Social Media should do exactly what it says on the tin: Be Social. I’ve seen many business owners using it only to broadcast their wares, which can be helpful at times but often leaves them feel like they are shouting into the void, with little in the way of engagement with their content.
Though social media marketing may work really well for people with a relatively low cost product to sell (as the price point is just right for an impulse purchase!), when you have service-based business, offering remote business support to other organisations and individuals, it can be difficult to see the impact that social media marketing has on your bottom line – conversions into paying customers – as people don’t necessarily see your content and then buy straight away!
From my experience, social media marketing for service-based businesses can be great when it is used for building a community of potential customers, and giving you a platform to convey your skills, experience, knowledge and professionalism in a positive way over a period of weeks or months. Once you’ve built an appropriate audience, you’ve got a target market that you can reach on a regular basis with valuable insights, offers and more to keep your business top of mind – perfect for when they (or someone they know) is ready to engage your business for support.
Want to get the most out of your social media marketing? Here are my top tips:
- Be engaging – this may sound ridiculous, but if you are regularly talking about yourself or the products you offer and talking in a passive voice, then it’s not necessarily going to stir up conversation or engagement with your audience. Try asking questions, have an ‘active’ voice, and bring others into your conversation (whilst trying to ensure it remains positive and a safe space)
- Mix it up – don’t just post offers, try relevant news articles, behind-the-scenes imagery, short videos, links to your website, GIFS, etc. By testing different content at different times every day you will start to find out what works best for you, and when.
- Don’t be spammy – no-one wants to see your name in their newsfeed every 3.5 minutes. Post regularly but without being annoying. If there are times that don’t seem to work for you (i.e. you posting at midday and no engagement until post-5pm if your demographic tend to work full time), then adjust your content timings appropriately
- Consider ads to reach your whole audience – Many businesses find that Facebook’s algorithm will only share content with, on average, 10% of a page’s audience. If you’ve got a good quality audience, consider paying for ads to reach your whole audience with important content. In addition to this, posting engaging content can help to increase your visibility (with Facebook then deciding to share this information with a larger number of people), so make sure the content is interesting and clickable/likeable!
- Build a mailing list – one thing that I would say is that it’s worth not putting all your eggs in one basket! If you have a community on a social channel, try to get them to sign up to your mailing list too so that in the event of you being locked out of Facebook/Instagram, etc. that you can still reach out to these customers and engage with them via a different channel. Social media platforms change their regulations so frequently that it’s all too easy to find yourself on a ban or locked out of your account permanently (even if you are a responsible and ethical user), and it’s a challenge to get the issue reversed, even if you are innocent. I’ve seen this happen too many times so strongly recommend that a multi-channel approach to online marketing, rather than just relying on one or two social channels) is a sensible decision!