Social media traffic is often an overlooked resource for many small and medium businesses. One of the reasons why many businesses do not participate in social media is because it is so new; additionally – the results can be invisible in the early parts of the campaign. With that being said – social proofing is one of the most powerful forms of persuasion, and no other form on the internet is better at marketing than the utilization of websites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others. Learning and applying an effective social media strategy doesn’t require that the business owner read a novel or attend a webinar (although those can help). Simply by employing these 4 strategies, you can set yourself ahead of the pack!
#1 – Assess Your Situation
Please do not skip this section! It is very important – which is why it is the longest section of the post. Understand your current situation and create a clear vision of where you want to go. Simply doing this step will take you 75% towards your goal. As David Allen, author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free Productivity says: “The great secret about goals and visions is not the future they describe but the change in the present they engender.” For this reason, there are some questions that you need to ask yourself:
- What does your audience need?
- What do they want from your company?
- What challenges do they currently have?
- What websites are they visiting most often?
These questions cannot be generated in your head. You can create a hypothesis; however, you are going to need a way to test this theory; therefore, it is highly recommended that you begin interviewing individuals in your network (online surveys do not cut it if you are just beginning; as your following grows, surveys become more useful.) After a slew of successful interviews, you will gain access to the language that is more relatable to the audience. Furthermore, you will be able to elicit a strong positive response from your customer and gain the ability respond to the customer’s needs after they read over your content. Last but not least, your audience will begin to see you as an authority. After you have assessed the above – it’s finally time to figure out the central theme of your social media campaign. By simply focusing on one theme – you can create a cohesive marketing strategy:
- Learning – You may want to build a social media platform just so that you can learn from your audience. You can do this by maximizing on one on one engagements and asking a lot public questions to your audience.
- Sales – Creating a sales focused social media strategy is very useful. Many times, marketers may use a platform like Facebook Ads to generate immediate revenue. They may also promote a lot of deals through their social media channels – it’s important to still share useful content to your audience.
- Loyalty – Do you already have a large following; many major companies use Facebook & Twitter to maintain their customers, and to offer exclusive promotions to their followers.
- Awareness – Increasing awareness means increasing the word of mouth marketing aspect of your social media strategy.
In the end all of these channels lead to sales – however, you want to focus on one theme to simplify everything for your company and yourself.
#2 – Find Your Social Media Demographic
According to Pew Research, we have come up with some interesting statistics concerning where you should market:
- Facebook – As no surprise to anyone, most people who use the internet, use Facebook. Facebook is dominated by women who are aged 18-29. The average income of Facebook users is less than $50,000
- LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a social media network use predominantly by 30-49 college educated men who earn more than $75,000.
- Pinterest – Pinterest is used primarily by college educated women who are aged anywhere from 18-29 years old. The average income for people using Pinterest is above $75,000.
- Twitter – Twitter is by far the platform with the most diverse demographics. It is primarily used by 18-29 year olds.
- Instagram – Last but not least, Instagram, fueled by user generated photos and videos, is used by urban resident women who are aged 18-29.
With that being said, all of these platforms should be tested; however, these demographics help you to generate a great hypothesis of what platforms may be more suitable for your business.
#3 – Discover New Customers
Websites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn have built in features to help you find new customers. No money needed! We are going to go over how you can get a new customer through Twitter – as it possesses the most diverse demographic social network according to Pew Research. We’re a web design studio; therefore, we are always on the lookout for business owners who want to increase online revenue. The first thing we do is brainstorm a list of what a business owner might tweet on Facebook. Let’s pretend that we opened up a health food and supplement shop in Austin, TX. Our goal is to attract people who are motivated to work out and eat healthy. We want to use our imaginations to create a hypothesis of what people may Tweet to indicate that they are into working out. Here’s a quick list keywords of what we think our demographic may be typing in:
- Lose weight
Therefore, these are also the words that we will be searching for in the Twitter Advanced Search.
Now let’s look up the results:
#4 – Track & Measure Everything
There are a great number of studies that attempt to measure the perfect posting time. As one study becomes common knowledge – the statistic will most likely change as everybody will be posting at the same exact time. For this reason, it is critical that you have your own gameplan and ability to measure when your specific demographic is checking their Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. The best way to do this is by using the BufferApp.com which will help you schedule future posts and track the most effective posting hours. BuferApp comes with a great deal of features to help any business promote their website. In the end, there’s are many things you can do, in order to create a successful marketing campaign; but just focusing on these 4 strategies can set you apart from the average business!