Why Your Small Business Needs a Social Media Strategy
We need to talk. We know you’re probably sick to death of hearing about it, but we’ve got to get a few things off our chest. Covid. The Vid. Miss ‘Rona. Whatever you want to call it, there’s no denying that it’s been a *real* challenge for all of us.
As a business ourselves, we’ve seen firsthand how the pandemic has blindsided many brands during these trying times. And with COVID-19 ramping up here in WA, you guessed it; people are limiting contact wherever possible and tightening the grip on those purse strings.
So what does this mean, exactly? Small business owners are looking to cut costs where they can. Naturally, any of your outsourced services (such as an agency managing your socials – like yours truly) might be your first thought to let loose.
BUT. Did you know having an active and agile social media marketing strategy could be your saviour amidst the chaos and uncertainty? Read on to find out the reasons why your digital marketing shouldn’t take a backseat, how your brand can pivot in the current climate, and where we come in.
KEEP ‘EM UPDATED
We’ve learnt a lot these last couple of years:
- The premium we place on toilet paper,
- How to elevate our skin care routines [cheers #maskne],
- And the importance of a strong social media presence in the constantly changing media landscape.
If you thought we were social media crazed before, then you better believe we stepped up our game during Covid. Nowadays, social media platforms are unarguably our main source of info, as we rely on them to stay-up-date and provide us with news in real-time.
As people spend more time online, plus their constantly shifting needs, your brand staying vigilant and reactive is a *must*. Want to make a connection with your customers? Want to provide them with value? Then social media is the perfect platform for your business — if you know how to use it to your advantage.
Start by thinking about the ways you can connect and support your social media community in the most efficient way possible. This could be as simple as offering information about your business’ current operations.
For example, showing them just how easy it is to make a purchase from your business online or over the phone. Paid and organic social media can be extremely effective in promoting these new offerings to current and prospective customers:
- Organic — Allows your business to send out updates quickly
- Paid — Can be highly targeted to reach people within a specific geographic area, from specific age groups, and with interests related directly to your brand.
START A CONVO
The irony of social media is that it presents a fantastic opportunity for fast and effective two-way communication with your audience, without even having to see each other face-to-face.
Our suggestion? Don’t think of social media as a place to sell your product or service. Rather, harness social media as a powerful tool to collect information on your key audiences.
Listen to them and find out what they want and need from you.
Engage in valuable conversations to gauge how they’re feeling.
Ask questions to get the answers you’re looking for.
Then, take it a step further. Think of story polls, question boxes, comments, and private messages as field research; the information you retrieve can be used to refine your socials and dictate the content you provide moving forward.
Remember, social media is all about working smarter not harder. Something as simple as a poll could be the difference between content that doesn’t resonate, and promoting information that’s positively received and adds value to your target audience.
MAKE IT WORK FOR YOUR WEBSITE
Have you noticed your online shopping habit reaching unprecedented levels during this pandemic? You’re not alone. With social distancing and restricted movement, more consumers are now shopping online than ever before.
So as business owners, let’s leverage that. Social media is yet another way you can direct traffic over to your e-commerce website. Want to give your site the best chance of being seen? Then you need a smooth process of funnelling consumers from socials to your site. Here’s some tactics you can use:
- Optimise your social profiles with links to your website
- Include strong CTAs in your posts
- Pick the most effective posting times
- Make share buttons obvious
- Promote your content [i.e. blog posts and service pages]
- Engage with your audience in a responsive fashion and direct them to the website for further information where applicable
- Ensure mobile-friendly visuals that are appealing, dynamic, and engaging
BUILD A COMMUNITY
Using social media to market your product or service is no-brainer. But it can’t (and shouldn’t) always be sell, sell, sell — especially right now. Customers are looking to engage with brands that do more than this.
Don’t take our word for it? Take global communication firm Edelman’s then. One of their studies found that since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic, more than one-third of consumers said they have started using a brand because of the innovative and compassionate way they have been responding to the situation.
So stepping away from the hard sell and leaning into community building can help strengthen existing customer relationships and forge new ones — and social media is the perfect platform for this.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, you name it — they’re all fantastic platforms to increase engagement and build a strong online community. When you learn to adopt the mindset “stop selling and start helping”, you’ll be surprised how much your goals will change.
And we’re not just talking about “helping” in the literal sense. There’s so many ways a brand can help your audience. It could be a range of things, such as:
- Lighthearted posts that incorporate humour
- Keeping it real with behind the scenes snippets into your business
- Personalised posts addressing the current situation
Map out your content pillars and make sure they promote a wide range of angles that you know your audience will respond well to. Just remember — avoid the hard sell and start focusing on building and nurturing a community of like minded individuals.
MAKE NEW FRIENDS
Now you have your content pillars, we challenge you to take it a step further and strive to be shareable. You know what we’re talking about — those genius campaigns that go viral because they have that “wow” factor down pat.
We’re talking about useful, entertaining and inspiring campaigns that make the audience want to take that next step and share it themselves with their own community. Still not sure what this might look like? Take a peek at some of these brands who are doing it right in 2022. From Airbnb’s earnesty to Amazon’s wit, there’s a few pearls of wisdom here.
HOW WE CAN HELP
Selecting the right agency partner can be the difference between a successful social media strategy and an unsuccessful social media strategy. So, if you want to be seen online, let our social media marketing team at Future Proof step in.
With a mix of organic content, paid advertising and smart strategy, we can help you build meaningful relationships, accelerate brand awareness and recognition, and drive up those all important sales numbers.
As a trusted digital marketing agency, we understand the importance of agility and are prepared to respond and capitalise on sudden changes. So if you want to see real results across your social media activities, let’s chat. Now is the time to invest in social media management, not shy away from it. If you want help adapting to the new landscape, get in touch.