Being active on social media is a must for consumer-facing businesses. Social media is a source of entertainment and inspiration, and just as importantly, it has become a starting point for people who are starting their consumer journey. Now, opening an account and Tweeting, sharing or "liking" once in a while won't cut it. Here are four tips to ensure a solid strategy to reach social success.
1. Know your audience. Who is your target market? What is their average age? Sex? Education or income level? Are they big-city dwellers or suburbanites? Relationship status? Household formation? All of these insights can shed light on whether a social media user is interested in your offerings and how likely they are to buy into whatever it is you're selling. If you have an established business, then you likely already know the answers to these questions. Tap into your existing consumer research.
2. Choose a platform. Once you've pinpointed your target audience, hit 'em where they live - and these days, it's on social media. According to Statista.com, as of August 2019, Facebook accounted for 54.7% of all social media site visits in Canada, followed by Pinterest with 32.42% of market share, and Twitter ranking third at 7.55%. Each social platform has its strengths and attracts different audiences based on how they like to consume their media. Perhaps it's in video form, photos, short and to-the-point posts, or links to articles that showcase your expertise. Choose one or two social platforms and focus on developing quality, customized content to reach more consumers and convert them to clients.
3. Post, post, post! Zero-in on the posting content that performs well on your social channel of choice. Instagram and Pinterest are heavily skewed to visuals with minimal copy. Twitter, on the other hand, is great for sharing bite-sized news and articles. Video rules on Facebook and YouTube. Do your research and track your post metrics - but more on that later! Just as important as the post, is the follow-up. Engage your audience by responding to comments and soliciting their opinions can extend the life of your social content.
4. Check your metrics. As mentioned briefly, your social media metrics can tell you a lot about your successes and failed attempts, what your potential and current clients want, what you're doing right to get their attention, and how it's benefitting your big-picture business. Social content that does well organically will get more reach with some spend as a targeted "boosted post" or ad.
Most of us are already active on social media, with Statista.com estimating 25.3 million social network users in Canada in 2018 - a figure that's expected to grow to 27.1 million by 2023. As social networks evolve from fun and entertainment to information and marketing machines, ensure you're present where you're likely to be seen, and make the right first impression that could convert a follower into a loyal customer.