Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. A crucial element in the mix of marketing activities for a business, social media isn’t just for personal use. Find out how you can maximise your online presence and put your business front and centre!
Start-ups don’t need to spend big to have a big impact. A sound understanding of social media and what you need to do can help you create an effective social media strategy that reaches your target market and connects with your customers.
Start Small, Think Big
There are a whole host of social media platforms businesses can use to put themselves out there. From Facebook and Instagram, to LinkedIn, Twitter and TikTok – the possibilities are huge and businesses stand to benefit immensely from these platforms that have a global reach.
The average person spends a lot of time on their phones and computers, this is where most people's attention lies which presents a great opportunity. Social media is an important route to being in front of your potential customers and you should be placing a high level of importance on your social media presence.
Understanding the different platforms and identifying the ones being most used by your target audience will allow you to focus your efforts on the channels which are going to be most effective for your business. Starting small is usually a sensible approach – get to grips with one or two channels and grow over time.
Stand Out from The Crowd
Social media is not just a route to likes and comments, these platforms have the potential to generate sales and repeat custom for your business. Your reach is global and you can be flexible with who you target, from a wide ranging demographic to honing in on your perfect ideal customer. Recognising what your audiences want will be crucial to maximising your social media output.
Understanding that whatever business you're in, there’s probably a lot of competition. You've got to try and stand out above the rest. You have to find a point of difference, something that you can shout about that separates you from businesses doing something similar.
For example, your pricing might be unique in your particular market or your product may have a slight tweak or edge on competitors. And, if nothing else, your story and who you are is unique. Your personality and your business story can make you more relatable. Blend your personality with your business expertise and encourage customers to engage with who you are.
Content, Content, Content
Consistently producing engaging, eye-catching and thought-provoking posts will help put your business front and centre. Try sticking to consistent themes and subjects that you want to be known for, this should underpin all the types of content you put out, making you a thought leader and the go to source of knowledge and value in your field.
You can choose to post every day, every other day or however you see fit – the key here is being consistent; consistent with your messaging and consistently producing content that resonates with your audience. Find out what matters to them and stand out by showing what’s different and unique about your business and your offering – using a variety of media such as text, imagery (take advantage of imagery unique to your business), video and infographics to grab your audience’s attention.
Don’t be afraid of repeating the same message as you won’t reach all of your audience with every post you make so some repetition can help but not too much – consistently freshening up your posts with new ideas, imagery and captions will remind your audience that your active and ready for business. Innovating your content can surprise your audience and encourage engagement.
Being consistent with your content across different channels will help create a coherent message that avoids confusion – strengthening your credibility and building your brand. A content plan will go a long way in helping you achieve this, ensuring you’re focusing on the right things at the right time. Keeping on top of your messaging in this way will allow you to organise and strategically schedule your posts, meaning you can plan for the future and build your brand and story in a structured more targeted way.
Use your content as a way to trigger conversations and activity on your social pages, encouraging client endorsements and users to leave positive feedback as they talk about your product or service.
The angles and hooks with which you attract your customers need to be varied and calculated, taking into consideration your target market's needs, your offering and what distinguishes you from the rest. Highlighting positive reviews and client feedback is a sure-fire way to build trust and increase engagement.
The Power of Analytics
Measuring the success of what you’re doing will help you better understand what content is working and what isn't. The way in which people interact with your content, such as comments and likes, is one indicator of success but most platforms have inbuilt analytics which allow you to gain an even deeper insight into what’s working for your business.
There’s Twitter Analytics, LinkedIn Analytics, Google Analytics, TikTok Analytics, Facebook Insights and Instagram Insights. Everything you need is inbuilt into the platform and you don’t usually need to pay anything extra. The data from the analytics tells you which posts are performing best, which type of content is performing best and it can even tell you who’s checking out your profile. Analytics can tell you all sorts of things, what matters is the actions you take using this information.
The Data Is Your Friend
What is your data telling you? It might be that you need to post more often or that you need to post at a different time. It might be that you need to drill down on one specific type of content because every time you post about that subject people react to it and engage with your business. Or you could realise certain subjects are being ignored so you decide to stop posting content on that subject. It’s about looking at the insights and taking action points from it.
When thinking about social media, think about the impact you’re making in terms of customer service and sales. You don’t want to fall in the trap of vanity metrics such as impressions and likes, your primary focus should be making a difference to your business’ income – through clicks and sales generated. This is what defines a winning social media strategy.
If you are not an expert in social media, or you don’t have the time to give to it and it is within your budget, there are many specialist social media companies that you can outsource to but the downside is that they won’t know your business and brand messaging as clearly as you do, so you need to make sure they are well-briefed so that they sound like they are speaking in the voice of your business. It’s also important to weight up the benefit of outsourcing against the cost of doing so – if it’s costing more money than it’s bringing in, it probably isn’t a good idea.
- Identify the best platforms for your business and learn how to use them
- Understand your audience and showcase what makes your business stand out
- Be consistent with your content and messaging
- Use positive feedback to build credibility and grow your audience
- Use data to inform your social media strategy
Business Growth Hub provides fully funded support for businesses at all stages of their growth journey, from start up to scale up; offering expert one-to-one and peer-to-peer support, events, training opportunities and specialist programmes such as Start Up Vision, Start Smart and Enterprising You.
Please enquire here for more details.
Altrincham HQ is a social media marketing company and a specialist business support partner for the fully funded Start Up Vision programme. Providing bespoke social media marketing training, Altrincham HQ uses years of experience and expertise to help you get the most out of your business' online presence.