The Top 5 Social Media Strategies for Small Businesses
Social media use has expanded exponentially in the last decade. Once in the mid 2000s, social media use was under 10%. Now it has grown over 70% of the United States used social media in some form. We see news channels using Twitter opinions, companies are posting menu updates to their Facebook and LinkedIn is full of Fortune 500 companies that post as regularly as every day citizens. This affords opportunity for marketing your brand and here are the top five strategies to take advantage of that opportunity.
5. Engage Your Following
One of the simplest ways to promote your brand is to engage with those already following you. It’s a smart way to provide content with simple likes and comments. People are on social media to be social and when a brand they follow reaches back out and replies to a comment, compliment or concern, it gives the follower or Facebook friend a feeling of community. They will also spread the word of positive and recurring interactions and word of mouth is still the best kind of publicity or exposure a brand can receive.
4. Test Collaboration and Influencer Marketing
A social media influencer is a trend/job that has really caught fire over the past few years. What started as simple sharing with friends and the internet at large as turned into a marketing bonanza and opportunities. Instead of going traditional routes like paying Instagram or Facebook ad rates to promote your brand, you can reach out to influencers. Some of them have hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers. Unlike advertising though the platform, the influencer already has a rapport with their audience. It’s more like a word of mouth campaign then an ad. You can reach out to influencers and see how much they charge for say a 24 hour ad on their page. Another strategy is to collaborate with the influencer. You can provide goods or services to them and they will promote your brand to their audience. You’ll need to do your homework, know what questions to ask and whom you want to promote your brand. Utilizing a social media influencer is a growing idea that’s only just started to hit its stride.
3. Use the Latest Features
Social media platforms are always rolling out new features and tech. This is not only something new to explore and master but it’s also a chance at free promotion. Recently, Instagram rolled out the feature “Reels.” Those savvy enough to take advantage of the new way to post content saw their stories promoted above all other content on the platform. The reason behind this is very simple. If a platform rolls out a new highlight or posting method, they want it to catch on. The best way to do this is to push whomever fully embraces the new method. Now, you still need to know what to post there and how often but utilizing new features is an excellent leg up on the competition.
2. Promote Cross Platform
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms are great ways to reach followers and garner attention for your brand. You might even find you excel on promoting at one of them and pour a lot of time and energy into that platform. While this can pay dividends, it behooves marketers to promote across most if not all platforms. If you’re doing very well on say instagram or LinkedIn but not so well on Twitter, use the platforms you are doing well to promote those that could use a boost. You never know what the turning point will be to turn say 200 followers into 1000. All it takes is one viral post or boost and a brand can take off. This doesn’t mean cut and paste your Tweet to Instagram with a photo. You’ll want original content on both platforms if you can provide as such. Social media platforms are a treasure trove of followers and attention, you don’t have to keep all of those followers in one spot.
Hashtags have made it into the public lexicon. So much so people can say the word hashtag and it will immediately bring an image to mind. Hashtags started on Twitter and broke their way into other forms of social media such as Instagram and Facebook. However, do you know how to make hashtags work for you? Some businesses think you can just throw a few into a post and call it a day, as they did with keywords years ago. This can work against you. It can confuse whatever platform you are using if you just dump a bunch of hashtags at the end of the post. You want to use short, focused hashtags on every post. You want to make sure they relate to the content contained in your posts. You can even create a simple branding hashtag like Game of Thrones #WinterisComing. Three simple words that everyone knows. Some of the most popular hashtags are as simple as #love, #nature and #food. There’s more to hashtags than brevity and relevance but they are a good #startingpoint.
These strategies are proven over and over again to get your brand noticed. However, it merely starts there. Using these strategies in confluence is the real master plan for getting attention for your endeavor. To truly become adept at seamlessly using these tactics will gain you more customers, more attention and more platforms to get your brand or message out the world.