The advantages of social media for small businesses are astounding. Having active online profiles where your potential customers hang out allows you to truly target your message and to receive immediate engagement. Your company’s social media presence works to build trust with your audience and can serve as a way to get people excited about your product. The key to social media success is knowing how to leverage it to your advantage. With so much competition out there, it’s easy to get lost in a crowd of messages. Follow these tips if you want to stand out as a business on social media.
Social media users are looking to make connections. They don’t want to be sold to. So, if you really want to make your brand stand out on social media, it’s essential that you let your audience see the human side of your company. Think about your business’s core values and what it is you most want your customers to feel when they think of you. That’s what you should be striving to give them through your posts. Just be careful not to go overboard. It’s easy to get carried away or become caught up in the latest fad. What matters most is that your business comes off as authentic. People can see through anything fake. Make sure your content is serving your audience. Genuine interactions lead to trust, which often results in brand loyalty.
If you really want to stand out on social media, you absolutely must show up consistently. You won’t grow an engaged audience overnight. It takes time, and you need to provide content on a regular basis so that you can increase your chances of being seen. When you put your brand out there on the regular, you’ll have more opportunities for real interaction. Remember, it’s genuine dialogues that build relationships, just as in real life. Be sure to take time to reply to those who comment on your posts. Leave comments on relevant posts as well. Before long, you’ll see your engagement rising.
To keep up with the demands of posting consistently to social media networks, make sure to utilize social media automatization tools. This will allow you to schedule posts far in advance. Make sure to have branding posts, interactive posts, and posts on topically relevant occasions.
For branding posts, you will want to establish your identity as a brand. This could involve posting your products and branding graphics. For interactive posts, ask open-ended questions to your audience and create polls. You may also want to create posts relevant to an occasion. For example, start creating Christmas-themed treats around the holidays to post on Instagram with you are a bakery.
Social media marketing is much like other forms of promotion. Not every audience will be receptive to your message. Nor is it possible to truly connect with such large numbers. Instead, you want to target your audience so that you’re reaching people who will actually benefit from what you have to offer and who will be enthusiastic about your products. Knowing your target demographic will result in higher amounts of quality engagement.
No one likes screaming into the void. Narrowing down your audience will increase your chances of making genuine connections that have the potential to lead to sales. When you determine who your ideal audience is, you’ll be better able to create a strategic social media marketing plan that reaches the right people.
That being said you want to partake in a social media strategy dubbed “social listening”. This involves paying attention to where your audience is posting, and what they are interested in. Only spend your time being on platforms you know that they are on. Provide content that is engaging and of interest to them.
When you begin engaging with an audience who is interested in your product, you need to continue to deliver what they want. Otherwise, they’ll get bored and move on. Always keep in mind that your goal is to build relationships and provide value, first and foremost. If you put your needs and interests ahead of your audience’s, they’ll never trust you enough to actually make a purchase. If you’re not sure what it is that they want, you should just ask.
Asking for feedback demonstrates genuine interest in what your followers have to say. Provide information or tutorials of subjects that matter to them. Show them your company is a leader in the industry and that they can trust in your knowledge. Share content that your users have created, such as photos of them wearing your product. Using small business hashtags related to your product is a great way to encourage folks to engage with your brand.
Show your social media followers that they’re special by offering them perks. Provide coupons or discounts once in a while. Be sure they know these are exclusive benefits for your friends on social media. Running contests is another way to build excitement and social proof. If someone posts online about having a great experience with your business, make sure to thank them and follow them up by providing them a promotion on their next order. This will make the customer feel appreciated and create customer loyalty.
Once you start to build a reputation on social media, it is important to respond to comments. Whether a comment is positive or negative make sure to respond positively. If you are rude other customers will see it and choose not to do business with you. If there is a negative comment, take the time to resolve the problem with the customer. You cannot please anyone, but you can try to rectify a situation that is resolvable.
You may also gain earned media over time. Earned media is when customers create posts about your product or service. Make sure to interact with these and ask if you can repost with a credit to your social media page. This will make them feel appreciated, show others that other people like your products, and subconsciously make them consider trying them.
Unless you are a hot tub installation company, you will want to stay out of the business of hot water. Time and time again we see blunders by big-name brands on social media for posting something that was insensitive. For example, when a big-name frozen pizza brand posted under a Me Too hashtag. This could have been easily avoidable if they took their time to vet what the hashtag was about.
Make sure to take the time to research what a topic is before contributing a post to it. Also, take a moment to consider whether or not a post would be considered tone-deaf. Actions speak louder than words so if you want to support a cause as a business make sure that it extends to more than just a social media post otherwise you may come off as inauthentic to your audience.
Keep these tips in mind when starting out on social media. It’s a process of trial and error, but with persistence, you’ll soon find your groove and will stand out among the competition. Social media is something that takes time to build so be patient. Remember that it is not just about posting but also about relationships. It is important to engage with your audience and make them feel appreciated to keep them coming back.