Why use social media to grow your business? It’s where your customers are. There are nearly 2.5 billion social media users across the globe. And more than 50 percent of small business owners in the U.S. rely on social as their primary digital-marketing technique because of it’s effectiveness for finding and connecting with new customers.
Without goals, it’s hard to know exactly how well your social media strategy is performing and where you need to iterate to continue moving forwards.
In total, we’ll walk through 9 very different, but effective social media goals and for each goal we also relevant metrics to track and share how to measure your results.
Social media isn’t only a marketing tool, it can affect almost every area of a business, social media is a key channel for brand awareness, engagement, lead generation, customer support and much more.
why use social media to grow your business?
Social media for small business: 10 tips to set you up for success
Start with a plan
Just like a business needs a business plan, your social media actions need to be informed by a carefully crafted strategy, you must: 1. Set social media goals and objectives. 2. Conduct a social media audit. 3. Create or improve your existing accounts. 4. Find inspiration. 5. Create a social media calendar. 6. Test, evaluate, and adjust your strategy.
Decide which platforms are right for you
Not all social media platforms will be suitable for your business and the goals and objectives you’ve set. Below we offer a high-level look at the most popular platforms. • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedIn • Twitter • Snapchat YouTube • Pinterest
Know your audience
Determining the traits of your target audience is a critical component of market research. Without this information, you’ll have no idea how to appeal to them. You need to know things like age, gender, location, pain points, goals, average income, etc.
Use social media to promote and sell your products
Using social for promotion isn’t as easy as simply tweeting about your brand every once in a while or using Facebook advertising. You need a strategy in place to optimize your results. For starters, use the famous 80/20 rule (also known as the Pareto principle) of social curation: 80 percent of your social promotional and selling success (the event) comes from just 20 percent of the cause (your social curation). Therefore, your social content across all your channels should be no more than 20 percent promotional. The other 80 percent should be about your customers—engaging with them and sharing relevant content that they will find valuable. Then, you have to use each social channel according to its strengths.
Incorporate images, videos, and graphics whenever you can
Use visual elements as much as you can, no matter what social platform you’re using. Incorporating visuals—from static images to videos, GIFs, and memes—in your social media content is easy. Just make sure that whatever visual asset you’re using is relevant to your content and the audience.
Choose quality over quantity
It’s tempting to put your brand on as many social platforms as possible in an attempt to reach as large an audience as possible. But there’s no benefit to spreading yourself too thin. When quantity increases, quality usually drops because you’re more focused on quotas: a certain number of tweets per week or a certain number of Facebook posts per month. Instead, focus on quality over quantity. Go where your audience is and deliver them value. You’ll be rewarded for it. Remember the Pareto Principle: The majority of your social content shouldn’t be promoting yourself, it’s about adding value for the audience.
Use the right tools
Save time and effort by using the tools that make social media easier. To streamline your social marketing, it’s helpful to use a social media management solution like Hootsuite to increase your productivity. Here are just a few of the features within Hootsuite that are designed to make your job easier: • Platform integration. • Scheduling. • Social media monitoring and social listening. • Engagement.
Monitor and respond to all social media conversations around your business
Social media can act as a stand in for the face-to-face conversation in today’s digital world. Responding directly to the audience allows you to humanize your brand. Fail to engage your audience and they might think you’re not invested in what they want. And that’s not good for your bottom line. More than 80 percent of all customers expect a business to reply within 24 hours of a social media posting. Social media engagement also offers an opportunity for you to demonstrate your brand’s unique personality. Don’t hesitate to reply with a bit of humor, all the while showcasing your business’ expertise. Using photographs of you and your employees at work is also an effective way of connecting with the audience, as data shows that image-rich social content drastically increases engagement.
Schedule content to free up more time for engagement
Sharing relevant content is important, but it shouldn’t get in the way of the time you need to actively engage the audience. Free up more time for engagement by using Hootsuite’s Bulk Composer to schedule hundreds of posts across multiple social networks.
Find inspiration from successful brands and those in your space
There’s no shame in using winning strategies on social that other brands have used to great effect. Taking inspiration from established brands on social media and experiment with some of their tactics on your own channels. You can also monitor and take inspiration from what your competitors are doing. If you see a great idea, you can adapt it for your own campaigns.