No business owner is too big to market themselves, and in today’s world, if you’re not shouting from the rooftops about your services on social media, then you need to rectify that, pronto.
Why? Social media marketing has the potential to grow your client base, win you lots more work, AND improve your communications (and bottom line) moving forward. Here’s how to get started…
1. Set measurable goals
If you’re joining social media just because you ‘think you should be on it’, you’re missing a trick – big time. Get clear on what you want from the platforms you’re signing up to, and it’ll be a lot easier to post with purpose. Which, in turn, yields results.
What should those goals be?
Well, it’ll vary, depending on the life stage and goals of your business. For a company that’s just getting started, sensible measurables would be to grow the number of followers speedily, by attracting news ones and increasing exposure and engagement.
Depending on your current business reach and resource, you’ll need to decide what numbers you want to be hitting and by when. Remember, goals should always be SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound.
2. Know your audience
There’s little point in posting content to an audience you know nothing about. Knowing who you’re talking to and why will help define your social media strategy.
How do you get to know your audience?
Talk to them! Ask questions when you’re on the job, carefully review feedback once you’ve left. Follow up with phone calls where appropriate. Get valuable insights from your customer service team (if you have one). And pay attention to where your customers live, their ages, occupations, their likes and dislikes, needs and frustrations.
Once you know what’s important to your customers, and what makes them tick, you’re better-placed to create content that connects.
3. Plan ahead
Always be prepared. Ok, we may have borrowed that one from the Scouts, but it makes good sense. Create a dedicated social media calendar and try and get content planned out and ready to go at least a month out. That way, you’ll never be creating content on the fly (not advisable, even for the most established brands!).
Not sure where to start? Get your calendar sorted, first off, and plot important dates as you go. We’re not just talking about the likes of Christmas and Easter, but dates or seasons that might provide a particular opportunity for your business.
For instance, a cleaning company might want to post about National Spring Clean Day to encourage new leads.
Or a home security company might want to encourage customers with families to protect their homes and belongings ahead of the summer holidays.
Look for opportunities and weave these into your calendar. Next, think about any recurring themed posts you might want to put out there – for instance, a weekly offer or a monthly competition. Or Mondays might be dedicated to reasons to come to you for your services. Before you know it, you’ll be building up a solid plan.
4. Keep it consistent
Whether you’re posting daily, weekly, or multiple times a day, the key is to keep it consistent. If you post every Wednesday at 11am, for example, keep to it. Don’t deviate by a day or by a couple of hours. You’re attempting to build familiarity and trust, so consistency is crucial.
5. Engage with your followers
One thing you don’t want to do is attract followers, only to ignore their efforts to communicate.
Whether it’s comments on your posts, direct messages, or story replies, it goes without saying you should be actively responding to people who’ve taken time out of their day to engage with your business, or you risk losing out.
When it comes to negative interactions, this is even more crucial. If you’ve got a complaint being made for all the world to see, you’ll want to be sure you’re replying promptly and professionally.
Lastly, see your social media channels for what they are – market research groups! Like we’ve talked about above, use them to get to know your audience. Read comments, ask questions, and you’ll come away with invaluable insights to put back into your social strategy.