You've recently launched your small business or startup, invested a lot of capital in preparing your service or product portfolio, and now you're waiting for the customers to come. You've heard that many of your competitors are using social media to sell, so you buy ads.
Social media can be your best friend or your worst nightmare, depending on whether you have a clear strategy. Without it, you could end up with multiple ineffective, very expensive sales channels. How can you avoid this Catch 22? In this article, you'll find a comprehensive collection of tactics on how to approach social media marketing.
Why is social media important anyway?
According to Oberlo, nearly half of the world's population uses at least one social media platform. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram are the most established, with many new companies, like TikTok or Clubhouse, getting on board ever since. There is literally no business in the world that couldn't benefit from a strong social media presence. You don't even have to advertise: A 2016 survey found that 75% of marketers increased traffic from their social media presence.
Whether you sell fashion products or offer construction services, a strong social media presence can help you build authenticity. Even if you don't spend on advertising, you can take advantage of several features that serve your marketing strategy, including:
Show before/after pictures or products
Connect with your audience
Share news about your business
Enable your potential and existing customers to easily get in touch with you
Solicit and respond to feedback and reviews
Optimize your content for search engines (SEO)
Who is your target audience?
Determining your target audience is key to any successful business. It's best to begin outlining your buyer personas before you even start the business. You will have and also need time to adjust along the way, but you need to gather information about who you want to sell your products and services to.
A few examples of why this activity is critical to the health of your business:
Personal Trainer: You can be someone who offers clients tough weight loss results or a professional who specializes in training coaches or future IFBB fitness champions. Your clientele will greatly depend on which path you choose, as a young bodybuilder uses different social media and communication channels than a 45+ manager with obesity.
Fashion startups: do you design your clothes for older people, or do you target parents with young children? Innovative people in their 20s and 30s, or managers looking for the latest in high fashion? Twitter and Facebook will be great platforms to capture the attention of consumers aged 30+, while on the other hand, TikTok is currently unbeatable when it comes to teens and young adults.
Philadelphia home redesigners: specialization by location or property value is common for SMBs working in the construction industry. Social media platforms distribute your messages based on location, on which you can build your social media strategy.
Forming a successful content strategy
Once your target audience is clear, you can start thinking about choosing the right platforms. Do you need more than one? There is no exact answer to this, as it should be clarified through testing. While certain age groups rely mainly on well-identifiable social media sites and apps, you can't completely rule out other platforms until you see them in action.
Regardless of your industry and market, there is a strong common ground for each social media platform in terms of what you can use them for.
Facebook: The king of social media is happy to adapt to whatever form of content you prefer. Images of the products and services you offer are a good start but you can use this platform for so much more. The ultimate goal is to share content that resonates with your audience and therefore gets shared by them, which ultimately leads to you getting more new customers.
Instagram: This social media platform is the best if the results of your work are visually stunning. Pictures, videos, live feeds will be your tools to impress the audience.
Twitter: This platform is mainly used for communicating with your target audience in short messages. It is an effective tool when you want to engage your target audience and start a conversation.
YouTube: YouTube is much more than a bunch of meme clips, trailers, and music videos. Harness its power through how-to videos, testimonials, and showcasing products or services.
TikTok: For founders working with a younger audience, TikTok is a great option with its short videos. The best part is that you can go viral much faster with quality, informative or funny content compared to other social media platforms.
How do I know whether my social media execution works?
A steadily growing number of followers, a lively comments section, and an increasing number of user interactions show you that your social media strategy is working. However, you should avoid comparing yourself to global enterprises or deep-pocket startups. It's perfectly fine to start small and grow from there.
Setting up a timeline with target metrics will greatly help you assess your current position, although it is highly advisable to bring in a professional expert, at least in the planning phase. Setting realistic expectations and organizing the process to test what works and what doesn't will determine your success in the long run.
One thing to keep in mind during the planning and social media execution: Growing your brand online requires quality content. Your potential customers will appreciate it if you add value for them in the form of tips, knowledgeable articles, or videos, and if you keep connecting with them. Reflect on news in your industry, involve them in an engaging, informative conversation, and use your everyday tone to create meaningful connections.
You'll find that you can still achieve your goals with quality content even without spending a huge budget on social media. If you're looking for an experienced partner for your social media journey, let's catch up and grow your brand together!