Whether through content marketing or paid ads, your small business will need to apply the effort to reach an increasingly digital audience. In the last decade, social media advertising has grown into a $50 billion industry, and it’s expected to grow even further into the future. Also, it’s not just younger generations that devour content on these channels. By 2020, 54 percent of Facebook users will be at least 35 years old. As more and more consumers gravitate towards social media to interact with family, friends, and businesses, your brand will need to be ever-present on these platforms. On a psychological level, users value the transparency and behind-the-scenes insight social media can offer them. Here’s how your small business can use social media to stay at the forefront of your audience’s minds.
No. 1: Streamline your brand’s appearance and marketing/advertising team. First things first, your small business ought to clearly identify its brand’s appearance, values, and message and apply it to any existing materials. Before you even embark on any social media advertising, your business will want to make sure its logo, website, and landing pages are sleek, modern, and user-friendly. Issuu is a prime example of a brand that has cultivated an engaging user-experience. Generating leads and increasing brand exposure will be nearly impossible if your social media ads click-through to an outdated website. Next, you will want to make sure your advertising team has been streamlined, so your brand’s message remains consistent. The more hands that are involved in the ad process, the more opportunity there is for inaccuracies and inefficiencies. You may also want to consider outsourcing your business’ social media advertising to an agency comprised of creatives and professionals who know the ins and outs.
No. 2: Focus on customization. What makes social media advertising truly unique is that it lends itself to highly personalized targeting. This means your business can send the right message to the right person at the right time. The modern consumer demands customization, which has led to a 184 percent increase of the average number of ad campaigns per client. Social media advertising also allows your business to see the analytics of each customized campaign. With this information, your brand can ascertain which campaigns are performing well and which ones can be improved. As a result, the entire process becomes a lucrative learning opportunity for your small business.
No. 3: Pay attention to (and boost) your Quality Score. On Google, Facebook, and Twitter, your small business can actually measure the metrics of its ad content. These scores rate the quality and relevancy of your keywords as well as your pay-per-click ads. A higher quality score means your business’ ad will receive a higher ad impression share for the same budget at a lower cost per engagement. This is what your brand should strive for. To increase engagement rates, only promote your brand’s very best content, the top-performing 1 to 3 percent. Your small business can post this content organically at first, analyze its results, then pay to promote what performs best.
No. 4: Target your audience. As mentioned earlier, social media advertising lets your brand get super specific with targeting your ads to segments of your audience. By targeting certain groups based on income, interests, values, and preferences, your small business will see more engagement with your social media ads and ultimately, your brand. It will be crucial for your small business to breakdown its current, homogenous audience blob into separate groups in order to target them well.
No. 5: Promote your content on multiple social media platforms. Besides Facebook, Twitter, Google+, your business will want to share its content on other existing platforms including Medium, Hacker News, Reddit, Digg, and LinkedIn. All of these sites receive considerable traffic and will be important for enhancing your brand’s exposure. When utilizing additional platforms, your small business can either post new content or repurpose its existing content. The latter will give new audiences the opportunity to discover your brand and consume past and existing content with minimal investment.
No. 6: Increase engagement with platform-specific promotions. Another way to boost engagement (especially when just starting out on social media) is to create a promotional contest or giveaway available to only one social media platform. The prize or giveaway should provide value but doesn’t need to be costly or expensive for your business. This will give your current audience(s) the idea to tune into your social media profiles and also entice new consumers to try out and pay attention to your brand. By 2020, it’s expected that 7 out of 10 internet users will be active on social networks. To sustain growth, your business will need to occupy these social platforms that are slowly becoming home to more and more people.
Blog by Melissa McElhose, the NALA staff writer