Social media has become an integral part of our lives and our businesses. Don’t we know it?! If we use it correctly, it can transform the way we do marketing. We’ve pulled together five tips to help you get started or polish your existing strategy. Are you ready to reap the benefits of social media marketing? Let’s do this!

1. Do Research on Audience and Platforms

  • Know your audience. Do your research to figure out the demographics and psychographics (attitudes, aspirations) of your target market. If you need some help getting started, we encourage you to download our Ideal Customer worksheet. Fill it out to help you get a clear picture of just who your target customer might be. And, don’t forget, you can have more than one type of customer.
  • Determine which social media platforms are used by your audience. You love Twitter, but it turns out all of your customers are on Instagram! You need to be where your customers are and that may not necessarily be the platform that you like the most. Also, dig in there to find out what time of day they connected and for how long so you can make the most impact with each post. That info will give you insight into which platforms and audience members to focus on, but don’t try to cover all social media or all demographics. It can become super overwhelming and lead to inconsistency, frustration and lackluster results.

2. Use Tools for Schedules and Consistency

  • Make a schedule and stick to it! Plan ahead to collect posts in advance. If you don’t have enough content to post every week or every other week, plan to have a mini-series. Your audience will soon figure out your schedule, if consistent, and look for your posts instead of you looking for viewers. Wouldn’t that be nice?
  • Use tools to streamline the process. You can schedule posts in advance, find optimal post times, and get feedback on how well your posts are doing. Buffer, Hootsuite, Planoly and many others are free to use and can save you time and effort.

3. Stay Connected through Interaction and Questions

  • Engage your audience! Ask questions and make them feel involved and in-the-loop. Making your audience feel connected is important for engaging new viewers. People are curious. Showing them what happens behind the scenes is a good way to spark interest and the feeling of being included!
  • Appreciate and value your audience. Be sure to respond to comments and questions and say ‘thank you’ to your customers—that goes even for the not-so-positive reviews. Always show the customer that you care by responding to their complaint and making it right.
  • Share user-generated content. Shine the spotlight on your customer by sharing any posts that they write about you! It shows that you care and that you’re paying attention and, at the same time, it provides that word-of-mouth referral that a potential customer might need!

4. Graphics and Videos

How eye-catching are your images? Do you have a brand style—a specific look/feel to your graphics?  Your audience is most likely to read posts that have an appealing graphic so, be aware of colors, fonts and the overall style of your images.

  • Professional photos and graphics of merchandise can greatly enhance your views. All of your images will be cohesive and give you an edge over other businesses whose graphics are disjointed and not easily connected together. 
  • Start creating a cohesive brand style. If you don’t have a brand style (your graphics are recognizable and unique), look at previous posts that have gotten the most views and see if there are similarities in the images. This might give you clues as to what images work and what to post in the future. As a result, your unique brand style may stem from these. 
  • Videos should be relevant and not too long. Videos can be used to promote products or events, but be sure to get to the point. Since amateur videos may hurt your overall image, make them as professional as possible.  Process videos (how something is created or how it works) seem to do well with most audiences.

5. Contests and Giveaways

  • Contests and giveaways are great engagement boosters. They encourage your audience to get involved and win prizes. They can be utilized individually as well. (Examples: Photo contest with the winning photo posted on the company website.) Try using contests throughout the year as a quick social boost or use them to promote holidays or events.  

Social media trends are always changing and so are your audiences’ preferences. We know these tips will help you fine-tune your marketing strategy and get the most out of your efforts. But, as always, we are here for you to help you along the way since things are constantly changing. We would love to help you craft a marketing strategy that is sure to be a win for your business!