5 Things Businesses on Social Media Need to Know
Are you thinking about adding your business to the 2.89 billion social media profiles out there?
If you are, good idea! The world of social media has incredible marketing potential for businesses, letting you connect with a global audience on a shoestring budget. Seriously, if you don’t have any money you can market yourself on social media for a total of $0!
But, it isn’t always easy. With so many other profiles out there and a plethora of different strategies to explore, where do you even start?
To help you out, we’ve put together the top things businesses on social media need to know before they start marketing.
1. Start With One Platform
When it comes to social media business tips, there’s one that you need to remember when starting out; start small.
It can be tempting to dive in and pop your business up on every possible channel you can find, hoping to gain maximum exposure. But, this is definitely counterproductive! Unless you have a huge marketing team and a big budget, you’re not going to see the best results from this strategy.
Instead, pick just one platform to begin with. This could be the platform where most of your audience is, the one that suits your business the best, or simply the one that you’re most comfortable with. Whatever your reason, once you’ve found it you should immerse yourself in it.
Learn everything about the platform, including:
- What content gets the best results
- The different tools available to you and how to use them
- Campaigns and promotions that get a lot of engagement
- How frequently you should post
- How to encourage more people to like, comment, and share your posts
- What tone of voice to use
From platform to platform, all of these things differ. By learning yours inside out you can start to create a more effective marketing strategy.
It’ll also give you more time to curate valuable content, interact with your users, and boost your following. If you have so many platforms that your time on each is spread too thin, it’s just not going to work.
2. You Need to Know Your Goals
Social media for businesses is about more than just boosting profits. Of course, that’s the end goal for most companies, but you need to know more about your purpose before you start marketing. This will help keep your content aligned, your team on the same page, and your time optimised.
If you’re not sure what you want from your campaign yet, let’s take a look at some different goals that could inspire you.
Improve Customer Service
A lot of social media platforms are brilliant for improving customer service, giving your customers an easy way to contact you and giving you an easy way to reply. If this is one of your goals, make sure you have someone on hand to monitor your social media accounts. Around 80% of customers expect a brand to reply within a day, so you have to be on the ball!
Create a Strong Brand Identity
If you do your social media marketing properly, you can create a strong brand identity that’s relatable and recognizable. From the colors of the images you post to the level of slang in your writing, everything adds up to create a personable brand that your audience should connect with (as long as you get it right!).
Expand Your Local Reach
A lot of brands use social media to solidify their presence in their local area. By interacting with other nearby brands, posting about events in your area, and staying active in community groups you can make yourself known as a part of your community.
3. Check Out Your Competitors
Before creating a social media marketing strategy, you should check out your competitors. This isn’t so that you can copy and paste their strategies, but simply for inspiration. Why start from scratch when someone else already has?
Take a look at:
- What they are posting
- What posts their followers interact with the most
- How they’re encouraging interaction
- The look of their profiles
You can then make note of what you think would work well with your brand and what wouldn’t, helping you to start shaping a strategy.
If you’ve got a completely new product, don’t worry about not finding competitors! Simply search for brands within your industry; even if they’re not selling the same thing, they’ll still be appealing to the same people.
4. Understand Your Target Audience
There’s been a lot of talk about your audience and engaging them, but if you don’t know who they are then that’s going to be pretty tough! So, you need to identify who you’re targeting.
If you already have a customer profile for your business, that’s a great start. If you don’t, you’re going to have to do some research.
One of the best ways to do this is again with a bit of competitor stalking. Check out who’s regularly liking and commenting on their posts, and check out their profiles. The chances are that these people make up your target audience too, so getting to know them a little is a must!
Make a note of the most common ages, gender, and any other frequent factors that tie the followers together (e.g. all new parents, all live in Florida, all take a lot of pride in their home). You should be able to start building a pretty comprehensive customer profile, which you can then use to create a profile that will attract your audience.
5. The 80-20 Rule For Businesses on Social Media
Have you ever heard of the 80-20 rule on social media? It’s the golden rule of content creation, and a must for every business to pay attention to! The idea here is that 80% of the time, your posts should be informative, and 20% of the time they should be promotional. Let’s take a closer look at what that means.
Your customers aren’t following you to constantly hear about your brand – in fact, they probably don’t even care that much! They’re following you because they want content that’s going to engage and entertain them, and that ties in with their interests. 80% of your content should cater to this.
For example, when video marketing on Instagram most of your videos shouldn’t actually be about your brand. They should be about things that are related to your brand and that your audience is going to find interesting, like industry news and tips to help them in a specific area of their lives. For example, a handmade baby clothing brand could post a video about why fast fashion is bad for the planet and a picture of how to properly swaddle a baby.
Neither of these is directly promoting the brand. Instead, you’re giving your audience valuable, informative content that will keep them interested, building up your brand image and creating connections.
That leaves just 20% of your posts for promotional content. These are posts that inform people of new product launches, discounts, and just generally show off what you’ve got on offer. If you start to teeter over 20%, your content instantly loses value and your audience are going to drop off.
6. Creating Your Strategy
When it comes to how to market on social media, there’s a lot of talk about strategy – and for good reason!
You need to have a solid plan before you start posting. This helps you to:
- Create cohesive content
- Engage your audience
- Build a strong brand identity
- Not spiral out of control
You want your page to be organized and focused. Your audience is following you because they like the content they’ve been seeing, but if you start posting stuff that’s completely different they’re not going to stick around!
So, sit down before you start and use the above tips to create a written plan. Include your aims, the sort of content you’re going to share, and the tone of voice you’re going to use to begin with and go from there. Luckily, all of the above steps discussed in this post are building blocks for creating your strategy, so you’ve already started!
When it comes to businesses on social media, there’s one thing that everyone should remember; this isn’t a process you should rush. It can be so tempting to jump the gun and set up your profile before you know what you’re doing, but always pause and build your strategy first. Trust us, it’ll pay off in the long run!
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out more on our website. We write across a range of digital marketing topics and have plenty more tips on how you can make the most of social media.