To market on social media or not to market – that is the question.
Small businesses and entrepreneurs have been debating this question with good points made on either side of the argument and with mixed results, thus, rumors abound.
“It’s too time consuming with little ROI.”
“It’s become too complicated with the constantly changing algorithms.”
On the contrary side of the argument…
“Strategic and creative thinking will gain huge results!”
“Slow and steady wins the race. Stay consistent and you will see ROI.”
Here is a basic guide to marketing your business on social media so you can decide for yourself.
Know Your Audience and Research Where They Spend Their Time
Likely, you have already done this when you set up your business. You need to know who you are serving with your products or services. The next step in marketing to them on social media is to find out where they are spending their online time.
Sites such as Sprout Social or Pew Research Center can help you with your search. Their search tools will help you narrow down or broaden your criteria and find the data you are looking for.
When you know where your ideal clients are online, you can begin to tailor your time, energies and message to those social media outlets and not waste time with websites that do not reach your audience.
Have a Quality Website/eCommerce Store
When it comes to content, use quality and well thought out ideas. Keep ideas fresh, current, relevant, and put the most important information at the top of your home page. It is what users see first, and it will encourage them to follow the content to the lower portion.
Provide an abundance of information, offer exceptional service, and be overly helpful. To accomplish that, include an easy to find FAQs page, a site search tool, or hierarchy or category maps. All these tools build staying power for your guests since easily accessible info equals longer page views.
Look professional: It sets you apart as reputable, trustworthy, and not spammy. A stress-free way to insure you have achieved this is to get visitor feedback, use quality photography & edited copywriting. If photography and copywriting are not your strong suit, invest in those services.
Use Media Tools
Shrewd use of multimedia formats are valuable tools for inviting guest retention on blogs, websites and various social media outlets. This is a great opportunity to show your personality and humor as appropriate to build your brand and a tribe-like following.
Video is the most popular method while other mediums include slides, podcasts, image galleries, and infographics. These are all simple to make yourself and can be personalized or generalized as much or as little as fits your purpose.
If you choose not to make your own multimedia, always double check that they fit with your desired audience and that the information being portrayed is accurate. Scatter multimedia throughout the website and link to appropriate text.
Use Your Blog
Blogging continues to be a fantastic way to meet most needs of visitors to your site. The importance of the basics of blogging are much like the basics of a website; they warrant repeating:
- Keep topics relevant
- Start conversations – use questions, request for opinions, comments, feedback or controversial topics (with caution)
- Personalize your tone – if it’s fun to write, it’s fun to read
- Use in-site links and keep them obvious to the viewer – use related topic plug in tool(s), incorporate internal links and have them open in new pages, showcase top posts/pages, apply a comment redirect tool via Yoast,
- Create a call to action
- direct users to specific, related topics or posts
- ask for comments on individual blog posts
- direct viewers to free videos, signups, services, alerts, etc.
- Respond to all questions and comments to build visitor trust
- Thank new followers – they like to be noticed
- Optimize your website for mobile traffic
Promote Your Content
Your eStore products, services, and information isn’t much good if others cannot find it. There are a few basic things you can do to help yourself:
- Make your site easy to find – give it a simple and relevant URL and memorable name.
- Create contests, giveaways, discounts, and freebies to promote on your relevant social media outlets – however, keep it simple. You don’t have to use them all, but whatever venue you choose, use it well.
- Create an event or seasonal calendar to promote special sales or promotions.
- Keep your customers in the loop about what is happening with your products or services. Use email, social media, and your blog for best results.
- Perform outreach to other websites to get guest post backlinks and shares for your content.
Consider Long-Term Promotion Options
The suggestions provided here are great for initial set up and short-range goals, but the future counts, too!
Retargeting is an excellent way to continue reaching out to visitors to your site. A potential customer’s purchasing journey is not a straight line from shopping to purchase. You may need to circle back with them, perhaps multiple times. Retargeting does that.
There are many reasons why shoppers abandon their cart, but by sending those lookie-loos a reminder email, they are far more likely to come back and finish the purchase. These emails can be automated, increasing your efficiency and increasing your bottom line.
Upselling and cross selling are simple and effective ways to promote products beyond those that their customers have previously selected. It’s the simple burger-with-fries-and-a-soda concept – find things that go together and suggest them to shoppers.
Cover your bases by focusing on the fundamentals of website design, knowing your audience, creating long-term promotion options, and engaging guests with multimedia and quality blog posts. It ensures that visitors will want to click through to your site and stay on each page of your site longer. By staying, users will engage with you and purchase your product or services in a natural and organic way.