Ever feel like you’re just winging your social media strategy? You’re not alone. Plenty of business owners are in the very same boat. Determining how to promote your businesses on social media can be intimidating. But you’re here now, which means you’re ready to up your game and overcome discouragement.
What are your customers up to right now? Take a guess. Well, yes, they’re binge-watching Netflix. But even if they’re doing that, they’re probably simultaneously scrolling through their social media feeds and timelines. If you’re reading this in early May 2020, it’s even more likely to be the case. Facebook has seen a 70% increase in usage across its apps, and Instagram and Facebook live views doubled in a week.
Whether you’re an Instagram aficionado or a Facebook fledgling, we hope these tips will help you to connect to your customers on their turf.
1. Create a strong personality
The idea that a brand should have a personality is nothing new. Yet many business owners are still a little uneasy about how to create a personality to promote their business on social media. That’s probably because they’ve seen brands get it spectacularly wrong! A word of advice though:
1. No matter how much an issue grinds your gears, steer clear of politics. Let those who want to, hash it out on their own Facebook feeds.
2. Nothing is more cringeworthy than a marketer who tries to be a “hip, trendy cool cat that’s down with the kids” (see what we mean). Leave the lingo alone. Keep your tone of voice honest and trustworthy.
There are several reasons why injecting personality into your brand can help your social media campaigns. According to research by Yes Marketing:
- 35% of those surveyed said that they engage with retailers on social media because they personally agree with the content of the post.
- 30% engaged because they found the content humorous or interesting.
- By comparison 36% engaged with posts because they were promised a discount for sharing it.
The results feel intuitive, don’t they? It’s more natural to engage with a post that feels human or if it’s relatable. We’re not that used to cyborgs just yet.
2. Get in touch with your feelings
How do you find the right tone for your brand personality? Well, you get to indulge an extremely annoying trait. Go be nosey.
Learn more about who is buying your products or visiting your website. Get all up in their business! Do they follow Justin Bieber on Instagram or are they following WHO?
Now that you know who they follow, (see what we did there) visit that account. Ask yourself: How do they talk to their audience? Humorously? Conversational? Playful? How do I feel when I look at their posts? Am I laughing? Your natural reaction will give you an indication of how you can change your content to captivate your audience.
You can try this exercise with any of your competitors as well. Pay attention to how you respond to their content. Take note of what you like and what you don’t. Then, do it better.
3. Decide where to promote your business
First thing’s first: where are your customers at? You have to decide where to promote your business on social media before you tackle how. Facebook still continues to dominate as the main social channel used daily. But depending on your business and your target demographic, it might make better business sense to use other channels. If you want to reach creative Gen Zers, you’ll get more cachet if you don’t hang out with their grandparents too.
Last year, Pew Research Center looked into social media usage in the US. Below are some of their key findings showing user demographics on each channel. Feel free to use these statistics to help inform your social media strategy, but don’t feel limited by them either. Ultimately, you know your customers better than anyone.
- Number of US users: 183 million users in the US
- Daily users: 74% of people who are on Facebook use it daily.
- Gender: 75% of females and 63% of males in the study use Facebook (no figure for non-binary people)
- Age: Most users are between 18-49. Popularity peaks in users between 25-30.
- Number of US users: 116 million
- Daily users: 63%
- Gender: 43% female, 31% male.
- Age: 13-29. Peak 13-17.
- Number of US users: 64.2 million
- Daily users: 42%
- Gender: 21% female, 24% male
- Age: 13-49. Peak 18-29.
- Number of US users: 5 million.
- Daily users: 61%
- Gender: 24% female, 24% male
- Age: 13-29. Peak 13-17
4. Mix things up
Sure, you want to include plenty of posts directly promoting your products, but take care not to turn your feed into your very own QVC channel. Why not ask yourself: “When I’m on social media, how often do I want to see a business promote their products?”. To keep things juicy for your customers, you’ve got to vary your content. Mix it up like guacamole. It’s not 100% avocado.
Get creative, think of all the ways you can connect with your customers.
For inspiration, take a look at LEGO’s Instagram feed.
- Promotional: Teasers and trailers; product shots;
- Humorous: Funny photos and videos
- Interesting: Designer Q&A
- Community driven: Fan photos
You can use the bullet points above to brainstorm and plan your own content.
5. Utilize free or affordable tools
You don’t need to spend 3 years in design school or spend $$$ on Photoshop software to create impressive graphics for your feed. Canva is a graphic design platform that’s simple to use. And bonus: most of its features and content are free. It’s definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already.
There are also apps to help you plan your social media calendar. Check out Later: a scheduling app that allows you to plan your Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter accounts. As well as preview functionality for your Instagram posts, you can schedule stories and even comments too. Pricing varies depending on your needs, but their most popular plan for small businesses is $16/month.
6. Spend money to make money!
This is the part no one wants to hear. Sure we can get followers without spending a dime. However it’s very time-consuming, and time is money, friend.
On average, businesses spend $200-$350 a day (A DAY) on social media marketing to give their pages a boost.
Now, we live in the real world, and obviously many small businesses don’t have that kind of budget. But it’s still important to allocate some money to market your product or service.
A realistic word of caution
A word of caution. Well, not so much caution, as reality. Some people expect overnight success. But the truth is that creating a social media strategy to successfully promote your business requires time, patience, and plenty of creative energy.
Just when you think you’ve got a handle on how it works, Facebook changes their algorithms. Sometimes it feels like it’s two steps forward, one step back. So pack some salty snacks and a travel pillow, and be prepared for the long haul!
To avoid frustration, it’s good to focus on why you’re running your social media sites in the first place: to connect with your customers. Follow the tips above, but remember that genuine connection should inspire what you do. Try not to get too bogged down by statistics. If you’re running a small business, you have a head start: your heart is already in everything you do.
If you’d like to know more about social media marketing, or you’d like someone to advise you through the process of setting up your social media strategy, get in touch. At the time of writing this blog, we’re still in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and we want to help you in any way we can. We’re offering a Free 1 Hour Consultation to discuss your needs. If there’s any way we can assist you with your business online, we’re here.