regular schedule. We get it….it’s tough and there’s plenty to do in your business without remembering to go into Instagram and Post that meme. Posting regularly helps you stay in the minds of your customers without constantly being in their face. For most people, this schedule works out to be at least once a day while still being under three times.  The best thing we can recommend for this is to use Social Media Management software to pre-schedule your post for the whole month.  That way you can sit down for a couple of hours at the beginning of the month and schedule something to go out whether or not you need to “change your hats” on any particular day, and you just forget to post that picture.  

6. Analyze Your Data 

Now that you did all the work to set up and run your social media platform, don’t lose out on another opportunity for advancement. Analyze your data to evaluate which of your posts did the best and which of them did the worst. This could mean that you find out that posts with amazing pictures attached did the best or that posts with long videos did poorly.  This is another strength of a good social marketing tool allowing you to look at all of your accounts together and notice trends and opportunities much faster.  

Compile all that information and move on to the final step to figure out where to go from there! 

7. Always Be Ready to Improve  

Now that you have done all those steps, it’s time to evaluate where all that hard work got you. Review everything that you are doing to find what is working and what needs to be changed. Social Media is changing at such a rapid pace that if you haven’t made small tweaks to your SMART goals and execution of them you are missing something because the platform has moved out from under you.  There is always something that can be fixed or improved upon to make your processes become more efficient and increase sales. 

For more information about how to improve your business, feel free to contact us at any time! 

 

We also recommend using The SMB Hub Social Marketing Dashboard to bring all of these steps down into an easy to use platform. It is also part of the Business Online Toolkit.

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