You’ve probably caught on by now that social media can catapult your business into super-stardom. But it’s a lot easier said than done. With countless platforms to choose from and trends changing by the minute, it can be challenging to find a place to start. To help, we’ve put together five simple tips you can use in your business to get the most out of social media.
1. Plan Ahead
For most of us, using social media has become second nature. Creating and maintaining a personal Facebook page or Twitter account is free and easy. But when it comes to using social media for your business, resist the temptation to dive in headfirst.
Treat this endeavor like any other business plan – take the time to set specific objectives, research what competitors are doing, and create a concrete strategy before you start posting. Consider developing a social media calendar to keep yourself on track and conduct social media audits frequently to adapt your plan when necessary and ensure you’re getting the best results.
2. Evaluate Which Platforms Will Work For You
Once you’ve developed a strategy for using social media, it’s time to look at which platforms fit your goals and audience. It’s easy to make assumptions about who uses what platforms, so relying on data rather than instinct will serve you best. If your audience happens to be baby boomers, you might even assume using social media is a waste of time altogether—but you’d be wrong.
Start by looking at demographic information for all of the major social networks. Then, research where your audience spends their time on social media through surveys or simply by asking them directly. And there’s no reason to be exclusive – you can use different platforms to accomplish varying goals and reach a range of audiences.
3. Get To Know Your Audience, Then Expand
Understanding your audience is critical to using social media. If you have an established customer base, start by gathering data on who they are in real life. Again, surveying them online or through comment cards will help.
Then, you can use social media analytics to find out who’s interacting with your business online. This information will help you create your perfect buyer persona, an indispensable tool for improving your social media strategy.
Once you know exactly who your audience is and what they’re interested in, you can look for ways to connect with more people just like them. It might look like expanding the scope of your advertising or offering incentives (such as free trials or discounted services) via social media to draw out these potential customers.
4. Build And Maintain Your Relationships
One of the unique benefits of using social media is that it allows for a more personal back-and-forth between you and your customers. When someone engages with your content, you can respond and build rapport without meeting face-to-face. Encouraging these individual relationships will help establish brand trust and loyalty, and the online community will take notice.
In addition to engaging in one-on-one interactions, you can build relationships through social media by using built-in features such as Facebook groups, Instagram stories, and Twitter polls to start conversations about your business. You might even consider connecting with other small business owners and micro-influencers in your field.
5. Focus On Quality Over Quantity
With hundreds of millions of interactions taking place on social media platforms each day, you might think that you should be contributing as often as possible. But when it comes to using social media as a small business owner, quality always trumps quantity.
Instead of posting cookie-cutter content on as many platforms as possible, stick to the few you know your audience frequents. Slow down, take a look at trends in social media, and do a little social listening to ensure that the content you publish resonates with the people you are trying to reach.
Make The Most Of Social Media
Even with all the tips and tricks out there, it’s important to remember that social media is a relatively new tool for small businesses. What works one day might not work the next, and being ready to adapt and try new things is key to making the most of using social media. Start with these five simple tips and kickstart your success today!