Even when you know just how powerful social media can be for promoting your business, coming up with creative ways to advertise isn’t always the easiest. In fact, one of the most frustrating things for small and local businesses is figuring out how to tap into social media audiences. After all, making your brand stand out in increasingly busy timelines is the key to growing brand awareness, and, more importantly, your customer base. To help you break through the noise on social media feeds and maybe even the creative brick wall of your mind, we’re setting you up with ten tips on how to be successful on social media.
10 Tips for Succeeding on Social Media
1. Figure out WHO your customers are
As simple as this may seem, most businesses that advertise on social media are casting a net that’s either way too wide, or just downright ineffective. No matter what, the success of your marketing campaigns heavily relies on how well you know your target audience. Now, we’re not just talking about basic demographic information. If you want to see real results, you have to dig deeper and learn about your target customers on a more personal level. With this information, you not only have a better idea of what might appeal to them, but can also rule out advertising strategies that won’t work.
2. Know where your audience hangs out
Just because Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the “big dogs” of social media doesn’t mean you should turn a blind eye to other popular channels. Going hand in hand with the first tip, as you learn more about your audience, you’ll also learn which platforms they use the most. For example, if you’re targeting a more professional audience, you should be investing advertising resources into a platform like LinkedIn, not Pinterest. When you figure out which social media channels your audience is spending the most time on, you can focus your efforts and achieve better results.
3. Create share-worthy content
Let’s face it, most people are on social media looking for something that piques their interest just enough to share with friends and family. If you keep pumping out run-of-the-mill content that news feeds are already littered with, your brand is going to keep getting scrolled over.
Everything you publish and every advertising campaign you run needs to have a healthy combination of visual flair and unquestionable value. These are the essential elements that not only get potential customers to stop scrolling, but that ultimately get them to take some kind of action.
4. Get interactive with your followers
Since social media users are regularly bombarded with all kinds of “consumable” content, why not turn the tables? Instead of giving them something to stare at, read, or watch, deliver content that inspires some form of interaction. Whether it be simply sharing their opinion about a new product idea or putting their name in for an online raffle, interactive content provides a nice change of pace while helping you get noticed. When customers start connecting with your business more, you’ll also get a nice visibility boost since brand interaction is usually an important algorithm factor for most social media platforms.
5. Take a trip around “the feed”
When you run low on creative energy, it never hurts to take a look at what other brands are doing. Often times, you’ll find a number of fun, creative ideas you can implement on your own profile. This is also a great way to stay on top of competitors and spot new social media advertising trends as they’re emerging. Check out profiles that target an audience similar to yours and see what’s working for them.
6. Get local on em’
If you derive the majority of your revenue from local business, social media is a powerful advertising medium that you simply can’t pass up. With all of the targeting features available on most platforms, you can easily focus on potential customers within a local radius. This way, you can ensure your advertising resources are being spent only on users with the highest probability of becoming customers. You’ll also find that engagement rates will be higher since your business has location-specific relevance.
7. Abide by the 80/20 rule
Just like superheroes, with great advertising power comes great responsibility. Social media pretty much allows you to promote your brand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week…but should you? No. One of the worst things you can do is overwhelm your followers and potential customers with too much self-promotional content. Following the rule, 80% of your posts should provide a high level of value and only 20% should push promotional content. Remember, your ads don’t have to be for a direct purchase. You can
8. Automate to dominate
As a small business owner, there’s a good chance you’re already wearing quite a few hats to keep everything running. Rather than add another one by handling all social media advertising, take advantage of automation tools that do it for you. There are all kinds of free and paid tools out there that help you with everything from finding interesting content to automatically posting on your behalf. Even though it can be a little difficult to give up some control, it will allow you to focus on more important aspects of your business.
9. Repurpose older content
Inevitably, there will come a time where you start to run out of social media ideas and content. Rather than turn to random ideas that deliver little to no value, go through old content and find a way to repurpose it. Some of your customers may enjoy reading your blog while others prefer consuming information in video format. Come up with creative ways to publish content you already have and watch your follower count climb.
10. Consistency is key
Not to be mistaken for quantity over quality, having a consistent advertising schedule will help you build a following and reach your goals faster. For example, if you publish a new, high-value blog post each week, make sure you share it on social media so you’re followers have something to look forward to. Getting on an advertising/content schedule is a strong way to build loyalty while also staying at the forefront of thought. Think about the most popular brands you follow. Do they post regularly or have a sporadic schedule with long gaps between content?