We understand that managing social media for your business can seem daunting, so we’ve compiled seven key questions to consider before you take on the challenge of social media marketing. And in the spirit of kindness, we’ve even given you a cheat sheet for the answers.
- Ask yourself, should I invest my time in social media?
- We’re on social media. Now what? What do you post about? Do I have to post every day?
- How do I grow my following?
- How do I choose the right platform for my business?
- What insights can I get from social media?
- How do I know if social media is worth the investment?
- Should I be paying for ads?
- Should I invest my time in Social Media?
It sounds like an obvious question, but you’d be surprised. Everyone is no doubt telling you that if you aren’t on Social Media, your business will be dead in 3 months… 6 months… 12 months… 2 years… The funny thing is, we were all told this five years ago! And yet plenty of successful businesses aren’t on social media.
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is being aware of the investment required BEFORE using social media for their marketing. While social media is considered a ‘low cost’ marketing strategy, it has a very high’ time cost’.
The multi-million dollar question is… will you get a return on your investment? And the answer is… Yes, you can. Social media has launched and grown many businesses over the years; yours could be one of them.
The key questions you need to answer ‘yes’ to before you start are:
- Are your potential customers on the platform?
- Would they be interested if you interrupted their feed?
- Can you commit to doing this over the long term?
- Are you happy to share helpful content with them?
If you love numbers… here are some scary facts!
70% of small business owners fail before their 10th year in business (Fundera, 2020). Indeed, there are various reasons why a company may fail. However, CBInsights (November 2019) released ‘Top 20 Reasons Why Startups Fail‘ – most of the time. At Think Tank Digital Marketing, we believe that developing a robust social strategy can improve at least 4 of the 20;
- 42% no market need (the business has not communicated the problem that they are fixing)
- Competitors outcompete by 19%
- 14% have poor marketing
- 14% ignore their customers
- We’re on social media; now what? What do you post about? Do I have to post every day?
A social media presence doesn’t simply mean you’ve built a page and posted once over 12 months ago or even twice in the last month; there’s more to it than that. Being on social media but not committing to it can even be detrimental to your business.
Not only should you be posting regularly, but there should be ongoing engagement from your audience. You know the warm fuzzy feeling you get from likes, comments and shares. At a minimum, you should post 2-3 times per week, per channel and with purpose.
It’s all about working smarter, not harder. The first step is understanding your audience, pain points, and how your business/product or service can add value to their lives.
What do you post about?
Once you know who your audience is and what keeps them tossing and turning at night, you can create a content plan relevant to them.
This may include:
- Business news, including meeting the team
- Product/ service information
- Blog posts
+ Heaps more
Do I have to post every day?
Yes and no. Your main goal is to engage your fans. What do they want to see? It’s essential to consider what type of images, videos and messages you will use and what content is suitable for which day. How are you going to add value to them? Save your valuable time on well-planned content. We recommend creating a content document to help you keep up with your posting.
Save time, build a repository and schedule content.
Build a repository of your content to schedule a month in advance. Not to mention finding a selection of online resources you can call on whenever you need to remember to create your next viral Instagram post.
Save time with User Generated Content (UGC)
Social media is a tool for you to create meaningful relationships with your audience and understand them better. Talking about yourself too much can interrupt your audience, leading to an unfollow. User-generated content (UGC) is an effective content strategy that helps you:
- Save time searching for content to post (making your content planning a lot easier!)
- Keeps your audience entertained while creating compelling crowd-proven reviews to solidify your brand offering.
- Build’s relationships with your audiences and shows them that you care.
- How to Grow Your Following?
Quite often, the first couple hundred fans are your close friends and your grandma, who’s “oh so proud”. They’ve done you the favour of ‘sharing the love’, and on the surface looks like your page is showing growth, but deep down, we know you need a real strategy to grow continually. A Facebook Likes Campaign, a video content strategy or utilising an Instagram Influencer to help reach new audiences could be the start.
Keeping consistent with your posting times
As mentioned above, keeping consistent with your organic posting creates expectations for your followers. Consistent content quality and your posting schedule will help you cut through the noise on Facebook and Instagram.
Run promotions and contests.
People love free or discounted products/ services and will continue for some time. The Sprout Social Index, Edition XIV: Realign & Redefine, discovered that 72% of consumers are searching for discounts and sales on brands’ social media accounts. Whilst some marketers believed that only 18% of consumers would enjoy such a promotion. This means there is plenty of opportunity in this area for growth, giving the consumers precisely what they are searching.
Running a contest or promotion could include promoting your brand by asking your audience to comment, like or share your brand’s page or post. Keep this in mind. It can also be a great excuse to grow your social media accounts across other platforms.
Build relationships with your followers.
Have free time? It’s time to network! We encourage you to use this time wisely and get amongst your audience by commenting, liking, reaching out to like-minded consumers, sharing similar content and communicating with other businesses in your local area. Just engage as much as possible, and get creative with how you do it.
If you prove that you care about all your followers, you are more likely to gain a loyal following that spreads beyond social media.
Don’t buy your followers.
These followers are likely bots or inactive accounts, so they will not engage with your posts. Having large numbers of inactive ‘followers’ who do not engage with your posts will see your page penalised by Facebook and Instagram’s algorithm.
How do I choose the right platform?
This step will go hand-in-hand with defining your target audience. Each platform caters to a different audience, so paying attention to the type of individuals on each social media platform is essential. For example, suppose you’re a B2B business trying to reach business professionals from 30-45 years of age. In that case, you won’t start a social account on Tik Tok which teenagers and young adolescents heavily dominate. LinkedIn is the most potent B2B lead gen network, which would better serve your business objectives (you’re welcome, B2B Businesses).
What insights can I get from social media?
Meet your new BFF, Facebook and Instagram insights – a free tool to help you effectively identify when the best times to post for your business are, the demographics of your page fans, and what type of content is performing. A breakdown of some of the top insights includes:
- Times your followers are online
- Your fan’s age, location, and gender
- How each post is performing (engagement, reach, impressions etc.)
- Your profile activity
- Activity / Funnel insight of your fans/ customers.
- (If you’re an e-commerce site) the value of your fans
- How Do I Know if Social Media is Worth the Investment?
Much to the disbelief of many, we, as social media marketers, don’t just “play on Facebook and Instagram all day”. A crucial part of social media marketing for businesses is ensuring we measure your return on investment, making sure the money you spend on social media returns more than just a few likes and comments from your mum…. After all, we pride ourselves on being a Results Based Marketing Agency’.
So our questions here are about identifying how customers transact with your business from enquiry to sale and ensuring we capture these as ‘Goals’ or ‘Conversions’. Whether it’s a phone call, a message to your Facebook page, a purchase on your e-commerce website or a submission through an online enquiry form, we want to know what happened, how often, and how we can help improve these conversion numbers.
Once we have mapped this out, we can identify your Social Media audience’s values and possible results from your campaigns and ensure they align with your key business objectives.
- Should I be Paying for Ads?
Don’t worry; you’re not the only person who ‘boosted a post’ because Facebook told you it was easy, only to discover later that you just targeted everyone Australia-wide who is 18-65 instead of your ideal target market.
We love this part of the conversation because it’s generally the light bulb moment for those business owners and marketing managers. Their face lights up, and we together realise their hard-earned dollars could be better spent to reach the right customers.
Still, think Social Media is right for your business? Here’s your next step.
There are tons of benefits to going social with your brand; however, it can be a difficult task.
Remember, social is an ongoing process that you must continually monitor to improve your conversations with your viewers.
Think Tank Digital is here, and we’d love to help you grow your business. Feel free to reach out and talk about your social media marketing strategy.