Updated: Nov 26, 2018
As a small business owner, you don’t have the time to spend your days aimlessly navigating a dozen social media platforms and attempting to speak to the masses.
That’s why we’re providing you with these 3 Need-to-Know Strategies to help you effectively and efficiently nurture your own success on social media.
1. Set Social Media Goals
Using social media for business requires planning and goal-setting, just like any other marketing venture. Start by defining your top three marketing objectives, then evaluate how social media can help you achieve them. Setting goals will also enable you to measure performance, determine iterations that need to be made, and define success.
Potential Goal #1 – Increase Brand Awareness
The average person spends nearly two hours on social media every day, making social media one of the best places to grab consumers’ attention and establish your brand’s presence.
Common metrics to measure:
Engagement (likes, shares, comments)
Reach (how many people are seeing your posts)
Impressions (total times your post has been viewed)
Potential Goal #2 – Drive Traffic to Your Website
One step further from having a brand presence on social media is driving visitors to your website or blog, where they will potentially become new customers.
Common metrics to measure:
Traffic from social media (visitors coming from your social media channels)
Share of overall traffic (from social media)
Bounce rate of social media traffic
Clicks on your social media posts
Potential Goal #3 – Generate Leads
Warm up potential customers to your business and lead them down your sales funnel. A lead is anyone who has shown interest in hearing more from you and has provided a way to stay in touch with them.
Common metrics to track:
Personal information collected through social media (ie. email addresses)
Downloads of your gated content (by people who came via social media)
Participation (in contests or events)
Clicks on your lead-generation social media posts
Conversions of leads from social media
2. Know Your Audience
If you don’t know who you’re targeting on social media, you’ll have no idea how to appeal to them. So how can you get to know your audience better? By creating demographic profiles.
Start by creating two profiles—your current customers and your ideal customer.
Your demographic profiles should include:
Other details like profession, hobbies, likes and dislikes, living quarters, recreational activities, and any others that may help you define your audience.
How to gather data to profile your current customers:
Google Analytics and Facebook Insights both provide access to a detailed analytics section
Reach out to your best customers and ask if they’re willing to participate in a short one-on-one phone Q & A
How to gather data to profile your ideal customers:
List everything you already know about them
Research, research, research—look for studies, stats, surveys and news articles about your target demographic.
This info will help you form a focused, detailed profile of the customer(s) you’re trying to reach. This will help you get into their minds and hearts when you’re creating messaging to appeal to them.
Note: If your product/service appeals to many different groups of people, you’ll want to eventually create several demographic profiles. This will allow you to target and market to specific customer groups with different campaigns.
3. Determine Which Platforms Are Best for Your Business
Not all social media platforms will be suitable for your business, nor are you likely equipped with the resources (people, time, money) to properly manage several platforms successfully.
The key is to determine the one or two platforms that will best serve your business and your customers, then excel on those platforms.
Here’s a high-level look at some of the most popular platforms:
1.32 billion daily active users
most widely used social platform
largest demo is 25 – 54, males and females
by the far the most developed of all of the social media advertising platforms; you can target by age, gender, employment, interests, relationship status and much more
One challenge: most restrictive algorithm.
visually driven; aesthetic appeal of content is highly valued
largest demo is 18 – 29, males and females
boasts the best engagement levels among all social networks at 59 percent
businesses are able to advertise on this channel without having an account
One challenge: there is no content sharing.
the world’s largest social networking site for professionals
more than 467 million users
powerful tool for a business that follows a B2B model
ability to target consumers based on several job titles
One challenge: There is typically far less interaction here than on other platforms.
renowned for its real-time approach to communicating
fast-moving platform supports sharing more branded content more frequently
also known for its brevity: a 280-character tweet limit
largest demo is 18 – 35, males and females
One challenge: time commitment required to continually tweet and respond.
disappearing content platform that’s especially popular with younger demos
60% of users are 13 – 24
Snap Ads are a great way to catch the attention of your ideal audience.
swipe up from ads to view more in-depth content like a long form video or article
One challenge: a business cannot curate its content to share on Snapchat, making it extremely difficult to manage an account
users are searching for visual ideas and inspiration for all parts of their lives
81% of users are women
users are dedicated shoppers, savers and planners
87% of users have purchased something because of Pinterest
One challenge: with its majority female audience, men aren’t reachable here
When you have a limited marketing budget, it’s important that you make decisions that will get you the most bang for your buck. Marketing through social media is one of the most versatile and cost-effective strategies that small businesses can use to reach target audiences and boost sales over time. Just remember that investing time up front to determine your goals, your audience, and your ideal platform(s) will ensure your resources are spent wisely.