Why did you start using social media marketing for your business? Was it because everyone else was doing it, and you felt you needed to be doing it, too? Did you see how well it was working for someone else and think, “Well, I need to be doing that.” Whatever the reason, social media marketing is a smart move, but it's not enough just to have a presence. You have to know how to use it effectively—and that's what these four tips will help you do.
Learn how social media works.
It sounds obvious, but hear me out. Digital marketing continues to grow and gain influence, but there's a still a feeling among many that social media just isn't important. It's not necessary for business, it's just fluff. Obviously, that's a perspective we try to steer our clients away from because we know the impact digital marketing—or lack thereof—can have on a business. Failing to appreciate social media as a marketing tool leads to halfhearted attempts to use it, and that can reflect badly on you. You always want to give the appearance of professionalism and caring about how you project yourself.
Besides that, each social media platform works a little differently, and when you start using one, you should research some best practices to help you get started. There's any number of websites that offer free tips or even paid courses to help you learn the essentials.
Listen to and engage with your customers.
One of the most beneficial things you can do for your company is to pay attention to what your customers are saying. When they have an issue, they're more likely to leave you a Facebook message or review or send you a tweet. If you're not making an effort to keep up with those things, you leave your customers feeling unheard and unappreciated, plus you miss out on an invaluable source of insight for the direction your business should be taking.
And don't just be on the look-out for negative things. Interacting with followers in your comments makes a favorable impression on your customers. It's not always about damage control—sometimes it should just be fun!
Don't use social media solely as a method of blasting out promotional offers. Use it as a communication tool between you and your customers by providing them with valuable information. Doing so consistently will keep them coming back. It's best to create a plan in advance of what topics you want to cover on what platform, then keep to that schedule. There are some amazing automation tools out there to help you post regularly and, in fact, Canopy now offers a social marketing tool, as well, which allows you to post to multiple social platforms at once. Ask us about it!
You don’t need to be everywhere.
Whenever we review a new client's online presence with them, we get a report of every social media presence they have. Looked at all together—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus, LinkedIn, YouTube—it can seem overwhelming. But here's the secret: you don't have to be on every platform. In fact, you shouldn't.
Not every platform is suited to every business. I know boutiques and antique stores who have Instagram and Pinterest accounts. If you're a veterinary office or car dealership, YouTube might actually be helpful to you. Many office-centric businesses only need a Facebook page. What's most important is deciding what kinds of media work well for your business and concentrating on those areas rather than trying to stretch yourself over multiple unnecessary platforms. Creating content is time-consuming, and time is valuable.
Effective social media marketing requires effort, but rest assured that it's worth it! And if you just don't have the time to dedicate to it, consider letting Canopy help. We have you covered.
Catherine has a degree in English literature and a passion for all things marketing. As Digital Specialist, her focus is on web design, search engine optimization, social media, online presence management, and project coordination.