For small business owners, social media marketing is one of the most underutilized marketing tactics.
How can you say that?
Everyone has or should have a Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, Twitter account and Google Business page.
While it is true that most companies have dabbled with social media channels and set up their pages, most small companies pay little or no attention to these low cost and potentially high impact marketing opportunities.
Most small company social media accounts are a barren waste land of blank avatars, little to no postings and small followings.
If you are a small business and are looking to kick start your social media efforts, here are 3 best practices to get you started and impact your bottom line this year.
Update Your Profile
Your social media profile is an extension of your business brand. For savvy customers particularly the growing in influence millennial generation, social media channels are one of their first stops in their decision making process.
If you have blank avatars on your Twitter or Facebook pages, or profiles that look like they belong to a different company, you’ve got a problem.
When someone checks you out on Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn, you want them to know that they are dealing with the same organization. Use the same colors, logos and similar images as you do with your other marketing collateral, so that it is instantly recognizable.
Also make sure that you use a consistent tone or voice. If your brand is professional, maintain that vibe, changing it up to a youthful and snarky tone will only confuse and potentially alienate your ideal customers. While your business may serve different customers, your marketing should be aimed at your target audience.
Consistency is Key
Arriving at a Twitter account or Facebook page and seeing that the last post was two years ago says something about a business. Unfortunately for many of the small businesses that we come into contact, this is precisely what we encounter.
Publishing once in a while is a step in the right direction, but it will not yield the primary results that you are looking for – building and audience and driving targeted traffic to your website.
Determine which social media channels will yield the best results for your business and then work with your team to establish a regular publishing schedule for each channel that you will be working with.
Our friends at Buffer (yes, we are clients) have a great social media posting guide that can help you determine the ideal frequency to post for each social media channel.
Regularity, like brand consistency, helps establish a sense of reliability in your audience (a very important trait in a company you’re considering doing business with).
At a minimum if you are just getting started, consider the following schedule.
- Twitter: 3-5 original tweets a day (morning, afternoon, and evening)
- Facebook: 1 post a day (original content or shared, ideally mid-day or early evening)
- LinkedIn: 1-2 posts a week (original content or shared)
Once you have maintained some consistency, you can start to track the impact of your postings and determine the appropriate frequency and timeframes for your posts.
Speak With, Not at Your Audience
Whether its Google, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn the goal of your social media activities is not to close sales. While increased sales can be a by-product of an effectively operated social media strategy, its biggest opportunities lie in creating awareness for your product or service, or maintaining communication with your legions of satisfied customers.
It is important for companies to dialogue with their audience and avoid engaging in a one-sided conversation.
Active engagement is the key!
Participating in group discussions on LinkedIn, or hosting chats on Twitter are just a few of the opportunities to speak with your audience and not at them.
What are your followers concerned with? What problems are they struggling with? Are there solutions that you can provide to these issues? Will some of the content that you created answer their questions?
Regardless of the channel, social media offers your brand or company the opportunity to connect with your ideal customers on a personal level.
Don’t take it for granted!
David, a HubSpot Certified Inbound Marketer is the Chief Content Creator for InTouch Marketing and its clients.