It’s no surprise that more people are spending time on social media than ever. COVID-19 created an unprecedented demand for online content as people, many stuck at home, turned to social outlets as a way to connect with loved ones and engage with brands.
According to one survey, about half of respondents spent more time on social media due to the pandemic. And eCommerce sales are on the rise, underscoring the value of social media for small businesses.
Best Practices for Social Promotion in 2021
This creates opportunities for brands to boost engagement with current customers and make connections with new ones. But there's a right and wrong way to do it. Here are some best practices for social promotion for your brand in 2021.
1. Understand Your Audience
It will be tough to effectively engage with your audience on social media if you don’t understand who they are or how to find them. Social media marketing can get incredibly granular, so take some time to research your target audience and nail down various traits such as:
- Their age range
- Their income
- What they buy
- What they like to spend
- Where they live
- Languages they speak
- Their occupation
- Their hobbies and interests
In social media marketing, you can target audiences based on certain demographics and interests. For example, people ages 20-30 who “like” home remodeling brands or people ages 50-70 who “like” travel groups.
2. Choose Which Social Channels to Target
It’s not surprising that many marketers try to be everything to everyone across every possible social channel. You don’t have to do this if you’ve done thorough research in the previous step and understand your target audience. You can just find out where most of them hang out and go there.
For example, Facebook has the most active daily users and has the oldest demographic. Instagram has the second-highest number of users, with a younger and more racially diverse audience. Twitter is a fast-growing platform that also has a diverse user base.
3. Create a Social Media Strategy
Jumping into social media marketing without a strategy is a common mistake that many brands make. It can be incredibly overwhelming and a time-killer.
The best way to get the most out of social media in the coming year is to first summarize your goals. Are you trying to create awareness, boost engagement, or drive conversions? Your answers to these questions will impact who you target, what kind of content you post, and what sort of metrics you choose to track your progress.
4. Know Your Competitors
When you’re creating your social media strategy, take a close look at what your competitors are doing. Check out what channels they are dominant on and how often they post. You might get some ideas that will allow you to top their efforts, as well as some tips about what not to do on social channels.
5. Engage in Social Listening
A big part of social media marketing is listening and monitoring. Specifically, you should set a system to “listen” for @mentions of your brand or anything that is relevant to your industry.
When you get those alerts, there are several things you can do. First, analyze the posts to figure out what people think of your brand. Next, see if you can leverage any of that information to improve your products or services or even collaborate with someone to distribute your message.
6. Respond to Mentions and Comments Promptly
Beyond monitoring for comments and mentions, you should also be prepared to respond to every comment as quickly and appropriately as possible. As your brand responds to mentions and comments, it should seize the opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to customer service. Not only do customers now expect service via social media, but others are watching to see how you handle these interactions.
7. Establish Your Social Media Tone & Voice
Your social media followers might initially show up to learn something about your brand’s products or services. But they’re going to stay if they like your style.
Look at social media as an extension of your brand’s personality. As you craft your tone and voice for social channels, ask yourself these questions:
- What are your values?
- What is your tone? (serious, playful, funny, informative, etc.)
- What other interests or causes will you promote?
8. Post Engaging Content that Isn’t “Salesy”
In 2021 and beyond, it would be a mistake to post a ton of salesy social media content that implores readers to “act now” or “click here.” People are tired of it, and most won’t respond the way you want them to.
Instead, help them solve their most pressing issues by posting engaging content. Some examples are personal stories from previous customers and demonstration videos. You can also post industry news and other lighthearted content that will boost engagement.
9. Create a Baseline of Posts Across Channels
Unfortunately, social media marketing is often relegated to the category of “stuff I’ll do when I have time.” But being inconsistent on social media isn’t going to look good for your brand.
Fortunately, just because social media channels are online 24/7, that doesn’t mean you have to be, too. You schedule posts far in advance using various tools. Create a baseline of posts for your business and then fill in the gaps with more spontaneous content that shows you’re still actively engaged.
10. Use Data to Determine What’s Working (and What Isn’t)
When you use digital marketing strategies to promote your business, data is vital. Without it, how will you know what is working and what isn’t? With social media, you might be getting a ton of engagement, but is it from the right audience and the right “type” of engagement?
For example, a small local business may not need to measure the number of followers they have on Twitter since an international following isn’t likely to generate local sales. But click-through rates can be a strong determinant of what’s working on social channels. In short, choose your metrics carefully and then measure the progress of your social media efforts.
Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses
Most businesses understand that having a social media presence is essential. But your business needs to go beyond just having profiles on various major channels. People want to experience your brand’s personality, and this takes commitment and resources.
At Connection Model, we specialize in helping brands discover the style and tone that will resonate with their audience and then finding the best way to distribute the message consistently and effectively. Contact us today to learn more about how our results-driven solutions can help your business in the coming year.
Written By: David Carpenter