Social media promotion begins when you socialize your content
Socialized content from your blog boosts web traffic and increases leads as a result. Whether you are a business owner trying to squeeze in time for blogging, a content marketer at an agency leading the development of a client’s site, or a full-time blogger writing prolifically on your own site, you should have a detailed plan and purpose for your blog. Our goal for our social media promotion it to engage with customers in order to establish our company as a trustworthy and approachable expert in our industry. I believe most businesses should have a similar goal with their social media presence.
Let’s say you own a hair salon. You often post pictures on your social media pages of hairstyles you created for weddings and special events. You also post occasionally the worst hairstyles from all over the web. Your social media posts are wildly popular, but are they driving sales? Make sure that your posts are connected to your website. It is fine to be popular on Facebook, but for a business, it is better to use that popularity to invite people to make an appointment (without it sounding like a sales pitch).
Social media is an amazing tool to reach out to a wider audience as well as to build a loyal following for your business. It usually takes time and consistency for a small business to have measurable success on social media. Social media by itself does not drive sales as well as a social media strategy that is linked to a great website with an informative blog.
Studies on small-business social media promotion reveal some amazing statistics
Sprout Social did a study that revealed that 75% of people who are on social media purchased items they saw advertised on social media. Additionally, a buyer is 57% more likely to buy a product from a company they own if they see it featured on their social media feed.
People are also using social media extensively to seek out product recommendations. If your customers are recommending you on social media, it would be wise to have a page they can link to on that social media platform. Social media is becoming the new standard for word-of-mouth advertising for many small businesses.
However, if you just post ads on social media without developing your page, it might prove to be a waste of time. Even worse, if you are viewed as a pushy salesman on social media, you’re likely to lose followers and credibility.
Social media promotion is highly relational
For those who what to be seen as experts in their field, the social nature of social media is really helpful. People can get to know you and your product and your passion for what you do.
You can’t think of social media like a traditional advertisement. It’s not like a display ad in the newspaper. It is a 2-way communication tool. No one really wants to have a 2-way conversation with a pushy salesman. They do want to have a chat with a trusted friend and an expert in the industry.
So here are a few tips for how your small business can be a good friend on social media.
Share great content.
Focus on posting content your audience will find valuable. Don’t talk about yourself. Talk about your client and their needs. Talk about serving them well. Offer advice, tips, tricks, special offers, insider information, unique opportunities, and recommendations that your customers might find helpful. Your posts should fall into one of the following 5 categories:
- Fascinating: Is the information you’re sharing entertaining, newsworthy, humorous, or unusual?
- Educational: Does the information help people know more about what they are already interested in?
- Time/Money Saving: Will the information you post help people save time or money?
- Inspiring: Does your post help to improve a person’s life?
- Status building: Does the information help a person increase their wealth, increase their knowledge, or help them be smarter?
Know who you are talking to
Does your company focus mostly on business-to-business sales? Do you manufacture a product that only other businesses would be interested in buying? If so, Facebook might not be the best place to spend a lot of your time. Linked In is a better place to spend your promotional energy.
On the other hand, do you own a local pizza restaurant? Linked In might be an utter waste for your time and energy if you are trying to reach out to families.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Linked In all are valuable tools, if they are used properly. However, if your business audience does not tend to traffic on your favorite platform, it could be a waste of time and money.
Pick Your Platform(s) Wisely
A sure-fire way to experience media burnout is by trying to keep up with too many social media platforms. It you own a small business, you can probably only engage on 1 social media platform well and you should not even try to post on more than 3.
Make sure you do a little research for the most current trends. Begin your social media promotion on the platform that is most heavily used by your target audience:
- If your sales are mostly business-to-business, then Linked In is probably a good choice.
- Do you own a restaurant or do you offer residential services? Then Facebook and Yelp could be really great choices.
- Are teenagers typically buying your products? The Instagram or TikTok might get better results for you.
- Does you product have a great visual appeal? Then consider posting beautiful photographs of it on Pinterest.
Read your statistics and have a metric for success for your social media promotional efforts
Decide what constitutes success with your social media promotional campaigns. Typically, businesses measure social media success using these 2 metrics: Engagement and ROI.
- Engagement: Are people liking, sharing and re-posting your media? Are you attracting new fans? Are the people who like your page good potential customers? Is your social media creating a community online? If your followers are engaged with your site, it helps to establish your business as an authoritative source. If you continue to reach people with your posts and quality content, eventually those people will turn into advocates for your business.
- Return on Investment (ROI): Statistics are continually being gathered by Facebook and by your website. Look at the flow of traffic. Is your social media referring people to your website? Does a product tend to sell better when you feature it on social media? Are your special offers bringing results?
Listen to your audience
Simply put, ask your followers what they want to learn from you.
- Offer to answer questions.
- Conduct a survey.
- Ask their opinion about products you offer.
- Offer to write a blog post on subjects they submit to you.
Listen to what people are saying. Don’t continue to offer information your followers aren’t interested in receiving. If you receive comments or criticism, remember to respond professionally. When you show your followers that you’re listening, you’ll gain more loyal followers in the end.
So, create a plan, post consistently, be social, measure your results, and listen to your followers.