In this day and age, it is almost unthinkable for a business to not have a social media presence. All of our lives are dramatically intertwined with the internet, and there are countless benefits to taking your business online.
At the beginning of 2021, it is estimated that there were 4.33 billion social media users worldwide. That’s over 55% of the global population. It is vital for businesses to take advantage of this digital space to engage with their audience, expand their reach, and grow their brand.
Audience retention and expansion
Social media provides a direct channel of communication between you and your audience. This direct engagement is much more organic than an email or phone call, and allows you to be much more personable. This authenticity leads to honest feedback that is useful to you and leaves your audience feeling valued and more connected to your business.
The most humanising content you can share on social media is that which directly showcases the day-to-day of your business. For example, pictures of a decorated storefront, candid videos of your workplace, Q&As with staff, etc. By treating your business’ social media page more like a personal profile, it helps to humanise your brand.
Combining this content with a call to action (CTA) is an essential part of any social media marketing strategy. CTAs are prompts for audiences to directly perform an action after seeing your content. For example, you could ask them a question, request that they share ideas related to your post, or simply tell them to leave a ‘like’. A good CTA should encourage engagement without appearing intrusive.
Staying part of the conversation
The internet provides a space for its users to stay connected to current events. You can take advantage of this by piggybacking off current trends for easy engagement. Post about current events and viral trends to expand your reach to people who may not otherwise have discovered your brand. Naturally, it is better to find a way to link this to your brand in a relevant and memorable way. Be aware that each platform has different pros and cons – e.g. Instagram is better for visual content while Twitter is better for short and snappy content.
Another way to stay relevant is to interact with other thought leaders in your industry. Follow similar businesses and profiles for tips and advice. Develop mutually beneficial relationships where you create content for each other and cross-promote it – e.g. via guest blogs.
By staying part of the conversation, you have a community that acts as a support system for your business. Maintaining positive relationships will take time and endurance, but the long-term results are worth it.
Organising your content
It’s one thing to know the benefits of social media for your business, but another thing entirely to apply it in practice. Planning ahead is key if you want to maintain a long-term social media marketing strategy.
Using a content calendar to schedule posts in advance will help you stick to a long-term plan without getting overwhelmed. It will take time to discover what types of content to post and when. Experiment and regularly check analytics to see what content does well and what doesn’t. Adapt to this, and try to balance highly engaging content with content that is easily achievable. You can only work within your limits.
Also, keep the 80:20 ratio in mind. This means producing 80% content that provides value to your audience and 20% self-promotion. Too much of the latter will alienate your audience – always keep them in mind.
Above all, remember that social media marketing is a long-term commitment that requires constant experimentation and adaptability. There’s no magic formula for success, just keep these tips in mind and do your best!