Published on Feb 27, 2019
When my husband Brad Cebulski, started BConnected, LLC back in 2011, we knew there was a big opportunity to help small businesses elevate their brand while effectively using social media as a part of their marketing mix. The common question, “I keep hearing about Facebook and how my business should be on social media, but how do I use it as a business to benefit me?” is what drove BConnected, LLC to be what it is today and continues to be a question that many business owners ask. Even though we continue to get better at our jobs each day, we have learned a lot over the years! In this article, I’ll provide you with 5 key takeaways that you can implement right away within your business.
Identify and get to know your target market:
This is one of those “well, duh!” pieces of information, but time and time again we come across businesses who think they need to be on every social platform out there and this just isn’t true. I think we can all agree that time is valuable and time is money, so take time to identify who your target audience is and where they live on social media. Once you’ve determined your top platforms, you can create content that speaks to them on the platform(s) that they frequent most often.
Sprout Social is the platform that we use here at BConnected for assistance in publishing, analytics, etc. To give you a better idea of demographics via the platform, take a look at this recent article they published, Social media demographics to drive your brand’s online presence.
What you know about traditional marketing likely won’t work on social:
You don’t have to let go of everything you learned on the job or in traditional marketing classes, you just need to think about it differently when applying those concepts to social media. Social media is a place where people go to connect and engage in meaningful conversations with the people and brands that they care about. This means your social marketing efforts and content should always relate back to this.
Take a scroll through your feed right now! What do you notice? Mostly photos and videos, right? Notice what you engage with and see in your feed and learn from it. If all you’re doing on social is trying to sell yourself as you would in a print or TV ad, you’re missing out on a really great opportunity to share your story and truly connect with your audience!
Create ORIGINAL content (blend in to stand out):
Social media isn’t rocket science and if you’re a business owner with a good story and a smartphone with a decent camera or DSLR, you can start creating content for your business. I can’t stress enough how important creating original content is! If you know BConnected, LLC or have worked with us then you know we’re all about original content. But why? After 7 years of creating original content for clients and running ads on various social platforms, original content ALWAYS outperforms stock imagery. Every. Single. Time.
If your content looks like an ad then people are going to treat it as an ad and scroll right on past. Take note on what you see and engage with on social personally and find ways to create content (photos and videos) that are authentic and tell your business story. We use DSLR cameras and other equipment to capture our client’s story and elevate their content, but it’s not a requirement to start creating content that your audience can get real value from.
Think about your audience and provide them with content that they would find valuable. We believe in “giving away the farm” and for most brands, you have to provide value first to gain trust with your audience. If you are a B2B business, things such as checklists, white papers, blogs, video content, etc. are often great ways to provide value while building trust with your audience.
Building Social Proof is Key:
Remember seeing the ads for Squatty Potty a while back that had millions of views, comments, likes, and shares? Building up this type of engagement on social content is building “social proof”. We tend to stop the scroll and engage with ads that have a high number of views, likes, comments or shares because it signals to us that this must be something that I should take a look at if so many others are engaging with it.
Our Account Managers focus on creating original content for our clients and make sure that they are posting that content on a weekly basis. As we post various types of content over time, we start to get a better idea of what types of content resonate with our client’s audience and the organic engagement helps achieve better ad results at a lower cost.
Allocate More Money to Digital Marketing Efforts:
It’s never good to put all of your eggs in one basket and there is certainly a place for all forms of marketing and advertising, but there is so much potential with digital marketing and social media these days. From trackable results to taking advantage of how connected
we all are with our devices, as a business it just makes sense to go where your audience and potential customers are.
“How much should I budget each year for digital marketing and social media?” is a common question that we get and we would suggest 40-50% of your marketing budget. This would then be split into things such as paid search, Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, YouTube ads, SEO, etc. For a small business, anywhere from $5,000-$10,000 would be a great place to start for social media specific ads.
Avoid Over-complicating Social Media:
Keep it simple by showing off the value that your business provides and the people that make it happen. But if you or your team is already stretched for time, we’re here to help.
If you’d like to chat about social media budgeting for 2019, reach out to us today to set up a meeting.