The fact that your business is small actually means that there is nothing small about your business. Since your business profile makes up for 99.9% of all US businesses, and the situation is similar in other portions of the world, your pool of competitors is as vast as it gets, and your challenge to stand out is all the greater in such an ecosystem. Nowadays, everything and everyone relevant is online, and in particular, on social media networks. No business, big or small, can afford not to be found on the social map, so refining your approach is the best way to make sure your brand succeeds.
Brand your content
We cannot stress this hard enough: there’s so much fish in the sea (remember the 99.9%) that having a mundane, generic presence is as good as pressing a self-destruct button on your brand. People are already fed up with the amount of content they see every day, so add a dash of dull and a pinch of boring to the mix, and you have the perfect recipe for failure. People come to social media to be informed, entertained, and to connect, but your brand has something unique to offer, and it deserves an equally unique presentation approach.
Before you start posting random content on your social profiles, do some research as to the type and frequency your target audience prefers. Some enjoy to see several posts every day, some prefer images with just a snippet of text attached, while others prefer entire stories to accompany your video and photo content. In addition to following their desires, let your brand voice emerge through every post – this is how you build an emotional connection and keep your brand memorable.
Tap into the world of influencers
Trends are constantly changing, but your purpose remains the same. Whether you’re a fashion designer with a little studio in the suburbs, or a team of fitness gurus, working with like-minded people who appreciate what you have to offer is the best way to stay relevant despite all the changing tides that come.
From celebrities and people with a massive following, all the way to those micro-influencers, the market for people whose voice matters is growing grander by the day. If they share your values and preferably already use your brand, you can team up with them to get more traction and gain more followers, while you also build up a reputation through genuine feedback from an actual customer.
Keep an eye on your results
All of the abovementioned efforts will do you little good if you don’t really check in on a regular basis to see the fruits of your labor. Have any of your social posts resulted in actual purchases? How about any engagement, shares, comments, and likes? Are your customers mentioning your brand on their own, or only when you set up a contest to incentivize their efforts? All of these and many other factors are crucial for you to understand how mighty your social impact truly is, and if you’re actually exceeding your own projections.
By using media monitoring tools, you can keep an eye on all of your campaigns, as well as on the impact your brand has outside the scope of your initiatives. You should always be aware of any conversations relevant to your brand that you didn’t initiate, so that you can react in time, act on any criticism, and possibly mitigate the damage. Of course, this also makes for a great opportunity to join a positive conversation regarding your brand and show your appreciation!
Combine flexibility with consistency
We’ve already mentioned that trends do play a role in managing your social media, but only to a certain extent. For example, customer preferences are always a good indicator as to choosing the right direction for your social media efforts, while staying ahead of any emerging trends gives you the chance to adapt in time and not lag behind.
On the other hand, consistency is another important factor to consider, since your potential customers should be able to recognize your brand in a split second. Social media thrives on novelty, so their feeds will be flooded with new posts, and yours need to pop with your brand presence, consistently so, alongside and despite any trendy changes. After all, since there are so many platforms to choose from, making your brand easily recognizable on all of your networks of choice is the key to attracting the right amount of traction.
Focus on engagement
The final piece of the social media puzzle is also an indicator of how well you’ve been doing thus far. Responding to messages in a timely fashion, posting comments, resolving issues, and inviting your audience to start their own conversations are all steps you should include in your engagement approach and evaluation.
Staying dormant for too long may ultimately cost you your business, so having a dedicated person or a social media team to keep track of your posts and be active during your work hours makes all the difference in building a reputation that will stand the test of time.