Understand Your Customer Base
When starting out with your new social media profiles, or investing in a business idea from the start, you need to know who your target market is and what kind of clientele you’re catering to on a daily basis. Today, many companies have made “customer profiles” to narrow down their target audience and more accurately sell their products and services to interested parties. Lead generation and conversions become much more simplified when you know who your selling to and why they’re buying your product or service, and this simplicity extends to using social media platforms as sales avenues.
To create your customer profiles, there are a few basic questions you’ll want to consider. These questions intend to answer who you’re selling to on multiple levels, from several different angles. How much money does your ideal customer make on a yearly basis? Where do they live, both locally and regionally? What’s their race and ethnicity, how do they identify themselves? Are they driven by ambition and business interests, or are they passionate and empathetic? These are the preliminary questions you’ll want to ask and know of your customers when you start a social media profile and campaign, as they’ll greatly affect which platform you choose to use the content you’ll create.
Once you know who your customer is, you’ll want to choose the appropriate platform and campaign which speaks to their needs and desires. Instagram and Pinterest speak primarily to women, for example, and are highly visual. Twitter and Facebook on the other hand use tags and verbal information to help you sell your brand.
” LinkedIn is an important tool for networking and connecting with your peers and with recruiters. Don’t forget that your customers are on LinkedIn, your coworkers are on there, and potential jobs are on LinkedIn. ”
Create and Curate Your Message
In the old days of media, brands simply had to wave their hands and shout at their customers to look their way. Visibility was key to a brand’s success, which meant paying through the nose to spread their message far and wide, as frequently as possible. Those messages which were seen frequently would be remembered, and the conversation stopped there.
Now, however, the market has been heavily saturated. In both traditional and digital media, simply spamming your ads and other campaigns is not enough to win the attention and hearts of your customer base. Your sales team will need to create messages and a brand identity which speaks to those you’re selling to.
Brands are increasingly trying to “cuddle up” to consumers, and they’re doing this by tailoring their content directly to whichever demographic is most interested in what they have to say and how they say it. On social media, the optimal goal is not direct selling – this step comes later. You’re simply trying to get noticed, and this means having something to say, a message.
“Social media is a marketing tool. The goal in using it is to help move users through your sales funnel.”
Be Honest and Up Front
There are a few surefire ways to get people to turn away from your brand and its message before you even get started. One of the most common and annoying to internet users is “teasing” your products or service through clickbait headlines. Headlines which are designed to get clicks usually do get clicks, but the thread stops there. If you have nothing substantial to offer, the users you’re targeting will give you a click, read through your content for maybe a minute, then click away, on to more interesting and stimulating content.
When telling the internet public what you have to offer, especially on social media, you’ll want to be direct and “courteous,” don’t offer the moon and stars if you don’t actually sell them. Everything on the internet is sensationalized, but your brand doesn’t have to participate in these practices to be successful. In a sea of hollow and empty spectacle, brands which get noticed are usually those with substance and some degree of wit or honesty.
Again, when you’re using social media, you’re not directly selling, you’re really trying to engage and interact with your customer base. This can be done in an honest way which creates organic intimacy; it can also be done in a phony and ludicrously disingenuous way. You’re aiming for the former.
Work On Your Website
One of the primary goals of social media, besides interacting with your users on the platforms themselves, is driving them toward your company’s website. This means your website should be “up to snuff,” the users you’ve been interacting with shouldn’t feel like their trust has been violated. You’ll want to ensure your website’s speed is adequate – every page should load under two seconds.
You’ll also want to double check that navigation is both user friendly and optimized for mobile users. Most internet users are browsing from mobile devices such as phones and tablets, you’ll want to repeat this to yourself as you browse through your site, making absolutely sure that those on mobile devices will feel just as at home as desktop users.
Finally, it’s always a smart idea to link your social media content to your website and vice versa. If your website has a blog, this is a great way to drive users from one site to the other.
Post Frequently and Observe Results
One of the most common mistakes new social media posters make is to keep their users hanging for prolonged periods of time. While it’s okay to skip a day or two here and there, and not post incessantly, your company’s posting schedule should still be routine, a set of dates during the month and week when your users can expect to engage and interact with your brand. One of the best ways to establish a routine is first setup a posting calendar.
Simply write down what you’ve posted during the month and what’s still to post, you whoever runs your social platforms knows exactly how much they’ve done for the month and how much more they have to do. Besides setting a schedule, you’ll also want to look at results.
Social media analytics can be tracked using tools from the specific platform you’re using, like Facebook and Twitter. You can track what users think of your posts and the engagement being driven from certain kinds of posts compared to others. Be proactive when looking at results; keep the practices which are working, and discard those which are not.
” When a brand posts twice a day, those posts only receive 57% of the likes and 78% of the comments per post. The drop-off continues as more posts are made in the day. ”
Start leveraging social media in your small business today!
Social media has leveled the playing field to a large degree. Small businesses can interact and engage with users and fans of their brand, which, in theory, drives positive word of mouth and expands their operation. Simply make sure you’re honest with your users, you’ve linked to a great site for them to explore, and you know when you’ve posted and when you have yet to post on a daily basis. Follow these practices and your social media platforms will be buzzing with activity in no time.