Now more than ever, social media marketing plays a crucial role in gaining recognition and visibility from a business’s target market. A recent study suggests that over 53% of the global population are engaging with at least one social platform, opening up a pool of fresh prospects for businesses to target.
Many businesses claim to be ‘doing’ social media marketing already, it’s reported that 71% of small to mid-sized businesses actively use social media to promote their brand, products, or services.
So it’s clear that many businesses are giving social media a go but are you utilising your channels to their maximum capabilities? We’ve compiled a quick list of straightforward actions to ensure you’re making the most of social media.
Utilising Your Best Channels
If you’re not new to the world of social media you’ll likely have a rough idea of which channels provide the most engagement or seem to work better. You don’t have to be across every single social channel, we’d always recommend leveraging platforms that you know your audience engages with, and meet your target market where they are. After all, it would be quite a challenge to try and dominate across every single available social network, plus new ones are introduced regularly, enter TikTok for example.
To establish the best channels to use, consider all of the things that make up your ideal buyer or persona. How old are they? Where do they spend their time online? These will largely be based upon assumptions but you can always do further research into social media demographics. From there you should have a pretty solid idea of which social channels your target audience is most likely to engage with, invest most of your focus here. Don’t forget that you can always test and explore other channels too.
Updating Your Business Information
Now, I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of forgetting to update business information at some point. It’s essential as a business to ensure all of your information is correct and up to date. Some things to consider are your contact number, address, opening hours, etc. These minor details are often overlooked but it’s so crucial to the user experience and building trust with your audience.
It can be difficult to keep track of what information is where; more so if your business leverages a variety of different channels. Consider making a simple table that includes all of your social media profiles, the bios, addresses, opening hours, any information that you would deem important for your users to find. This way you can structurally go through and make updates across all of your important accounts and keep track of changes.
Removing or Unfollowing Accounts
Again we’ve probably all been guilty of following a large number of social media accounts in the hope of getting some follows back at one point. Whilst this doesn’t sound like a necessarily bad action it is. In fact, social media channels have introduced restrictions for following/unfollowing to prevent this from happening.
Another bad practice is using tools or services to ‘purchase’ followers for your business account. The ‘followers’ gained from this are commonly bots or random accounts, and by random we mean this account could be for anyone. This not only looks bad for your brand but is potentially dangerous for your brand reputation. Not to mention that these artificial followers commonly result in no engagement at all.
If you’re currently following spam, purchased, or random accounts, go through and remove them, there’ll be a daily limit to how often you can carry out this action so be cautious. Consider following other local businesses instead, these will be much more likely to return engagement with you.
For this one, it would normally lead to a much wider conversation about your social media strategy, brand identity, etc. But for this instance let’s take a look at your profile and cover images. Do they reflect your most up-to-date branding or logo? Are the images all consistent?
Ensuring your brand is consistent across multiple channels is so important not just from an aesthetic side either. If you’ve got a keen fan base, they may be engaging with your business across multiple channels, these users should be able to easily recognise your brand or business regardless of where they’re browsing.
To keep track, you can conduct a quick audit and pop your social channels and imagery in a table, this will help you ensure optimal brand consistency. Additionally, start to consider your creative content too, do your posts reflect your business accurately and appropriately?
Keep an eye or better still an ear out for brand mentions across your social media ecosystem. A brand mention is when anyone online has mentioned your brand name, directly @’ed, or responded to your social media posts. It’s always good practice to consistently check your social media channels for these sorts of engagements as it allows you to hop into conversations quickly.
For this one you don’t need to invest in a fancy social listening tool, you can simply go through and ensure you’ve allowed notifications across your social apps. On Twitter you can perform a simple search for your brand name and see the indirect and direct mentions of your business, they should be easy to find providing you have a more uncommon name and not performing a search for ‘Trainer Shop’ for example.
Defining Your Social Media Strategy
As we mentioned at the start, many businesses claim to be ‘doing’ social media, but is it being carried out correctly and effectively? Social media is a great asset for your business and can produce some great results if utilised properly. To carry out any activities in marketing you’ll likely need a plan, social media is no different.
Your social media strategy should consist of several objectives that ultimately feedback into your overarching or wider business goals. Establish a set of SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) for your social media marketing strategy. What content will you be creating and what purpose will it serve? There’s a great number of opportunities to be had via social media and a variety of innovative tactics you can leverage too.
Probably the easiest one to action on this list. Social media should be… yes, sociable. Your channels shouldn’t just be used to shout about how great your business is, they are platforms where you can spark and engage in conversations with users. Whether it’s commenting on photos or retweeting bits and bobs, all of which will help portray your business’s personality.
Focusing on nurturing relationships with followers and others in your business’s network doesn’t take long, plus the social media algorithms love it.
Promote Your Channels
This one sort of goes without saying. Try to slot your social media handles where you can, ensure that if someone wants to visit one of your social accounts then they can with ease. Don’t make the mistake of promoting your social media on ONLY social media.
Many of your prospective and existing customers might not even know that your business is actively using these accounts. Make them aware by adding them into email footers, or place them somewhere on your website. Consider running a promotion in exchange for social media shares or simply encouraging UGC (User-Generated Content) and tagging to build even more brand awareness.
Monitoring Your Social Media
Anything and everything in marketing should always be tracked and monitored consistently. Again, you won’t be required to get hold of an expensive tool to keep track, you can use the built-in analytics within your social accounts to get an idea of how you’re doing. Other than that, you could use Google Analytics to track things like social media referrals and see how many people are clicking through to your website. You can use these tools and the metrics they provide to report on your successes as well as establish future goals.
Social Media Marketing at Bright Design
At Bright Design, social media marketing plays a key role in a lot of our wider digital marketing campaigns. Our expert delivery team plans, produces, and posts, a number of social media assets for a variety of our client partners. Our social media strategies are always built from the ground up to keep your business, goals, and target market at the forefront of our decision-making. If you need support with your social media strategy or wider digital marketing strategy, get in touch with our friendly team today.