Hello and welcome to the next installation of our blog series regarding online tools to help your business thrive in an ever growing digital environment! This week’s topic of discussion: Social Media. What is it? Why is it important to your business? Where do I start? We will be answering all these questions and more below!
What is Social Media and Why is it Important?
Did you know that 91.3% of the Canadian population is on at least one social media platform and almost 60% of the world’s 8 billion individuals are on social media! While the primary purpose for users to be on social media is to connect with friends & family, these 4 points are important to consider for a business!
27.7% of users are finding inspiration for things to buy
26.3% of users are finding products to buy
23.1% of users are watching favourite brand content
22.1% of users are finding like-minded communities & interest groups
This is where your business social media pages come in! Not only is social media a place to market your services or products, it is also a place to build relationships with new and existing clients.
Where to Start?
Before jumping into creating multiple social media business pages, it is important to determine who your key audiences are. Understanding who your audience is will help you determine which social media platforms would be best for your business’ purposes.
Facebook is ideal for an audience of women between the ages of 35-55
Instagram & TikTok are ideal for an audience of individuals ages 30 and under
YouTube is ideal for an audience of men ages 35-55
Unsure who your target audiences are? Check out our blog about personas, giving your audience a face; here: Who What Huh? - Target Audiences.
Prepare your material! Pretty much all social media platforms have a similar layout for key business information. Have the following on hand to make the creation process run smoothly.
Main Components of a Social Media Page:
Profile Picture - Your business logo
Cover Image - Something relevant to your business
Description - This should be your "mission"
Links - Link to other Social Platforms & website.
Contact info & Store hours
Highlight stories on Instagram
Keep in mind that people like things that look uniform. No matter how many platforms you decide to create business pages for, keep your branding and messaging uniform!
Now it’s time to choose which social media platforms you would like to create business pages for. For businesses new to social media, I always recommend Facebook, Instagram & LinkedIn. Here is why! Facebook is the social media platform with the largest amount of active users both in Canada and worldwide. It is also the ideal place to reach individuals ages 35+ as Facebook is their platform of choice.
Being the second largest platform, Instagram is a close second to being on Facebook! This is also one of the most used platform by individuals that are under 35 of age!
To make your job easier, Facebook and Instagram have combined under Meta Business Suite. From your business suite, you can schedule posts for either or both platforms, you can check analytics regarding both platforms, get all messages/comments from both platforms in one location & manage your ad centre.
Lastly is LinkedIn. It may sound strange because LinkedIn has always been considered a professional social media, compared to others that are more personal platforms. The reason it is suggested are:
It’s an SEO booster
Connections with individuals in the same field as you
Access to educated potential employees
Businesses who aren’t new may consider branching out to other social media platforms. If your business is looking to cater to a younger audience, then it may be wise to look into TikTok. If your target audience is middle aged men, you may consider utilizing YouTube or Reddit, as this would be the platforms utilized by this type of audience. Just keep in mind the time limitations you have to dedicate to being active on your social media platforms.
Create a content calendar. This doesn’t need to be overly complex; it can simply be a document in Word or Excel that has a list or chart of what you intend to post, when you intend on posting and which platform you want to post it on. By making a calendar, you can easily get an idea of what content you want to release based on your main key audiences. It is also a good way to plan ahead for sales/discounts that you intend to have and promote them accordingly.
Growing Your Social Media Presence
Social Media is a SOCIAL platform first and foremost! As an added benefit we get to use it as a marketing tool.
Create engaging content:
Social media platforms make their money through ads, therefore they want to keep individuals on the platform for as long as possible. By creating content that engages your audience, you are feeding into the algorithms of the platform. But how would you go about doing this? The secret is to know your audience!
Social media is not an ad space!
Think of social media as a place to get to know your clients and engage with them. It’s like a giant networking party between you and your consumers. The standard practice to get the most out of social media is 80% engaging content and 20% “buy my stuff”.
Be part of the community
Don’t post and ghost! Stick around and join the conversation and build community! Schedule 10-30 minutes out of your day, specifically on days you aren’t posting, to participate in discussions happening on your page, in your group, in groups with similar interests to your business, etc.
Growing your Presence Summary
Create content your audience can't help but engage with
Help to create community & keep people on the platform
Talk with your audience & from their perspective
Be the life of the social media party
Promote only 20% of the time
Spend time engaging & participating on the platform...
Your audience grows, the algorithm shares your content further and people are paying attention when you post about your business.
Useful tools for Managing Social Media
Don’t know what to use as visuals for your social media posts? Utilize Canva. Canva is an easy to use graphic design website. Canva provides many different templates and elements for you to use to create beautiful social media content for free, however you can pay for the pro version to access additional resources.
Short on time? Utilize social media schedulers to save you time. Simply pick a day once a week or monthly to schedule all the content you want posted and it will publish at the time you choose. Meta Business is the free scheduler you can utilize for Facebook and Instagram. If your business is running multiple social media pages and want to utilize all the same features as Meta Business, it may be time to consider something like Hootsuite or HeyOrca. These online platforms provide you with the ability to schedule posts, review analytics, view messages/comments, etc. for all your social media platforms in one location. They also come with a hefty cost, therefore are only beneficial if you have multiple platforms you need to manage (ie. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, etc.).
Social media is one of the most beneficial ways to reach your target audiences and build new relationships with new and existing clients. Just remember to keep your time in consideration, as you don’t want to have too many pages to manage and not enough time for them all! See you soon for some more tips and tricks to growing your business’ online presence!