Tips and advice to help you to maximise your social media marketing efforts

1. Start with a strategy

There’s little doubt that social media is an important component of your overall marketing efforts, and essential to promote your business online. A social media strategy will help you build a strong, organic presence online by understanding your audience and your competitors and determine which channels are best suited to market your business.

How much time have you spent staring at a blank screen not knowing what to post? Galvanise your approach to creating content with a strategy that enables you to connect with your audience better, establish goals and determine the right channels for your business.
Social media takes time and effort over a sustained period to achieve results. If you need help to create a strategy, take a look at our CPD accredited Social Media Strategy online course. It will help you create a strategy for your social media marketing and ensure you don’t waste time and money. Alternatively, you can ask us about our social media strategy services.

2. Find the right channel

LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are all free platforms for businesses to promote their brand and engage with their audience on a local and a global level. However, don’t assume you will get instant marketing success or that it won’t cost money. There is a well-known saying that “All good things come to those who wait” and it’s true for using Social Media to market your business. Don’t forget, your time is money so invest it well.

It can take three to six months to get proper traction on social media. There are things you can do to help speed up the process but let’s start with the basics to get you started:

  • Find the best platform to reach your target audience.
  • Find friends and followers by searching for keywords.
  • Join in with conversations about your field of expertise. A good way of finding these is via social listening tools to follow keywords and hashtags.
  • Build relationships with influencers. Engaging with influencers early on can help you in the long run as it will help them remember you when you need to approach them in the future.

LinkedIn – A professional network that is perfect for B2B audiences. Used well, LinkedIn allows you to build relationships, generate leads and establish thought leadership across a meaningful network.

Twitter – Twitter has a large user base and allows direct two-way communication so that you can engage with customers and prospects. Maintaining brand consistency can help you to build followers and hashtags can help you reach an audience interested in a particular topic. However, you need to post daily and often to get heard above the noise.

Facebook – Just about everyone has a Facebook account nowadays. It can be difficult to get reach on Facebook pages without paying for advertising, but you can boost a post for as little as £5 and get a decent return if you carefully consider your audience demographics rather than casting a net. Don’t overlook Facebook Groups, as they can be a great way of connecting with your ideal audience, particularly on a local level.

Not sure whether Facebook or Twitter is best for your brand? Take a look at this article via Sprout Social here.

Instagram – A great channel if your content is very visual. One of Instagram’s strengths is that it helps businesses increase brand awareness and reach a wider audience. You can use location tags and hashtags to increase the searchability of your content.

Pinterest – Like Instagram, Pinterest is highly visual and can be useful to help drive traffic to your blog.

Google – If you run a local business, you are probably familiar with Google My Business. Google will be one of the first places your customers turn to if they want to know your opening hours, your location or go to your website. Posts only last 7 days (unless it’s an offer post or an event post where you have specified an end date). Try and post at least once a week. You can have up to 10 posts at once, but only the 2 most recent will appear on your Google My Business listing. Read our blog post here to find out more.

3. Tips to boost brand awareness

Don’t be salesy, be social! Most people don’t like being sold to, so go easy on the hard sell and limit the number of promotions. It’s far better to establish real connections and relationships with your audience to build trust. And, when you gain people’s trust, they are much more likely to buy from you. Adopt the 1 in 7 rule where only 1 out of every 7 posts promotes your business.

Maintain brand consistency – Your brand affects what people think about your business, so it is important that you don’t leave your brand open to a variety of interpretations. Your brand should build awareness and develop trust and loyalty with customers. Many businesses create a brand style and usage guidelines to ensure all messaging and brand asset use is on-point and consistent. For brand recognition in such a crowded online market, maintaining consistency across all channels and at every touchpoint is more important than ever.

Create quality images – You don’t need to be a graphic designer to design stunning graphics for your brand. There are many easy to use tools such as Canva to help you craft great images to engage your audience. One thing to bear in mind is to prepare your images at the right size for the channel you are posting on so that your images are not distorted and areas do not get cropped off.

What helps you market your business online? Do let us know in the comments below.