Social media can be a great equalizer for any small business looking to gain a competitive edge in their industry. Utilizing social media for small businesses is a great tool however often times it is used either poorly or improperly. There are a few key areas you need to take into consideration when starting any campaign.
Define Your Goals
Often times businesses do a poor job defining their goals and tracking overall performance. The first step in dealing with this issue is to determine what you want to be known for on social media or your company’s overall objective or goal. A sample goal could be “I want to be the go-to source for xy & z”. Once you have decided what your objective is then the next step is to determine what key performance indicators you are going to measure to determine if you are achieving your objective. It is important to track social engagement such as likes , follower growth, shares etc. I also highly recommend tagging all links posted on social media with the Google URL builder to see where traffic is coming from in your analytics dashboard to gauge the effectiveness and measure ROI of your social campaigns. Also, Google tends to generate some very ugly tracking URL’s so you are going to want to run these through a neat program called Bitly to get a smaller condensed URL for other social profiles where space is at a premium.
Produce Engaging Content
Yeah, I admit it can be fairly difficult to produce engaging content on a regular basis. I admit I find it difficult even with the plethora of available tools and all the creativity at my disposal. Fortunately, there are some pretty good resources to work around that slight issue. Before you begin it is important to have a good mix of original content and reshared content but just remember to tag whatever URLs you are sharing through your social platforms. This will help you track what traffic is coming through to your website in your analytics platform. When it comes to sharing or repurposing content to your social platforms you can design engaging graphics whether in the adobe creative suite or with a semi-new platform like Canva if you are not very design savvy. Canva will allow you to produce fairly aesthetic designs with ease so you can make a post on your social platforms with a high-quality image attached and just remember to always link back to your site or blog. The next step is to hunt down some content to reshare to supplement your social strategy. For this, I like to use Buzz Sumo, Klout or Epic Beat to do some in-depth research on what people are sharing and engaging with on social platforms within my niche. These programs are great for re-sharing content and just doing some additional research to see what types of content are popular so you can structure blog posts around the research and information you find.
Create A Dialogue With Social Media
The beautiful thing about social media platforms is it gives individuals a voice who may not have had one otherwise. Social media marketing does not work if you are simply broadcasting your company’s activities or using hard sales tactics on social. This is why I believe ‘social selling’ is ineffective and very annoying. Personally, I hate it when people follow me on Linkedin or Twitter just to send me a message about some product or service offering that has no benefit to me. Social media is wonderful for reaching potential customers in the early stage of the buying process and funneling them back to your businesses website for a micro conversion. You can utilize your website for micro-conversions such as, email signups, newsletter sign ups or registering for product demos rather than going straight to some sort of hard sell. Generally, social media has a very low conversion rate when it comes to making sales however it can have wonderful engagement metrics and be used for attracting customers who are higher up in the sales funnel.
Good Luck and Happy Sharing!