Social Media Marketing Guide for the Not-So-Savvy Bismarck-Mandan Business Owners
For small businesses, social media needs to be a core component of their marketing strategy. Social media is a no-cost marketing medium, used by millions of customers worldwide, and will provide you with customer insights that can be used to improve all aspects of the business. For business owners new to the world of social media, this article by the Bismarck Mandan Chamber EDC will explore the best strategies for creating a digital presence and growing your brand.
Find Your Niche
According to estimates by Statista, currently, there are 4 billion social media users across the globe. As a small business, you surely will not be focusing your efforts on catering to all these users. Rather, your first step will be finding a set of targeted customers around whom you’ll curate content.
Referring to the market research included in your business plan will provide you with an idea of the target demographic. Additionally, if you want to understand social media usage by consumers in greater depth, the Pew Research Center conducted and published helpful research that can shed some light on this practice.
Select Your Platforms
While having a strong digital presence on all social media platforms is ideal, given that you’re just starting, it’s best to channel your efforts towards 1 to 2 platforms.
The recommended platform, to begin with, is Instagram. Currently, Instagram contributes to around 56% of social media use in the United States. Additionally, it has better organic reach, i.e. the number of users who’ll see your post without a paid promotion, compared to other major platforms. Through consistent posting, you’ll be able to develop strong brand awareness on the platform and create a positive rapport with customers.
Creating content for Instagram is easier than you think. There are various online tools you can use to design Instagram posts. These tools provide various customizable templates to choose from, for businesses in all industries.
Design a Social Media Calendar
A social media calendar will provide some much-needed structure to your digital marketing efforts. With a calendar in place, you’ll have your content ready to be posted at set times. This helps you avoid scrambling to find content to be posted on your timeline daily.
Social media calendars can be created on a weekly or monthly basis, and should specify the following:
Days of the week you plan to post
Type of content – feed posts, stories, live events, etc.
Captions and hashtags to be included in the post
When starting out, you can design simple calendars using excel or google sheets. Once you’re familiar with the process, consider using one of the many social media publishing tools on the market.
Focus on Building Positive Engagements
As reported by Oberlo, 71% of customers report referring brands to their friends and family after having a positive experience with them on social media. Here are a few ways you can create positive engagements on social media:
Content: create content that provides value to users. For instance, in all posts containing your products, focus on how it helps solve problems faced by the customers rather than simply promoting the main features.
Frequency: post at least 2-3 times a day, which can include a combination of feed posts and stories.
Hashtags: utilize trending hashtags to increase post reach and garner more eyeballs for your brand. Additionally, this is an effective way to reach new customers.
Reply: reply to all comments on your posts promptly.
Respond: customers will use social media as a medium to voice queries. On receiving a query through a message or a comment, solve it on priority.
Part of generating good engagement is reaching new potential customers. You can best manage that through search engine optimization, or SEO. Although social media isn’t the primary source of information for SEO, it’s best to take advantage of its influence by using JPGs over other file types when you post. Even if you have content that’s in the wrong formatting, you can turn your PDF into an image file using a free online conversion tool. Simply add the file you want to convert to the drop zone, select JPG, and click Convert. You now have quality searchable content for your social media posts.
Review Your Performance
Creating a business account on Instagram will provide you access to their analytics tool. The tool provides great insights regarding the performance of each post and your profile over a specific period, such as:
The best and worst-performing posts
Times with the highest engagement
A breakdown of the demographic of your followers
Increase/decrease in followers, post engagement, and profile views
By reviewing this data you’ll be able to pinpoint the strong and weak aspects of your social media efforts and make necessary modifications.
Put Your Strategies into Action
Social media marketing isn’t as hard as it seems. Do a little research to figure out which platforms are likely to be the best for your business and target audience. Then, use free online tools to create and edit content that will reach your followers and new customers. Finally, learn from your mistakes. It can be hard to look at our shortcomings, but doing so will help you to learn what to change to be even more effective with your social media campaigns.
Join the Bismarck Mandan Chamber EDC to network with other local entrepreneurs and access valuable resources for helping your business grow.
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