Using social media to your small business’s advantage is a key milestone to your SEO and marketing strategy. Gaining exposure through social media is a very achievable goal, but there are many considerations when developing a robust social media marketing strategy. There are also plenty of simple methods for streamlining your social media posting which will save time, optimise efficiency and contribute towards a well rounded online presence for your company. With the rise in popularity of social media platforms, search engines had to factor social media into SEO. Your social media activity contributes to your online presence overall. If you are the topic of online discussion, search engines recognise this and account for it.
Where to start
Outlining and defining a social media marketing strategy and a posting schedule is a helpful first step to clarifying your goals and outlining how you intend to achieve them. Whether you wish to make sales, improve your SEO and organic traffic to your website, or simply engage more actively within your target communities, understanding what you wish to achieve will aid your understanding of how to move forward. When you have an understanding of what you would like to achieve, you must decide which social media platforms would be the best fit for your business.
Looking into the differences in community, format, type and style of exposure on the various social media platforms will also help you to determine the best fit for your business. From the short and sweet regular tweeting of Twitter to the visual-focused Pinterest, each has its pros and cons. Sometimes what you have to present can be a defining factor in where you are best to target online; which leads us to the next key step.
Preparing your content
Quality, captivating and engaging content is vital to social media success. Eye-catching imagery, preferably original rather than stock images, or perhaps even bespoke illustrations are an excellent way of establishing a recognisable brand identity. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a variety of content. The more attention drawn to your posts and content, the further established your business will become online.
Video content is also a vital aspect of social media content these days. With the rise of platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and Facebook’s move towards reels, search engine algorithms have had to acknowledge the shift in the online community and react to it. Video content is a very current form of content, the value of which is not to be underestimated. Bonus: most platforms are utilising it.
Content repurposing is a wonderful way of managing and distributing your content. Maintaining pattern language across online platforms is vital to establishing and affirming brand affinity, so if your intention is to host a presence on multiple social media platforms, having an interconnecting strategy can save you a great deal of time and stress thinking of new posts and content for every individual platform
Think carefully about how you can maximise the impact of these posts, embedding focused long-tail, mid and short-tail keywords and keyphrases where appropriate. Consider carefully your online voice for social media; do you wish to present yourself in a more light-hearted, personal manner compared to your more serious website? Will you maintain a serious, professional online demeanour? Whatever you decide, keep it consistent. Building familiarity with your customers and managing expectations of how your audience hear from and interact with you will aid your decision making in how you design and write your social media posts.
For each social media platform, you will have a different set of priorities to consider visually for setting up your profile. Most social media platforms include a bio and caption space of some variety, which offers the opportunity to explain who you are as a brand (preferably with a few carefully selected keywords embedded in this description).
A profile picture must be carefully selected (perhaps a company logo?) and a cover photo for the very top of your page. This can be updated regularly and be used to draw attention to specific campaigns or key products and sales; for example, if you are hoping to make ticket sales, the larger cover image on your profile could be a banner advertising the ticket sales so that any user who views your profile sees this immediately.
Another common consideration is content buckets. On platforms such as Pinterest, content buckets (or “pinboards” as they are called on this particular platform) are the primary concern in how your page is presented. For Instagram, “highlights” present an opportunity to showcase previous content shared via Instagram-live or stories at the top of your profile above your photo gallery, but below your bio description. While stories are only designed to remain viewable for 24 hours, highlights can keep them permanently featured. Try to consider how you would like to organise your content in advance. Would highlighting product information be beneficial? Showcasing positive reviews, or pointing readers towards the blog posts you would most like to push traffic towards? Pay attention to what you want to achieve and what you wish to be seen most, then outline the most appropriate structure to reflect this.
How you post
Finally, streamlining how you post your content can make all of the difference to the impact your posts make. The more time you can save by optimising the efficiency of your social media posting, the more time you will have to focus on other areas of your business.
It can be beneficial to establish a template format for your social media posts. This enables you to maintain a common format for your images and accompanying text which can speed up your ability to customise your images further, ready for posting.
Understanding the best time to post on the various platforms can make all the difference in how many people see your post quickly, and potentially the level of engagement your post receives. Once you have an understanding of this, it may be worth scheduling multiple posts in advance. It is possible to do this on third-party platforms, such as Hopper HQ, Hootsuite or Tailwind, and many others, however, if you are using Facebook and Instagram specifically, Facebook’s Creator Studio also allows you to manage posting in advance. Scheduling your posts in advance enables you to work on other tasks at the time your social media posts go live, giving you a level of flexibility in your general workstreams. While posting in advance is a very useful tool, it is important not to neglect the monitoring and reacting to current social media affairs as a result of your advanced social media content posting schedule.
Taking initiative and being aware of social media trends, current affairs and key influences of the platforms on which you host a presence shows your audience that you are relevant, active and to a measured extent; reactive. Social Listening is an excellent way to monitor online external chatter about your small business, website or blog and respond actively. Pay close attention to social media trends that impact your target audience, as this is a fantastic way of staying connected to your community. Your more dedicated followers may look out for your response to current affairs, so stay in touch with what your readers are engaging with and react accordingly.
Widen your niche
Consider engaging with a variety of groups within social media platforms with common interests related to your small business
Strategic hashtags are excellent additional streams for connecting with wider online communities. Whether these are hashtags designed for an online movement, connected to specific events or simply to bring together like-minded people, communities of like-minded people track and tap into these hashtags, making them powerful routes to building engagement. Tapping into niches within your target audience is simple, effective and absolutely worth consideration. We have previously outlined the benefits of hashtags to give you a more in-depth understanding.
Managing your social media posts can be a minefield, from the design of posts to clarifying the most effective scheduling. If you are interested in having a conversation about your social media marketing strategy, we would love for you to get in contact. We would be happy to help.
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