Social media strategy is one of the main concerns conveyed by our prospective clients when they approach our digital marketing agency. Part of these prospects is new small businesses that have never had to deal with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest as a business tool. However, many of those prospects are established small companies that already have social media accounts and are facing challenges in that area.
Today we'll explore some of the social media strategy issues that established small businesses usually face gathered from our own experience in helping our clients.
Understanding your social media issues
The first thing we do when evaluating a prospective client's online presence is to diagnose both the website's performance (with a big focus on SEO performance) and their social channel's statistics (with a focus on targeted engagement). Amongst the many social media strategy issues we see, some of them are pretty common across the board.
1) Lacking engagement
Some of our clients have a good following, but their content isn't breaking the engagement barrier. Social Media can be a tough task if you don't have a good strategy - producing content is one thing, but engaging your audience is an entirely different game. That's especially tough for small businesses that may have limited resources.
Consider: Do you know who your audience is and the things they want to consume? Is the content you're sharing attractive to your customer avatar? Are you leveraging each social media platform to garner maximum engagement?
Do: Design your client's avatar. There are many free tools to do that, and one of our favorites is Hubspot's Make My Persona tool. Once that's done, listen to them and learn to speak their language so you can find ways to communicate with your audience in each one of your social channels.
2) Struggling to convert
The audience in each one of the social channels you use will probably expect different things from the content they consume. Ultimately your content should be driving conversion, but I dare say most of it is seen as entertainment.
Consider: Is your content seen as entertainment, or is it driving conversions? Do you have a clear communication strategy for each social media channel?
Do: Build a content funnel that matches your client funnel and develop content specific to each level. Below we share an example of a general content funnel.
3. Content Generation
Social media content generation can be a daunting task if you don't have the right tools and resources available. One of the most significant challenges faced by social media managers is the fact that there's never enough time to post as much content as needed, with the right hashtags, at the right times, and in the proper channels. Most of them also lack competitor analysis in their strategies.
Consider: Do you have the right tools (systems and apps) and resources (team) in place? Do you have the right information (competitor analysis) available?
Do: There are many social media management tools in a wide range of prices. Find one that fits your budget (there are several free tools) until your business needs become more complex.
At the same time, doing competitor analysis will be crucial in designing your strategy and creating consistent and quality content. Tools that help you find keywords used in your industry and by your competitors are game-changers.
4. Managing crisis
Small businesses rely heavily on prospective and actual client reviews, but what happens when someone leaves a stinky comment or a bad review on your page? A person wearing all the hats might not know how to generate content that won't trigger an adverse reaction from your brand's audience or manage those reactions.
Consider: Do you have a social listening strategy in place? Creating a crisis management plan for protecting your business' reputation.
Do: Listen to the conversation that surrounds your industry, your businesses, and your brand. Social media management platforms like Hootsuite or Sprout Social allow you to track keyword mentions, hashtags, and commentary from several social channels. Have a basic crisis management action plan that determines who, what and when to respond when an issue comes up.
Never stop monitoring your social media channels as this will not only let you gain insight from people's reactions to your business/brand but also your competitors. It'll also allow you to quickly identify a crisis and act on it effectively, even spinning it back in your favor.
Effectively managing different social media channels can be a taxing task for small businesses. Even with the wide range of tools in the market that can help with several of these tasks, it can still be pretty expensive and time-consuming. Many of our clients that have tried managing all of their social channels by themselves have reported that they seldom had enough time and energy to work it, despite spending serious cash on apps every month.
At Ingols Digital, we have a suite of apps and systems in place to support our clients with their social media needs so they can focus on their business. We have a team of specialists that help small businesses build their online reputation, increase brand awareness, and perfect Google exposure locally, regionally, or nationally. ;)
Our Blog is constantly updated by Dani or Leo. We talk about ways to improve small businesses marketing using tools related to Technology, Websites and Social Media. Yes, we cover some SEO as well!
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