There are many small businesses out there that need suggestions for social media marketing. Often they have less manpower, less budget, and less time to be creative and manage social. So last week, our team and guest Jaime Shine - @jaimeshine discussed social media best practices that small business owners can utilize with our #SEMrushchat participants.
I was really impressed with the detailed and diverse insights from those that help small businesses create effective social strategies every day. The SEMrush team wants to thank everyone that offers suggestions, tactics, and insights that can help our community. Take some time to read each of the tweets below; there is a lot to learn!
You can retweet any of the tips below by clicking on the Twitter logo next to the quote.
Social media is valuable for small businesses as an owned media tool. Social media platforms provide an opportunity to control how your brand is represented based on how you engage customers and contribute to your industry and community.
Most small businesses are targeting a specific audience or demographic, whether its local people, an age range or people with specific interests. Social media is far and away the best way to reach just about any audience.
The value in social media is awareness, empathetic communication, pain point solution focused customer service, brand awareness, storytelling and the ability to communicate with your target audience anywhere, anytime!
Social media helps small businesses build a brand, demonstrate social proof of capabilities and can be a cost-effective marketing tool for a tight budget. It also helps you stay in front of your customers/potential customers while driving traffic and business.
Social media plays an important role in small business marketing. With it, we can both aim for global exposure and localized market reach. Depending on the platform, we can optimize our content to appeal to various audiences, both far and near.
The same as any other type of marketing — it's as valuable as you make it... ...if you do it right, and where it counts! It's not free, because time = money, but a small biz should have an easier time of posting/promoting on SoMe than a huge corp.
Consider your resources available—time, budget, staffing—and be realistic. Think about what you want to achieve, and devote your resources to those specific goals. Develop your brand voice, understand your customer personas and include customer service.
It's about aligning their comms goals with their business goals. Then those are transformed into key messages and assigned to different customer lifecycle stages. Only then do I start creating and mapping content.
With a social media strategy, you need to consider REALISTIC results you want. Remember, social media is not necessarily a SALES channel, it's a SOCIAL channel. So results should be based on relationships developed... and those (indirectly) turn into sales.
Define your KPIs. Focus on one goal at a time. Test your content Be consistent. Decide how long to try a strategy before it can be considered a success/failure. Have a method to get specific feedback.
Consider your: Time, Budget, Strategy, Goals, KPI, Audience, Brand Voice Brand Tone, Industry Benchmarks, Team Values, Purpose, Unique Value Proposition, Messaging.
Your goals behind Social Media Marketing. Defining your ideal audience and what they want from you — Social Listening. What to post (Creative Content with Powerful Visuals). How often to post — Consistency. TIMING!
GO OUT AND TALK TO YOUR NICHE. Join a FB group. Participate in a subreddit. Follow and engage with influencers on IG and YouTube. Find people that have the same values as you. Find the people that you made your business for and then authentically engage!
You must include the retargeting dynamic in your decision. It may be that one platform is excellent for primary targeting and another is best for retargeting. Cross-platform retargeting can exploit the strengths of each platform with minimum waste.
RESEARCH your audience, your competitors, your industry, your partners, and your market. And take into account your: content purpose, resources, voice, and goals.
Marketing decisions should be data driven - what's working for your business? What isn't? What has more capacity? Do more in those places.
Low hanging fruit is go where your audience wants to engage with brands like IG and LinkedIn. Let them come to you as opposed to chasing them and the algo like FB.
It isn't always the biggest and most well-known platforms that are best for business. Consider where your audience is and how they like to consume media.
Lauren @ G2.com
Don't delete negative comments or reviews. Use them as a way to make the situation right. You probably won't convince the person who is mad at you, but you CAN impact other people watching how you handle being in hot water.
Engage w/ your community! Don't set it and forget it. Show your audience that you genuinely care and are willing to interact with them, answer questions, provide solutions, show there's a human behind the brand.
Don't lead with the hard sell approach. Relate first. Sales opportunities will come, but focus on relationship first.
Be honest, be HUMAN. What connects you to your customers offline is the same thing that attracts them to you online. #SMM is for building trust and creating genuine experiences with real people.
Engaging with your audience is one of the best ways to learn about them and stay connected! Commit to growing your audience, learning from them, and optimize your messaging/content, timing, and consistency of posting from there!
Whoever you put in control of your social media platforms HAS to be someone that is tolerant, calm, likes people, & knows how to handle conflict without anger. If they can’t control their temper, this isn’t the job for them. Customer service is HARD!
Any analytics program worth its salt will report on social channel referrals. Every business should be tracking both micro- and macro-conversions in their analytics set up. Along with engagement metrics, see how many conversions come from these channels.
Lauren @ G2.com
Start by focusing on building your community and making connections. You can focus on analytics and optimizing content after you get an audience. You want to make as much (good) noise as possible when you're first starting out. Experiment. Fail. Regroup. Repeat.
Lauren @ G2.com
That's not to say you shouldn't be tracking data in the process! But don't get hung up on the numbers too early on. Try new things and find what your audience wants from you. Experimenting will help you find your niche.
Engagement rate and sales! Your follower count doesn't matter. What matters is how many people interact with your posts as a percentage of your total follower count. Also - is your social media marketing bringing you SALES?
Use the weekly/monthly data to reassess your KPIs. Maybe you were waaaaaaaay off at the beginning and the metrics you wanted to measure on one platform don't line up with how your audience is actually engaging with you.
It really depends on the business. The first step is being able to define success. Is it leads? Calls? Newsletter Sign-ups? Brand Awareness? Without a goal in mind, it's impossible to gauge success.
Join Us Next Week to Discuss Strategies for Authentic Content
This week's SEMrushchat will take place Wednesday, June 26th at 11 AM ET/3 PM GMT. If you create content, please join in and share your opinions and strategies. If you need help creating content, please follow along and ask our guest and our community any questions you may have.