An invitation went out to thousands of people inviting them to the free event. All you had to do was register online and attend. These invitations were EVERYWHERE. On websites, inboxes, at the bottom of people’s email signatures, on billboards, on television, radio, you name it. People were telling others to “follow” them there. Everyone was going, so we figured, sure why not? Heck, we even had the entire EAG staff register online.
We showed up a little early because there was no assigned seating. While waiting for the big event to start, we wandered around. We “chatted” with some old friends. “Followed” people from other companies we knew. Looked at the photos others had “posted” around the place. It was a nice break and a great way to catch up on things.
More people arrived. They never stopped streaming in. Thousands of voices hummed steadily to the point that it was impossible to discern any one main topic of conversation – just thousands of people talking and very few listening.
The lights went down, and the crowd hushed. All eyes were drawn to a stage where there was no performance, no speaker, no nothing. A lone voice boomed through the sound system saying, “Welcome to social media. Enjoy.”
The house lights came back up. People recommenced talking, and some even struck up a few random conversations with those they’d “connected” with, but nothing more than passing comments.
It’s easy to draw this analogy because it’s how people often feel when experiencing a social media strategy. Everyone is talking. No one is listening. No assigned seats. No headlining act or speaker.
A few statistics to sway opinions if your small business isn’t taking a social media marketing strategy seriously:
• Nearly one-third of the world uses social networks regularly. (Source)
• Twitter’s revenue reached 2.44 billion in 2017. (Source)
• 59% of Americans believe that customer service through social media has made it easier to get their questions answered and issues resolved. (Source)
• 88% of businesses with more than 100 employees use Twitter for marketing purposes. (Source)
• 2 million business are said to use Facebook for advertising in 2018. (Source)
Gotcha, Social Media is Important. What are the Best Social Media Strategies?
Big business uses social media and they might even have the equivalent of a social media marketing agency in-house. Like other big brand marketing strategies, there is nothing that says they cannot be scaled down for small businesses and with equal results. Fortunately, the best social media strategies for small businesses are pretty simple.
Your business is more than a name. Your small business can beat the pants off big brands when it comes to humanizing your brand. While the big brands fight to build personal relationships with consumers, your small business probably has these relationships in place.
For example, a national dog food company is a name. A local pet food store knows customers and their dogs by name, which makes them far more relatable to their followers. On the other hand, it’s more difficult for the national brand to create a persona beyond the logo. The more personal the interaction, the more trust is built.
Longer content has made a comeback. In your social media mix, some of your posts (if not the majority, depending on your business and goals) will link to blog content on your website. Longer blog articles give the search engines more words to index in search results. If you’re not seeing the organic search results you want, adding longer blog articles to your website and posting them to your social media accounts (where friends and followers can share and drive more traffic to your site) should help you gain some traction.
Shoot some video. There is a slew of studies and statistics extolling the virtues of video. The gist of them state that:
• More people will buy your product or service after viewing a video.
• The chances are higher that people will remember your product or service after viewing a video.
• More people watch videos than read articles.
With the advancements in smartphone camera technology, posting video is easier than ever to include in your social media marketing strategy. As for content, consider that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world behind Google. Think of the questions you and your team answer every day for your customers. Using our local pet food store as an example, a hot video topic could be “What should I feed my dog if he’s overweight?” Answering that question using video gives you a chance to review various brands you sell, AND offers helpful advice for dog owners.
Set aside budget to make sure your followers see your posts. Recently, you may have noticed that some of the companies you follow have asked you to engage with their social media posts. That’s because social media platforms are not showing all of your posts to all of your followers all of the time. In fact, statistics say very few see your posts.
To ensure your posts are seen, you’re going to have to invest in sponsored ads and boosted or promoted posts. This doesn’t have to be an expensive venture. Even better, social media platforms allow you to pinpoint your target audience using very specific criteria, so while you’re spending ad budget, you’re also in front of those who are most interested in your product or service.
Stay true to your brand and your voice. Social media trends change fast. So fast that what’s considered best practices one month can be old news the next. Regardless of what’s hot at the moment, always look at trends in the context of your small business’s brand identity and your customers. Even if it’s trendy, it doesn’t mean it’ll resonate with your target audience.
When you’re marketing on social media platforms where everyone’s talking, but there is no one listening, your posts need to draw the eye and encourage relevant conversation. Have questions about building your social media strategy? Our experts can help. Let’s talk.