Social media is one of the most powerful tools that small businesses have at their disposal. It allows them to directly reach customers for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising.
But many businesses fail to utilize this tool, or worse – they waste a lot of time and energy doing it and posting the wrong things. As a small business, you can’t afford to burn limited resources on marketing without getting results.
Instead of spinning your wheels, follow these five steps to quickly and effectively grow your social media footprint.
1. Determine Which Metrics Matter
Before your first post, it’s important to understand what you want out of social media. For example, is your goal to generate clicks to your website (short term marketing) or market to customers directly on the platform to build your following (long term marketing)? Knowing which numbers matter to you means you can set benchmarks to determine if your strategy is working.
2. Focus, Then Expand
There is a lot of real estate in social media and it’s easy to spread yourself too thin across multiple social media platforms. Rather than trying to juggle five or six at once, pick one or two and devote yourself to them. Once you start cultivating a following, branch out to new platforms one at a time.
3. Follow the 80-20 Rule
No social media user wants their timeline or feed dominated by promotional material even if they’re big fans of your company. Finding the right balance between highlighting your business and keeping your followers entertained is crucial, and that’s where the 80-20 rule should be used.
The 80-20 rule means only 20 percent of the content you post should be directly about your brand. The other 80 percent should be pictures, links to articles, and other content that relates to your industry. Followers are more likely to share and engage in this type of content which leads to a wider reach and more exposure. Always remember quality over quantity speaks louder when it comes to content.
4. Be Shareable
Organic reach is the number of people who see your content without paid placement, and the fastest way to increase that number is by posting content that people want to share with their friends.
Photos and videos are more likely to be shared than text posts. Memes are especially shareable and should be strongly considered if they fit your company’s personality and tone. Every post should have a call to action that encourages the user to like, share, retweet, or comment on the content.
5. Don’t Take Shortcuts
One of the unfortunate side effects of social media’s business benefits is that opportunists can take advantage of desperate companies.
It can be tempting to pay $50 to someone offering you 5,000 Facebook fans, but those ‘fans’ are usually dummy accounts in far-away countries that will never share or engage in your posts.
Have faith in your content and commit to the process and you will reap the rewards of having a growing, engaged fan base.