Social media strategy: Tips for using social media for small businesses

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Social media strategy: Tips for using social media for small businesses

Advertising and marketing practices have come a long way since the days seen in the hit TV show, Mad Men. This is because it is no longer purely about encouraging impulse sales through shiny images and catchy slogans, but instead, it is about driving sustained brand engagement by igniting and participating in meaningful conversations.

Today, social media has completely transformed business marketing practices – it represents an opportunity for businesses to resonate with potential customers on a whole new level by creating their own personas and making their values transparent. In fact, according to a survey by Deloitte, almost half (48 per cent) of respondents said they had engaged with a company through social media in the past 12 months. And with 3.3 billion active social media users around the world, imagine the potential.

But, here’s the caveat; successfully engaging with your target audience on social media requires a well-thought-out and timely strategy. So, here are some helpful tips for getting the most out of your business’ social media channels.

Think about what your voice sounds like?

Mimicking other brands won’t do you any favours on social media because this is an opportunity to show how your business is unique and why potential customers should follow you and not your competitors. So, develop a brand personality and conversational tone of voice that represents exactly how your brand thinks and behaves differently from others. And you don’t have to look too far to find some inspiring examples from big brands mastering the power of individuality on social media.

Be active

In real life, you wouldn’t start a conversation and then leave the room so, don’t do it on social media. That’s right, your job isn’t done just because you initiated a campaign, conversation or posted a thought-provoking or witty comment. Once you create your social media channels and start to engage with your audience, it is important to remain active. Continually monitor your social channels to help make sure your business is promptly responding to questions and engaging with followers’ comments. Remember, this is about developing a personable approach to marketing that could help to position your brand top of a consumer’s mind when they are considering to make a buying decision.

Be (frequently) present

Continuity is essential to a successful social media strategy, which means regularly posting new content often, that makes sense for you and your business. Maintaining your brand’s visibility on social media can help to ensure you continue to grow your audience and remain at the forefront of your followers’ minds. After all, with the average person spending over two hours on social media every single day, you have many opportunities to stay connected with current and potential customers.

Consistency and balance are key

There is nothing more confusing (and potentially damaging) than a brand that appears to change its persona from one day to the next, as well as a brand that occasionally misses the mark with tone-deaf or inappropriate comments. An inconsistent approach to values, tone of voice and style of content could communicate to your audience that your brand lacks authenticity and direction. Unsurprisingly, reports suggest brands are striving for authenticity more than ever before as increasing numbers of consumers show preparedness to unfollow or boycott brands with off-mark social strategies.

Further, ensure the look and tone of your social media content is consistent with that of your other online branding, such as your website. If you posted your social media content on your website, would it fit seamlessly? If the answer is yes, then you should also consider embedding your social media channels into your website. If people are engaged while visiting your website, easily accessible links to your social media accounts may, in fact, prompt a new follower. Consider also adding your website to your social media channel bios. This way, if people love the content you post, they can then easily click the link to your website to learn more.

Know where to find your target audience

Getting the most out of your social media strategy is about knowing where your target audience likes to hang out. In other words, depending on your target demographic, product or service, some social media channels could be a whole lot more effective than others.

Understanding where to find your audience on social media could inform how much your business spends boosting posts across different channels, or even, whether to use a certain social media channel at all. For example, if you are in the business of cake decoration or travel, posting alluring images on Instagram may be the way to go, while comments on Twitter could lack the desired impact. There are plenty of resources out there which could help you get a better idea about social media demographics.

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