SMEs fighting for space in an oversaturated industry can find it challenging to make themselves stand out on social media and be strategic in their digital communications.
81% small-medium businesses use some kind of social platform. With 3.4 billion of us being active social media users and having on average 5-6 accounts each, there’s a global potential for reach.
Team PB’s core actions to help realise your business’ social media potential are:
1. Know your audience
As a business, you should know your audience through and through, and when it comes to social media it pays to target your efforts on the right platform for your customers and clients.
Businesses, consumers, or both? Millennial, Gen X, Gen Z? The answers to these are crucial and will determine the platform that’s right for your brand, as well as indicate the sort of content that will resonate.
Identifying core ‘personas’ for your customers will help you understand them better, including their social media habits and what will appeal to them. Knowing who you are speaking to, the best time to reach them and what will speak to them is key to your success.
2. Identify your platform.
Now you know who your target audience is, are they highly visual or mainly word-based? This is crucial in understanding the platforms you need to focus on.
As a general guide…
Facebook – a fantastic platform for reaching consumers, with 2.3 billion users. Alongside text, images and video content, there’s the ability to create events, post jobs, build a community and build a detailed about page.
Twitter – one of the best and easiest platforms for regular posting across industries, with 326 million users. The app is used for short bursts of information, supporting text, image and video content.
LinkedIn – crucial for B2B and connecting with businesses locally. LinkedIn has 610 million users and although more serious, remember that business professionals are consumers too.
Instagram – incredible visual appeal and growing at an unprecedented rate, mainly for B2C but adaptable for any industry. It has 1 billion users. Within the app you can upload images and video with accompanying text and it now supports longer-form video in the style of IGTV.
YouTube – With 1.5 billion users and 5 billion videos watched on YouTube everyday this channel clearly grabs attention, with explainer videos working particularly well for a B2B audience.
The most important thing is to follow your audience. If they’re not engaging then it’s either not the right place or the content isn’t speaking to them, talking of which…
3. The actual content
Be clear. With people strapped for time and bombarded by posts and adverts continuously- your content needs to be entertaining, relevant and deliver something, eg. a call to action, brand recognition or evoking a personal connection to your content.
Be in the moment. Timeliness is key – up to date posts that chime with national events, news and hashtag projects.
Be consistent. Post daily at a consistent time – use scheduling software like Hootsuite if you struggle to remember or aren’t able to (keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming blog on our top apps for social media). And ensure content maintains a consistent tone of voice in line with the brand.
4. How to take a good photo or video
We’re not talking preened and posed selfies, but cropping, the rule of thirds and a good quality editing app like Snapseed are a great place to start.
There is an art to great photography for social media. Not everyone will be a skilled photographer or have the most creative eye, and that’s where companies like Pillory Barn come in.
Engagement is key on all social media platforms and that means you need both strong copy and imagery. Tweets are 150% more likely to get retweeted when accompanied by an image and businesses with beautifully curated Pinterest-style feeds thrive on Instagram, so it’s crucial to become all-rounders.
5. Connect and engage
Show people you’re active, diligent and care about their engagement. Join the conversation and interact. Tag others where you can and start building relationships.
This will help build your credibility as a company and reassure people you’re real and providing a legitimate service.
If you’d like to learn more about social media and what Team PB can do to support your business – don’t hesitate to get in touch.