As a new business owner, it’s a good idea to take advantage of various marketing channels such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Regularly engaging on these sites can strengthen the impact of a website’s content and generate some buzz. Knowing when and what to publish can also increase a blog’s visibility and reach. Social media is dominant in our day and age, and if used correctly can increase traffic to a website. A business' goal should be to convert visitors into customers — and social media can help make that happen. Wondering where to start? We offer excellent tips for new business owners on our free webinar training, and below is some social media advice from experts on how to maximize your impact.
Social Media Examiner starts us out with some advice from Rick Mulready who recommends beefing up your content strategy. Find out what resonates with your customers and create an on-going conversation.
Beef Up Your Content Strategy With a Big-Brand Mindset
Small businesses can learn valuable lessons from the big-brand approach to social media.
Rick Mulready suggests three things big brands do very well that small businesses can emulate:
Find where their customers talk and “go deep.”
Create content that people want to talk about.
Use social media to listen to customers.
Starbucks, with over 34 million fans on Facebook, is a good example.
On Thursday, June 6, they posted a Facebook offer “Enjoy a Grande Iced Coffee, Iced Tea, or Starbucks Refreshers Beverage for $1 on June 7.” The update was shared by 13,931 people and received 1,553 comments. The offer was not tweeted to their 3,852,454 Twitter followers.
By promoting the offer on Facebook, where they have a significantly larger following, Starbucks leveraged the promotion on a platform where they were sure to get higher visibility, giving followers an incentive to follow the brand.
Use a big-brand approach to engage your social media followers.
Another expert from Entrepreneur recommends utilizing live videos more often. Post videos on Facebook or Instagram regularly to keep people interested in your blog and services. Videos are also an excellent way to attract new customers and build relationships with the existing ones.
It doesn’t matter if the video is live, recorded or slideshows; just use movement which will catch the eye, so people will stop to learn more. Also, create episodic content, which means going live or posting videos on the same day and time each week.
This will increase the chance of your video being featured on Facebook Watch, which will dramatically extend your content’s reach. Smith also recommends wave video as her video tool of choice.
Wondering how to identify with your audience on Facebook? A social media expert on Forbes gives us the scoop by mentioning video (big surprise there!) and trying paid advertising:
“Every business in every industry needs to be on Facebook,” Jakubovic says. It’s the largest online social platform with over 1 billion users, and it can give you access to potential customers you couldn’t otherwise reach. When used correctly, Facebook marketing outshines any traditional advertising. Here’s how to do it right:
Start marketing with video. “Right now, video is hands down dominating social media across the board,” Jakubovic notes. Statistics show that video marketing boosts engagement and increases conversions, which both lead to more sales.
Promote with paid advertising. “If you’re serious about growing your business, you should have a budget for marketing and Facebook is the first place you should invest it,” Jakubovic “Because Facebook ads offers easy access with the ability to target specific audiences, they provide the highest return on your investment (ROI).”
Use eye-catching visuals. “Thanks to our brains, humans naturally process images at incredible speeds. Meanwhile, statistics tell us that attention span on social media is about 8 seconds, which makes visuals the best way to communicate and trigger emotion all in a single glance,” Jakubovic notes.
Social Media Impact says you should hop on the social train as well. Interact on social media and engage with other people on their posts. Try to find the posts that are getting the most traffic and offer your input. Who knows — the people on the post you interacted on may check out your Facebook page or Instagram profile!
Read people’s conversations. If you feel like contributing to that topic, don’t hesitate, do it. Carrying conversations on topics popular in your niche is a brilliant way to reach out to people and gain new followers.
By the way, Ahrefs Content Explorer tool may help you find the most shared content in your niche, easily and quickly. It has a special functionality for that – you will be able to find out the most shared and the most “linked to” content on any topic across the web. Besides, you can apply various filters like publish date, the number of social shares, language, word count, etc. on search results to narrow down your search for the popular content. But that’s not all, you can also see the social share graphs, showing content performance in different social networks over time.
Don’t forget to take advantage of all of the data that’s available to you on various social media sites. Social Media Examiner experts remind businesses that stats can tell you all sorts of things about your business. Learn what you can improve and what is gaining traction on your website, such as getting a lot of traffic on a new blog post.
Delve Into Data From Social Media Channels
Data from social channels (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and blogs) can be overwhelming unless you have clear goals to guide what you’re looking for and what you’ll do with the information once you find it.
Douglas Karr points out, “The sheer volume of social media data makes it incredibly difficult to analyze.”
He offers five practical ways you can use social data to benefit your business:
Gauge the real-time market mood.
Identify relevant issues and content.
Determine user interests.
Provide internal operational metrics.
Execute competitive research.
Explore social data with an actionable plan in mind.
Don’t forget to get active in Facebook groups, as Entrepreneur recommends. Network and connect with people in your industry and the success of your business should increase.
These have been around for a while, but Facebook is putting a greater emphasis on groups this year. Use groups to create a fan page, build a community and engage your target audience on a deeper level.
Smith also has one caution about using Facebook: Don’t use the “boost” button too often or you will appear amateurish. Instead, use Ads Manager for 90 percent of your marketing budget, and Boost for 10 percent, to gain a higher ranking with the marketing algorithm.
Forbes also divulges how to use Instagram to your advantage. It’s pretty crazy that 33% of all internet users are on Instagram these days. Do you know what that means? Get on there and get active! It can help your business grow a lot.
Before you decide if Instagram should be part of your social strategy, you need to hear the statistics: 33% of internet users are on Instagram, 60% of Instagram users login daily, approximately 80 million users reside in the United States, and engagement on Instagram is 10x higher than Facebook and 84x higher than Twitter.
Convert to a business account. When you convert to a business account, you get access to features not available on personal accounts (it also keeps you out of hot water since all businesses should be using business accounts according to their terms of service). “Instagram for business offers a unique profile layout with the addition of a contact button. It gives you access to analytics, so you can monitor and improve results. And it provides access to Instagram Ads, so you can target a custom audience and get preference in the newsfeed,” adds Jakubovic.
Use a Hashtag strategy. Hashtags will get you noticed, increase engagement and build your following. “A good Hashtag strategy includes Hashtags that are brand specific, industry relevant and trending. You can find a variety of tools online to help with Hashtag research and identification,” says Jakubovic.
Social media can really help your business succeed which is why you should join various sites and learn how to use them to your advantage. Join us during our free webinar training and find out how you can grow your online business and create a successful, profitable business.