Want to increase your brand’s presence on social media and grow your reach? Here are 10 super simple yet effective things you can do to fuel your social media marketing strategy.
It might be hard to believe, but almost a quarter of the world’s population uses Facebook. That’s a lot of people. While your small business might not be selling to all of them, you can bet that a majority of the customers in your local market are using channels like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter on a daily basis.
Facebook continues to be the most widely used platform in America, capturing roughly 79% of internet users, with more than three-quarters of those users accessing it daily. Right behind Facebook is Instagram and Twitter, along with Snapchat. 51% of Instagram users access the platform daily, and Snapchat reaches roughly 53% of users under the age of 34.
So what can you, as a local marketer or small business owner, do to leverage social media marketing and benefit from all that traffic?
Outsource Your Social Media Marketing
You’ve got enough going on your world trying to maintain and grow a small business. It’s difficult for founders to find time for marketing on social media. That’s why so many of them simply don’t, or they do it poorly enough that it’s ineffective.
Give yourself the freedom to focus on your business and outsource your social media marketing. This can be done at any level, such as:
- Hire an agency to manage the account
- Delegate the work to a current employee with social media experience
- Hire a fulltime person dedicated to online social/community management
- Hire a remote/telecommute contract employee or freelancer to handle your social media
Make a Consistent Schedule
You don’t need to post at the exact same time every day, but creating a schedule for yourself makes it easier to ensure that you’re consistently delivering content. If you don’t have a schedule in place it’s incredibly easy to push the task off in favor of something “more important.”
There will always be more important things to do depending on how you prioritize your day. Since it doesn’t take much time to engage fans and make some posts, block some time out every day for it.
If you’re really that pressed for time, schedule your posts a few days in advance to stay ahead of the game. Twitter and Facebook have built in functionality for scheduling posts, and other tools like Buffer and Hootsuite make it even easier to preload content for later distribution.
Automate Your Social Media Marketing
The less time you spend in marketing, the better. While sharing content from around the web is a great idea, it can be time consuming to hunt down 10x content manually. You can automate this process with a few tools.
Try using a tool like Quuu to automatically curate content relevant to your fans, then tie it into Buffer so those shares are automatically fed to your followers.
You can also crosslink Facebook pages if you administer or like more than one. This allows posts from one page to be fed automatically to another.
Curate and Share Content
Your customers follow you because they like you and what you have to offer. That doesn’t mean they want to hear about your promotions and special offers around the clock. They’ll eventually tune you out and engagement will plummet.
Your fans have other interests, so find content from other sources that caters to those interests. A fresh variety of content, pulled in from other sources, can help keep the engagement up. It also tells the customer that you value them enough to take the time to find quality content for them.
This could include:
- Relevant industry articles
- Videos (funny, educational, or instructional)
- Current event and news
- Relevant images and memes
Engage Your Audience
Social media marketing requires interaction from both sides. You can’t just blindly post content and expect people to stay interested. Part of managing your social marketing and growing a business is customer engagement.
Make an effort daily—several times a day—to check your social feeds and see if you need to respond to anyone. Try to acknowledge as many people as possible, answer direct messages quickly, and let your fans know you’re watching. This fuels additional engagement which improves your odds of being seen in the cramped news feed of your followers.
Cross Promote Your Social Channels
Always focus your efforts in the social channels where your customers are most likely to be found. You should still maintain other accounts as well, and make it a regular habit to cross promote your other social channels.
Invite your fans and followers to join you on another platform. Entice them over with exclusive content or giveaways. A robust social profile gives your small business a more established look when customers stumble across you or go looking online.
Monitor Your Insights
Each week, at least once a week, check your social insights. This gives you a wealth of data including:
- Which posts are trending and seeing the most engagement
- When your fans are most active
- Demographics on your fans
From the insights, you can read engagement levels to easily determine when your fans are most active and what types of content they are most likely to engage with. Use that information to improve the type of content you share.
Mix Up Your Content
People digest content in different ways. Some prefer to read, others like to listen or watch, and then there are those who want to quickly absorb information on the fly as they skim their feed. To cater to the full audience you should mix up the type of content you post on a daily basis.
Alternate between links to articles, notes, images, video shares, live feeds, and text based posts. There’s no tried and true formula, it all comes down to what your specific audience prefers.
Remember to watch your social insights to see what types of content, and topics, your audience responds to most.
Boost Your Posts
You can throw a little money behind any post on your Facebook page to promote it. This boost helps the content show in the feed of your audience. More specifically, the people you target since a boosted post is treated like an ad. You can boost it to your page followers or another customer audience you’ve created.
You don’t need a massive budget to boost posts. A $10 to $20 post can get your content in front of hundreds (even thousands) of locals to turn them on to your small business. Hootsuite has a terrific starter guide explaining how boosted posts work on Facebook.
You also don’t need to boost every post. Just the ones you really want your audience to see. Remember, you’re battling a lot of content in the user’s newsfeed. Boosting the occasional post can help increase your organic reach as engagement rises.
Work Your Calls to Action
Every post should be made with a purpose, whether it’s to drive shares, comments, clicks, sales, or likes. When you make a post, always include a call to action telling your audience what action you want them to take. Never leave them to make the choice—it’s far too easy for them to get distracted by something else in their feed.
Include the call to action in text, and if you’re using any visual attachments like video or images, work a call to action into that as well.
While the landscape of social media marketing might feel complex, at its core it’s simply the art of engagement. Focus on driving engagement to maximize the impact for your business. With just a little bit of planning, consistent posting, a variety of quality content, and a touch of strategy, you’ll have your followers engaging and sharing your content in no time. to give your small business a great boost locally.
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