A few years back my wife and I tried out a personal trainer at our local gym here in Gilbert, AZ. We wanted to combine our training, making it easier on the budget and our schedules. And while we had the same goals, to get healthy, our methods had to be different based on our physical abilities – different strategies and techniques based on our different bodies to achieve similar goals.
Social media marketing for small business is truly not that different – most have the same goals but will need to implement different strategies and techniques to achieve those goals based on audience and brand. Just as there is not one size fits all for physical fitness to achieve goals, there is not one size fits all in social media marketing to reach goals.
The main reason I started putting together training programs for small business owners was because I grew tired of the social media experts telling small business owners what time to post, what types of posts to publish, what days of the week to post, and on and on. In social media marketing for small business, brands and audiences will be starkly different, and so too must be the strategies.
With that said, there are some social media marketing strategies that you can integrate right now into your campaigns that will help to increase Reach and Engagement:
No matter what your brand or audience, from plumber to family physician, the cover photo offers an array of possibilities. And since Facebook has graciously decided to allow small businesses, and everyone else, to use as much text as our hearts desire, the possibilities are truly endless. Swap out your cover photo often, and take full advantage of the unlimited text option. Swap the cover photo to promote deals, discounts and specials, holidays, seasons, trends, awareness months, and anything else you can think of. The ASPCA does a wonderful job of utilizing its cover photo to the fullest extent. Since January they have updated their cover photo 7 times – just in the past 3-and-a-half-months!
Notice the use of branding, content, emotion and awareness in the ASPCA’s cover photo. No matter who your audience is, update the cover photo often with intention. Oh, and don’t forget to update the description with a call to action!
Integrated Social Media Marketing
Every small business looking to get into social media marketing should run on more then just Facebook. Consider adding Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Instagram to your marketing plans. They key here is to understand your audience well enough to know which social media platforms to be utilizing. So, while integrated social media marketing can be inclusive to all brands, you’ll need to determine which platforms your audience uses. With that said, notice how Walt Disney World incorporates a Google+ Hangout with Facebook Marketing. In this specific post, Walt Disney World brings a new level of engagement by literally asking their audience to comment on a specific topic which directly relates to another social media platform.
If we look at the Disneyland Facebook Page, you’ll also notice how they integrate other social media platforms, specifically Instagram:
This strategy is a great way to call attention to the other social media accounts you own, as well as increase engagement. How can your brand utilize this tactic to drive targeted traffic to your other social media accounts?
If you’ve done any attempt at researching social media marketing for small businesses, you’ve no doubt come across the statistics on types of posts. So you probably know that visual posts tend to fair better at increasing engagement (Likes, Shares, Comments). I want to be clear before moving on – this is not true for every audience and brand – but in the majority of situations a well crafted and well selected visual status update will increase your engagement.
Here we have a post from Disneyland Today, a Facebook Page dedicated to the Fans who are actually in the park. Over the past week, this post received the highest engagement, and it’s easy to see why – amazing visual and great call to action.
The most important thing to remember - to take away from this blog is that no matter how many Facebook Marketing experts tell you what strategies to use, nothing beats letting your audience tell you what works best. There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to Social Media Marketing. Every audience is different, every brand is different, and so every training program must be slightly different. That’s what I do – customize your training program based on your brand and audience to help you achieve remarkable results.