Small businesses understand they need a social media presence and a marketing plan that involves social networks, but fail to wow their audiences and create lifelong fans. Social media brings the opportunity to reach new customers and engage with current ones.
About 63 percent of consumers expect companies to have a social media presence and offer customer service via those channels. The problem is that businesses often fail in their customer service or even keeping a social media page updated. Your social media pages may not wow your audience and may also drive your customers into the arms of your competitor.
Here are nine ways social media pages struggle, as well as some tips on how to fix them.
1. Posting Whenever You Feel Like It
For each social media channel, there is an optimal time for posting. Your followers also come to expect posts from you on a regular schedule. Come up with a schedule and use a service such as Buffer or Hootsuite, so your posts go up at the right time.
This time varies from one social media site to another, but in the United States, about 80 percent of the population lives in the eastern or central time zones, so posting while people are most likely to be online is a smart move. Test out different schedules and study the data to find the time that works best for your audience.
2. Not Adding Images
Social media is a visual medium, so failing to include enough images reduces the chances that others will share your page. About 51 percent of marketers feel visual assets are a priority in content marketing.
Not only should you include images, but they should be personal and highly relevant to your business. Include pictures of your product in use or happy customers who also share a review of the product. Show a 360-degree view of your product and make it interactive.
Hoffman's Chocolates utilizes photos of their chocolates, events and their food in exciting compilations. When you land on their Facebook page, you instantly know they're selling chocolate. The images are unique to Hoffman's and pull social media users into their world.
3. Ending the Conversation Too Soon
Whether you meet people at a trade show or a public event, send them to your social media pageswith a unique hashtag. One big fail is not following up on the initial interaction and letting those leads slip through your fingers.
Have a plan to follow up with those who interact with you on social media. Capture their emails for a newsletter or send them a direct message thanking them for their interest and offering to answer any questions they might have.
4. Not Building Rapport
Building rapport with your audience takes time and attention to excellent customer service. Have a plan for the way you respond to customers on social media. If someone posts a complaint, what is your process for rectifying the issue and keeping a customer rather than losing one?
It takes several sales before customers feel loyal to your brand, and you must show consistent effort through each purchase. Otherwise, people find a competitor who does offer excellent customer service and throw their business to them.
5. Not Publishing Videos
Videos are the wave of the future for social media. In the last couple of years, the number of videos viewed each day has increased by 10 million. If you aren't utilizing social media to reach consumers with videos, you're missing out on a lot of potential traffic.
Videos allow you to brand your business by creating a similar experience across each video. Show your personality throughout your videos while sharing valuable information or entertaining your followers.
PlayStation has a rather popular Twitter account, with more than 16 million followers. They regularly post images of screenshots from their games and videos highlighting features of those games. Video captures the imagination of their followers and throws them into the software for a moment — a particularly effective strategy for engaging users.
The best infographics address the pain points of your target audience. Figure out what problems your customers have that you can solve. For example, if you sell used automobiles, then a pain point might be the cost of buying a new car. Create an infographic that shows how much value a new car loses as soon as you drive it off the lot and demonstrates the benefits of buying used.
7. Worrying Too Much About Sound
While sound quality does matter, studies show that most people watch videos without the sound turned on. On Facebook, about 85 percent of people turn the sound off when viewing videos.
To combat people turning off the sound, you need captions or some type of text direction at crucial points in your video. Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer watching a video on a mobile device on a break at work or while riding in the subway. How can you still get the message across even if the sound is off?
8. Not Showing Your Product or Service in Action
Part of your social media presence is educating the consumer about your product or service and how it helps them. Show the product in action, so the user sees ways of adding your brand into their daily lives. Tell stories about how other customers use your products. Post videos of unique ideas your marketing department creates. Make your product stand out from all the others out there.
A2 Milk does an excellent job on their Instagram account of showing their product in action. Note the images of A2 milk being used with cereal, to make a shake or in hot cocoa. They also feature images of children with A2, showing those who've had milk allergies can now enjoy a glass of milk.
9. Concentrating on Only One Platform
Social media marketing is time-consuming, so it's tempting to throw all your focus onto the platform that seems to draw most of your customers. While you don't need to be on every single social media platform, you should have a presence on several that make the most sense for your business. Study the typical users of each platform and choose two or three with registrants closest to your target audience.
Take Your Social Media Presence From "Blah" to "Wow!"
If your social media pages feel a bit lacking, then adding in the elements mentioned above should create a wow factor. Think about what makes your brand unique and special and highlight those features of your business on your social media networks.
This is a guest post by Lexie Lu.
Lexie Lu is a storyteller and UX strategist. She enjoys covering topics related to UX design, web design, social media and branding. Feel free to subscribe to her design blog, Design Roast, or follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.
If you are a small business owner, creating new content for your business to publish and post to your website and social media is ... hard!
Sometimes you feel time is better spend on other tasks like
paying billsmanaging employeesordering new productdealing with vendorsseeking out new sponsors
just to name a few tasks that will take your time day after day!
Reality is though, that if you don't market your business, and if you put no time, effort and money into marketing, your leads will dry up and your business will fail.
Maybe not tomorrow.
Or next month.
Maybe not even next year.
But eventually your audience will change, and you will need to find new leads.
Social Media is a Great Marketing Tool
Notice I didn't say social media is the best marketing tool, or the only marketing tool. Social media is a great marketing tool if used in conjunction with other marketing efforts!
Social media gives you leads, not sales.If there is already so much content online, the next question come to mind:
Why do you need to create your own content?
Here Are 5 Reasons Why Creating Your Own Content is Important
branding - grow your brand and become recognizable offline and online
messaging - be in charge of what your customers learn. Educate and entertain your audience
audience - target the right people wit the right messages
web traffic - original content leads to more web traffic
influence - be the thought leader in your industry
Sharing curated (other people's) content can be part of your overall marketing strategy, yet creating your own content builds brand authority and isn't that the goal of marketing; becoming the authority in your industry/space?
Keeping it real here...
HOW do you get (and stay) motivated to create content?
Even the professional content creators get stuck sometimes. We do it day in day out and even though we might have great ideas, implementing the ideas and executing the creating part isn't always on top of our list.
Therefore I've put together my most successful content creation hacks.
4 Content Creation Hacks to Get Fired Up About!
1. Caffeine Try caffeinating yourself to get you ready for content creation; if chocolate and coffee aren't your thing, find something that will do the same! Meditation or exercise - whatever it is; you need a sharp and focused mind to create content!
When you feel unmotivated, call or message a friend! Have a meaningful exchange; a friendly chit-chat or a deep conversation. Connecting with a like-minded individual who understands you is invaluable to getting yourself motivated to take action!
When you are stuck on what to create or produce, think about everything in life that gives your life meaning; channel your passion and effort! Where lies your passion, what do you love to do, eat, read, watch and who do like to hang with?
Without goals, you are just wishing. Set content goals and add tasks to your calendar! Only then, when you take content creation seriously, will it become an important task in your work week!
Ready To Learn More About Creating Content?
I've teamed up with Christine Gritmon, a fellow social media consultant and strategist who also serves local small businesses, much like I do at More In Media.
We are producing a 3-day challenge of 'How To Social' on Feb. 5-7, 2019 followed by two free webinars!
We’ve got a three-level strategy to help you dominate your content marketing in 2019!
You can do it - we’ll show you how!
3-Day How to Social Challenge
Kickstarting your content strategy for 2019 with three easy, actionable to-do items and an active online community to support you on your journey. Connect with fellow small business owners who are facing the same challenges you are, exchange ideas, and give/receive encouragement - we’re all in the same boat!
What is “content strategy”? How do you use it? We’ll talk about the many different content types you can create and what works best on each social media platform in 2019 so that you can focus on what’s best for you, your audience, and your business goals.
This is where the good stuff is! We’ll dig deep into how best to reach your own local audience (hint: it’s not ONLY about social media!), how to create an authentic and sustainable online brand, and how to get your message out there to your target audience most effectively - for as little money (and time!) as possible.
What Is How To Social?
We’re two small-local-business, social-media-loving digital marketing strategists who have joined forces to bring you the best content marketing knowledge we have to offer. We work with busy small business owners just like you, day in, day out. We know your pain points - and how to help you past them. We will teach you how to conquer the never-ending demand for social media content once and for all with real-life examples, actionable tips and easy-to-duplicate strategies, built around your busy schedule.Dorien Morin-van Dam has been working with small business owners since 2011, supporting them in their quest for online brand recognition, viable leads and content creation. Dorien is a social media consultant, trainer and keynote speaker. She is a regularly featured expert on CBS where she shares social media strategies, live video tips and the marketing news for businesses. You'll recognize Dorien online and on-stage by her signature orange glasses, a nod to her Dutch heritage.
Christine Gritmon helps small, local businesses be less intimidated by social media so that they can take better advantage of the incredible community-generating opportunities these platforms offer - all with an eye towards strategy, efficiency, and, most of all, personality! Christine loves public speaking, group workshops and training sessions, as well as working one-on-one to help over-stressed small business owners realize that they CAN do it! She’s easy to spot in a crowd by the bright-red ends of her hair (and the selfie light on her ever-present iPhone).
What is The Best Way To Get Started with Video Marketing?
It's so simple!
You would think that with all the technology people already have in their home, they would know how to create cheap (read: free) videos with the one TOOL they own.
As a speaker, I have this one joke I repeat on stage when I talk about video marketing. It goes like this.
"If I were a betting woman, I’d put my money on the smartphone to be the one item everyone in this room not only owns - but has with them today. Then again, I might lose this bet to ...underwear, since statistics tell me that more of you in this room have their smartphone with them, than are wearing their underwear today!"
I show a picture of underwear just as I mention that word and often it gets not just chuckles, but some good old belly laughs!
Smartphone Video Marketing Is Easy!
Check out this video - I explain why using your smartphone for video marketing is just... brilliant.
Caution: watching this clip might make your crave pistachios!
If you are hungry after watching this video clip, don't blame me!
Smart Tip: Use The Tools You Own To Start Creating Videos!
Why not use the tools you already own to start creating awesome video, meaning:
smartphone for recording
headset as a remote for your phone
iPad as a teleprompter
free iMove or Moviemaker to edit videos
books or up-side-down laundry basket to hold your phone
outdoor setting and lighting for best video and audio results
Grab Your Smartphone and Record Yourself!
The thing is, most people I know already take videos of their friends, their pets, their kids and spouse. Why not turn the camera on yourself and start recording videos to tell the world about your business?
Stay tuned here for more video marketing tips and easy-to-implement ways to get past your fear of the camera. Together, we can!