Creating a social media presence for your business calls for a strategic approach to achieve success. Here are some tips to get you started.
Enterprises in Australia need to establish a social media presence for their business as more than half of customers use social media daily. An average Australian owns three internet enabled devices such as a smartphone, a laptop and a tablet. About 93% of Australians are active on Facebook, while 28% have a LinkedIn account and 26% use Instagram, according to the Sensis Social Media Report.
However, creating a social media presence for your business isn’t as easy as adding your name, profile picture or contact details on a social media account. For your social media marketing to be successful, you need to plan carefully, understand how social media works and continuously monitor your strategy. This will help you ensure that every amount you invest on your social media strategy will provide returns for your business.
So how do you leverage the power of social media for your business? Here are five things to consider to achieve success.
1. Outline your objectives in a social media strategy document.
Before you put your business out on social media, you need to ask yourself what your goals are. Is it to engage customers? Build more exposure for your products? Or promote your blog posts? You need to set your objectives first as this will help you select the right type of social media platform for your business. If your business is into fashion, you might want to use visual platforms such as Instagram or Pinterest. If you’re a restaurant owner and wanted to broadcast your daily specials, you may want to use Facebook or Twitter to be able to reach a lot of people.
Once you have identified the social media platform for your business, you need to ensure that your social media account or profile is reflective of your brand. This means that whatever message you post online should be consistent with your company’s identity and with your line of work. Doing this will enable you to build a credible reputation online, and win the trust of your customers.
2. Identify your target audience.
In your social media marketing strategy, you also need to specify your target market. Who are the people that you would like to reach with your product, or service? Identify your target market by exploring the conversations that are happening on social media pages, comment sections and online forums to determine how people are talking about a product or a service that you would like to offer. Then, join the discussion with your social media accounts, and connect and interact with your prospects. Get to know their preferences, their pain points and build a relationship with them. Offer useful information and answer their questions to show them that you truly care. From there, you can suggest solutions to their problems, and include how your products or services can help. Expand your customer base by building a community related to your product or services, and then participate regularly in the discussion. This can encourage your existing customers to refer others that they know to your business.
3. Create high-quality content that your customers will love.
According to IBM, 90% of the world’s data has been generated in the past two years alone. For any consumer, this means a deluge of information that would be difficult to digest. They can easily tune out businesses that keep promoting themselves. However, you can capture their eye by providing them with the right content on your social media pages.
Targeted, high-quality content offers your customers useful or insightful information, which can either solve their problem or resonate with their values. You can identify the concerns of your audience through your conversations with them. Then, try to address these through your content. Simply put, your approach toward content creation should be more about your customers and less about your business. This will encourage them to interact more with your company. You can even drive customer engagement further by encouraging them to submit content, and using this in your marketing efforts – just ask their permission first!
4. Enlist the help of social media experts.
As you implement your social media strategy, you may need the input of social media experts to ensure that you are on the right track. Digital agencies may be more knowledgeable in the use of analytics tools, which measure the effectiveness of your social media initiatives. Through analytics, you will be able to determine parts of your strategy that do not work, and those that provide a return on investment (ROI). Additionally, you will be able to learn about customer sentiments on your posts through analytics. With this information, you can tailor your strategy appropriately to ensure it benefits your business.
You may also turn to digital marketing agencies when you get overwhelmed on managing your growing following on social media. A digital agency can help you maintain communication with your customers, and implement campaigns directed toward a large number of people.
5. Maintain a regular schedule on your social media postings.
It is important to maintain a regular posting schedule on social media as this will show your customers that your business continues to operate. However, you should be mindful of the posts that you create online, as self-promoting content can appear ‘sales-y’, and turn away your audience. To avoid this, you can try these different rules on social media schedules. One of them is the 4-1-1 rule, where you post four pieces of relevant content from others, and one re-tweet for every one promotional post. These rules will help you plan and maintain a regular posting schedule, while being able to allocate extra time for time-sensitive content; such as postings on holidays or current events.