Here’s part 2 of our Social Media and Small Business tips, if you haven’t read part 1, click here!
Here’s what you should take note of each day:
Mentions of your brand or product. Scroll through keyword and hashtag streams related to the products and services you offer. Reply to all comments and queries that come up around your brand. Create templates for your most common responses to save time when engaging with people. Pre-composed responses are great if you’re running a busy contest or campaign, but they shouldn’t replace day-to-day interaction with customers.
Purchase intent. Fewer than three percent of customers directly “@” mention a brand on Twitter, so make sure that your search streams target purchase intent moments. What does “purchase intent moments” mean? Instead of only listing your brand keywords in streams, for example, list words that customers might use when they’re looking for a solution that your company solves or they’re evaluating your product. For example, a hotel brand could target and engage with consumers getting ready for a last-minute vacation by setting up search streams for specific destinations and keywords such as “travel” and “vacation.”
Industry news and updates. In your streams, follow trending hashtags, industry keywords, Twitter chats, and relevant people to make sure you’re on top of the latest news.
Pro tip: You can geo-target your searches if you’re looking for customers or conversations in a certain location.
For brands on social, engagement is key. According to a study by Edelman, nine out of 10 customers say they want to have meaningful interactions with brands on social media, yet fewer than one in five believe that brands actually deliver. There’s a lot of room for improvement.
If you’re set up for effective social listening, then reaching out to your audience on a day-to-day basis should be fairly straightforward. You can quickly filter through the chatter and make sure you’re engaging with customers, influencers, and relevant content. Here’s what you should focus on:
Replying (remember, you can create pre-composed responses)
Liking and commenting on tagged content
Following back relevant followers (such as influencers and thought leaders)
Reposting user generated content
If you don’t have time to revisit your social channels multiple times a day, scheduling should be an absolutely essential part of your daily routine. If you’re scheduling across multiple channels, make sure the content is packaged for each specific platform.
Here’s what you should think about on each network:
On Facebook, you can tell longer stories and use visually rich messaging. Limit your posts to once or twice per day.
On Twitter, if you schedule Tweets, make sure to space them out to avoid being perceived as “spamming” your audience. Include Tweets with different formats—switch up photos, video, and link placement—to test which ones perform best. If you are sharing content from an external source, include the appropriate hashtags and @mentions.
On LinkedIn, share content with a more serious tone, oriented to a professional audience, through LinkedIn’s publishing platform. It’s an excellent place to share thought leadership from an executive in your company.
On Instagram, if you have a campaign or a product release coming up, schedule a photo or video to spread awareness. Instagram also presents a great opportunity to give your customers an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at your business and the people who run it.
Have a Mobile-Ready Website
Responsive design is crucial – if you don’t have it, you run the risk that the text and images on your website won’t fit the page when viewed on a phone or tablet. You may only get one chance to make a good first impression, and in this digital age, that first impression will most likely be on your website. Make sure your website reads beautifully whether it is accessed on a laptop, desktop, mobile phone, or tablet.
Publish Your Social Media Content at High Traffic Time Slots.
Every brand has a different market, a different following and different people within it. The only way to truly know when the best time to post for your brand is to test what your audience responds best to. Test, analyze, refine. Small businesses can use this system to get more views. Time is essential, effective social media posting is crucial. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook all of backend tools for analyzing these times, so become familiar and post accordingly.
Be Consistent on a Few Channels.
As a small business owner, don’t make the mistake of trying to use as many platforms as possible. You can run the risk of losing focus, posting low quality content or becoming overwhelmed. Focus on a few platforms that you feel comfortable with and post quality content to them consistently.
Be Consistent About Your Posting.
Brands do not need to have unique content but consistency is a must. Consistency will help you get more traffic and brands must be consistent with posting blogs, social media posts and all other social media content.
With that being said, don’t Spam your audience.
It doesn’t matter how great the content is or how funny you may think something is, never send something out more that you need to. Your entire audience will get a horrible impression of you and your company’s brand becomes at risk. It is important to make sure you never risk the integrity of your company, and spamming does exactly that. Just don’t do it.
Keeping with a similar thread:
Avoid Posting About Topics Unrelated to Your Brand.
Another major mistake to stay away from is posting content that has absolutely nothing to do with your company. It may attract a few people here and there, but it won’t actually help your business. The people that came to you because of an off-brand post will likely just go on with their lives because you aren’t going to be able to offer them what they want. If you always post content relevant to your brand, you’re more likely to convert your audience in to a customer. The more relevant your posts are, the better.
Put Time and Effort into Creating Attention Grabbing Images.
Pictures are a prominent part of social media. As such, brands must take a visual approach to marketing on social media. Supplement text posts with eye-catching images to grab readers’ attention. We’re wired for visual content. For millennia we’ve used visual cues to understand the world around us and relied on imagery to communicate complicated ideas quickly and clearly. As a result, our brains typically process visual information much faster than text.
Visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared on social media
Facebook posts with images enjoy 2.3 times more engagement
Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than those without
Posts featuring videos attract almost 300% more inbound links
Landing pages with videos boost conversions by 86%
When creating visual content, it’s important to think about how your audience will consume it. A two-minute video might work well on your website, but can you break it up into a series of shorter films to share on social media? This is a great opportunity to repurpose content you’ve already created. For instance, can you break up a video you’ve already produced into chunks that will play well on Twitter or Facebook?
Establish a Consistent Brand in all your Social Media Posts and Images.
It’s important for businesses to establish a visual style that is recognizable by their audience. To do this, consistent use of the same fonts, colors, logos etc are required. Every image doesn’t have to be the same but the tone has to remain consistent.
Solid campaign and branding consistency includes two equally important characteristics:
For your audience, it means wherever and whenever a potential buyer comes across your materials—your ad, social media post, video or whatever—they immediately recognize the same company as the source and the message and brand experience is the same; and
For your company, it means leveraging your investment as value is created and positive synergy builds across each message, channel and outlet.
Helpful Social Media Tools
1. Google Analytics: If you own a business, then you will definitely have a website. When you have a website, you will have to track the visitor counts, and what better tool than Google Analytics can do this job. Google Analytics does an awesome job by tracking the visitors; it will keep a count of the new visitors, returning visitors, and the location from where the visitors are coming from and many more things. These are the statistics you need when you have a website.
2. Bitly: This is especially useful for all people who are promoting affiliate links. What bit.ly does is, it shortens the long URLs into tiny URLs, and this is useful especially when you are promoting a URL on platforms such as Twitter or other social media sites. Bit.ly is a popularly tool used by all the internet marketers across the globe.
3. MailChimp: This is basically an e-mail marketing service. If you are in an online business, you will realize the importance of having an email list. This is one of the biggest sources to collect a database of customer list, who subscribe to your website newsletters for regular updates on products and services. MailChimp has an auto responder service, which is really useful for digital marketing professionals; you can draft a series of mails promoting an offer and you can also schedule as to when that has to be sent to potential customers. This is a very effective tool that every digital marketing business must make use of.
4. Buffer: Buffer makes it easy to consistently schedule content on social media, increasing your reach and fan engagement. They also have powerful publishing tools that make it easy to share content across multiple social networks with one click.
These are the must-have tools for any business these days.