Did you know that nearly 85% of the UK population are actively using social media! When you also add the fact that social media is a marketing platform which is free to use for businesses (at least at the basic level) then it is easy to see why it is a very popular marketing strategy for businesses of all sizes, but particularly for the small business.
The problem is, with so many people and businesses on social media, so many platforms to choose from and so many options of what to post, it is often hard to get any traction, so if you have been wondering ‘How can I use social media to engage with my audience?’ then this blog should give you some good advice on how to get started.
Pick your Platform
Rather then putting out mediocre content across multiple platforms instead concentrate your efforts on the best platform to reach your ideal customers. Now, the user metrics on social media platforms are not a perfect art as they change all the time, but you are looking roughly at:
Facebook | Aged 18-65 | Middle Income | Best for B2C
Instagram | Aged 18-39 | Higher Income | Best for B2C
TikTok | Aged 13-34 | Varied Income | Best for B2B and B2C
LinkedIn | Aged 25-54 | Higher Income | Best for B2B
YouTube | Aged 15-45 | Varied Income | Best to B2C and B2B
Twitter | Aged 18-49 | Higher Income | Best to B2C and B2B
Pinterest | Aged 18-49 | Higher Income | Best for B2C
Then you have platforms like Discord, Twitch, Snapchat and Reddit – although these tend to be more specialised audiences.
Pick your Day and Time
In order to engage with your audience you need to be posting content on a day and at a time when your ideal client will actually see it. Our Feeds are so busy these days that if it has been several hours since you posted there is less chance of them seeing your content.
Again, different audiences use social media one different days and at different times. For example;
If your audience is Tradesmen, they are usually off to work by 7.30am, so they tend to pop on social media between 6am and 7.30am. You might catch them again at lunchtime and then they could be back on after work between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.
If you audience is Mums then they are pretty busy first thing, getting their kids up, dressed and breakfasted, so your optimum time is between 9am and 11am. You might not be looking at another window to catch them again until after 7pm when the kids are tucked up in bed (if Mum is lucky).
Of course, these are generalisations, but really you have to work the numbers, you’ll never get everyone and a randomised calendar of content is not ideal.
What to post
It is important to post a variety of content. Users don’t want to be sold to all the time, but at some point you do need to tell your audience what you actually have to offer. Balance out product or service posts with content that demonstrates your expertise and gives help or advice, as well as a bit of personality too. Here are some things you could post
- Product and Service Posts
- Videos (always great for engagement) – Bios, Expert Advice, At Work
- Reviews and Testimonials
- Client Stories
- Before and Afters
It is easier and more effective if you make a plan for your social media. Decide how often you will be posting, what days, what time and what content goes out when. If you can, write the post and create the image or video. You can even use a tool like Hootsuite to schedule it all for a week or even a month in advance.
Try and mix up this planned content with some off-the-cuff spontaneous stuff too, so things don’t get too staid. If you don’t have a plan then your social media can become random or get forgotten altogether.
Getting more followers
One of the most difficult things about social media for business is getting more followers…it can be a very slow and frustrating process. Here are some things you can try to build your following:
- Only ask appropriate people to Follow/Like/Connect (not everyone you know). Social media platforms will show your content to more people based on the audience you have, so you need it to be the Right people, otherwise you’ll just confuse the algorithm.
- Use hashtags – don’t get carried away, a couple per post is fine and make sure they are hashtags that are actually being used, but not super-popular (because you won’t get seen)
- Engage in Groups – posting your content into Groups and engaging with other users is a great way to reach new audiences. On LinkedIn you can use your Profile to engage with other Users.
- Run a Paid Ad – now be careful here, but running a low-level Paid Advert on social media to encourage people to Like/Follow can be a great use of social media advertising
- Add social media links or QR codes to your other marketing and communications
We hope this advice helps you get more engagement with your audience on social media. If you are still struggling or you just don’t have the time in-house to get it right why not get in touch with us and we can take care of all of this (and more) for you.