We all know that social media is the present and the future of marketing for any business. From building brand awareness to cultivating loyal customers and even brand advocates, social media is a powerful marketing tool that should not be discounted. Here are 15 social media secrets every business owner needs to know right now.
#1 Setting Clear Goals is a Must
Whether you are a solopreneur or a CEO of a Fortune 500 Company, you know one thing to be true. Succeeding with anything requires setting clear goals. This specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. The same is true for social media. Setting goals before a single post is made is the key. It’s like a great man once said, you can’t hit a target you never aim for.
#2 You Don’t Need to be Everywhere, Just Where Your Customers Are
This is one of the best “secrets” to social media. While many believe you should have a presence on every platform available so that you “don’t miss out”, this is one of the biggest misnomers. This “strategy” actually damages your marketing effectiveness by spreading out your focus and reducing your quality of content. Plus, since your target market is probably not on every platform, your not using your time and effort efficiently.
#3 Fail to Plan is a Plan to Fail
Social media should be looked at like any other part of your business. Planning out a strategy to meet your goals (see #1) is the best way to ensure you have a chance at meeting said goals. In operations, you have a process and structure to deliver your products/services. Before spending any significant funds on social media marketing or hiring a social media manager, first develop a strategy, an annual plan and a way to review your performance metrics.
Map out a high-level view of your content plan for the year, including the content formats, distribution channels, the marketing funnel and your KPIs. Regardless of your specific plan, a content plan and evaluation strategy will help you prepare and adjust for social media trends and be successful.
#4 Analytics Are Not an Option
Social media is seen as the “fun” part of marketing. After all, who doesn’t like “playing” on social media. However, if you want to see real success and ROI on your time and effort, treating social media as another marketing tactic to tract and analyze is your only option. Today, many social media platforms make it easy for business owners to analyze their post engagement, new users, most active days and times and a host of other stats.
#5 Not All Hashtags Are Created Equal (or Should Be Used on Every Platform)
Hashtags are effective tools to help your content reach a larger audience, but you must be careful to properly use hashtags between the platforms. Some platforms encourage multiple hashtags (like Instagram) and some discourage using more than 2 or 3 (like Facebook and LinkedIn). Additionally, including overly used hashtags (i.e. ones that have been used over 7 million times on Instagram) won’t help your content be seen. While using ones with less than 60K will give you a better chance to be seen.
#6 Real Connection = Meaningful interaction
When anyone comments on your post or DMs you, take it seriously. One secret to success with social media is truly interacting with your market because it is an opportunity to make a significant and meaningful relationship with your target market. While it does require a time commitment on your part, it can have huge payoffs.
#7 Facebook Groups are Essential
Facebook groups have become one to the most effective marketing strategies for businesses. Whether you create your own or are simply part of strategic groups in your niche, when used properly can yield huge payoffs. Creating groups for your target market gives you the ability to market to an audience that you’ve already qualified. If you do not have the time or design to run a successful group, utilize existing groups by getting involved. By simply providing real, quality support to members, you become the go to source for that niche.
#8 Facebook and Instagram Ads Are Not Expensive
Paid Facebook and Instagram ads are incredibly powerful tools that, when done correctly, can grow your audience at a rapid pace. While many assume that paid ads are not effective until a large budget is available, that isn’t the case. By using as little as a dollar-a-day, you can build an effective advertising strategy for any business.
#9 Questions Are Your Friends
The easiest way to boost engagement is to ask your audience questions, especially their opinions on new products, services, or events. Let them know that they have a voice and want to be heard from. This builds trust and gives your target market the opportunity to become invested in your business. Additionally, using these types of posts before sales posts or other posts you want extra eyes on preps the algorithms on platforms such as Facebook to show your posts to more users.
#10 Following the Trends Helps You Know What to Say
By following trends (i.e. trending hashtags, news, etc), you instantly have topics for new content and can stay relevant. Many no-cost or low-cost tools help you “stay in the know”, such as Twitter’s trending hashtags or Google’s Trends.
#11 Leverage Keyword Power
Whether you are on YouTube, Pinterest, or other platform, keywords are still important. Leverage trending keywords that are relevant to your niche and posts to help people find you and your content.
#12: No One Likes Being Spammed Through DM
One of the biggest mistakes business make is spamming their potential audience. Instead, reach out to those that have liked your post and ask them about themselves, what they liked about the content and if they would like to “stay in touch”. Don’t spam them but make a real effort to connect. They will see that you are honestly interested in them and not just a sale. This gives you a greater chance at making them a follower (a real one).
#13 Repurpose Your Content
One of the easiest missed opportunities is not repurposing your content. For example, turn a blog post into multiple long format posts. Turn a YouTube video into a few short Facebook or Instgram videos. Share your business page live to a group (be sure to follow the group rules though).
#14 Use Stories to Build Your Know, Like, and Trust Factor
Stop selling in stories. Use them as a behind the scenes or how things are made type of moment. Leverage these more personal posts to build your know, like and trust factor with your audience instead of trying to boost sales. Think of social media as the top of your sales funnel instead of the bottom.
#15 It Will Take Time to Build Your Social Media
Lastly, give yourself a break when you do not hit 5K followers in a week. Building a following of real, engaged fans takes time. You need to show up consistently with quality content and allow your target market to connect with you. Over time, you will see the engagement and growth you’re after.
Written by Whitsett Maxie Creative Social Media