If you ask the owners of small and medium-sized businesses about their biggest marketing goals for 2016, having a bigger social media impact ranks very high on the list. When you’re a busy small business owner, you know that creating original content and beautiful images is one hurdle; getting it seen by a receptive audience is another struggle. We sat down with our Director of Web Marketing Brock Murray for his insights into how SMBs can increase their social media impact in 2016:
As a business owner yourself, you know how busy and hectic it can be. What’s the best strategy for achieving their social marketing goals in a short time frame?
The best and most effective way to achieve your social marketing goals is to have a clear understanding of the needs/wants/desires of your target audience. When you understand the pain points of your customers and offer up convenient and accessible solutions in an engaging format, you’ve got a winning formula.
What social media dashboards would you recommend, and why?
First things first, a dashboard is a must-have! Whether it’s an extension like TweetDeck or a third-party platform like SproutSocial, these are huge time-savers. We are partial to Hootsuite for scheduling and organizing posts on the major social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn. For Instagram, we are still tinkering with the best platform for desktop-based scheduling/editing/publishing, but Autogrammer is promising.
Content is king, we hear it all the time. Give us the goods – how can SMBs create killer content?
Research and create personas that best represent your target demographic. From there, you need to understand the needs/wants/desires/pain points of your audience at every stage of the sales funnel. Create insightful, informative, entertaining, and captivating content based on these needs, in many different formats (text, video, infographic, slideshow – you get the picture).Try a variety of different approaches until you strike magic.
Why is a social strategy so important? Why is it worth the investment of time, effort, and money?
Aside from the obvious like sales and brand exposure, I think a realistic goal for SMBs is to foster “brand evangelists.” They feel invested in your business and will spread the word on your behalf with no extra effort or investment on your part. Easier said than done, but if you prove your worth it can be something special.
We’ve focused on how to do things right, but what about mistakes to avoid?
The biggest mistakes you want to avoid are of course social media faux-pas: embarrassing tweets, political cat fights on Facebook, hijacked branded hashtags, that sort of thing. You can avoid them by learning from other companies’ past mistakes, but the real trick is reputation management. Be thoughtful and genuine, and you can slide past most missteps.