Understanding that a strong social media presence is an essential marketing solution for your small business is an important first step toward harnessing its power. It’s the rest of that path, though, that may get a little lofty.
Developing the right content requires a lot of leg work. Knowing when to post and how much budget to throw behind those efforts is a tricky task, too. And given how many options there are available now, even choosing the right social platforms to pursue is harder than ever.
Chris Guizlo and Erin Dubots of Fearey, the West Coast’s largest independent public relations agency and a BBB Accredited Business, specialize in providing digital marketing services to businesses across a variety of industries. They joined a recent BBB webinar to share their insights on developing a social media strategy that drives business growth.
“The first thing is identifying your platforms and your goals,” said Guizlo, Vice President with Fearey. “Take a look just like you would on the business side of things. Look at who's your target customer, what those key personas look like.”
As Guizlo further detailed, social media should be used to help your business reach its objectives, so the platforms you choose depend on how those targets are defined. If you’re simply wanting to raise awareness of your business, that goal requires resources that are different than aiming to push more customers to make a transaction through e-commerce or hosting an outlet for responding to customers.
Guizlo and Dubots shared these additional tips to better pair your business goals with the right social media platforms:
- Know your audience. Who are the kinds of customers your business seeks to reach? Look at specific age ranges, demographics, and locations, and then tailor your platform choices based on those targets. For example, younger audiences don’t engage in the same ways older crowds might. An understanding of who makes up your core audience should guide your most important social choices.
- Prioritize the right info. What information are customers trying to find when they search for your small business? Customers lean on their social media accounts to connect with menus, operating hours, online ordering links, and other resources associated with your business. Choose a platform that best showcases information customers want to know most about you.
- Limit your reach. Don’t try to have a presence on every social media platform. Most platforms have “self-selected themselves out,” Guizlo stated, so it’s unnecessary to do everything everywhere. Pick a platform that strategically reaches your audience, and then commit to building a following there before branching out into new areas.
Identifying the platform that works best for your business positions you to make other important decisions regarding your social media approach. The voice and tone you use to communicate with your audience, the composition of your content, your posting cadence – they’re all influenced by the platform you choose to use most.
Which platforms are working best for your small business? Let us know how you’re using social media to meet your business goals by leaving us a comment below.