With multitudes of social media platforms developed every day, it makes sense that marketers and business owners are frustrated.
According to Smart Insights, 2.8 billion people were active social media users in 2016. With so many options, it is overwhelming for small businesses to figure out where to focus their social media efforts.
The solution to beat this frustration is to get specific with marketing efforts. By narrowing your focus, you will be able to focus and discover exactly what you want marketing efforts to achieve. Here are four ways to get specific in your social media marketing.
1. Examine your product
One of the first places to start when it comes to building your social media strategy is to figure out which social platforms will be most beneficial for your brand.
Critically examining your product is an easy launching point to build your brand. This is where basic logistics come into play. Is your brand visual? Information-heavy? Based on consumer feedback? Factors like these are important when you consider where to focus your marketing.
If you’re promoting a lot of tutorials, Youtube and Pinterest are great platforms to use. If you’re emphasizing company culture, Instagram is a great app to feature your team intimately. Top Rank Blog has a great list of companies with excellent Instagram accounts if you’re looking for a little inspiration.
2. Look at your audience
Knowing who you’re marketing to is just as important as how you market to them. When you’re familiar with your audience it will prevent you from investing a lot of effort into sites and apps they don’t frequent.
“One of the most important steps you can take to create exceptional customer experiences is to fully understand and know your target audience,” Answer 1 reports. For example, reaching out to Millenials on Google + doesn’t make sense, since the platform is wildly unpopular with younger users. A Forbes study also showed, surprisingly, that Millennials are moving away from Facebook in favor of smaller, more personalized networks.
They are still very active on Facebook Messenger and Instagram, which are both owned by Facebook. That popularity isn’t going anywhere: these three sites are the most frequently visited social media apps, according to an extensive study by Smart Insights.
Facebook is also extremely popular with the older generation; 82% of baby boomers have a Facebook and spend almost all of their time online there, according to a DMN3 study. This means it’s a great place to market; the same study showed that: “Over half of Boomers who use social networking sites visit a company website or continue their research on a search engine as a result of seeing something on social media.”
The important thing here is understanding who enjoys your content. If you want to dramatically change your audience, you need to shake things up on social media and concentrate on demographics you want to influence. Jayson DeMers says, “If you’re not getting traction with one kind of content, keep experimenting.”
3. Start strong, stay strong
When working on a social media strategy, one absolutely essential element is your brand voice. Your brand voice is both conceptual and concrete: it’s the overall tone you want your social media presence to have as well as the style in your copy and advertising.
Forbes breaks it down well: voice is who you’re speaking to, what you’re saying, and how you’re saying it. The latter is especially important and often overlooked. The actual, literal words you use in social media posts are incredibly important, so don’t just shrug off Instagram captions or Tweets.
Using slang is going to have a different effect than using technical industry terms, but both can be effective when utilized correctly. Every piece you publish will contribute to your voice, and your overall message, so draft carefully.
If you’re just getting started on social media, don’t rush and hastily publish posts. It’s much better to start small and strong than to overextend your marketing team and burnout in the long run. Content Marketing Institute has a simple 5-step starting point, which includes defining your brand in three words, making sure your writers know how to execute your voice, and checking in overtime to make sure that voice holds up. If you pay special focus to discover the heart of your company and brand, a solid brand voice will follow.
4. Listen to feedback
Remember what we said about finding your audience? Now that you know who they are, you need to trust them. Reaching out for customer feedback can be a little scary, but it’s an excellent business move. By asking your clients for their opinions and concerns, you can put out potential fires before they start.
One of the ways you can do this is to utilize test groups during product development. Focus Group Tips says, “A market test is a roll-out of a product in a limited number of markets. What it reveals is how people use your new product and what they think about it. In short, a market test reveals consumer behavior and attitudes, producing valuable insights.”
You can’t opt out of feedback if you want to be successful. “For top performing companies ‘continuous improvement’ is not just a showy catchphrase,” says Snap Surveys. “It’s a true focus based on feedback from across the entire organization – customers, clients, employees, suppliers, vendors, and stakeholders.”
Another benefit of asking for customer feedback is an outsider’s point of view. When you’re working on social media internally, it can be easy to get tunnel vision. Weaker spots in your copy or voice might be overlooked, and this echo chamber effect will take a toll on your credibility long term.
When you ask your audience for their input, they feel valued. “Every customer interaction on your business’s social media accounts is an opportunity to publicly demonstrate your compassion for your customers,” explains Blue Fountain Media. “A brand devoted to customer satisfaction that takes the time to compose personal messages will inherently be viewed in a positive light, even if responding to a customer complaint.”
Improve your social media presence
When you’re more familiar with your product, audience, voice, and customers’ desires, you will make your social media presence a valuable asset to your company. Hinge Marketing breaks it down: “When used effectively, social media can be a platform for gathering key data, bringing in better job candidates, and optimizing your content marketing program.”
Social media strategy can make or break a company; make sure your business gets specific and thrives.
Parker Davis is the CEO of Answer 1, a leader in the virtual receptionist and technology-enabled answering services industry. He believes that the application of data analytics, investment in technology, and fostering a positive company culture together create highly efficient and scalable growth companies. In 2016, Answer 1 will achieve record revenues while also being awarded the Top Companies to Work For in Arizona award. Parker is also the Managing Partner of Annison Capital Partners, LLC, a private investment partnership. Connect with @answer1 on Twitter.