If you’re managing the social media channels for your small business, then the chances are that you run out of ideas for new content on a regular basis. You may choose to rehash the same special offers over again, tweet out links to relevant blog posts in your industry, or even create your own graphics with quotes and humorous content to keep followers engaged. But how can you get more out of your social media marketing, and ensure you get a return on your investment?
- Start content marketing
The benefits of content marketing for small businesses are endless – and they don’t only have an impact on your SEO and bounce rates. If you produce high-quality content on a regular basis, you can tweet and post it to your followers and give them a reason to click through to your website. And, after they’ve finished reading your content, there’s a chance they’ll sign up to your mailing list or share your new blog on their own social handles, opening your brand to a whole new audience.
- Stop hashtagging
You may think that, by including hashtags relevant to your industry, you’ll open your products and services to new people. Wrong. Nowadays, hashtags are seen as spammy, and won’t give you the true engagement you’re looking for. Sure, if you include twenty hashtags on your latest Instagram post, you’ll probably generate some likes – but the chances are that the majority of these come from robots. Stick to writing high-quality, engaging content, and leave cheap marketing practices behind.
- Get visual
Retweets, text posts and links are useful and still serve a purpose, but today’s internet users are more inspired by visual content. Indeed, posts with images, GIFs and videos generate more engagement than those without, so go all out and include as many visual elements as you can. One commonly overlooked visual aid is emoji – while it won’t be appropriate to use some emoji in some industries, adding a laughing monkey to the end of your tweets can make your brand more human.
- Respond to your followers
If a customer leaves a review on your Facebook page or tags you in a post on Instagram, don’t be ignorant – use their content to boost your brand. Respond to questions and comments, thank people for sharing your content and like, share and tweet as many of your users as you can. Showing the human side of your business is so important – and it can boost your brand in the process.
- Don’t automate
Automating your social media marketing can be useful and time-saving – but also dangerous. Avoid RSS feeds and aggregators, and keep scheduling to a minimum. If your accounts look robotic and formulaic, people won’t want to follow you or engage with what you do, because they won’t expect a response. Be active on your channels at least once a day, and if you’re going away for a holiday, hand over your passwords to a colleague or a friend so your brand is always up-to-date and online.
Marketing your business on social media can be cost-effective and good fun, but it’s important that you think of your followers and tailor your messages to their needs. Good luck.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Max Greene is the Managing Director of Muffin Marketing, a small business marketing agency offering content marketing, social media management and search engine optimisation.