As we know, social media is imperative for the success of most businesses in 2016, but ensuring your business cuts through the noise online and getting real results from social media can be a difficult task. However, with a few handy rules to stick to and a couple of effective tweaks here and there, you can prove once and for all that social media is one of the most cost effective, crucial avenues to generate new customers and raise awareness and credibility for your business.
It’s called social media, so be social! Posting regularly is important, but taking the time to log on and have real conversations with existing and potential customers, other local businesses, or local influencers is something every business should be doing online. It allows you to build lasting connections and distance yourself from other social media pages that sometimes appear slightly robotic by posting lots but spending little time on engagement. There’s no shortcut to this, and building relationships and trust with people takes time and commitment, but the connections and reputation you can earn from doing this certainly makes it worthwhile.
Content is king on social media, and you have to ensure what you’re sharing is both eye-catching and valuable to your audience. Before posting an image, video or blog, ask yourself: “Would I share that post? Would I pay attention to it?” If the answer is no, have a re-think and opt for different content. It’s also important to think outside the box with your content, don’t be afraid to get creative. This will make you stand out from your competitors and your followers should respond positively to the varied content. At the end of the day, you’re fighting for people’s attention and content is a very important factor to ensure you win.
Running unique offers, deals and competitions on your social media pages is a great way to create awareness of your business and generate tons of exposure and new followers/page likes. There are many different ways that these can be implemented in a unique, professional and an effective way. Ask yourself these questions: “What competitions can I run where even when the majority of people don’t win, they may still translate into a customer? What offer can I run that’s good enough to make people stop and pay attention to my business?” If your followers have to enter a competition by sharing your post, liking your page/following you, or tagging a friend, the amount of organic reach and exposure you can get from this can be extremely impressive.
Having lots of followers is great, but the key is to make sure that your followers are also relevant followers. What I mean by this is, what good is having 10,000 followers if they don’t live local to your business, or aren’t interested in the slightest in what you’re offering? Quality over quantity should be the approach to building your social media followers, and there’s many different ways that you can ensure this happens. It’s important to build a community that is both local (if applicable) and relevant to your brand, which will result in much more engagement on your pages, interest in posts or articles that you share and will ultimately generate new customers for you.
Facebook’s algorithm is constantly changing, and due to more and more content battling for competition, you’re usually going to have to fork out if you want people to even see your Facebook posts on your business page. Whether you’re simply ‘boosting’ current posts or using ‘dark posts’ with more specific targeting available, the results that you can get from Facebook Ads conducted correctly is a quite simply a gamechanger. Even a measly £10 can go a long way, catapulting your reach from 50 to 50,000 in a matter of days. You’ll need to think hard about who exactly you’re targeting, and use trial and error over varying factors of Facebook Ads to find out what works best for your business, but be sure to give them a go, you won’t regret it. It’s one of the most cost effective marketing routes available to businesses at the moment, with such detailed analytics also available to track your results.
Reviewing your analytics can tell you a lot how your social pages work, and can teach you what to continue doing in the future, or in some cases, what not to do. Investing a portion of your time into researching your social media analytics allows you to spot trends such as ‘what time or day is best to post’ or ‘if posts with videos are more successful than posts with images’ and in the case of Facebook particularly, can give you a slight insight as to how their algorithm works. Reviewing your analytics and learning why some posts are more successful than others allows you to gain social media results that are much stronger and more consistent.