It doesn't matter if you're a small business or a large corporation, every marketer has a desire to connect with their target audience on a personal level. If you listen to what your target audience is asking for, you can use social media marketing to point them in the right direction, usually to your website or blog.
Once the visitor is on your website or blog, you have the opportunity to engage them and convert them into subscribers, leads, or even customers! But first, ask yourself this question: What social media outlet(s) is best for reaching my target audience?
Do they use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, or a combination of those? Here are some generalizations to consider, but the usage of social platforms really depends on your audience. Twitter is great for short messages and for getting messages out for general reach and impressions. Facebook allows for longer posts, reaching a crowd between the ages of 20-65. Pinterest is most beneficial for imagery, so if you're in the art industry, that's the way to go. LinkedIn is heavily used for B2B business professionals so that is the place to be if you're selling B2B products or services.
Once you've determined which outlets to choose, here are 5 additional tips to keep in mind with your social media marketing posts:
1. Be Aware of How Much Time You Can Spend on SocialSocial media marketing can be a time-consuming effort. Use a social media tool like HootSuite or HubSpot to tie all of your accounts together and schedule posts during your downtime so you don't have to constantly post throughout your workday. Also, don't forget to consider the time changes. If you post something at 9pm EST, it's likely that most of your audience in the UK will be in bed, missing out on your marketing message. Determine the best time that your audience likes to engage based on how they are interacting with your previous posts to find the best time slot for each day. 2. Be Unique in Your ContentWhat sets you apart from your competitors? Show off your uniqueness by posting links to blog posts and articles that highlight accomplishments, news, and other advantages. Leveraging these items is a cornerstone of a successful social media marketing strategy. Come up with your own hashtags for use in Twitter and Facebook. Share pictures and host caption contests. Ask questions that only people with expertise in your field can answer. Think outside the box with your content to provide your followers with unique content to engage with and share.
Check out this great article from our friends at MobileMonkey on 5 new types of Instagram automated messages to scale your Instagram marketing.3. Be Genuine with Your ConnectionsDon't always be pushing for sales on social media. Use it as an opportunity to get to know people in your industry. Create and nurture mutually beneficial relationships with both your potential customers as well as thought-leaders. It's these influencers who can make a significant impact on your social media marketing success. A single retweet or like for a key influencer can put your content in front of hundreds, maybe even thousands of eyes!4. Be Engaging with Your PostsHave you ever went to a party, only to find out that you don't know anyone there, and the few people you do know, won't introduce you to anyone else? This is how social media marketing can feel at first when you may be posting to almost no one in the beginning. No one likes that feeling, but it's where we all start. That's why you have to follow people and engage them. Help your followers find what they're looking for online. Answer their questions and engage with them online. Take a few minutes every day to comment on key influencer accounts and offer your honest opinion and expertise. If you do this genuinely and intelligently, you'll start capturing people's attention and building your network quickly.5. Be Real with Your FollowersPeople want to interact with other people, not bots. They also don't want to be constantly spammed. Make people feel good for interacting with you. Thank them for following, posting, and sharing your content. Try your best to return the favor when you can and you'll start to see how social media momentum can continue to build.
As you grow your business, eventually you can hire someone to take over your social media marketing efforts, but until then, start by thinking about how you can use these tips to help you start to master your social media strategy. You'll get into a rhythm and create your own unique social media marketing voice and style.
Need help getting started? We invite you to schedule a complimentary inbound marketing consultation where we can discuss your current social media campaign initiatives, strategy and the process you have outlined to make sure it's a success.
Written by Aaron Houghton of www.boostsuite.com Aaron Houghton is a co-founder and CEO at BoostSuite.com, the collaborative marketing platform for small businesses. Aaron has over 15 years experience building and selling marketing products to small businesses around the globe.