Monday November 5, 2018
Every business owner is feeling the pressure to have a “social media strategy”. Companies big and small are competing for space in a potential customer’s timeline, but just how useful can online platforms be for promoting business growth? The honest truth is very.
Research suggests that more than half of people working in marketing found investing time in social media increased their sales. Almost 90% of those people felt social media channels had increased their exposure and, on average, a few hours a week of social media work brought improved lead generation for two-thirds of businesses.
The important thing to remember is that not all social media channels are created equal. Depending on your business, and your goals, your strategy may not look anything like that of your competitors.
Socially Grown is on hand to guide you through the process of building your SME’s corner of the world wide web and there are several places you’ll need to focus your attention. Once you’re established, the benefits can be huge – you have a regular and reliable direct access to your customers, potential employees, suppliers, and business partners. Here’s how to get started
Customers are online looking for solutions to their problems. Social media gives you the opportunity to answer them. Unlike the traditional, older methods of direct advertising, you can use digital content to evidence – not just broadcast – your claims to expertise. This is known as content marketing.
This is a story, or an article, or a Q&A, or any type of material which is published with the specific intention of drawing in your customer and showing them that you know what you’re talking about. The reason this works is that you’re building a trust relationship with them before they’ve even met you or interacted with your team. By the time they come to an order or consultation your customer already knows who you are, what you do, and most importantly, what you can do for them.
Social media is not a formal environment. You’re battling for attention among an avalanche of family photos, videos of cats, political rants, and ideas for dinner – but that doesn’t mean you should drop your standards.
Successful corporate social media is not about huge numbers of followers or playing for likes – having 500 engaged followers who are suited to your voice and objectives is a much better outcome than 500,000 that will never use your services. Choose the content you share to suit your ideal customer, and make sure you’re talking to them in a place – and way – that they’ll find useful.
You need to be either interesting, informative, or entertaining material. If your post is none of these things, think about why you’re sharing it.
Just like the other parts of your business, social media promotion for SMEs is about listening to what’s happening around you. It’s not a one-way channel. You can use social media to find out what’s happening in your community (by following other pages), what people are talking about (by searching for mentions of your area in conversations) and get feedback on your own products (be reading your visitor posts, replies and comments.) Get involved in friendly, useful, and regular conversations and people will warm to you – both online and in person.
There are several free tools you can use to see if your social media time investment is working out for you. This is known as analytics and can give you solid numbers on whether social media is driving your sales and/or getting your business talked about.
For example, data analytics can tell you how many people save your posts, how many people clicked on your material and the times that were most successful to you. Look at this information, take some advice if needed, and use it to plan your future content. If it works, keep doing it. If not, time to try something else. Luckily enough, it’s easy to tell where you stand.
Perhaps the most important consideration for SME owners is that social media success doesn’t usually happen overnight. There is an art to using digital platforms for business growth and it may require a combination of content marketing, advertising, community engagement and time. The pointers here are a great place to start in planning your social media strategy – the next step is up to you!
Socially Grown’s team of marketers are ideally placed to develop engaging social media channels for your business, and can create a detailed social media strategy to ensure your content is relevant, visually strong and of interest to your target audience.