3 tips to step up your social media game

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A few years ago, small businesses questioned whether using social media was worth the investment. Today, the question is not if you should use social media, but how you should use it to propel your business forward.

75% of all buyers use social media to learn about vendors and services.

Social media is a crucial part of your digital presence. As the person, responsible for running Microsoft’s B2B social channels, I wanted to share with you my top 3 tips to get your business set up for success on social media.

  1. Know your Audience

It doesn’t matter how far you are in your social media journey, pause for a moment and consider your target audience. Seriously, stop before you tweet or post again! Ask yourself and your team these three questions before you proceed.

  1. What are the demographics of your target audience? Consider their gender, age, marital status and any other relevant demographics that will help focus your content.
  2. What does their day-to-day look like? Consider what a day in their life looks like and their concerns. For example, middle-aged women might worry about saving for retirement, aging parents and their college-aged children. This type of consideration will allow you to provide them with relevant content (more on this later!)
  3. Where does your target audience spend their time? Because social media influences 93%of shoppers’ buying decisions, knowing which platform they use will prove extremely valuable. Do they use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram? Figure out where they get their news. Position your business as a source of interest on the platform most relevant to them.

Social media influences 93% of shoppers’ buying decisions. 90% of shoppers trust peer recommendations.

  1. Set Objectives

Now that you know who you’re talking to, it’s important to decide why you’re talking to them. Do you want to raise brand awareness? Grow your social media presence? Increase sales? Change attitudes? Educate your audience? Establishing objectives sets your business up for social media success. When setting these goals, follow this rule of thumb: S.M.A.R.T. Create Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Oriented objectives.

SMART objectives: 

 

Specific – Define your goals – be clear and specific.

 

Measurable – Define what success means to you. Decide which metric you’ll use to measure success. This could be engagement, reach, website clicks or leads.

 

Attainable – It’s important to set reasonable goals. Set yourself up for success and build upward from each win!

 

Realistic – Aiming high is great, but do you have the resources to meet these standards? Make sure you are honest about the time and effort you’ll be able to dedicate to your objectives.

 

Time-Oriented – Have a time frame in mind where you’ll revisit and measure success. A good starting point is 3 months. After that, measure your engagements, reach, website clicks, and leads monthly – apply what you’ve learned to your content strategy.

  1. Create Content

Start by creating a content calendar–it will keep your social marketing efforts organized and make your life a lot easier! In the content planning process, provide a healthy blend of content focused on both lifestyle as well as product or brand-focused material.  Remember that you don’t have to create new content for each post. A great strategy is to share relevant tips, news and advice from other sources (this is called content curation!).

Think back to your audience. You’ll want to provide content that they find valuable. Targeting those middle-aged women? Provide them with news, tips or advice that will add value to their lives and the people in them. It’s essential to get into the mind(s) of your target audience. Ask yourself what kind of content you would value if you were them. Remember–you want to build a community! Successful social media marketing takes so much more than targeting ads. It’s about building healthy customer relationships fueled by credibility and trust.

Have questions about social media best practice? Tweet us! Our social media team would be more than happy to provide their insight. Stay tuned for more expert social media tips and tricks for your small business.

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