Marketing your business using social media platforms is easy to do, it’s easy to get going, and when done in-house (I.e. not using an agency like Lobster) it can cost very little.
However, it may be easy to do but it’s also easy to get wrong and we see a lot of examples of businesses ploughing on with their social media marketing while making fundamental mistakes. The consequence is that these businesses eventually get disillusioned with social media and determine that it just doesn’t work.
So here are our five top tips for improving your social media marketing so you can avoid getting disillusioned :
1. Decide if you’re promoting your brand or yourself.
This is a contentious issue in social media circles. Do you present your business as yourself or behind your brand. Some say that hiding behind your brand goes against the fundamental idea of “social networking”. Others say that, as long as you’re adding value it doesn’t matter. Our advice is to do both.
Have an account that is branded and another that represents you. Google plus, Facebook and Pinterest allow business branded accounts and you can make a Twitter account represent your brand by loading your logo rather than your photo as your profile picture.
The important thing to remember is this: if your posting updates as your brand, whatever you post needs to be represent your business so personal views and opinions aren’t recommended here. Use this account to promote your business and to engage with potential customers – don’t use this account for your personal views on the world – that’s what your personal account is for.
2. Set up your accounts correctly
Spend a bit of time setting up your various accounts. Make sure that you have your profile picture loaded (preferably a nice photo of you or your logo depending on whether your social media represents you or your brand), a cover photo that clearly suggests what you do (this could be a picture of your shop, restaurant or hotel or a team photo) and a description that is succinct. Make sure you have links to your website and add a background to your Twitter account. On your Facebook Page, a good cover photo is essential but also look to utilise the Apps. You can read our guide to setting up your Facebook Page here.
3. Work out a strategy
There are a lot of reasons why you should be on social media but, to get the most out of it you need to decide what your reason is. Are you providing improved customer service experience, engaging with potential leads or improving your brand recognition? What ever you decide, pursue your strategy every day and review it regularly to see if you need to make any changes.
Here’s an example of a strategy we implemented last year for a client that sells Spanish Wine. In consulting the client we determined that the people most likely to buy their products are wine connoisseurs. A good example of a wine connoisseur is your T.V. wine expert. So, by finding these people on Twitter and looking at who they follow and who follows them we were able to easily find wine fanatics and engage with them about their passion.
It was a simple strategy which anyone can perform but puts you directly in contact with your target audience.
4. Add value
There is nothing more tedious to social media users than seeing a brand self-promote all the time. There is just too much going on in cyberspace to read every status update so people scan down their timelines until something pops out at them. If all you’re doing is promoting your business they’ll either unfollow/unlike you or just scan over your post.
There is nothing wrong with the odd self-promotion tweet or Facebook update but it needs to be occasional. Make sure that every other post is adding value to your target audience. Try answering frequently asked questions or finding articles about your field that might be of interest. Write blog posts or just comment on what’s happening in your business. Take photos and videos of your latest products and explain what makes them better than the competition or talk about events that you’re attending.
There is a vast potential of content you could be posting other than the “come and buy from us” post. They’ll garner more interest and stop people scanning over your post.
5. Use Facebook Ads
We’re huge fans of Facebook Advertising at Lobster. It’s cheap, easy to set up and is capable of targeting users by well defined demographics. If you have a Facebook Page and would like more Likes, create a Facebook Advert or Promoted Post and target your ideal customers. There is wide range of targeting options available and the more focussed you make your target the better the results you’ll get.
We often run ads that target business owners in a 25 mile radius of Cardiff but you can also target by their interests (e.g. golf, fishing, fine dining etc) and even personal events such as recently engaged/married or those that have children.
Those are our top 5 tips for social media marketing. We’d love to know your tips and what works (or doesn’t work) for you so leave us a comment below.