Social media is everywhere these days and businesses are increasingly turning to it to capture the attention of potential customers. If you’ve been considering a social media presence or upping your social media game, these tips from LATICRETE social media pro Sharon LaRiviere will help you craft a strategy to successfully deliver your message and engage with your followers. – Editor
To make an impact on your customers and reach new ones, you must adapt your marketing strategies and learn new skills. According to Hubspot, companies targeting consumers will focus communications on social media first, then email, websites and blogs. Because social media is constantly changing and evolving, to help differentiate yourself from your competitors, you should focus on what you can do on social media and do it well!
Why Social Media?
- Popularity – it’s growing and shows no signs of slowing down. When starting out (or have limited time), focus on Facebook and Instagram. They are the fastest-growing and most-versatile channels to promote your business using both organic (non-paid) and paid advertising.
- Stay ahead of your competition – according to Statista, almost 9 in 10 companies in the U.S. use social media. Which means, if you aren’t, there’s a good chance that your competitors are taking away potential new customers.
- Get leads – by showcasing your business and highlighting what you’re good at, you can attract new prospective customers which ultimately will lead to sales!
Create a plan
It’s important to brainstorm and come up with a plan of action prior to posting content. Put it on paper to help keep you organized and allow visibility to others on your team.
- How much time do you have to dedicate? This will influence which and how many social channels you can be active on.
- What is the personality of your company and how do you want to portray this in writing i.e. “voice of your brand”?
- What topics or messages will you share and how will you communicate them i.e. video, images, words?
- How will you get the content? Will it be your own or user-generated (from your happy customers or industry partners)?
- How will you tell if what you’re posting is engaging? Determine which metrics to track.
Develop engaging posts
You’ll often hear the phrase “content is king” and it’s because what you share (video, images, words) helps differentiate you from your competitors and build your company’s brand as leader in your local market. You want to share value through your content to your existing and potential followers.
Mix up the type of content you share. This can include: before-and-after transformations; trends; informational articles on the proper way to install and what quality products you use; fun/motivational topics; community involvement; holidays; promotions and more.
TIP: 80/20 Rule = 80% of the content you post should be on topics such as: education; trends; and things to grab the attention of your audience and add value. The other 20% can be promotional / sales related. By following the 80/20 rule, you build trust and expertise which ultimately will help lead to sales.
Importance of hashtags (#)
Hashtags are used on many social channels, especially on Instagram. It’s a way for people to find content on specific topics they are searching on. When you include them in your post, you’ll show up in the results for that hashtag and allow potential customers to find you.
Develop a list of which hashtags to use.
- Think like your customer – what words/phrases would they use when trying to find information on a specific topic, for example: “tile kitchen floor.”
- Search these ideas – utilize the search box on Instagram or Facebook and review the number of posts using them.
- Make a list – keep track of those you want to use; update your list regularly by searching for new and trending hashtags.
When and how often to post
It’s not necessarily how much you should post, but about being consistent on the channels you choose to participate on. Consistency helps you to show up more frequently in your current followers’ feeds as well as allows potential customers see that you are active and responsive to comments and questions.
You can determine the best times to post based on experimentation, research and reviewing your metrics. Experiment with times to see what works best and when you get the most interaction with your audience. Once you’ve defined your schedule, stick to it! To save time, you can use a scheduler tool to schedule them in advance and in bulk, such as Hootsuite, Buffer and Crowdfire.
Measurement and analysis
Reviewing and analyzing metrics is important to determine the value of your efforts and see if your content resonates with your audience. Track metrics each month and review them to find insights and trends.
- Likes/followers: how many are added per month.
- Reach: number of people who saw your post.
- Engagement: any action someone took on your post such as a like, comment, share, clicking on a video or link (this shows the content was valuable).
- Engagement rate (%): calculation of engagement/reach.
Five things to do right now
- Develop a plan
- Create engaging content
- Post consistently
- Review your metrics and determine ways to improve your content and increase engagement
- Educate yourself on new strategies and techniques
Differentiating your business using social media is not an exact science. Experiment to see what strategies will work best for your business in your local market. As Mark Twain said, “the secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
Sharon La Riviere
Sharon La Riviere is the Sr. Digital Marketing & SEM Strategist for LATICRETE International Inc. La Riviere a marketing professional with over 20 years of experience developing and implementing marketing strategies in B2B and B2C markets. She has experience in both digital and traditional marketing channels including: brand communications, email, social media, affiliate, content development, SEO, promotions, collateral and presentation development and direct marketing and a proven track record managing employees on and offsite. La Riviere enjoys working on multiple projects in a variety of marketing channels and continuously follows new trends and practices bringing new ideas to stakeholders.