Ch. 9 of the Comprehensive Checklist for Growing Your Business: Get #Instafamous

You probably stumbled upon this article through another site like LinkedIn, Reddit or Facebook. That in itself is proof that social media is prevalent and crucial as a source of retrieving information. In the small business world, there’s a stigma around social media marketing that leads business owners to focus their efforts elsewhere. “I can’t gauge how many people are reading this,” and “I pay for ads but don’t see traction from it,” are common frustrations when you’re trying to get your name out there.

In our previous post, we mentioned The Rule of 7, which states that it takes 7 impressions or touches on a customer before they make a purchasing decision. Social media platforms can be a very heavyweight fighter in being one (or more) of those touches. Here are some tips to keep in mind about managing social media for your business.

1. Understand Who Your Audience is.

Before diving into this any further, identify who is looking at your posts. If your business is blindly posting content that isn’t relevant to your audience, your efforts won't yield positive results. Understand their lifestyle, know why they’re interested in you, and cater your verbiage and content around this information. This also differentiates a bit further on different platforms. For instance, LinkedIn followers expect more, “professional” information than let’s say, Instagram followers. That being said, Instagram followers might expect pretty, visual pictures and videos that inspire. This means your content has to get creative in different formats but consistent messaging is key. Which leads me to my next point…

2. Be consistent, everywhere.

Plan a well-defined message that you want your customers to know about your brand and/or business. Then relay that throughout all of your social media platforms. If your business is pushing out a lot of different messages, it’s a guarantee that your content will get lost in the noise, and might just confuse your customers as to what you're trying to say. Instead, hone in on one aspect of your business and drive it through all the way. A great starting point in figuring this out is asking, “What’s my company mission/belief that keeps me in business?”

Although each social media platform looks different in layout, keep your logo consistent, and your branding similar everywhere. This way, your customers can quickly identify your business and it’s a more professional way of representing your brand. It’s a good idea to have a light and dark version of your logo for the instances where the background differs. Consider having a strong accent color for your business and neutral tones to complement it. 

3. Get Viral

When you offer content and information that is relevant to your consumers, they would feel inclined to pass along your marketing message. The impact of creating viral content is explosive in the world wide web and can put your business in the spotlight of many potential new customers and leads. Viral marketing involves more crafted content than normal. When brainstorming for viral content, just remember that it has to be unique, inspiring, and driven with emotion in order to get people to repost it. In a statistic reported on KissMetrics, viral content can get 500-1000 times more of a reach than neutral content.

4. Track and Analyze

We asked LA based Social Media Superhero, Nicholas Mar to share best practices for tracking a business' success online. He says, "using multiple platforms to track analytics help us really figure out how our audience reacts to our content." Using management platforms like Hootsuite or Sprout, in conjunction with Facebook Insights or Twitter Analytics, paints a very detailed picture that guides the content of future posts.  Facebook insights provides helpful information about the demographics of your audience, as well as high-traffic times for when your customers are looking the most. Squarespace lets you check how many people visit your page, where they’re coming from, and what pages they fall off on. Frequent the analytics page of your platforms to find a goldmine of information. Then, craft your page and schedule your posts accordingly to maximize the potential of your content.

 

To keep it short and sweet, social media marketing can strengthen your brand image and will convert into concrete sales when done right. Keep your messaging and branding consistent, and offer relevant, unique content. Lastly, assess often how well your posts are doing with information offered to you and craft your posts accordingly.