Social media takes time, no doubt about it and that’s what causes it to be a barrier for small business, especially those without dedicated marketing staff. Sure, social media is fun when it involves checking in on old friends or catching up with family and sharing vacation photos – but – when it comes to a practice that drives revenue for your business, it’s hard to consistently engage across multiple platforms while juggling a million other tasks.
Fortunately, when you commit to it and follow a strategy, social media becomes routine and actually works. Below are three social media strategies that will help you drive more growth for your small business:
1. Social media is not a short-term tactic
Unfortunately, instant gratification is nearly impossible to achieve on social media; especially when demand generation and growth are the goals. Sure, you can sometimes post something that goes viral but consider that a “15-minutes” of fame and not reality until you’ve put the time into understanding how to repeatedly go viral. In the meantime, good ol’ patience, consistency and hard work is the means to your end.
Understanding the common phases most businesses pass through before it’s possible to tie any amount of ROI to social efforts and that it takes time, are key. First step is to become active, and not just post regularly but find and then connect and engage with your audience. Like their content, share, comment, and start conversations; those are the gas that fuel social strategy.
2. Find your audience on Social media platforms
Most likely, your audience of prospects and buyers are on social media platforms but which ones? Knowing that is the key to unlocking connections that eventually become long-term business relationships. In order to find these folks, look to your competitors and determine:
- Which social platforms they engage on most
- Conversations they start and contribute to
- Online content sources they share
3. Three Social Media Strategies worth trying
Part of motivating yourself to execute a social media routine involves participating in strategies that have the best chance of garnering success – quickly. Try these three to get you started:
Sharing is caring
Content is the jet fuel of social. Regardless of if whether it came from from another source or you wrote it, if it’s not relevant and interesting, your audience won’t engage. Think about everything you do on social media from customer and prospect’s points of view. What are they interested, what information do they need? How can you demonstrate expertise and how can you bring your personality to the mix? Answering those questions will make it easier to find content that drives growth and builds a following. Once you find the right content mix – share often!
What did you say?
Customers and prospects are conversing on social. Your job is to find out what they’re saying and asking – particularly about your type of products or solutions. Look for buying signals; such as asking asking for recommendations and follow competitors to see the content they post and notice if anyone is making negative comments about them. If they are, connect, start a conversation and use the intelligence to differentiate your offerings.
We are great and so are you
Self-promotion can bring awareness to your brand but nobody likes a braggart and that’s what we see when a company posts only about their offerings. Marketing gurus over at Hubspot recommend a 4-1-1 split for content. For every 6 posts, include: 4 links from other sources, 1 link about your company and 1 link to a landing page on your website (e-book, sign up form etc).
Gaining traction on social media to generate demand and leads for your business is a challenge many small businesses face; you’re not alone. Thinking about it as a long-term tactic helps set expectations and stop waning patience while you wait for the the magic of inbound marketing to drive business. In the end, it’s worth the wait and executing the best strategies will result in a better outcome, faster.