Social media has become one of the most widely used forms of communication in our society. And contrary to what my dad believes, it's not just "the kids" who are using it. According to Pew Research Center data on social media usage from 2005 - 2015:
"65% of adults now use social networking sites – a nearly tenfold jump in the past decade."
It is important to understand that you cannot successfully market through social media by simply having a Facebook page or a Twitter account. Effective social media marketing means engagement.
Many of your customers are on social media, providing you with the opportunity to not only speak to them, but to listen to them. You should be listening to what they are saying about their wants and needs, what they're saying about your competitors and, perhaps most importantly, what they're saying about you.
The following are some simple suggestions for increasing your small business social media savvy.
Social Media Don'ts
- Don't Use Ad Slogans for Social Media Posts
Posting on social media is not like taking out an ad in a newspaper. In fact, many people use ad blockers on their devices specifically because they do not want to see that kind of messaging. Sales pitches are mostly going to be ignored, or worse, cause people to quit following your posts.
- Don't Ignore Your Account
Not only is an inactive account is a wasted opportunity, it will reflect more poorly on your business than if you had no social media presence at all. A stagnant Facebook page will give the impression that your business is slow and you don't have much to offer.
- Don't Approach All Social Media Platforms the Same Way
Each social media platform has its own culture and type of audience. If you want to connect with users effectively, don't try to make the same scripted message try to work for all of them.
Social Media Do's
- Do Listen for Marketing Opportunities
Periodic keyword searches to see what conversations are going on about your products and services can be very enlightening. Identify customer pain points and use them for topics. Write keyword posts that address needs by sharing expertise or making applicable offers. These posts are more likely to be read and shared.
- Do Keep a Close and Active Eye On Your Social Media Accounts
In addition to posting to your social media accounts, it is important to pay attention to how people are responding. This is especially important if you use some type of automated scheduling system for social media updates. When someone replies to a post, be sure to keep the conversation going!
- Do Have a Thought-Out Strategy
Before you even set up your accounts, take some time to prepare a social media marketing plan. Study the different platforms, and see which types align with your business goals. Develop a schedule of posts that you will have ready to go, to keep your posts consistent and focused.
Social media is an amazing communications vehicle for small businesses, but it must be driven in the right direction. Putting some real time and thought into getting it right will allow you to tap its full potential. Contact the Upright team for assistance in planning your social media strategy.