As a new business owner, you’ve been told social media for business is critical for your success. But with all the other things on your plate, do you really need social media for your business?
The short answer is yes – consider this: Nielsen reports that 80 percent of corporations are using social media to gain customers and improve client relationships. The latest “Social Media Marketing Industry Report” from Social Media Examiner, which surveyed business owners and marketers, showed 96 percent of respondents use social media in their marketing. It’s a challenge, but here are concrete tactics to master your social media game.
Determine Your Ideal Customer
Your goal is to connect with your customers, so first determine who that audience is. Create a persona, or profile, of your ideal customer. Be specific:
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- What are their interests and goals?
- Where do they go to get information?
The more specific you are, the better your social media outreach will pay off in the long run.
Choose the Right Channel
Once you know your customer, determine which social media they like to use. The Pew Internet Research Project has been tracking and compiling social media usage statistics for many years. According to the latest data:
- 72 percent of adult Americans online use Facebook – among women it increases to 77 percent.
- 28 percent of adults online use Instagram. It skews young, with 55 percent of adults 18-29 using the service.
- 31 percent of online adults use Pinterest, and 44 percent of adult females.
- LinkedIn? It pulls 25 percent of adults online. It skews toward college-educated people with high incomes and is also a great venue for B2B opportunities.
Choose no more than two or three channels to start that reach your target client demographic and establish a profile there. Once you achieve good cadence and saturation on these channels, you can start to broaden your reach to other venues.
Smart business owners use social media management tools to help manage their social outreach. Hootsuite, TweetDeck, and Social Oomph help automate workflows. Looking for the Mac Daddy of marketing automation? We love Hubspot’s inbound marketing and sales tools. Definitely contact us to learn more about inbound and automation.
We also recommend establishing a content or editorial calendar to plan your promotions and posts.
Keep It Short and Engaging
Did you know scientific studies show humans have a shorter attention span than goldfish? That means you should write your posts for skimmers. Grab your readers quick with short, punchy copy that gives them value fast and follow that up with more detailed information by driving interested readers to your website or blog.
Hand-in-hand with short attention spans is the rising popularity of visual media on social media. We are moving from “tell me” to “show me.”
- Include an image in each post.
- Utilize user-friendly online image editors like PicMonkey and Canva to easily create professional-looking image-based memes, quotes, news, statistics and updates.
- Use emotion to engage your audience.
- Marry great copy with your captivating visuals. Add descriptions, captions, and stories to provide a fuller user experience.
- Mix up your visual offerings – create infographics, charts, graphs, dramatic images, humorous photos, overlays and more. Keep your audience engaged by publishing a variety of images.
Give Your Audience News They Can Use
Post items of interest about your company, upcoming events, product specials and other news. Provide value – give your audience news and information they can use right away to make their lives better. We recommend problem/solution-based outreach to identify a potential reader’s pain points then provide solutions. This will tee your firm up as a helpful team player willing to share resources and a go-to thought leader to which to turn when solutions are required.
A general rule of thumb is to only post once per day on each social media platform. Do not go overboard trying to post five or six times a day. It annoys your audience and exhausts you. If you reach a point in time where you have an overload of material to share, consider broadening your reach by including other target-persona-based venues rather than increasing your outreach on any single platform to more than a few posts per day. Certainly, this recommendation varies by your own, unique vertical, but certainly be sensitive to your readership’s desires for engagement cadence.
Incorporate these suggestions and your social media outreach will be a success.