August 5, 2021
Executive Vice President & Chief Counsel, Intellectual Property, NBC Universal
Vice President and Editor-in-Chief, CO—
Social media has become intertwined with the way customers engage with their favorite brands. As such, businesses are increasingly incorporating it into their overall marketing strategy. Small businesses, in particular, can benefit from the value social media platforms offer to expand their reach and connect with customers more effectively.
If you’re looking to perfect your business’ social media strategy, here are tips from four experts that have achieved social media marketing success.
Focus on the Platforms That Align With Your Brand
Libby Rasmussen, the social media director of Living Colorfully Media, recommended that small businesses focus their energy on one or two platforms that best align with their brand and where their customers are.
She cited Instagram in particular because it allows users to cross-post to other platforms which can help cut down on the workload of managing multiple social media accounts for busy small business owners.
“When you go to publish a post on Instagram, you can also post on Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook [and] auto-populate whatever content you’re putting out on Instagram to those platforms,” she said. “It kind of tackles … four birds [with] one stone.”
Know Your Audience and Learn From Others to Develop the Right Content
Once businesses have discovered where to post, they must also consider what to post — a decision that begins with understanding your target audience.
Hubbard recommended using this information to not only determine where and how to post but to discover and capitalize on mutually beneficial partnerships with other businesses and influencers.
For small businesses unsure of where to begin, learning from others can be a great starting point.
“There are so many opportunities to increase your knowledge, whether it’s going to school [or] the school of YouTube,” said Megan Cain, owner of The ZEN Succulent. “[And] whatever platform your business happens to be on, look at what other people are doing … utilize all that information and do some trial and error.”
To Determine Success in Social Media, Go Beyond Numbers and Analyze Insights
Social media can often feel like a numbers game where users chase follower counts and “likes” on each of their posts. Angelina Darrisaw, the founder and CEO of C-Suite Coach, encouraged business owners to go beyond pure data collection and focus on meaningful, actionable insights.
“Insights [are] when you’re starting to look at the patterns and trends that you see in the data, and you’re able to … understand how to better connect with [your] customers or make shifts in [your] marketing strategy,” Darrisaw explained.
She also emphasized the importance of tracking not only “vanity metrics,” such as follower counts, but those that actually contribute to your business’ growth.
“You might see a lot of comments and think [that’s] really great,” stressed Darrisaw, “but if that doesn’t connect to your offline business strategy and it’s not helping you … increase your bottom line, then that’s not necessarily useful.”
Combining Elements of Organic and Paid Strategies Can Help Amplify Long-term Sales
When using social media, many businesses face the challenge of moving beyond vanity metrics into actual conversions. Using a combination of organic and paid strategies can help keep your audience engaged and become customers in the long run.
“We have a little bit of a combo,” Hubbard noted. “We’re alluding to sales in some capacity by featuring the product but aren’t in your face about it, so it’s kind of fun to follow the content.”
To get the most bang for your buck, Darrisaw advised against paying for bots and instead encouraged putting money toward targeted paid ads.
“When you’re thinking about putting paid resources behind your social media campaigns, you want to be thinking about amplifying the reach … [to include] demographics and regions that matter to you,” she explained.
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