When was the last time you evaluated your small business’s social media marketing strategy? It’s never a bad time to take a look back, assess, and see where you can make some improvements to end the year on a high note.
Ask yourself these 5 social media questions I believe are essential for small business growth, great customer service, and cost-effective marketing.
1. Is Your Current Social Media Presence the Right One?
Your business might be active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn and others. Ask yourself, is this the right strategy? Are you seeing the returns you want on all social media sites, or just some? The key is to know where your customers are active. You do not want to promote your business services or products where they are not – don’t waste your time and resources, especially if you are using paid social.
Limit yourself to where your audience lives, and what is manageable for you or your staff to handle. Remember, social media isn’t a one and done deal. It needs constant nurturing. Don’t create a social media page for the sake of creating one. Every page should have a business purpose!
2. Is Your Social Page Set Up to Sell?
Use your social media page like a landing page for your website to boost your sales. Social media sites have integrated ways for you to sell your product or promote your service very deliberately. This is a great way for you to encourage a transaction, offer coupons, or get a phone call or email, without having a potential customer dropping off on the way to your website. For example, you can set up your business’s Facebook page template to one of 8, which include optimizations for Business, Services, Restaurants & Cafes, and Shopping. Check out your page’s Settings, then go to Edit page to see your options.
Just remember, make sure you have someone (if it’s not you) monitoring your page for direct messages, post comments, and reviews. Social media is all about engagements and fostering relationships. That’s how you can make customer service work on social media – responding in real time. This makes it easy for potential customers to become repeat customers. The fewest amount of steps between fan to customer – with great service – the better.
3. Are you posting content often enough?
The dreaded question. As a small business owner, you don’t want to spend time thinking about what you should post on your social channels each day. You want to run your business! As a best practice, you should post at least once a day, depending on the platform…but it doesn’t have to be brain-wracking or time consuming. Here are a few tips for posting on your small business’s social media.
First, know that visual content is the best way to reach the majority of your fans organically (i.e., without spend). Take pictures and videos of your products, team members, and encourage your custcomers to submit content, as well. That’s called User-Generated Content, or UGC. You can screenshot good reviews and share those, or connect with local influencers or bloggers to write about your business, and as a thank you, you can share their content occasionally.
Second, for the content that you do want to post, invest in a marketing budget friendly social media content management tool, like Agorapulse. You can delegate a savvy team member to take care of scheduling weekly content ahead of time if you are using multiple channels. (Facebook has its own scheduling tool built-in if you prefer to use that.) And it’s perfectly ok to re-share content every few months, especially if it already resonated with your audience. Good examples of this are daily hashtags like #ThrowbackThursday, or #TBT. Not only are you reusing content every Thursday, you are taking advantage of a trend and making your content searchable to the greater public.
4. Are you taking advantage of your email lists?
If you haven’t made the connection between your established audiences, you need to start that now! Uploading your customer lists and newsletter subscribers to your social media business pages is the best way to send cohesive communications across your marketing channels. Wouldn’t it be great to send a newsletter, a direct mail flier, and a social media ad with the same content? This shows coordination.
You can also use uploaded email lists to reward current customers with a coupon…or even better, retarget customers or website visitors (make sure you have cookies on your site) who haven’t shopped in a while, or haven’t made that crucial first purchase.
5. Are you growing your email list on social media with lead generation?
This is all great, you may say, but how do you grow your email list using social media? On Facebook, for instance, once your email lists are uploaded, you can create Lookalike audiences. What Facebook does is use what data is has about the emails you uploaded, and it finds other profiles like it. If ‘Customer A’ shops at your store, then ‘Lookalike Customer A’ might be interested in your product or service, too.
In addition to your email lists, you have the ability to create audiences based on interests, purchase behavior, geo-location, age and more. To best do this, think of your average customer, and what they are interested in. For example, if you are selling fly fishing paraphernalia, an interested audience would indeed be fishermen and fisherwomen, but you may also find that kayakers, canoers, hikers, and other people interested in outdoor activities will be interested in your products too. You can get as broad or as detailed as you want.
Once you have that audience created, you can set up Lead Generation ads to collect emails from this group. Facebook has a very easy lead generation form where you can collect as much or as little information from your new lead as you’d like. Pro-tip: Less is more, but if you are selling fly fishing items, along with name and email, you can also ask questions about their favorite fly reel brand, or something specific to fly fishing. You can download leads directly from Facebook, or connect your CMS to Facebook so each time a person signs up, they automatically are added to your list.
There is so much opportunity to be had as a small business on social media. I hope you found these tips to be practical and helpful.