The internet has opened up multiple opportunities for business to reach millions of potential followers to buy/use their specific product or service. Social Media has changed the way we interact, with it not only being a great way to keep in touch with friends and family but to view and purchase a multitude of different things. If you are a small business that cannot afford a full social media team, then here are a few quick steps to get you effectively sharing content that will keep your users engaged and ultimately grow your brand.
Define Your Goals
It doesn’t matter what type of business you are – Builder, Dentists, Restaurant Owner or a small eCommerce store – you need to have defined achievable goals that reflect your brand. If you are a new business, increasing brand awareness and attracting new customers may be in your 0-3 month checklist. For those more established brands, generating X amount of sales per week through ads generated on social platforms converting through highly targeted landing pages may be the specific goal. Whatever it is for your channel, make sure you determine the right one. Do your research and figure out how you should be promoting your brand along each stage of the sales funnel.
Do Your Research
There are so many aspects here that will help you strategise appropriately for each channel;
- Who are your competitors?
- What channels are they using?
- What messaging is interacting well with their audience?
- Demographics of your audience – age, income, gender, interests, hobbies.
- Geographics of your audience – location, state, country.
- Your audience’s pain points/goals
- Why your target audience would desire your services/goods in order to solve their problem.
Select Appropriate Channels
There is no point setting goals, creating amazing content and then posting it to the wrong channel. Figure out where your ideal audience is spending most of its time instead of posting across the main platforms just because of their popularity. For example, although you may favour Facebook over Instagram, your audience may spend an extra 4 hours on Instagram a week. Try specialising in your most active platform, build, nurture and sustain your online community before testing and wasting your time on another one that your community may not even be on.
Understand Your Audience
This step is crucial! If you are sending the wrong message to your audience, then this can cause people to unfollow and lose complete trust in your brand. Have you created your audience personas – their demographics, wants, needs and pain points? You need to get into their head to figure out why they want your product or service and focus your messaging around that. If you have figured out your audience and are targeting them the right way, expand on their pain points by getting them to interact with specific brand/consumer surveys. This will help guide you on how to improve your product and service.
Define Your Brand
Following your brand guidelines could never be more important. Have you ever spent time trying to find a brand on one social platform but they have changed their name or tag line? This can be extremely frustrating for those that are at the purchasing stage of the funnel and are wanting to instantly buy something – but cannot actually find you. Keeping your colours, tone, voice and brand consistent across all your channels is a must. Your followers will engage, trust and be loyal to you. Take Nike and McDonalds for an example – their branding is extremely recognisable and not much has changed over the many years of being in the market. People understand who they are, what they do and their logo can be instantly recognised. Once you have established a strong and recognisable brand, then your audience is more likely to feel comfortable with you, that you are providing a great reliable and consistent product or service.
Never Stop Learning
By understanding all of the above steps, you will determine what is the best way to reach, engage and convert your target consumers. Although all this research will see you through the short term, never stop researching and following your users around to see how, what, when and why they are purchasing. Set quarterly goals to revisit your strategy to see if it’s still relevant and timely. If you need to change a few things up, then go for it. Don’t be afraid to try new things, but just make sure you are watching the reactions of those you are testing on. If they are not engaging, try something different and if they are, see how deep or far you can take it – you may have opened up a window of opportunity that you never thought possible.