Social Media for small businesses in 2019
Social media is the best way to talk to your target market and increase your reach. There are 8 steps to creating a solid, successful social media marketing strategy.
Set relevant, realistic goals.
The goals that you’re working towards should be attainable. Use the SMART framework to check if your goal is realistic.
While having challenges is great, but they should be attainable. One million followers on Instagram by Christmas might sound great, but that would be a mammoth undertaking for even the biggest influencer. Setting realistic benchmarks to measure your success by is key, and remember, you don’t have to succeed on every social media network at once. Examples of attainable goals are:
• Increasing brand awareness
• Growing your member base
• Improving your return on investment
Understand your audience
Not everyone who uses social media is alike. Twitter users are different to Facebook users which are all different to Snapchat users and so on, and each social network has different subsets of users it within their membership. Creating a fictional example of your ideal customer will help you understand who you’re trying to reach. The better you can understand your target market, the easier it will be for you to reach them.
Determine your most relevant metrics
Using the goal you set out in the first step, the metrics you should be looking at are:
• How many people are engaging with your posts. This shows how your content is being received by your audience
• If your goals are sales based, take note of the number of Clicks per campaign you get.
• If your goal is to increase brand awareness, look at your Post Reach.
Investigate how your competitors approach social media
A quick competitor analysis can give you a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, which will give you an understanding of what potential customers expect from businesses in your industry. Once you have identified what content your potential audience will respond to, you can tailor your feeds accordingly.
Create shareable content
The thing a lot of businesses forget about social media is that it’s social, and made for people to share things on, not to be spammed at. Videos, memes, gifs, written content, and images will all be well received, and if you can include your audience in the content they will be more likely to share it. Things you should think about when you create content are:
• What is the optimal character count per social media channel?
• What is the number of hashtags for messages on each social media channel?
• Should I be using emojis in my social media messages?
• What is the best content type for each channel?
Engage with your audience
Social media channels are social. People use them to interact with other people, and successful businesses don’t just talk at their audiences, they engage actively with them. When you’re setting up your social media channels, think carefully about the kind of people that are going to interact with them, and make sure you can match their tone.
Establish the best times to post and set up a content calendar
Using social media scheduling tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, or Sprout Social will make this easier. Find out when your target audience will be online on each platform and set up your calendar accordingly. CoSchedule has done extensive research on social media user behaviour, and have listed the best times to post on social media in 2018.
Track your results and adapt
Keeping a constant eye on how you’re tracking on your goal achievements by watching the metrics for success that you’ve established is vital. Twitter and Facebook have their own analytics sections, and there are many other analytics tools for other platforms on the web. These numbers will show you what’s working and what isn’t, and give you ideas on how to adjust your social media strategy accordingly.