Social media marketing is important for growing a brand in today’s market. But small businesses need to focus more heavily on promoting quality content, rather than producing a high volume.
Posting too frequently – especially when the messages carry little value to consumers – can be a big turn-off. The key to engaging with potential customers is to identify their interests, and then produce content that appeals to them accordingly. An ineffective social media presence can actually hurt a business, rather than helping it.
Steer clear of failure by maintaining a consistent voice and product
The Huffington Post contributor Richard Lorenzen wrote that small businesses often stretch themselves too thin with their social media campaigns – that is, they do too much. He advised that these companies need to be patient, and that effective marketing takes a great deal of time and dedication. Often, SMBs get excited by the prospect of social media and sign up for too many different accounts, Lorenzen said. It can be a challenge to maintain and interact with consumers on multiple platforms, and many businesses overreach by trying to manage a presence on every channel out there.
Lorenzen asserted that this practice can actually be more harmful than helpful in many cases. He suggested that marketing efforts should be focused on a select few different platforms. Each individual will find a certain network more beneficial than another one, so there are no one-size-fits-all options.
The best way to define which social media channel is best for your business is to determine the interests and tendencies of your target demographics, Lorenzen said. Notably, younger audiences may be more drawn to Snapchat or Instagram, while middle-aged people might be more active on Facebook.
After figuring out your audience’s desires, Lorenzen said the most important aspect of social media marketing is to ensure that your campaign maintains its quality. If you commit to operating too many different accounts, this can be a huge challenge, which is why focusing primarily on a smaller number of different platforms is so imperative to success. The author argued that a single post that garners attention and multiple responses is more valuable than 50 posts that receive no attention. Frequently, but not obsessively, posting quality content is the best way to achieve success on social media.
Develop comprehensive strategies for B2B
Karen Sherrill of the Chattanooga Times Free Press said that in order for business to business-oriented marketing to be impactful, companies need to plan extensively. Establishing measurable goals and using analytics to define success are key components of this, she said. Data collection and analysis are more accessible than ever before, and Sherrill pointed out that a number of tools are available that can help social media users assess the value they are gaining by operating their accounts.
The author also noted that there are various different strategies to help determine which kinds of content to post, and when. In general, SMBs should aim to post relevant news that is produced by industry experts, as well as original content and some promotional elements. How you choose to distribute these categories may depend on your audience’s interests or the standard dictated by leaders in your particular industry.
In addition, Sherrill advised that certain social media platforms – Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, etc. – can be more valuable than others depending on the situation at hand. For example, she said that LinkedIn is the best way to engage with other professionals within your industry, which is helpful for B2B marketing. But Twitter can offer instantaneous communication with other businesses and potential clients on a much more casual level, while Facebook is more consumer-oriented. Depending on your marketing goals – which should be focused on the target audience’s interests – each format can have varying degrees of value.
Another important aspect of growing a brand through social media accounts is to post consistently, Sherrill said. The types of content involved might vary, but in order to establish your organization as a thought leader within your industry, she said that frequent and relevant posting is vital. Within the scope of B2B marketing, she warned that updating an account multiple times per day may not be appropriate – this strategy is generally acceptable for consumer-oriented marketing, but not for appealing to other professionals.
Social media can be a huge benefit for small businesses, but it can also be a hindrance when implemented unsuccessfully. Developing a comprehensive strategy that will allow your organization to grow a strong and recognizable brand with consumers and potential business partners alike is an integral part of the process, and SMBs need to be careful not to overdo it with the frequency and volume of their posts. Finding a happy medium of quality content and timeliness is the best way to see great returns on social media marketing.