9 Social Media Marketing Tips to Get Your Business Started
Learn how to get your business started with social media using these 9 social media marketing tips that will drive traffic and generate sales.
Using social media for your business is a time-tested and proven marketing strategy that works. It not only drives traffic to your website, gives your business exposure, and generates sales – but is also a great way to stay in touch with your existing customers and collect feedback to learn how you can improve.
DID YOU KNOW? People that use social media spend an average of 135 minutes per day on their social media accounts. That's over 2 hours each day!
For those new to social media marketing, developing a social media presence is a seemingly daunting task. It's more than just posting a few messages across your social media accounts and then waiting for the magic to happen. Yes, it takes time and dedication, but you can do it. You'll need to be proactive about when and how you promote your business on social media, while staying active with fresh content and engaging with your followers.
Tips for Developing a Social Media Presence
The goal is to get more followers, clicks, and shares – but getting there takes effort. Here are some tips to help you pull it off.
1. Set Achievable Goals
When you first start a social media account, your number of followers is zero. That number looks dismal, but little by little you can go from zero to social media hero. Don’t expect it to happen all at once, and don’t get discouraged too soon.
Set goals that you can actually attain, both long-term and short-term. Be specific about what you want to do: instead of “gain more followers,” state you want to “gain 100 followers by June 10 of this year.” Every goal should have a solid plan behind it to ensure follow-through. Some ways you can jumpstart your plan include:
- Post regularly: As with blogs, a social media account that doesn’t keep bringing the goods may get dumped.
- Run a competition: Ask people to follow or like your page for a chance to win a prize. This is a great way to gain followers quickly!
- Tag and mention: More people will see your brand if you connect your posts to other pages with tagging and mentioning. People who follow the pages of those will see your post even if they don’t follow you (yet.)
- Use analytics: Check in on how certain posts affect your likes, shares, views, and follows. If you have a success, you might want to do more of that.
2. Design a Posting Schedule
Be strategic with the timing of your content. You may be enthusiastic about getting out the message, but the timing needs to be controlled for optimal readership. Sending posts too close together is spamming. Instead, publish your posts on each social media platform on a well-timed schedule.
When sending out promotional posts, put out one post per day across several days and have them tell that story in a different way. Then send out a few more posts the following week. Keep your content unique, but don’t be afraid to emphasize important messages. This ensures that you aren’t over-posting the content or being redundant, but you aren’t neglecting to distribute it widely to all of your followers.
Certain times of day are better for getting a message out than others, because people tend to check social media at certain key points in their day. Different platforms have different optimal times to post, although they tend to overlap. The best time to post to Facebook to get the most viewership is between 12–2 p.m.on Wednesdays and Thursdays, while the best time to post on Instagram varies from 3 p.m. on Wednesday to 5 a.m. Friday morning.
3. Use Automation
Time is money, and in any industry, the objective is usually to get as much done in as little time as possible. Your business will be no stranger to this mentality, and by choosing to automate your social media strategy, you can get far more done in less time.
Social media management platforms like Hootsuite allow you to schedule posts across all of your social media outlets. This means you can create a batch of content in one go, add them to your social media management platform of choice, and have them go live at the times you have allocated in your posting schedule.
You can use the time you save to create and upload more posts – or you could upload more content to your blog: articles, videos, infographics, you name it.
The important thing to remember is that the more posts you put out there, the greater the chance of your audience engaging with you. But – and this is important – not at the expense of quality.
4. Post At The Right Times
It’s not enough to simply post on the dot once an hour – you should also be posting at the times when your followers are most active.
Using the analytics features built into your social media accounts, along with what’s available through Google, you can analyze your followers’ behavior to establish which regions they are based in – and the times that they are reading your posts.
Once you have this data, you can schedule your posts strategically so your followers are more likely to see them. Naturally, the more people that see and interact with your posts, the more successful they will be at generating traffic.
5. Develop Your Brand’s Voice
Every brand needs a voice, and to find it, look no further than your target audience. A brand’s voice is the message it gives to customers and the way it’s delivered. It helps people relate to what you’re saying and form a connection with your brand, its products and services.
Attracting the right customers is all dependent on whether you’re speaking their language. Research shows that brand voice contributes to customer trust and loyalty. It also helps differentiate you from other brands. Once you find your voice, use it consistently across your social media. If it changes too drastically, this can confuse and even turn off some customers.
6. Keep Track of Your Progress
Any time you change your social media strategy, even just a little, you should closely monitor what happens afterward. Check your analytics for a rise or fall in shares, retweets, clicks, and other data that will tell you whether the change was positive or negative.
Another indicator is any feedback sent directly to you by your followers. You can expect that if you posted consistently on a schedule without spamming, your reach increased. If you got different results, take the data into account to determine what to change. It may just need more time.
7. Check the Competition
More than 50 million small businesses use Facebook, 70 percent of them are on Twitter, and while only 9% are on YouTube, that number keeps rising. The odds are that at least some of your competitors are on one or more social media platforms.
Take a look at what companies in your same market are doing. You’ll not only get some ideas, but you’ll also be able to check in on how their customers are responding to those posts. Maybe you’ll see that you’ve got a leg up, or you’ll learn that you’ve got work to do to keep up.
8. Be Relatable
People don’t get on social media to interact with “businesses” – they want to be in touch with real human beings who they can relate to. So while you do want to post content that promotes your business, it needs to be balanced with content that is useful, helpful, entertaining, or otherwise adds value for your readers.
As a first step to relating to your audience, check out the social media profiles of your followers. See what kinds of things interest them and how you might tie that in with your products or services.
Post content that appeals to them and doesn’t take up too much of their time. Here are some effective strategies reaching your customers:
- Use hashtags – your competition most likely is! 7 out of 10 hashtags on Instagram are branded. Also, posts with hashtags get 12.6 percent more engagement than posts without. Check for trending hashtags to get noticed more.
- Favor images and video: visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared on social media than text alone.
- Make a meme: Popular memes are recognizable, and customers get a kick out of it when businesses give their own spin on it.
- Lure them in with special offers: 90 percent of customers say they follow businesses on social media to get deals and discounts.
9. Stick With It
In order to get far with your social media marketing, you have to put in the work. That means being persistent and deliberate with your posts and reposts. If you want to get more clicks and views, you have to stay with it.
Stick to the social promotion schedule that you develop, and be consistent and persistent with the other tactics in this article in order to grow your traffic.
Even if you don’t notice a major change right away, all it takes for a post to go viral is one share that gets shared again and again. That one extra post could make all the difference and drive increased traffic to your site that will push your business to the next level.
Getting your business started with social media is an essential marketing strategy, but takes work and time. Using the above tips is a great way to help get you started and puts your business on the path towards developing a successful social media presence.