It’s estimated that nearly 3 billion people worldwide use social media; from Snapchat to Twitter social media is shaping how we share and receive information.
According to a recent ofCom* report revealed that 77% of small businesses use social media sites and apps to market their business as it is cheap to access and doesn’t require large advertising departments or costly services. With 84% of adults in the UK using social media every day how can small business ensure they are making the most of this valuable marketing channel?
Below I share my top three tops on how small businesses should use social media:
- Know your audience
Find out what platform works best for your business. Facebook is one of the most popular platforms among UK adults online and the second most popular platforms among 18-29 years old. Although Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat are often mentioned in mainstream or trade media, their use remains relatively ‘contained’ among UK adults online. Women are most likely to use social media on a daily basis; with LinkedIn being the only platform in favour of men.
One of the key success factors with social media marketing is planning. Be sure to devise an annual social media strategy that would work well for your business. Include the type of advertisement that would help your brand grow and the content you would like to share on each platform. Include all social campaigns you would like to run throughout the year and schedule dates for specific content. Each month review all your social media channels using the platforms analytics to assess the number of followers you’ve gained on each platform and to analyse which content brings you the most engagement. I find having quarterly reviews is a great way to monitor and track progress.
Using tools like Hootsuite can help to decrease the time you spend managing your social channels. This gives you the opportunity to share one post to all your social channels as well as scheduling your tweets throughout the day/weeks.
If you have the budget to spend on your social media channels and would like to engage with your followers, then get creative with social campaigns and competitions throughout the year. This gives your followers the chance to win prizes and engage more with your channel.
On certain channels hashtags can be a great way to increase and track engagement. Twitter reports that tweets with hashtags double your engagement. Tweets with one or two hashtags have a 21% higher engagement than those with three or four. Instagram is a hotspot for hashtags. Interactions are highest on Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags. However, if you’re looking to share something on Facebook, posts without hashtag fare better than those with a hashtag.
So that’s my three top tips for social media success; know your audience, plan and get creative.
*Source: Office of Communications (ofCom)-UK “The SME experience of communications services: research report” conducted by Jigsaw Research, Jan 4, 2017