Not too long ago, business owners would put up billboards, posters or ads to get their business in front of a larger audience. Today, however, people are more mobile and spend most of their time online. This is why majority of businesses are starting to recognize the importance of social media marketing.
In today’s social media era, millions of people from all over the world spend a significant amount of their time on social media. In fact, most people would automatically check their phones before they rise out of the covers. The social media wave isn’t ending anytime soon. That said, you need to leverage proper social media channels if you want to survive in today’s competitive business world.
The ultimate goal of any social media marketing campaign is to build awareness, enhance public relations and generate leads and sales. Use these social media tips to get you on the right track.
Identify your target audience
Determining your target audience is vital to your business’ success. This is the first thing you need to do before diving into anything.
As a beginner, it can be difficult to determine who exactly to target. You can start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What is the typical age of your typical customers? Is your product specifically for men or women?
- How expensive is your product or service? Do your customers need to fall into a certain income class to afford them?
- Where are your target audience located? Do you cater to those in a particular geographical location?
By truly knowing your target audience, you can focus on the people who are actually interested in what you have to offer. It will give you direction in your marketing and determine where to prioritize your time and resource. This will help you maximize the effectiveness of your marketing.
Choose the best channel
There seem to be new platforms emerging every month or two. With the proliferation of social media channels, choosing the best one for your business can be a daunting task. There is no one size fits all when it comes to social media. Every platform is used in different ways and has a different demographic of core users. That said, you need to keep your audience and goal in mind when deciding which social media channel to use for your business.
Some of you might be tempted to have a presence on different social media platforms. Don’t. Not only is it a waste of time and resources, you won’t get the results you want. Rather, focus on platforms that are a good fit for your business and represent your target audience.
Facebook: Facebook remains to be the social media behemoth, with over 1.32 billion daily active users. If your goal is to reach as broad a network as possible or build a solid community presence, then this is the best place to start. Over 70% of the entire adult population is actively participating in Facebook. Most age groups are well represented on the platform. This is where you should set up your social media home base.
Instagram: Instagram is a key platform for younger audience and women. Studies suggest that women are more likely to have adapted the platform than men, with 32% of women on the platform versus 23% of men.
Twitter: While the number of Twitter users isn’t as high as compared to its competitors, most business owners and marketers use it to have real-time communication with the rest of the world. This is where you should go to for trending news and topics or to share updates.
In this platform, there is a higher proportion of younger users, with 36% of users ranging from 18 to 29. Many of them are also highly educated.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a professional social network that is most popular with college graduates and high income earners. According to studies, nearly half of the all college graduates are on the platform. Obviously, the site is more focused on business than entertainment.
Consistency is key
Consistency is key when it comes to social media. For best results, post good quality content on a regular basis. Remember, every time you post on social media, you get another opportunity to reach your audience. Have a posting schedule and make sure that you stick to it.
Consistency should also be evident on your branding. Make sure that your branding is consistent across all platforms. Your brand voice should reflect the branding and feel of your business. It is what makes you distinguishable and memorable. To start with, you need to decide what you want people to perceive your company. Is it relaxed and casual? Is it fun and quirky? Or is it serious and professional? No matter what voice you choose, make sure that your brand talks about things the same way. Your fans and followers should be able to recognize your voice the way you recognize your friend’s voice when you talk to them over the phone.
Maintain two-way communication
For most businesses, the primary goal of implementing a social media marketing campaign is to generate leads and increase sales. In order to do that, you first need to build a relationship with your audience and gain their trust. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to generate sales if all you do is promote your products and services.
Clogging up social media feeds with ads and branded content is the number one reason why people unfollow business pages. It is a major turnoff to social media users of all backgrounds. To lead a successful social media page, you need to maintain a two-way communication with your audience.
Do not jampack your posting schedule with promotional posts. Rather, try to be as helpful as possible to your audience. Provide them with valuable, informative content. Try to answer their questions. Help solve their problems. Share insights and invite opinions. Interact with your audience as much as possible. Remember, people follow and respect brands that provide them with valuable and interesting content – not those who bombard them with ads and promotions. Stop selling and start conversing.
Timing is crucial for social media success
You spent countless hours working on your content. In order to get maximum exposure, your content has to be at the right place at the right time. Learning the best times to post on social media will help you get more engagement, more traffic, and more followers.
Facebook: Most people log in on their Facebook account on a daily basis, so feel free to post any day of the work week. For maximum exposure, we suggest that you post by the end of the work week and on weekends. Engagement seems to be highest on Thursdays and Fridays. Funny or upbeat content are best on Fridays as people seem to be happier on this day. The best time to post is at 1 to 4pm.
Instagram: Instagram engagement is fairly steady throughout the week. That means, any day of the week is good, but Mondays should get a little more attention. There is also a slight decrease in engagement on Sundays. The best time to post on Instagram is between 8-9 am and at 5 pm.
Twitter: People seem to be active on Twitter throughout the week. Engagement goes on deep into the night nearly every day of the week, and it doesn’t stop even on weekends. Some of the higher engagement happens on Saturday afternoons, probably due to sporting events. Meanwhile, Sunday mornings get the least amount of engagement. Friday is the best day to post on Twitter, with peak times at 9-10 am.
Social media is nothing new. But for small business owners who are just dipping their toes in the water, it can be quite a challenge. Considering the number of businesses vying for the attention of users, getting noticed on social media can be tricky. Your content can easily get lost in the noise. But with a little planning and creativity, you can build an audience and a solid social media presence.