Social media is a fantastic tool for attracting and engaging with your customers.
Social media has been a key marketing tool for several years, however the shift to digital over the last two years has made it more important than ever. While we have seen media spend increase across several platforms, a huge budget isn’t a prerequisite for fantastic results – these can still be achieved by following simple best practice steps.
Whether new to social media or wanting to take your business pages to the next level, here are four top tips to keep in mind.
1. Be visible and available
Regularly posting on your social channels is key to getting your business noticed. How often you post will vary depending on each platform, but most businesses aim to post around 3 to 5 times a week. This will keep your business at the front of customers’ minds and social feeds, without bombarding them with content.
Each social channel has their own best times to post, so this is a good starting point when looking at upping your social presence. The best times to post globally by platform are:
- Best times: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
- Best days: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
- Worst day: Saturday
- Best times: Tuesday 11 a.m.–2 p.m., Monday through Friday 11 a.m.
- Best day: Tuesday
- Worst day: Sunday
- Best times: Wednesday 9 a.m.– 3 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 9–11 a.m.
- Best day: Wednesday
- Worst day: Saturday
- Best times: Tuesday and Thursday 9 a.m.–noon, Wednesday 9 a.m.–2 p.m.
- Best days: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
- Worst day: Sunday
However, be sure to experiment with posting times to see what works best for your business and your audiences. If you find that your best results come from ‘out of hours’ timings, consider a scheduling tool such as Sprinklr, Hootsuite and Oktopost to help your content go live. You might also want to consider FAQs or chat bots on websites to help pick up any questions or queries that come in during early or later hours.
2. Create and share content that is informative and relevant
Once you’ve found when your audiences want to hear from you, consider what they want to hear about. This will help you plan the kind of content to post. Different content types work well for different purposes, so it’s important to keep your plans varied and to consider the ‘why’ of each post – what you are hoping to achieve from it. Objectives to consider may include:
Sharing news and updates on your industry, your company culture and what you stand for will help customers learn about your business and what you do. This helps to boost engagement drives customer and brand loyalty, as audiences feel they know you. You could host webinars on topics specific to your industry and promote events, sales and how-to guides. This is all content that helps to entice new customers to your business as it showcases your brand, and keeps conversations about you, your products, services and/or industry flowing.
If you have products or services that are complicated or jargon heavy, consider short films and infographics as a way of breaking these down and making them more accessible and easier to understand. Visual examples of how you have helped a customer can inspire others, encouraging them to visualise how you would be able to help them too. Other content options could be blog posts, case studies, Q and A sessions and news updates.
There are several options you can use to help customers in the consideration phase, which will play a key role in them choosing you as a business. Always be authentic and credible, acting as your own advocate for ‘purpose beyond profit’. Share customer stories and create content that directs visitors to tailored support and information that ensures they get what is most relevant to them. This could be by showcasing your plans to be more socially responsible or even by asking for your audience’s opinions on certain topics as a way of demonstrating that you are putting them and their concerns first.
3. Conversations are key
You can gain great insights through conversations with your customers, and you can receive direct feedback from them through social media. Try using polls on Facebook or Instagram stories, or simply ask people to comment with their opinions, feedback or suggestions on your social posts.
Make sure you engage in conversations relevant to your industry, as this will boost the visibility of your business. Search relevant hashtags and join in discussions; this is a great way to promote your knowledge and expertise on a subject and can expose your business to new customers.
4. Stand for something
Be sure to think of your business’ ethics and beliefs and use the above points to build on this. What do you want your social channels to say about you as a company?
Vodafone’s Future Ready Report found that 72% of consumers are more demanding when it comes to seeing brands serve a wider purpose than just their core business. Social responsibility, sustainability and ethical behaviour all play a bigger role than ever in consumer decision making.
Furthermore, having a purpose can help your business stand out in a crowded market. This doesn’t need to be a worldwide campaign but can be as simple as supporting a charity where you can host virtual fundraisers. If you have taken actions to be more ecologically responsible, you could launch a competition for social fans to guess how much plastic you’ve cut back on, for example. Consumers want to know about the social impact brands are having, so if you have made the extra effort to be more sustainable or be a helping force in community projects, be sure to shout about it and share your stories.
To continue to help Britain’s small businesses enhance their digital marketing capabilities, Vodafone has launched Digital Marketing Boost, a new proposition which rewards customers with a £200 social media advertising credit, a free virtual business consultation with a V-Hub digital advisor, access to the business.connected program and a 50% discount on a monthly ‘WeWork All Access’ subscription for six months, worth £900. To find out how Digital Marketing Boost can help your own small business, click here.
If you want to find out more, speak to a Vodafone V-Hub adviser today.