No matter how we feel about social media and its impact on society, there is no doubt that using this tool to promote your business will help you spread the word about your company and reach more of your target audience.
However, with new social media outlets popping up all the time and rules and algorithms constantly changing, embarking on this journey can be a daunting task.
Where do I start? What platform do I choose? What should I post? If these questions have rattled around in your head, you’re not alone: we hear them from overwhelmed and concerned clients all the time.
So here is our advice that will (hopefully) take away that overwhelming feeling and support you in choosing the best platform(s) to grow your business and your tribe.
Let’s begin with a few numbers to illustrate the power of social media.
Did you know that 32.2 million Canadians use social media? This includes 84.9% of Canadians. On Pinterest, for example, 87% of Pinners have purchased a product on the site. This makes sense when the average Canadian spends 1 hour and 46 minutes per day on social media. 
So now that we know that social media marketing works, it’s time to map out your goals.
When working with clients, here are some of the basic goals we start with: increase your website visibility, drive more traffic to your website, connect and engage with potential and current customers, and generate qualified leads. In other words, grow your community and bring your community to your business (be it online or in store).
You can then break down these goals into tangible tasks. For example, increase sales revenue, increase brand awareness, launch new products or services, or educate and inform your community.
But in order to tackle these tangible goals, you need to do one very important thing: identify your target customer.
This may seem rather obvious, but it is the key to understanding where to post online, what to post and when to post.
If you sell school supplies, you are going to be targeting young adults completing their education and parents buying for their young ones. You don’t need to engage older adults in the same way.
However, if you sell luxury sports cars, you are probably going to want to apply to a more affluent group, who can afford what you have to offer, and even to those who aspire to appear affluent.
Once you’ve defined your target audience, it’s time to decide where to allocate your time online.
Facebook is a great local SEO. This means that it benefits your website ranking (which is important because 75% of people don’t visit the 2nd page of Google search).
Facebook also accounts for 1 in every 6 minutes spent online. It is a great way to grow your network as there are tons of groups to join – including community groups, groups focusing on your area of expertise, and business support groups.
Most importantly, many people 30 and older are still loyal to Facebook, meaning that if your target audience is in that age bracket, it is definitely worth investing your time.
Though the demographic continues to expand, the main group on Instagram continues to be women aged 18-35.
Instagram is great for engaging directly with your target market and provides opportunities for you to connect with influencers within your community. Remember – influencers don’t have to have a million followers. In fact, local community members who have a pull in your area are often your best bet!
One important note, if you have an online store, such as through Shopify, connecting your IG account is great for direct purchase links!
LinkedIn is mainly a B2B network. It is used to highlight your skills, services and products and to connect with corporate/commercial industries. For those expanding skillsets, LI offers opportunities for consumers to learn.
4 out 5 members on LinkedIn drive business decisions and 49% of college graduates use this platform.
Twitter is generally used as a platform to deliver news and current trends. This can include anything from sports outcomes to political debates. People often share their opinions and repost opinions that they align with.
Twitter is very useful for customer service announcements such as product launches, hours of operation, etc.
The typical demographic for Pinterest is women ages 18-45. It is typically a B2C platform that allows businesses to post images of their products of services.
It is often described as a hobbyists paradise and is suited to a visual product or service related to visual planning, such as home remodels, events, etc.
Over 70% of adults use YouTube and 70% of millennials have described learning how to do something on the site. YouTube is great if you run tutorials and trainings (or DIYs like how to use your products or services), or you wish to educate your viewers.
Now that you know where your customers are hanging out, it’s time to start.
Create accounts on the platforms that align with your business. This may only be one platform to start! Then create a monthly editorial calendar to plan out your content and keep yourself on track (stay tuned for our upcoming blog!). Once you’ve decided what you are going to post, create content for each post ahead of time and then use a tool (such as Hootsuite) to schedule in your posts.
Once your content is set to go, start engaging with your community. Join groups, share your posts, comment on others content and build a network. Give and you shall receive as they say.
One tip we always give our clients is to keep your content about information sharing and educational rather than product or service focused. For example, if you are a massage therapist, offer your community tips for stretching at home, create a list of the benefits of massage, or speak to posture while sitting at a desk. Follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of your content should be to inform, educate and entertain your audience. This can include blog posts, industry news, tips and tools relevant to your clients. 20% should be directly promoting your brand and service. This means, promoting your products, showcasing successes, sharing comments and testimonials, etc.
It’s time to commit. Schedule an allotted amount of time each week (hopefully everyday!) where you will engage with your community online. Social media marketing does take time but with these tips, you won’t be wasting any.
Here is a great example of an editorial calendar created by Twitter. It should take no more than an hour to set up your calendar every month. Weekly post writing and graphic development can take anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour per post, depending on how much you are researching and writing and whether you are creating the graphic or using a pre-existing image. We also suggest that you take between 30 minutes to an hour every day to engage with your community. This can mean answering direct messages, commenting on others’ posts, or sharing content that is relevant to your business.
Looking for a little boost to get you started on the right track? We are here to help. To contact us, visit https://watershedmarketing.com/contact-us/