Social Media Strategy for Small Business
Social media can be overwhelming for SMEs. The pressure to always be online and to make interesting posts can produce an effort and reward imbalance; it can difficult to see the direct benefit that social media can have for your business.
A report from online business community Manta has shown that almost 50% of businesses have increased their time spent on social media, with 55% of businesses reporting using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to engage with customers and generate leads. However despite this increase in usage, more than 60% reported no ROI at all. What could these businesses be doing wrong?
I’ve compiled a handy list of tips to help your social strategy:
- Don’t bite off more than you can chew – at least initially. Instead of signing up to multiple social media streams that you struggle to maintain, slow down and consider your audience. Who is your target audience? What social media channels do they visit? What kind of content do they like, share or retweet? The answers to these questions will determine where your time is best spent. Perhaps you find that your customer demographic are mostly on Facebook and hardly use Twitter at all. Or, perhaps you are targeting professionals who spend a lot of their time on LinkedIn. Narrow it down and do it well rather than spread yourself too thin.
- Put up content on a regular basis – do not neglect your page! This can send a message to your audience that you are lazy, not technology savvy, unprofessional, unorganised, or even out of business! They won’t bother contacting you through social media, or even at all. Jumping online to check Facebook once a day or just posting generic content isn’t going to bring the business in, or convince your audience you are a legitimate and thriving business!
- Don’t post too much content! On the other side of the coin, don’t churn out content with the hope that your audience will respond to at least one of your posts… This is not impressive; it is overwhelming (and you just end up talking to yourself – not the point of “social” media). In your posts, place the emphasis on value. It’s about quality over quantity. Figure out what your audience responds to and what they find interesting or useful. Another good idea is keeping an eye on what times in the day you get the most activity – posting at key times can help increase engagement.
- Engaging with your online community. As well as putting out valuable and thoughtful content at the right times, you also need to spend time listening and commenting on other posts. Social media is about being social and building relationships, not just pushing out your own content.
- Assign someone in your team with the job of managing social media. I do ours at one eighty!
- Think long-term; social media is a patience game. Marketing via social media builds a community between your brand and customers. It’s a platform in which you can build loyalty and build relationships.
Social media is a tool like many others at an SME’s disposal, but it will only work if you use it strategically. Feel free to have a chat with us about your social media strategy!