There is not a rock you can hide under to have not heard about Social Media. Funny videos on YouTube, baby photos on Facebook, influencers on Instagram, or the Twitter tweets that bombard you, social media is the #1 way to connect around the world.
But what does that mean for you as a business owner? Social media for business is a pretty big deal. How important is it for your business? How can you utilise it in your marketing strategy? And how do you create a social media content plan?
At The Entourage, we empower business owners everywhere by giving them everything they need to build great businesses and live meaningful lives, and this is just a taste of that. Social media is the most powerful and wonderful tool you have to share your business with the world - but it can also be bewildering. We're here to demystify it for you.
The Ultimate Social Media Playbook For Business Owners:
With access to potentially 80% of the Australian population, this is THE biggest opportunity your business has today to reach new customers. And with social media being essentially free to use, it's a no-brainer on why you should be using social media for business.
Whether you're a local plumber, a property developer, a recruiter, or in hospitality and retail, every single business owner could benefit from using social media. The only question is: which channels should you be using, and what content should you be creating and posting?
*A note that while social media is free to use, one big cost of social media would be your time. It can be a real-time sink, getting involved in community conversations, content creation, obsessing over your likes and shares. So keep this in mind. The other main cost would be the paid side of social media which we'll cover below.
There are so many social media channels, all with different purposes and audiences, so which one should you focus on?
As there are different purposes and audiences in each platform, the answer is that it depends. It depends on what your target market is, what your business goals are currently, what product or service you sell, and the type of content you want to create (which we will get into in the next section too).
To get you across the demographics and purposes of the current top 6 social media platforms, in no particular order, here are some pros and cons about marketing with each of these platforms, and some examples of how they can be used.
For the paid advertising side of each social media platform, each has different capabilities in its reach and targeting, which is why we've also included the differences on the paid side below too. If you want to get down into further detail of optimising your digital marketing across your channels including socials, check out our blog on how you can optimise your digital marketing here.
So now you know which platform might benefit your type of business, and how you could start using it. But then, what content should you post on social media, and how often? These are the big questions.
With how often, the answer for all the platforms is, it depends.
It depends on your audience, the times in the day that they're online and engaged, how often they want to see your content, and especially, what capacity are you to produce enough content to be posting frequently. If you aren't able to produce enough content to post once a day or multiple times a day, then don't — but be consistent be how frequently you do post. Consistency is the key.
And in terms of what content to post, you want to be posting content that markets you and your business in a way that appeals to customers along their customer journey with you, but you don’t want to drive away potential customers by overloading them with content that doesn't resonate with them.
So, what should you do? Let's dive back in to see what type of content performs better on which platforms.
Have a listen to our podcast - the #1 social media marketing content checklist with Heather Porter to get some more insights on how to best optimise your social media content.
It's important that on Instagram, you understand who your target audience is, as well as the fact that it is a visual medium, before tailoring your content accordingly. Check out our podcast, The Make It Happen Show to get some detailed Instagram tips with industry expert, Rita Agoulian.
Instagram is a discovery platform meaning that most people won't search for the specific content you post, they'll discover it. That means your content must be 'thumb-stopping', or disrupt their scroll enough for them to be interested in the content itself, then to go onto your profile. If they resonate with it, they'll likely follow you. That's why it's important to be sure of who you want to be targeting on Instagram to ensure your content talks to that person and on a consistent basis.
The types of content you can post on Instagram include straight-up images, videos up to 10 minutes or shorter form videos up to 30 seconds (Reels). You can do carousels (multiple images or videos or both in one post) as well as go Live to your audience directly. A mix of different types of content will help get the personality of your company and what you’re trying to market across from multiple angles.
There are also Stories that you can post on your profile that disappear after 24 hours. They can be a mix of videos or images as well and are a great way to engage your audience directly. Here, you can add animations, sound bytes, gifs, and stickers to your videos and more, to make your content POP.
One of our podcast episodes of The Make It Happen Show covers exactly what the top strategies are for Instagram marketing in 2021 are to blast your Instagram to the skies.
As always, it's important to test to see what works content-wise and frequency-wise for your audience and consistently be looking at your analytics and reviewing it. With Instagram's Feed algorithm, it's important to not overpost on Instagram per day as it could drive your audience away.
Facebook is very similar to Instagram (being owned by the same company helps), and it is huge and diverse. It can be conversational, or it can be a great place to share cool stuff. Catch someone’s eye, grab their interest, and they will share your content.
Remember that just like Instagram, it's a discovery platform first. However, unlike Instagram, it's harder to find new pages and accounts to follow. This means that you need to focus on building a community that will share your content. When it comes to your content, ask yourself, is this something that I would personally share on my own account? Speak to people. Emotional language and content that is 'shareable' are what helps you get viral on Facebook.
The types of content you can post on Instagram include text posts, images, carousels, videos up to 240 minutes, and stories similar to Instagram. You have the ability to go Live on Facebook as well to speak directly with your Facebook community.
There are no hard limits to how often you post on Facebook, especially as Page's feeds are often not prioritised on Facebook Feeds. However, with paid, make sure that you don’t flood all of your audience’s walls with your advertising content. They could become numb to your message or actively click away from you.
The first thing that you need to remember is that LinkedIn is a professional social media platform, so your content is speaking to professionals, to businesses. You have a mix of B2C and B2B communication which is unique amongst all other social media platforms.
Understand if you’re marketing to people or businesses when you create your content, and customise the language appropriately. Think about what would you want to hear from a business, what types of content would make you resonate with a company? Is it the philanthropic causes they back? Or is it how they look after their employees? Do they care about the environment? Do they have a loyalty or rewards program for their customers? Do you learn from them about what their expertise is in? How can you replicate those same elements in your LinkedIn content strategy?
Think about what times professionals would visit LinkedIn. LinkedIn has one of the lower usage times compared to other social media platforms, so try to aim for only a few times a week maximum, and posting near the end of the working day or at lunchtime. However, a good thing to note is timing might not always be important as LinkedIn doesn't always prioritise 'newest' in the Feed but rather 'Top'.
Don't forget to connect with other people and their networks by commenting on other people's relevant posts with thought-leadership. This way the spread of your message can be truly vast.
The chat on Twitter can scroll past you at a hundred miles an hour especially with over 500 million tweets a day being sent.
With such high numbers and steady traffic, it is a good idea to tweet a few times a day. Change up the hashtags if you want and see if that gets you more traction. Remember the 280-word character limit and tiny URLs. Be economical with your posts. It can be harder to write less.
What you Tweet about is completely up to you. Some businesses will post funny things, giving their brand a bit more personality. Other businesses will only post updates and things like new features or press about themselves. Other businesses will comment on trending topics or all of the above. It depends on your brand and your brand voice.
What are the most common things people search for when it comes to your industry, your product or service, the things that your brand stands for? Think “How-To” videos - this is one of the most dominant types of content on YouTube. People often search for guides or visual aids to what they’re doing. So keep that in mind. If you can help someone with a visual demonstration, that is content gold.
As YouTube is a searchable platform rather than discovery, you can post as much as you want, whenever you want. Just make sure your content is good and is searchable (practice good SEO). If you post a lot of rubbish you won’t get any results, no sales.
This is a good place to build your brand voice and equity up as well, with many companies posting about the behind-the-scenes of their company, company-branded videos such as "about us" styled videos, as well any press they may receive showcasing the good work they do.
As TikTok is a growing platform, there are lots of opportunities for new trending content to be made, however, it is still limited to a 60-second maximum video. With such growing organic reach and targeted For You Pages, it's important to be consistent (as always) in when you post and what you post. Focus on brand awareness content that give people a sneak peek into your business and brand, what it's all about, and why people should purchase from you - such as your brand values, your personal story, etc.
It's all about authenticity on TikTok in showcasing the behind-the-scenes of business, of a personal brand, whatever it is. And the more you resonate with an audience, the higher chance you will have of connecting with those interested in your story, your values, your product or service.
Now that you know which platforms you should be posting on for your business, and what type of content you could be posting on those platforms, it's time to plan your organic content strategy. And this is one of the key things you need to do with your social media - have a plan. It is far too easy to get lost and overwhelmed with all the social media channels, what to post, when to post, content, videos without a plan.
Lucky for you, we have a FREE Social Media Marketing Planning Calendar just for you. This template is easy to use and will help you apply what you've learned here to make a planned and strategic approach, so you always know you're sending the right message to the right people, at the right time.
You can download the template for free by clicking on the link above.
For the paid side of social media marketing, it can be difficult to plan out a content calendar the same way you would with organic socials. Instead, focus on your overall marketing strategy, goals, and campaigns and work around that.
Let us help you with our short course, the Profitable Facebook Ads course, that covers the exact frameworks, strategies, principles and blueprints we teach our members to drive business growth through Facebook advertising. Taught by one ofo ur Vision Partners Heather Porter, she is 1 of 8 Facebook community trainers in Australia meaning she has the strategies taught by Facebook themselves shared directly with you in this short course today.
It is inevitable that when you begin to market yourself and your business, social media will play a big hand. Knowing where your audience is online can help. Having a PLAN is also a big help. And knowing what to say, and how to say it, will work for you too.
We can help train you in marketing, including Social Media Marketing, and help you build and grow your business through our business coaching and training programs available for business owners of all shapes and sizes. If you're unsure of how you can best proceed with your marketing strategy, book a free discovery call with one of our Entrepreneur Development Managers today, and we can help you uncover where your best next steps are.
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