Can you believe that out of the 77 percent of marketers using social media to promote their brands, only 38 percent can measure the value of their activities?
This isn’t surprising, considering the fact that it can be difficult to tell when a comment or a like leads to a conversion. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to establish some clarity not just for the sake of having metrics, but so that you can determine what’s successful, what’s not, and how you can improve.
So before you jump into social media for small business, here are three essential steps you must follow to create measurable results.
1. Create a Social Media Marketing (SMM) Strategy
For those who don’t know how to use social media for small business, an SMM strategy is basically a summary of what you intend to do and achieve on social media. With it, you’ll know how every share, referral, or click performs. It’ll also help you know whether or not your actions are leading to conversions.
That said, your first step should be making an SMM plan. Make it more specific to your target audience for effective execution. Also, ensure to keep it direct so that your goals are attainable and easy to measure.
Here’s how you can create an effective social media marketing strategy:
Step I: Align Your Business Objectives to Social Media Marketing Goals
First, establish your business goals and objectives. You can use the S.M.A.R.T goal structure to test whether your actions will lead to the results you want.
Then, strategically choose the platforms to use to reach your target audience.
Some examples of demographic differences you could consider include:
- Facebook is the leading social network platform, with 60 percent of its users being female
- Most Instagram users are between the age of 18 to 29
- Pinterest mostly attracts women, particularly those with higher education and income.
Once you select the appropriate social channels, ensure that you’re tracking meaningful metrics to get the real-time value.
Usually, vanity metrics such as likes or comments hardly show their real value. Therefore, focus on targets like web referrals, leads generated, and conversion rates instead to track results.
Step II: Perform a Social Media Review
It’s crucial to examine your social media marketing efforts constantly. You can do this by asking yourself questions like:
- Who’s connecting with you on social media?
- Which networks do most of your target audience use?
- How does your social presence compare to that of your competitors?
Once you answer these questions, you’ll identify which areas need improvement. It’ll also help you determine the strong points of your competitors in which you can tap into for better results.
Step III: Improve Your Social Presence
You can achieve this by assigning a strategy for each social network. This means creating mission statements for all platforms so that you can focus on the goal you want to achieve for each.
For instance, you could use Facebook ads to increase sales and Instagram to promote and share your business culture to your audience.
If you experience difficulty creating a mission statement for any social network, take time to reconsider if that platform is worth your time. If it’s necessary, you may need professional help.
Step IV: Get Inspiration From Other Brands
Take time to analyze the type of content your competitors are posting on social media. Wherever you find valuable insights, don’t hesitate to apply them to your strategy for each social platform.
You can also find inspiration from consumers through social listening. This entails researching on your target audience to know their needs, what they’re talking about, and what they want. Such surveys not only help you create appropriate content regularly but also help you stand out from the crowd.
Step V: Make a Social Calendar
A social calendar will help you space out your posts appropriately and publish them at optimal times. A good calendar should include all the dates and time to publish content on each network. You can also plan for all your social media activities – from blog posts and videos to link sharing and images.
Consider trying different content ratio mixes like the thirds rule or 80/20 rule to know where to place different content in your posts. It’s also advisable that you use scheduling tools to prepare all your posts in advance and ensure you have a consistent tone and format flow.
2. Focus on the 5 P’s of Social Care
Besides tracking user-ratings, it’s equally important to address the complaints and problems customers raise. An excellent way to do this is by following up with the 5 Ps:
- Participate: Listen to your customer problems and offer credible solutions through e-mails, forums, videos, blogs, and chats.
- Platform: Ensure you have a platform that integrates social media with other channels.
- Prioritization: You need to spot appropriate times for urgent action and escalation.
- Problem Resolution: Look for people who are familiar with social media. Those who have both soft and technical skills to help you out.
- Process: Craft a well-thought-out customer service process and ensure to follow it up.
3. Create Quality Content
This means creating informative, sharable, actionable, and relevant information that relates to your target audience.
Additionally, incorporate the use of images in your posts to increase visibility, particularly on mobile devices. Using images will help people to easily remember the content you post.
Learn How to Create Contagious Content on Social Media for Small Business
If you can properly leverage these interactive, user-controlled social platforms, you’ll be able to build long-term customer relationships. Nonetheless, make sure you find the right platforms and create content that flows with the overall theme of each network.
For more social media for small business tips, check out our top content marketing trends of 2019.