It allows your small and medium-sized enterprise a way to compete with larger companies for attention, showcase your company culture and how your offering provides a solution for your customers.
Most platforms also provide the opportunity to incorporate paid for social adverts to help your business reach a wider audience and encourage conversions, which is why social media as a marketing tool shouldn’t be overlooked.
We know that small businesses often require their social media marketers to wear many hats, from being able to write captions, to shooting video reels and even creating strategies. For this reason, we’ve pulled together a helpful checklist for you with several tips, so you get the most from your social media.
Social media marketing is where you use social media platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram to connect with your audience, and involves publishing great content that connects and engages with your followers.
From this, you can analyse results to help provide the opportunity for your small business to further build a relationship with your customers, increase sales, and drive website traffic.
By investing in your social media, your business could see real value by reaching new potential customers and increasing brand awareness. You’ll also benefit from first-hand insight into your customers, such as their demographics and granular information, interests, needs and desires, all of which can shape campaigns in the future.
To make the greatest impact on social media for your SME, you’ll need a winning social media strategy. To create this, you should consider ensuring you:
To ensure your strategy is working and you’re meeting the goals you’ve set, you’ll need to track metrics. It doesn’t matter if you’re aiming to increase awareness, engagement or return on investment, the specific metrics you’ll track will help inform your strategy.
Examples of metrics you could track are as follows:
Awareness: reach, impressions, new followers
Engagement: engagement rate, number of engagements
ROI: click-through rate, conversion, cost-per-click (CPC)
Keep your goals in mind when choosing metrics, whether it’s based on the marketing funnel or your industry. For example, organic social is perfect for increasing awareness, but it isn’t where you’ll get sales. If this is a goal you have in mind, then it may be worth considering alternative platforms or paid social ads.
Once you have defined goals, you’ll need to understand which social media platforms your customers use. By analysing the reporting tools within each social media platform or those available in scheduling software, you will be able to assess how your content is performing.
Each platform has its own analytic tools that are free to use, but it can be tedious if you have multiple platforms. If you use a content scheduler, such as Hootsuite, many of these have a reporting platform built within, collecting data from various platforms you can view and export.
Keeping an eye on these and measuring against your goals allows you to amend the content plan, if necessary. We recommend assessing your results at least monthly, because then you can quickly act if a type of content isn’t performing, the messaging isn’t landing with your audience or your engagements are dropping.
If you’re interested in creating a content plan, we discuss them in more detail below.
Don’t waste time building campaigns for platforms that won’t work, instead create and cater your content to the platforms which will benefit you. If you’re unsure which platforms to pick, you can perform a social media audit, which includes completing a competitor analysis and a dive into platforms your audience will be active on.
From there, you can look at whether there’s something they’re missing, and capitalise on this, or create a presence on the same platforms as them.
From your monthly analysis, you will also be able to see which platforms are performing the best and take action to improve performance. You can even make decisions not to use a platform, because others are more successful and time is better spent focusing on these.
Remain relevant by keeping up to date with what is happening on social media by checking hashtags on LinkedIn and Twitter to see what others are talking about. By being visible each day and interacting, you can position your business as reactive and in a positive light by ensuring your finger is on the pulse.
Leveraging your social media to provide great customer service won’t ever be a bad thing. The majority of 18-54 year olds see social media as an effective channel for customer service, so ensure there are opportunities for your customers to interact with you.
Equally, be sure to regularly check your social media channels and interact with your followers by replying to comments and messages, and even liking their interactions on your posts.
Once you have your strategy and goals in place, it’s time to think about the types of content you want to post and where.
We’ve listed some tips below to help you curate your content plan and give your posts the best helping hand.
Let everyone know who you are and what your small business is offering by using clear and consistent messaging across your social media profiles. Look to showcase your personality and passion, keeping it consistent across your social platforms. This allows new potential customers to connect with you, wherever they find you first.
Ensure each platform has:
It is important to have a strong brand identity with a developed tone of voice which matches your personality, that you can use across your platforms.
While your tone may vary between audiences, try to keep this as consistent as possible across all of your channels, with each piece of content showing how you can solve your customers pain points.
If this is something you are looking to improve or build, our team at Purpose Media can help you create a brand identity that engages and inspires.
Collecting hashtags that will get your content in front of your customers is imperative. Creating a list of hashtags that you can use will allow you to group content around a certain topic, motivate customers to engage and expand your audience to get more reach. Ensure that each is relevant and will provide you with the types of conversation you want.
You don’t want to end up using a hashtag that aligns your business with something inappropriate.
To remain organised and be able to plan ahead, create a content calendar so you can be consistent. Not only will customers come to expect content from you on certain days, but you can also use this to assess which days are having the best impact for you.
By using a calendar, you will also be able to batch create content and schedule it using apps and websites, such as Later, Hootsuite, Planable and Brandwatch (previously Falcon), to name a few.
If you’re looking for ideas or inspiration, our Q3 calendar includes several tips and tricks, as well as national days.
Mixing both content and media types not only keeps things fresh for you, but for your audience too. If you’re noticing a pattern of repetitiveness on your feed or your engagement rates are stagnating, consider switching it up.
There are various post tools you can use to your advantage, such as:
Video continues to be a really popular content type, with them being capable of holding your audience’s attention for longer. Users that incorporate platform tools, such as creating Reels on Instagram, are often more favoured too.
By using these tools, you can mix up the types of content to motivate audience engagement and generate meaningful discussions with your followers. Here are some suggestions on post types:
Having strong visual content not only grabs people’s attention, but it provides followers with a reason to like, comment and follow.
Often, a visual element can either enhance the copy alongside it or share information quickly. It also provides a way to make your brand stand out amongst everyone else, while showcasing your brand identity and what makes you different.
To make this easier to create, while remaining consistent and on brand, you can use platforms, such as Canva. Our design team can also create visuals, animations and videos to help you stand out from your competitors.
Elevate a post and make it stand out with well-placed emojis in your copy. Not only can this add communicative tone to your piece, but subtext and emotion too.
If you have a large chunk of text, consider splitting it off into more digestible sentences, while adding a complementary emoji to help break it up further.
Whether creating copy or visuals, keep in mind the accessibility of your audience. Various platforms are adding updates that allow you to be inclusive and connect with your audience easier. An example of this is LinkedIn adding captions to their videos, but Twitter and Instagram also allow you to add ‘alt text’ or image description to your visuals.
The latter can be beneficial for screen readers, and allow them to hear a description of the image, video or visual. If you don’t put this description in, platforms which support ‘alt text’ will automatically create its own based off your photo. However, this could lead to missed opportunities due to misleading information. Currently, this text can only be added when you upload natively.
Something else to keep in mind for your copy is that those who use screen-readers will also have each emoji read out loud. If you place your emoji in the middle of your copy, it can cause your carefully considered messaging to be lost in translation with your audience.
According to Hootsuite, there are 4.6 billion people using social media around the world, which makes it impossible to be everywhere at once.
However, by scheduling your social content, you can mix up the times you post, giving you access to new audiences. You’ll be able to set times when you’re not at work or at your desk, and even when you’re asleep, keeping your brand present and visible to all of your followers.
There are several scheduling tools, such as; Later, Hootsuite or Brandwatch (pictured above), which allow you to upload both video, carousels and single images to ensure variety within your content. This does require you to batch-create content, however, doing so can take stress and pressure away, especially if you work alone.
When you schedule content, be sure to keep an ear to the ground for any local or big news stories, so none of your posts will look out of place or in bad taste.
Just as each business’s target audience is different, each social media platform has a unique personality too.
Before beginning to create assets, witty captions or videos, plan your strategy out. Keep in mind your personas when choosing your platform, and consider creative ways you can get across that what you’re offering will be a solution for them.
To help, we’ve listed a summary of each below to hopefully guide you:
Although many use LinkedIn to find new job opportunities, it is also a great way for businesses to build their brand, develop and market to B2B and B2C.
One of the most used social media platforms globally, Facebook has a wide demographic range and offers the opportunities to create advertising campaigns across Meta products. It also offers the opportunity to create an e-commerce shop and a Facebook page, so you connect with your audience further.
Catering to a slightly younger demographic than its Meta counterpart, Instagram users tend to be between 18 and 34. It’s a far more visual platform, so your content needs to be as visually appealing as possible to stand out, but it does offer in-app shopping, allowing users to buy products they see in posts, Stories and Reels.
A much more conversational social media platform, Twitter is perfect for sharing and conversing with your customers. It’s also often the place people go to find out what’s happening right now. It’s the perfect platform to jump on and offer live commentary (if related to your industry).
One huge benefit of TikTok is you don’t need a huge budget to create and produce high-quality content. However, this platform is all about creativity, you need to stand out by creating content which is out of the box and feels original. The pay-off though is high if your content performs well, as there’s a chance for virality and it being seen by thousands.
Although it isn’t the place many visitors make purchasing decisions, Pinterest is one of the most powerful visual search engines available. Many users love Pinterest to find and save new ideas. If your brand can create content which is visual and ‘Pin-able’, you could reach new audiences.
We know how busy social media managers can be and the challenges of staying on top of each platform. If you’re looking for support with maximising your social media impact and increasing your brand awareness, Purpose Media can help.
Get in touch with us today to discover how we can assist you and create a social media campaign that’ll get you results.