Social Media is the first thing most of us check as soon as we wake up in the morning. It has transformed the way we live and how we access information. As a small business owner, social media is a powerful tool for your business. We believe that to reap its benefits, there might a few key habits you should practice on social media.
These platforms provide you a space to create awareness about your brand and services. It also gives you the opportunity to get to know your customers personally in order to understand their needs better. This process helps you fine-tune your services and products which will attract the right customers and result in a lead or even a sale.
Here are seven habits that we think you should start practicing now –
1. Plan a social media calendar
Planning a social media strategy and preparing a calendar for it ahead of time will help you align your marketing efforts to your business goals as well as managing your time better. It might be tedious in the beginning but once you set up a routine to plan your calendar whether it’s every fortnight or the first week of the month, you will have a great system in place.
This ensures that your social media platforms have a constant stream of content that compliments your strategy that will keep your followers engaged. This will also provide you with sufficient data when you review the performance of the social media platforms later.
2. Create original content as much as you can
We all love the odd funny cat video or two but we also love original content. So how do you balance the two while running a business? Unlike your website, your social media platforms should be about creating engaging content for your followers that are not sales pitches. While original content is key, no one wants a daily update on one particular service or product. You don’t necessarily need to come up with award-winning ideas but make sure that it delivers value to your customers.
Just think of what you’d like to read and watch on social media, does it resonate with your business and customers? If it does, then you’re on the path to creating some interesting original content.
Another point to keep in mind is to produce content for the different stages of the buying cycle. This will be useful to your customers as well as allow you to create awareness about your industry, produce and services.
3. Engage with your followers
You can create the best social media plan for your business and churn out original content but if you’re not engaging with your followers, how would you know if they are benefiting from your effort? Whether it’s liking a comment or responding to feedback with ‘Thank you’ as soon as you see it -these little actions will take your business a long way. If people are making the effort to engage with your brand, acknowledge and appreciate it immediately.
4. Review and fine-tune your content
You have a social media strategy and a content calendar that you update regularly. So how do you know if the strategy and content are helping your brand attract more followers and gain more leads?
It is as simple as looking at the analytics presented by each of your platform. E.g. if you are on Facebook, click on the insights tab on your Facebook page. It will show your results as a whole and which posts have performed best in terms of engagement. Maybe a blog post you wrote on ‘5 Tips on how to do a tax return’ got a lot of attention from your followers and generated traffic to your website. So then you might want to do similar blog posts to maintain engagement.
We recommend generating a monthly report where you can analyse several data such as page and post performances and engagement rates. Make sure to keep tabs on your platforms daily. Then, you can identify any particular post that is performing well which has the potential to bring in leads if you boost it.
5. Use targeted ads
Before you spend money on social media ads, it is important to have a thorough understanding of who your ideal customer is. Have you done an analysis? Do you know the types of customers your business caters to? If you’re not too sure, don’t worry about it. We’ve got you covered! Click on the blog Customer Personas 101: How Well Do You Know Your Customer? to help you gain clarity on your customer base. Once you identify the different categories of customers, you will have a better idea of how you can use social media ads to gain their attention. With Facebook ads, you can target age groups, specific interests and regions, including towns such as Mudgee or Inner West. Having a defined targeted audience for your ads will ensure that your money is spent strategically for optimum results.
6. Don’t forget to use hashtags
Although hashtags were born on Twitter, they are now used on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and Google+, among others. Using hashtags is one of the many ways people can find you on social media, in addition to word of mouth, influencer marketing, and paid ads. So you need to work on your hashtag game to make sure that your brand is visible amidst all the clutter on the internet. Do your research and use words related to your business, brand, and industry.
If you’re in the business of producing cheese, look into hashtags that are relevant and trending so that your profile can be easily discovered. Also, be mindful of the number of hashtags you use on different platforms because you do not want to come across as hashtag spam.
Read our short guide on what hashtag guidelines you need to follow in each platform:
- On Facebook, it’s recommended that you stick to two hashtags at most. It’s not essential to use a hashtag in all your posts so be extra selective when you do. Add a relevant hashtag when you want to drive attention to a specific post or be part of a larger conversation.
- On Instagram, you’re allowed to use a maximum of 30 hashtags. So add any hashtags that you think will work for your business and industry. Try not to stick to the same hashtags for all your posts as this will decrease the visibility of your profile. So make sure to change it up, now and then.
- Although LinkedIn is a networking platform for professionals, you can use up to three hashtags. Make sure that they are relevant and are added at the end of the post to keep your main message clean.
- Pinterest recommends a maximum of 20 hashtags. Research what works best for you on the Pin description before adding it.
7. Start creating videos
Statistics show that 55 per cent of people watch online videos every day. Social media videos also generate up to 1200 per cent more shares than text and images combined. All these stats indicate that having regular video posts on your social media platform is extremely important for your business. So start experimenting and see what you can come up with to make your content interesting and engaging. E.g. – If you’re in the business of selling bikes, it could be a short clip on ‘3 reasons why biking is good for your knees’.
We hope that you will find these 7 practices useful to help you manage your social media platforms more efficiently as well as generate more traffic to your website and business.