Social Media: Scary Awesome or Just Plain Scary?

social media

Browse through any social media platform and it is easy to see that social media marketing has arrived.  Brands like Nike, H&M, and Google have millions of followers and entire teams of experts generating thoughtful and engaging content.  If you are a small business owner or work on a lean marketing team, maintaining social media pages may seem downright scary.  But I’ve got some stats that may change the way you think-

  • 90% of marketers say their social marketing efforts have increased exposure for their business
  • 75% of small businesses say they’ve increased traffic from social efforts

And despite these powerful stats only 32% of small businesses invest in social media marketing even though over 80% of the population has at least 1 social media profile!  I’m just going to come out and say it- social media when done right is awesome!  If your business doesn’t have a social presence then you are missing out big time on the opportunity to connect with your audience.

So, to the mid-sized software company relying completely on traditional advertising, or to the craft brewery owner who needs to up their Instagram game…this is for you!  Maintaining a social presence may seem scary, so I’m here to help you break it down into bite size pieces.  With that in mind, here are 3 quick tips to get you started on building a social presence and connecting with your customers!

#1 Create a content calendar

Before you launch your business page you should have a sit down with your team and really think through your strategy.  Look at your book of business to find trends and figure out who your customers are and what’s important to them.  For example, if you are a florist whose main business comes from holidays like Valentines Day and Mother’s Day, then you should plan content around that and ramp up your efforts during those months to stay top of mind.

Creating a content calendar and planning ahead is key.  I personally like this template, but there are tons of free options online to get you started.  On your content calendar you can map out important landmarks and holidays, choose quarterly themes and then take a campaign approach to what you are posting.  I recommend planning out your content calendar on a quarterly basis and then using findings from social analytics to help inform your decisions moving forward.  By creating a content calendar you will be more strategy driven in your approach and have a more cohesive and thoughtful presence online!

#2 Generate content your followers actually want to see

As a marketer or salesperson it can be super easy to lose sight of your target audience’s point of view and get a bit too pushy with your own agenda.  And although social is a great place to bring visibility to your products and services, you want to make sure you are publishing content and posts that your followers actually want to read.

Think about your expertise and what value you can add.  Maybe you are able to provide industry trends and stats that your followers would find interesting.  Or perhaps you can offer a sale or deal of the day that can help your followers stay on budget.  Just make sure all your posts aren’t hard sells or you will lose that personal and conversational feeling that makes social so great!  As a general rule of thumb you should aim for 70% product/service and 30% thought leadership posts.  That being said, don’t be afraid to inject some fun memes and videos and share pictures of your fun company culture too!

#3 Take an integrated campaign approach

They say on average it takes 6 touches to truly reach a customer, so although social is a great and affordable marketing method, you should consider taking an integrated campaign approach to make sure your message is being heard.  For example, let’s say you are a vendor attending a large conference.  You decide to ramp up on social to raise awareness in the months leading up to the event and advertise that the first 50 attendees to your booth will receive a free swag gift.  In this instance you were able to use promotional products and social together to help drive traffic. Additionally, you could use branded giveaways to help encourage the use of a hashtag on social or as an incentive for a social media contest.  Although social is a formidable communication channel, make sure you aren’t putting all of your eggs in one basket!

Social media is a great way to connect with current and future customers and is particularly effective when used in conjunction with other forms of advertising. Most businesses don’t have millions of dollars in marketing spend available, making advertising methods like social media and promotional products a great budget-friendly alternative. Although social can seem daunting, if you take a thoughtful approach and are consistently able to add value to your followers then it is well worth the effort!

Sarah Radin

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