A report recently published has suggested that as many as three quarters of small and medium-sized businesses within the UK do not feel that social media is important to their marketing strategy.
Over recent years, social media has grown in popularity amongst both individuals and businesses, particularly large multi-national corporations who are looking to engage and interact with their customers around the clock.
Yet despite many large businesses seeing the importance of social media in marketing terms, the latest survey has suggested that whilst 65 percent of businesses within nine employees or less, within the UK, do have a social media presence, only a quarter see it as being important for their marketing strategy – with the most popular platform being LinkedIn.
However, as marketing specialists, at JE Consulting, we believe that social media can play an important role in the marketing strategy of all businesses – from multi-nationals, through to small family run businesses, and one-man bands – and running a successful social media marketing campaign doesn’t need to be either expensive or time consuming.
Below, are some tips on how to create a social media marketing strategy at little cost or time to your business.
1) Know Your Audience:
It seems like almost every week there is a new social media platform available, from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, to Instagram, Whatsapp, Pinterest and Vine. But just because the platforms are there, it doesn’t mean you need to use them.
Instead, use the platform(s) which your audience are likely to be on, as this way you’ll be able to ensure that you are targeting those who will benefit from your marketing strategy, without worrying about how best to update this platform or that platform.
By knowing your audience and targeting the platforms they are likely to use, you can also ensure that you are using marketing methods which your audience will understand, which leads us on to point 2.
2) Tailor Your Message:
Unfortunately many businesses fall foul of creating a status for Twitter, and then copying and pasting this across the other social media platforms they run – yet this prevents businesses from taking full advantage of each platform, whilst also causing issue with the way marketing messages appear.
For example, on Twitter a powerful tool which all users should take advantage of is the hashtag, which enables tweets and users to be found via certain words and phrases; with the hashtag being a recognisable sign of Twitter.
However, whilst Facebook have begun to introduce the hashtag function, it does not have the same prominence or power it does on Twitter, and should ideally be left well alone when marketing via Facebook – and the same for LinkedIn, which does not recognise the function at all!
By copy pasting updates across all platforms, you run the risk of not only alienating clients who use one platform over another, but your marketing strategy is likely to look messy!
Instead, even if the message you want to share across all platforms is the same, you should tailor the text to suit the platform; using one short, eye-catching sentence on Twitter; and longer more detailed updates on Facebook and LinkedIn – taking advantage of the character limits the platforms provide.
3) Don’t Just Say it With Words:
Sometimes it is easier to share your message via a video or picture; and if you think this is the best way to market your latest product or service – then do it, especially as a previous study, which examined nearly half a million public tweets, found that tweets are more likely to be retweeted if they have a picture included.
Find out more about the benefits of using pictures and videos within your marketing strategy by reading our “Spread Your Message with a Picture”.
Whilst the above are three tips to begin running a successful social media marketing strategy for each business, it is important to remember that what works for one business won’t necessarily work for another.
Therefore the biggest tip we can provide businesses considering finally taking the plunge into implementing social media into their marketing strategy, is to just do it. Play around with the different platforms, see which works for your firm, which engages your audience and helps to drive your business.
Once you’ve found a strategy which works, continue to grow and expand the strategy ensuring that it continues to work in both the short and the long-term.
And for those businesses who are looking for further advice, guidance or support with their social media strategy, our marketing team at JE Consulting can help.