For those who are unaware, June 30th was Social Media Day. Mashable launched the event in 2010 as "a way to recognize the digital revolution" in which social media served as a catalyst. Social Media Day 2013 took place in 325 different communities through a number of meetups geared towards discussion about how social media has impacted both our personal and professional lives. Because social media has a relatively low-cost, but high ROI in terms of engagement and brand awareness, it's becoming a big focus for small business marketers. Your small business can be successful with social media by choosing the right things: networks, content, and targets.
Related: Top Digital Marketing Tips for SMBs
Choose the Right Networks
Not every business will find success on every network and chances are you don't have enough time to dedicate to really getting the most out of more than a few platforms. Choose wisely! While Facebook and Twitter are givens for most, how do you decide the next one or two for focus? Retailers, bakeries and small eateries may find greater success on sites such as Pinterest, Foursquare, Yelp or Instagram. Software companies, online marketing consultants and may benefit more from having a blog, getting on Google+ and optimizing their LinkedIn company pages. Do an analysis of your competitors to see what social networks they are on and on which of those they are seeing the most success. This can help you narrow down the available options.
Related: Outsource your social media efforts and save valuable time!
Choose the Right Content
Different networks require different content. Image sizing, character counts and the types of images that do well aren't all the same across all networks. Here's a bit of information on optimizing your social presence with the right content for each network:
- A social media sizing cheat sheet can help you determine the ideal dimensions for images on each network. If you have trouble finding the right sizes of images to create, take a look at that social network's developer page.
- Curalate found that most people on Pinterest want tightly cropped and photos with textured backgrounds images that really showcase a product. These tend to perform the best.
- Sysomos reported that most retweets occur within the first hour of the original tweet being posted and Dan Zarrella found that tweets with between 120-130 characters get the highest CTRs.
- According to HubSpot, photos on Facebook pages received 53% more likes and 104% more comments than the average post.
- Syncapse found that 42% of people become a brand fan on Facebook to get a coupon or discount and 35% did so to participate in contests.
Choose the Right Targets
With each Facebook post, Tweet, or Pin, make sure you are targeting the right audience for your business that can be found on that network. Now that you've determined the networks that can benefit your business and how to tailor your content for each based on length, sizing and type of post, make sure the types of content you are actually creating are geared towards specific audiences you're trying to reach or the demographic of a particular network you're publishing on. Recent reports from Docstoc and Pew Research Centre indicate that:
- Women are 5 times as likely as men to use Pinterest and those women are likely to be higher-educated, affluent women.
- 67% of online adults use Facebook, followed by 20% using LinkedIn.
- Facebook is most appealing to women, ages 18-29, and Twitter is most appealing to African-Americans and urban residents of the same age.
- 78% of Facebook Fans are current Brand users (Syncapse, June 2013)
Social media networks are where you can engage in conversations with customers and promote your products. Make your time spent on these networks more about your customers. If you focus on providing your customers with value, whether it is a piece of content or a coupon, on social media, you'll be more successful. As a final tip, make sure you are paying attention to the online reviews about your business. Answer questions and complaints in a professional matter, focusing on great customer service. Ignoring outreach could be damaging for your business.