Let’s set the scene straight: you are ambitious, just started your company, need clients, and more importantly, need to get your company’s name out there. You’ve seen dozens of social media success stories – whether it’s a brand or an influencer who has amassed an enormous following.
The exciting and, even more so, daunting questions pops to your head:
Do I need social media for my business?
Do I get make an Instagram account or create a Facebook page?
What do I post?
Where does Linkedin fit in all this?
What the hell are those sponsored content I see on Instagram and Facebook?
Is social medial appropriate for my business?
Before we start, please note this is not a step-by-step guide to promoting your business on social media. There are so many quality online courses on social media, authored and presented by highly experienced marketers. This article is for setting the scene correctly to see the big picture and nourish any knowledge you may have on social media. It’s about linking the mechanics of the social media machinery together.
Unless you are a doctor or an engineer or professions alike, your business is going to need social media. The more important question is how much you should focus on social media? Protip and shortcut way of finding out: at your competitions and see what they are doing. Little need to reinvent the wheel.
The primary purpose of creating social media pages and accounts for your business is to mass the necessary data for social media marketing later on when you have the budget. Data in the context of social media marketing means –
engage existing clients and customers on social media platforms; and/or
reach new clients or customers
These platforms are mainly Instagram and Facebook, but there are many smaller platforms like WhatsApp, Snapchat and others whose icons are shown below:
Marketing is essentially paying for a product to showcase your products or services. With social medial, the products marketers are buying are people’s time spent on social media.
With the average social media user spending around 145 minutes a day, there are just too many eyeballs and attention on a screen for businesses to ignore – I know its shocking and speaks volumes as to digital addiction.
So Do you need social media – asked and answered
90% of businesses will need an established social media presence at some point in their journey – from electricians to accountants. But whether you need to focus your energy on social media on day 1 is another question.
Doctors, architects and super high skilled non-repetitive jobs are the 10% of businesses which is honestly debatable how impactful social media can ever be for them – unless you are a plastic surgeon in a medical holiday country.
The rule of thumb is that if your leads, sales or subscribers is funnelled from online, then yes, you need a concentrated effort on social media from day 1. If not, then work passively on your Instagram and Facebook pages. It not going to bring you any businesses for now, but:
It familiarises you with the process of online marketing
The likes and impressions (no matter how little in volume) are essential to mass information. This will assist with your social media advertising in the future – Facebook custom audience, lookalike etc.
It incentivises the publishing of helpful content online for your clients
So budget a few hours a week for social media, enrol in some online courses (they are super cheap) and read some articles. Remember, the aim here is not to become a social media expert – but to know how the mechanics work, in particular:
What are Facebook and Instagram advertising and the information you need for them
What are some of your successful competitors doing in the social media space (don’t need to reinvent the wheel, emulate what works and evolve it)
With a few posts a month (and the first ones will be cheesy), a few hours a week of learning, in a short time, you will have an informed opinion as to where you should prioritise social media relative to the million other things you need to do. And this is the key – less about whether you need social media and more about where it should rank on the list of your priorities.
Social Madia marketing is essentially a self-taught industry. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s a highly skilled area, and gifted social media marketers deliver enough value to charge a lot of money. But because of its self taught nature, you can quickly learn the main pillars of social media to make informed decisions.
Chapter 2 – small businesses who need social media from day one (1)
If you’re in the category of businesses that needs a solid social media presence from day 1, then be aware and fluent of the following from early on.
The most crucial point is learning how to manage your business’s social media. There are so many online resources to start you off and show how deep the rabbit hole goes. Just search “Social Media” on Undemy and spend a few hours a day on it.
You want to land in that space where your posts (whether Facebook, Insta story, or Facebook advertising) are genuine while incorporating the fundamental rules of design.
types of social media marketing such as influencer marketing
The definition of social media marketing is broad. The most effective types are:
This would be a super long article if I were to discuss the point above. So for simplicity, I will cover only Facebook and Instagram advertising. The caveat here is this: any social media presence for your business is social media marketing – whether it’s post or advertising.
Facebook and Instagram advertising is basically the same. You use Facebook Business Suit to run ads for both or either platform. Here is what V Digital‘s Business Manager page looks like (I like dark mode):
With Facebook and Instagram advertising, it takes a lot of experience to spend budgets efficiently and patience to reach your target audience. Basically, you’re constantly running different Ad sets, changing a small variable to see:
what works; and
gets the most impressions, likes, leads and achieves the desired goal.
Before you start advertising, get your posts up
Develop your business’s social media pages before you start an Ad campaign on Facebook or Instagram. You do this by creating:
An account for your business on Instagram; and
A page for your business on Facebook
You can post to Facebook and Instagram using Facebook Business Suite – which is hopefully already connected to your business.
Post regularly on Facebook and Instagram for a few months, and create stories. Posts will allow your business to gain some likes on Facebook, impressions and audience interaction. There is no hard-set rule as to how many posts or likes your business should have before advertising as it’s contextual. 1000 Likes is the bare minimum in America, but a few hundred Likes is considered super successful in New Zealand, where we are based.
Start thinking about Facebook advertising once you’re comfortable with posting the posts have massed some information for you target audience.
Facebook Ad campaigns (includes Instagram as well)
Everything you spend money for has to have a justifiable purpose. The purpose of Facebook Ads is to create:
Awareness of your product or brand to Facebook audiences (awareness)
Offer value to your potential customers so that they may consider your product or service (consideration); and
Covert customers into leads and sales (conversion).
You create an Ad campaign in the Facebook Manager suite – see below for illustration:
You select your campaign objective, whether it be: awareness, consideration and/or conversation. I wont be too deep into the step by step Facebook Ad creation as there are inexpensive courses online that can teach far more effectively. Instead, I’ll cover the main points to nourish your knowledge.
For this part of the campaign option, you select how many potential people will see your advertisement. The choice is between:
If you’re just starting Facebook Ads, select broad. This allows Facebook to implement a machine learning algorithm and use data to optimise your campaign for those most likely to click on your Ads.
Finding your audience to target on Facebook is not easy. You target users by setting your Ad campaigns to focus on users:
Which websites they are browsing
What Facebook pages do they like
The options and variations to target users are limitless. The key takeaway is that our online activities are mostly, if not all, tracked. This is packaged by companies like Facebook and sold for marketing. Ever wonder why Facebook Advertising costs? Your paying to buy information relevant to your business.
Facebook Sales Funnel
Know the “Sale Funnel on Facebook” if you’re going to spend money and do Facebook Advertising., this is a must, must, must!
The Sales Funnel loosely follows the “Choose a Campaign Objective” in Facebook Business Suite. Here is a diagram depiction of the model:
Top of the funnel – awareness:
The diagonal blue lines in the visual above shaped like a cone represent the funnel. At the top of the funnel, you are creating brand awareness. You’re not trying to sell. You are regularly posting and creating helpful content for users. Your goal is to:
attract people to your page;
Build trust; and
engage users through likes and impressions.
Videos and infographics work well (this is true for all stages of the funnel).
Mid funnel – traffic and conversion
This is where your target audience has seen your brand or product and is familiar with your offerings. This is a warm audience, and it makes sense to retarget them. Run promotions, make them feel special for giving you their attention. Perhaps offer something free or discount in exchange for registration or an email. Your goal at mid-funnel is to:
Increase interest and capture leads
Whenever you’re remarketing, be aware and conscious of “Audience Fatigue” – when your target audience is tired of seeing your products and Ads from overexposure.
Bottom of the funnel – new customers
This is where creating awareness, building trust and remarketing cashes in. By this stage, you’ve narrowed your target audience to those who have shown interest, liked your page, visited your website etc. You send them deals, coupons, include them in your remarketing to convert their interest into sales.
Test, test, test
After you’ve set your advertising campaigns, it is super important to test your those campaigns. Think of yourself as a scientist – you have a hypothesis about your target audience but are not sure. So you run simultaneous Ad campaigns, with each one having a different variable. Facebook tells you which Ad campaign has the best return for spending so you can delete the campaigns performing poorly.
the primary risk with running a different simultaneous Ad campaign is audience fatigue. Market segments, as presented by Facebook, often overlap. So you must know who your other Ad campaigns are targeting and exclude those audiences from your current campaign. Remarketing at the lower levels of the funnel is not an issue if you’re not engaging in over advertising.
Chapter 3 – the importance of social media for small businesses
Generally speaking, but for certain caveats, social media is an essential element of marketing for small businesses and SMEs. Your business will not fail if it doesn’t have a social media presence, but its rate of growth, success, and market dominance decreases dramatically without social media.
The purpose of a business is to know its target market, reach that target and deliver something of value. Social media represents a gold mine of information for your business to:
Test target markets;
Make adjustments to your products if potential customers are not engaging;
Iterate and evolve; and
Reach new target markets with pinpoint accuracy equipped with a refined product
Chapter 4 – social media strategy for small businesses
To adapt the best social media strategy for a small business, look at what your competition is doing. There is little point in reinventing the wheel. See if they are focusing on:
This shows what’s working and what is not. But if you don’t have the patience and do have the budget, you could always hire companies like us!
What is important is to:
Stay consistent with your posts to gain critical insights through likes and impressions
Don’t spam your target audience
Keep your posts and advertisements genuine – it doesn’t need to be over the top exciting
Quality over quantity – you want to deliver quality messages
Chapter 5 – Social Media or Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Search Engine Optimisation is about optimising your website, so it ranks higher in Google for relevant keywords. Social media marketing is about putting your brand and product in front of social media audiences. You use social media to drive traffic to your websites. If your website is set up well, has a low bounce rate, engages viewers and achieves its desired goal, its ranking will increase in Google. SEO is about optimising a website for a good user experience.
Therefore, social media and Search Engine Optimisation are essential for a small business if the business has a website. They are connected and work hand in hand.