So you’ve landed yourself the role of a social media manager or social media marketer, perhaps without any concrete social media training or preparation? It’s a common occurrence! So how do we promote our business on these platforms primarily used for connecting with friends?
For businesses of all sizes, social media has proven to be a powerful tool to amplify a brand and its message online. Whether we like it or not, it plays a massive role in our everyday lives, so it makes sense to utilise these free platforms to engage with our ideal customers, right?
We now have such a variety of tools widely available at our disposal for promotions and selling that one of the biggest mistakes businesses often make on these platforms is that they forget the sole purpose of them. To be social!
People set up their personal social media accounts to stay in touch with friends, keep up-to-date with family near and far, to chat, scroll, like and engage. Companies don’t naturally fit into that cosy, people-led eco-system, and the last thing people want to see in their feeds is more marketing (by some estimates we see an average of 5,000 pieces of marketing every single day).
Why is your business on social media?
Why is your business on social media anyway? Are you using it because you feel you have to? Do you want to create more awareness for your brand? Or perhaps you want to reach out to existing loyal customers and encourage them to return? You may be running a non-profit organization and you wish to create awareness about the services you offer? All of these questions need to be answered in order to make good, credible content which will allow you to engage with your following.
Studies show that it is expected that the estimated number of social media users in Ireland is projected to reach 3.2 million by 2025. As it stands, there’s currently 3.02million social media users in Ireland, not bad for a small country with a population of 4.9million (Source: Statista). So, if you’ve wondered about the possibilities of finding your desired audience on social media, the odds are stacked highly in your favour.
Who are you preaching to?
Take time to study your audience. Make the most of the insights on Facebook and Instagram.
Use scheduling tools which will give you insights, as well as hashtag and content suggestions, like Later. Keep it simple. Identify who you want to share your message with, then use your insights to figure out who you’re actually posting to. You can use this information to tailor your content better to the audience you want to reach. Keep an eye on your insights and use them to set goals and benchmarks for your social media marketing.
What can you do then?
If you want to keep things social , you’ll need a good, clear plan to do so. Once you’ve identified your audience, you should take time to determine how you’re going to deliver your message to them, again, without it being a constant sales pitch. Getting to know your customers and online audience can help you determine the type of content which will be valuable to them! While posting valuable content, post relative products and services in between. These can include links to products in your social shop or your website. Interact with comments, encourage reviews and feedback, add question stickers to your instagram stories. Engage, engage, engage!
Post videos, tips & tricks, behind the scenes of the business. Anything interesting that will give you the edge and stop those followers from scrolling. Think of your content from your audience’s point of view. Is there any frequently asked questions that keep popping up in your inbox? Is there an obvious problem that your audience face which your business can help with? Use this opportunity to create valuable content for your social media! Another important guideline to live (post) by is to provide quality over quantity. Do not fill your feed with rushed, bad copy or with low quality images just for the sake of it. Take the time to curate valuable content and use your insights to identify the best time to share it.
Some content ideas include:
- Blog Posts
- Guest Blogging
- Instagram Live
- Instagram Story Stickers
- Testimonials and Reviews
- Product or Service Comparisons
- Loyalty Programmes
Encourage user generated content!
So, what is User Generated Content or UGC?
Simply put, this is content created by the customer or your target audience. It can include any type of online content which is published by someone who uses your products or services. Encourage people to leave a review or to share your products and tag you in their stories! This is the kind of social proof that cannot be bought. Once people see the value of your business or brand and they take it upon themselves to promote it, you’ve hit the jackpot!
The amount of information available about this online is both boundless and overwhelming. You cannot underestimate the power of a social media course in order to help you adjust the feather in your social media marketing cap. Even a quick one-day social media training course can arm you with the tools you need to optimise your workflow and get your message across.
If this year is anything to go by, it has shown the importance and value of social media for communicating credible information in a crisis. In fact, Facebook and Instagram have seen a 40% increase in usage due to Covid-19, with views for Instagram Live and Facebook Live doubling in one week (source: Later.com).
The main points for staying social on social media:
- Engage with your followers
- Give your followers value
- Be transparent and true to the brand you’re representing
- Quality over quantity
- Put your message in front of the right people
- Build a loyal following
Remember, people are on social media to be social. If you are constantly selling to them, they’re going to lose interest. The algorithm will demote your posts and your engagement will suffer. To build a lasting and loyal relationship with your customers give them true value in their feeds – and that comes down to being one of two things – useful or entertaining. Anything else is just noise.