Customers think that small businesses' social media accounts are performing 33 percent below their expectations, according to a national survey in August 2013 by the Web.com Group, Inc.
A couple of reasons for the problem -
- Business owners are not viewing the purpose of social media through the customers' perspective: When consumers use social media, they seek empowerment, interactions and an emotional connection, while small business owners use social media to promote awareness, increase traffic and increase sales. Business owners are not bridging the gap between the two points of view.
- Business owners are not posting content that communicates with the unique audience using each of the social media channels, nor are they fully leveraging the platforms' features.
As promised, here are the 5 suggestions to planning social media content:
1. Discover for yourself what the consumer-and-business engagement experience looks like by registering for personal social media accounts and using them: Even if you do not have the interest in social media as a private individual, giving each platform a spin will help you gauge the types of business promotions that you think are effective. It takes only a few minutes to register for an account, and interacting on each account with businesses and other people for a few minutes will give you an experience similar to your business's current and potential customers.
2. Find out what your target customer enjoys doing on social media by learning about the unique features available on each social media platform: Each social media platform works differently. For example, Pinterest is an image-only type that links to web pages, while Twitter is a newsfeed networking tool for gathering and re-posting the latest news bits and looping individuals and businesses into the user's circle of influence. You can learn about all of the social media channels, by reading about and using them.
3. Know where your target customer is on social media by learning about the user demographics for each platform: Women use Pinterest, urban professionals use Twitter and Babyboomers and all other age groups use Facebook. If posts and content are not speaking to the audience, you are missing an opportunity to connect and promote your services. Read the social media demographics infographic by the Pew Research Center that will give you details about each one. Cross reference the user data with your user personas to prioritize your posting.
4. Putting it all together -- Post content that utilizes the unique features of each account and speaks to its audience: Think about the social media channels that your customer will most likely use. Is your customer an urban male in his 30s? He would use Twitter and Facebook most frequently. Or a female in her 20s? She would be partial to using Pinterest and Instagram. Post content optimized to the most relevant channels.
5. Keep track of how successful your efforts are at a glance by using a social media specific analytics tool to track usage and traffic: Use a free social media analytics tracking tool that merges with Google Analytics, such as HootSuite or Klout, and gives you social media specific data, charts, graphs and scoring for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Vine, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Foursquare, that can help you gauge how many customers your strategy is reaching and converting.
A local search marketing company can ensure that your social media accounts are optimized for search for your local customers, a terrific way to build community buzz around your products and services and increase revenue!