More than Likes: Make the Most of Social Media Marketing
As a small business, you have a lot on your plate. From operations and balancing the books to managing employees and ensuring your customers are satisfied, you probably feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. At Stellaractive, we’ve worked with hundreds of small businesses since our inception in 2007. With experience in B2B and B2C industries that range from HVAC and real estate to manufacturing and consumer goods, we’ve developed a solid understanding of how businesses can best optimize their time and efforts to facilitate long-term success. One area where many businesses fall short but can thrive with just a little planning? Social media marketing!
In this day and age, most businesses know they should be doing something with social media but they’re not sure where to start or how to have an effective presence. Often, employees are stretched so thin that there’s no one to take on the task. Social media might feel overwhelming, confusing, or even pointless. But don’t give up! In our experience, there are a few basic actions you can take on a regular basis that will greatly improve your online presence and ensure you stay top-of-mind when your customers seek the products or services you sell. With so many social media platforms, where should you focus your efforts and what exactly should you post?
Jump down to get the details on how you can engage customers through:
Whether you love — or despise — Facebook, most businesses should have at least a modest presence. After all, you can’t overlook the fact that Facebook has 190 million users in the U.S. Even if you’re not on Facebook, it’s likely that your customers are. Don’t overlook a great opportunity to get your message in front of them. Plus, an up-to-date Facebook page strengthens your brand legitimacy and builds trust with your customers. It doesn’t have to be complicated!
5 business tips for Facebook:
- Set up a business page for your company (or convert your personal page to a business one).
- Post content frequently but don’t over-commit yourself. It’s better to post less frequently but consistently. Even posting once a week is beneficial.
- Use Facebook’s metrics, called Insights, to see what kind of content resonates with your audience and meets your goals, whether it’s to increase engagement or to drive traffic to your website.
- Link to your Facebook page from the footer of your homepage. This not only shows customers where you’re active, but it’s great for search engine optimization (SEO) too.
- Consider expanding your reach by using ads on Facebook, which targeted yet affordable. For a modest amount, you can even boost individual posts to increase your reach and engagement.
What should your business post on Facebook?
It almost sounds like a no-brainer, but it makes sense to post content that is valuable and relevant to your audience. You can attempt to sell your products and services, of course, but don’t make everything a sales pitch. The main goal should be to demonstrate your knowledge and let customers get to know your company.
- Focus on eye-catching visuals. With so many images and graphics used on social media, it’s nearly impossible to gain any traction with text-only posts. Use stock images if necessary, but encourage staff to take photos of your facility and employees as it’s more interesting to followers. Ensure your images are the correct dimensions for desktop and especially mobile.
- With your visuals, include clear copy that gets to the point while conveying your brand tone. (Are you professional? Serious? Fun?) Use a snappy call-to-action, such as Reserve, Subscribe, Sign up, and Download. Create a sense of urgency, if applicable, by including phrases like “for a limited time,” “time is running out,” or “just a few left.”
- When considering what exactly to post, don’t overthink it! Post behind-the-scenes glimpses of life at your company, share trending topics that are relevant to your business, or create branded graphics that can be shared by your followers. Client testimonials are always useful and are a great way to demonstrate your value.
Google My Business
Google My Business isn’t really considered social media marketing. However, it’s one of the best ways to find new customers online. If you want your business to show up on Google Maps searches and get listed in the top results, then you need a robust presence on Google My Business. It’s free to setup an account that lists your company’s address, hours, contact info, photos, and reviews. A well-optimized listing improves local SEO while demonstrating your trustworthiness.
Other social media platforms
If Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn aren’t a good fit with your business or you’re looking to maximize your social reach, there are plenty of other platforms. No matter which ones you’re active on, make sure you look at their reporting metrics to better develop your social media strategy. Plus, look into advertising. Most platforms offer advertising and it can be an effective way to find new customers with a relatively small budget.
Most platforms offer advertising and it can be an effective way to find new customers with a relatively small budget.
- Pinterest is a visual platform that acts like an online bulletin board. Users can save (“pin”) inspirational or informative content.
- Twitter is a fast-moving network for sharing information and news. It can be useful for companies that have a lot of customer interaction or for those have a lot to say.
- YouTube, as you likely know, is a platform for sharing videos. It’s the second-largest search engine after Google. It’s the primary method for letting users discover, watch, and share your videos. You might use it if you have a lot of DIY, instructional, or educational videos.
- Blogs, while not necessarily considered social media, are a vital method to enhance your visibility and demonstrate your knowledge. Blogging, or informative articles collected on a page of your website, drives traffic to your site and positions your company as an authority in your field. Write articles about your industry, frequently-asked-questions, or topics that your customers should know about. Once you’ve written your blog post, share it to social media.
Another popular platform, Instagram has over 110 million users in the U.S and is useful for both B2C and B2C businesses. This platform is highly visual so consider using it if you have compelling images to share. Also take your competition into account – 75% of businesses report using Instagram. Don’t avoid a platform that your competitors are active on!
3 things to remember when using Instagram:
- Great visuals are absolutely necessary but you don’t need professional or staged photos — An employee with a good phone will be able to take sufficient photos. Your audience will love your photos as long as they’re clear, well-lit, and decently composed. Post photos related to your work, such as completed and in-process projects and behind-the-scenes images of your team, your workplace, or anything that lets potential customers get to know you. If you have access to a free photo editing service, such as Canva or Gimp, you can create visuals containing text (like quotes or customer reviews) and elements such as your logo and contact info. Whatever you post, your goal should be to educate and inspire your followers.
- Hashtags are also needed on every Instagram post. A hashtag (#) is used in front of words or phrases as a way to categorize content, to make it easier to find in a search, and to target specific audiences. Plus, posts with hashtags increase engagement by over 12% while enhancing
- your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
- Video is also a great way to engage your followers, so consider posting how-to videos that display your skills and knowledge.
LinkedIn is an effective tool for businesses that work with other businesses. On the platform, you can share your business information and history, as well as links or unique content that positions your company as knowledgeable and current on trends or topics. Connect with organizations and professionals by having a complete LinkedIn profile, sharing engaging content, and utilizing relevant keywords. Establish trust and enhance your reputation.
How can you optimize your LinkedIn page?
- Make sure your company page has enough descriptions and specialties.
- Use industry keywords on your page so search engines can find you.
- Encourage employees to create their own personal pages and link to your business page.
- Participate in LinkedIn groups that are pertinent to your industry.
- Ask customers to follow your page.
- Consider running LinkedIn ads to better reach your ideal targets.
Ready to improve your business’ social standing? We can help!
Stellaractive is more than just a web development agency. If the day-to-day business of running your business fills your plate, consider the advantages of outsourcing your social media initiatives. From regular posting to website content development, we can help you stay connected with your customers and generate new leads for less than the cost of adding a marketing staff to your team.
Contact us or call 503-384-2413 today for a no-cost assessment of your current efforts and a proposal for increasing your visibility across the web.