5 Common Questions about Social Media Marketing
Posted Aug 24, 2021 | Updated 3 years ago
Social media, in a nutshell, is an effective way to maintain top-of-mind awareness all while building an active and loyal fan base for your business.
But with great power, comes great responsibility. Social media for businesses needs to be executed in a way that addresses goals for the business but, and more importantly, properly serves their audience in an authentic manner.
How do you create a social media strategy for my SMB business?
First, you need to consider your goals. And no, I don’t mean goals like go viral, or get TikTok famous. I mean real, meaningful goals that support your business.
Goal setting is a core component of all marketing and business strategies so social media is no exception. With a wide range of social capabilities, it can be difficult to determine exactly what your objectives should be. For guidance, here are a few common social media goals to consider:
Increase Brand Awareness
To create authentic and lasting brand awareness, avoid a slew of promotional messages. Instead, focus on meaningful content and a strong brand personality through your social channels.
Drive Online/Offline Sales
Some retailers rely on social media marketing efforts to drive in-store sales. Is your brand promoting enough on social to reward those who come to you? What about alerting customers to what’s going on in your stores?
Create a Loyal Fanbase
Does your brand promote user-generated content? Do your followers react positively without any initiation? Getting to this point takes time and effort with creating a positive brand persona on social.
Better Pulse on the Industry
What are your competitors doing that seems to be working? What strategies are they using to drive engagement or sales? Having a pulse on the industry could simply help you improve your efforts and take some tips from those doing well.
With an overarching goal for your campaign to provide direction, the next step in creating a great social media campaign is to understand what metrics are available, which ones to track, and which ones are not.
While most social media platforms offer a vast array of metrics, it’s important to not view them the same. Vanity metrics can offer a lot of wow factors, but they aren’t always a good way to measure successes. The most common vanity metric is follower count, or Page Likes, because it’s easy to see growth but the problem with this metric doesn’t show the entire story. You may have a lot of followers or likes but no one is engaging with your posts.
What metrics should I track on my business’s social media accounts?
Engagement metrics offer a better picture because they can tell you the health of your relationship between you and your audience. These specific metrics may be called slightly different depending on the platform but Reach, Clicks, and Engagement are the top metrics you want to track.
Post reach is the amount of those who saw your post. The amount of posts counts as reaching someone when it’s shown in the News Feed. How far is your content spreading across social media? Is it actually reaching user’s feeds?
This is the number of clicks on your content, company name, or logo. Link clicks are critical toward understanding how users move through your marketing funnel. Tracking clicks per campaign is essential to understand what drives curiosity or encourages those to buy.
The total number of social interactions is divided by the number of impressions. For engagement, it’s about seeing who interacted and how that relates to your total reach. This also sheds light on how well your audience perceives you and their willingness to interact.
Now before you start creating oodles and oodles of content (I promise we’re almost there). I highly, highly, recommend you investigate what your competitors are doing. And if you think you don’t have competitors, you do. Trust me.
Should I care what my competitors are doing on social media?
Analyze what competitors are doing by reviewing their content. What’s making them successful? What type of content are they posting? When are they posting? What kind of engagement are they getting from their audience?
The simplest way to find competitors is through a simple Google search. Look up your most common keywords and phrases then see who shows up. For example, let’s try “handmade natural soaps colorado springs”.
Exclude major retailers like Amazon and Bath & Body Works. Search for other companies, especially local to the area, then check out their social media accounts. (commonly businesses will link to their socials from their website)
Here are a few local handmade soap companies in the Colorado Springs area, and a few details about each.
Rocky Mountain Soap Market – brick & mortar / locally owned company
(posting exact same content on FB & IG)
- FB @rockymountainsoapmarket – Very Active / Low Engagement
- IG @rockymountainsoapmarket – Very Active / Low Engagement
Buff City Soap – brick & mortar store / multi-state
(posting exact same content on FB & IG)
- FB @buffcitysoap – Very Active / Moderate Engagement
- IG @buffcitysoap – Very Active / Moderate Engagement
Clean Earth Soap – online only
(some posts are the same on FB & IG)
- FB @cleanearthsoap – Occasionally Posts / Minimal Engagement
- IG @cleanearthsoapco – Occasionally Posts / Low Engagement
Lotion Bar Cafe – online only
(only actively posting on FB)
- FB @lotionbarcafe – Moderately Active / Low Engagement
- IG @cleanearthsoapco – Moderately Active / Low Engagement
Besides analyzing the basic metrics of a client, make notes of the content. And if you’re needing inspiration on content, look to the big fish in your industry. There’s a reason they’re so successful, and that’s most likely due to them employing an 80/20 rule of 80% informative and helpful to 20% sales and promotional.
Another reason some businesses are so successful in their social media is that they are consistent. Consistency is by far the most important aspect of any social media strategy. This is because of the fast-paced nature of all the current social media platforms. Between ever-changing algorithms and the sheer volume of activity creating a consistent posting schedule is important.
When should I post on social media to get the best results?
Before searching for the perfect social media schedule for your business refer back to your competitors. What are the successful ones doing? You can also refer to social media experts like Sprout Social. They release an annual report on the best times to post on social media that provides an easily digestible report.
While knowing when to post can be difficult to determine the best advice I have is to test, test, test. Play around with frequency and timing. Just because a report says Tuesdays at 10:30a is great for educational-type content. But if your the majority of your audience is teachers that may not provide the best response.
My team and I have created a sample calendar based on recent research that offers a baseline for when to post on Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram. Check it out and download your own copy.
[cta for sample social media calendars]
Now that you know when to post… what do you post? Creating content is by far the most difficult part for most businesses. I totally understand and empathize with you. Great ideas flitter in all the time but as soon as you have to create something — POOF 🤯 — gone.
What kind of content should I share on my business’s social media account?
Content can be broken down into 5 different post themes. If you downloaded the sample social media calendars you’ll notice they utilize these themes. These post themes are not only meant to help come up with content faster but you can also batch the creation of posts. For example, if you have 6 motivational & fun posts to create do them all together. This keeps your thought process simpler and ultimately makes your posts more consistent in style. (which is important for your overall branding)
Here are 5 Post Themes to help you create social media content for your business
Motivational & Fun
It’s time to be Motivational & Fun! Inspire your followers with content that makes them Feel Good. Quotes definitely rank highest in the inspiration category. Make your followers smile, give advice and motivate them to take action and we promise, they will keep coming back for more!
What is Promotional Content? Showcase your product/service and special offers. Highlight their benefits. Convey the emotions they will feel using your product. Personalize your business with behind-the-scenes and staff pics.
Blog Posts / Business Update
Show your Expertise with Blog Posts! Share articles from your company blog and generate more traffic to your website. Highlight your proficiency for each niche by sharing trending articles from top sources. Don’t forget to make it personal and add your own opinion!
How to use Engaging Content? Post interactive content to connect with your followers. Give them the opportunity to participate in contests and giveaways. Ask them for feedback with voting polls and entertaining questions. Use thematic hashtags for all campaigns.
What’s the Power of Educational Content? Flaunt your knowledge with useful and informative content! Make your page a source of valuable and relevant information with interesting facts, tips, did you knows, how-to’s and other types of Educational content.
So there you have it. You now have questions answered about how to use social media for your business. I know this isn’t a complete guide but let’s be real ain’t nobody has time for that. 😉
But in all seriousness, this information should set you on a path for success with your social media campaign. However, if you still have questions, let’s chat.