Social media is a huge development in marketing for small businesses, enabling you to connect with your customers at no cost. But how exactly do you use it effectively? What kind of content do you post? What time works the best? And, most importantly, how do you use social media effectively to grow your business? Well guess what, this guide is going to answer all your questions.
Here’s a top tip! Use the information in this guide to formulate your social media strategy, so that all your social media efforts deliver the best results for your business!
What to share
What kind of content should you be sharing on your business’ social media channels? Well, the simple answer is: content that your audience will value and find useful. That means you need to know exactly who your target market is, what their needs are and the information or solution they are looking for. Then you can provide information which they find useful, which they will want to share with their network and fully engage with.
Before you’re about to post anything on any of your social media channels, read through it. Does it have that WOW factor? How would your audience respond? If you were a customer who received that post, would you email that to a friend, or keep on scrolling? If it isn’t something that you would want to share, then it isn’t something that you should be posting.
When to share
This is where it becomes more difficult, particularly if you are on a busy schedule and you don’t have the time to set aside every hour or two to post something on social media – which most of us don’t. The truth is, despite what most people think, timing is absolutely crucial on social media – and if you get it right, it can really give you the competitive edge you need. For the highest engagement with your customers here is some guidance for each of your digital channels:
When posting on Facebook it’s usually best to do so at the weekends, or at least near the end of the week. For businesses which post on Thursdays and Fridays, there is an 18% higher engagement rate, which means that your customers will respond better and in larger numbers to your content – whether it’s a deal or a new blog post. On weekends. engagement rates can be up to 32% higher!
If you want to stand out on Twitter and draw attention to your posts, then it’s best to tweet during off-peak times – when there’s the least competition. If you post at less popular times then this will increase your chances of being seen. Oh, and here’s a top tip: post right before lunch. People love to scroll through Twitter during their lunch breaks!
Many businesses are now realising the potential of Google’s own social network, Google+. So, when do you need to post to have the greatest impact on your customers? It’s a little known fact that on Google+ traffic quickly disappears after 5PM, so you need to make sure that you avoid posting in the evenings, because it’s not going to make much of a splash. During the week traffic quickly builds after 9AM, peaking at noon - so again, try posting right before lunch to make the best use of your business’ presence on Google+!
If you’re looking to engage effectively with a network of professionals, then LinkedIn is certainly the place to do it. For the highest engagement rates on this social media channel, we highly recommend posting early in the morning (7AM-9AM) on weekdays and 5PM-6PM in the evenings. However, near the end of the week traffic fades dramatically after 3PM so avoid posting later on in the week.
If you have a presence on Pinterest, then listen up. Make sure that you post every Saturday morning! Traffic on Pinterest increases dramatically during the weekend, particularly at the start. During the week, the best times to pin are 2PM-4PM and 8PM-1AM – so for the highest engagement rates and the best results on Pinterest, these are the times to share with your customers.
How to share
Consistency is absolutely key if you want to consistently get good response rates from your customers and therefore deliver good long-term results for your business. People like consistency, and are found to engage much better with a brand that consistently communicates their message with them on a regular basis through digital channels such as social media. As a part of your social media strategy, you should clearly outline the tone you intend to use in order to create a clear, consistent message.
If you’re posting blog articles or free advice for your customers on social media, which you should be in order to add value to your audience – not doing this is one of the common mistakes businesses make online. Make sure that you uncover the gem in the article, show your customer clearly exactly how they will benefit from reading the article on your website and give them a clear call-to-action for the best results!
And that is what, when and how to share on social media! It sounds quite simplywhen you think about it really. However these essential guidelines are often ignored, which can only lead to poor customer engagement and wasted time. Use this information to formulate a more effective social media strategy which will enable you to communicate more effectively with your customer base and help you to reach new customers online, engage with them and convert them into loyal customers.