Social media can be a great way for businesses to connect with their potential customers. However, skewed media coverage around social media means that many SMEs don't use social media to full effect. While mainstream media coverage suggests social media success comes down to posting frequency and content, this isn't true at all...
Instead companies need to focus on: 1) growing accounts, 2) gaining trust among followers and 3) converting those followers to become real business leads.
In this post we'll break down these three steps so your company can develop a far more effective social media strategy!
For most small businesses, the reach of your social media is never going to be great enough to generate huge traffic to your website. So focusing on posting content alone is doomed to failure.
Consider for a moment that the average social media post generates 1-2 clicks. It stands to reason that simply ramping up your posting volume is not going to transform web traffic enough to significantly impact your business.
Instead, we need to develop a process that allows us to consistently strengthen our social media presence and results. We do this by focusing firstly on growing our accounts, secondly on gaining the trust of our audience and thirdly by experimenting with ways of converting that audience into doing something more tangibly of benefit to the business.
There's not the space here to go in depth into how you would grow your audience on each social media platform out there. But the big picture is that on each platform you need to have a profile that is written to appeal to your target audience; and then you need to do the things on that platform that result in your ideal prospects seeing your profile.
That means things like following other accounts, liking posts, commenting, adding people to twitter lists, sending connection requests. The key point to remember is that growth isn't just about increasing the size of your following. The important thing is that you are growing an audience who will be interested in what you publish and engage with it - and who are the right demographic to plausibly become clients of your business.
If you figure this out, though, you should be in a position where each quarter you know what you need to do to grow your social media audience by the desired amount - and then you can replicate that and indeed delegate or outsource that activity.
Everyone knows that people buy from businesses or people that they know, like and trust. So that's what we want to achieve with our social media presence. Posting content, positioning ourselves as experts in our niche and commenting on others' posts helps to nurture this trust amongst our followers.
This is why posting content and increasing your reach and engagement has a role to play in a successful social media strategy. But it's insufficient without accompanying growth and conversion of your audience.
So you've figured out how to consistently grow your audience. You've got a process in place that means you can gain their trust by regularly being seen on social media. But how do you now convert this audience into doing something more meaningful for your business?
That's what test-learn-test comes in. We test our messages, test what we're offering, test different advertising copy. Then we refine them based on the results we get and then roll out what's working best across all of our social media.
The most important point here: start small-scale first before making big changes; track everything closely so you know at which stage something isn't working; and carry out tests with an experimental mindset rather than looking for perfection from day one (because you're very unlikely to hit the jackpot with your very first attempt!).
So in summary, there are three key steps for improving your social media strategy:
- Grow your accounts in a consistent, predictable and delegatable manner.
- Gain the trust of the audience you build by focusing on being valuable, insightful and engaging - rather than promotional.
- Figure out how to convert this audience into real business results with a test-learn-test process and an experimental mindset.
Focus on these three elements and you're sure to see a major transformation in your social media strategy. Want more help with this? Then be sure to check Guiding You To Social Media Success: Step-by-Step!
The Social Hire team never just do social media.
What the Social Hire gang loves is making a difference for our clients, and we don't want to waste your, or our resources on marketing for marketing's sake, if it doesn't get your organisation the impression you need - we take a different approach. When your business utilises social media management, Social Hire improve the presence of your company online and offer your business the lift it needs to improve.
We're an organisation that helps our clients boost their social media marketing by providing social media marketing on a monthly basis.
You might like these blog posts 6 Biggest Ways Social Media Impacts a Business, Every Generation Needs This From Your Communication Strategy, How to Use Social Media to Find Work (and Business Partners), and Essential Skills Every Great Content Marketer Needs.