These days, making sure your business has a social media presence is part of standard business practice. For your local, small business to have the best chance of success, you actually need to be active on social media.
If you are on the fence about what social media can offer your local business, consider some of the following benefits:
- Engaging your community
- Getting instant feedback
- Making your business more accessible
- Providing better customer service
- Easy and free advertisement
- Increase awareness of your brand
- Performance tracking abilities at your fingertips
As you start down your social media marketing path and enjoy these benefits, follow the strategies below.
You will need to have a plan for marketing your business on social media. It can be tempting to jump right in, but making a plan centered around appropriate goals will help you streamline your social media marketing strategy and keep you consistent.
A marketing plan also helps keep better track of your progress in terms of achieving your goals. This way, you’ll find out if you need to tweak your strategies.
Below is a step-by-step guide to creating a social media marketing strategy for your local business.
1. Define Your Audience
Do some research on the online habits of your target market as well as those of your current client base. If your business already has some social media pages, chances are you already have some access to analytics about current customers.
If you don’t have social media pages yet, you can look at other data on your audience. You probably already know some basic information about your customers, as this guides many other aspects of your marketing.
2. Consider Your Client Base
Once you’ve defined your audience, you can study what motivates them and as well as their typical online habits. Understanding your client base will help you spend just the right amount of time and effort on their preferred platforms and you’ll have a better chance of keeping them engaged.
If you aren’t sure what platforms your clients and customers are on, then take a close look at how your competition is interacting with their target market. You can even consider asking your customers to complete a short survey in exchange for a discount on your products or services.
3. Consider Your Resources
You have to think about the resources you have for carrying out your social media marketing and consider what you already know (or don’t know). Do you know enough about marketing on Facebook or Instagram? Or do you need to hire a social media manager for your business?
You may also want to consider your budget along with the amount of time you (or your team) can dedicate to social media marketing. Considering these factors will help you more efficiently use your available resources.
4. Choose Your Core Topics
Once your social media marketing plan has been developed and you understand the audience you are wanting to reach, you’ll have a better picture of what topics will be most interesting to your target market.
To keep them engaged and looking forward to what you have to say, you’ll want to make sure to give them useful information.
For example, if your business sells pet care products, you can post tips on topics like proper grooming, the right diet for pets, and the importance of pet exercise. If you have an auto repair shop, your customers will probably like tips on detailing, getting the best deal, and doing basic car maintenance.
5. Select and Maintain a Consistent Tone
You want to also make sure to keep a consistent tone of voice. Decide if you want your business represented by a funny, formal, business-professional, or if you want to use a more conversational tone.
Be consistent with how you represent yourself so your clients and customers are able to more easily recognize your posts as they come across their newsfeed. Keep in mind that your tone may also be determined by what appeals to your target market.
6. Determine Post Frequency
You should also carefully consider how often you post content on your social media business pages. If you start out by flooding social media and then suddenly go down to one post a month, your business may be negatively affected.
Instead, choose to be consistent from the start. Aiming for a posting frequency of two to three times a week is ideal if you’re just starting out. Once you have the routine down, you can go for daily posts.
7. Strive for Engagement
Once you’ve gotten familiar with your audience and have gotten in the swing of posting, you really want to keep your audience engaged. This means communicating with your customers, answering their comments, and sharing more content. Keeping your customers engaged will lead to stronger relationships and, ultimately, better business.
Don’t be the business that never “likes” on “comments” on their customers comments. After all, if they took the time to engage with your posts, you should strive to do the same for them… setting up a time of day to do this regularly will get you in the habit and will help keep you consistent.
8. Analyze How You’re Doing
There are many ways to analyze how your social media pages are doing. In fact, the majority of platforms do it for you. Make sure to check in on your analytics regularly so you understand the effects of your efforts.
Checking social media analytics can be helpful at all stages of your social media marketing strategy. Analyze the data you have and adjust your posting strategies to increase the effectiveness of your social media marketing.
For many people, using social media is second nature. Unfortunately, there are also many people who struggle with what channels are best and how to use them.
Social media marketing can sometimes be more complicated than it seems. Hopefully, the step-by-step guide above can help you navigate the journey with as little stress as possible.