NCET helps you explore business and technology
By Kristin McClellan
In today’s fast-paced world, staying on top of digital trends is incredibly challenging and it’s easy to get swept up in the latest craze, especially when it comes to marketing your brand on social media.
Online audiences rely more and more on social media to get their news, do research and keep tabs on their favorite companies. What does that mean for small businesses, short on resources, with staff members wearing many hats? It’s time to evaluate quality over quantity, and make the most of those valuable resources.
You don’t have to be everywhere – Millions of people worldwide use social media, with the most popular channels being Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn. Combine those with smaller, niche channels, and the options are overwhelming. Know that you don’t have to create a presence on every channel – evaluate your bandwidth and start small.
Know your audience – The first step in deciding where to focus your social media marketing efforts is knowing your audience and where they spend their time online. Almost 70 percent of American adults use Facebook, with most users falling into the 18 to 49 age bracket. Around a third of adults use Instagram, most of them in the
18 to 29 age group.
Content is king – Each channel lends itself well to a particular type of content. Instagram is highly visual, so a wedding planning company’s visually-interesting material may make more sense than that of a tech services company. Don’t let stereotypes stop you from implementing a great idea, though! TSA is a great example of an organization taking their social media to new levels in unexpected ways. Their use of user-generated content (UGC) and witty captions on Instagram are highly engaging.
Let your fans create content – Your followers – customers and prospects – are your greatest advocates online, so let them share your story. People trust their peers, and authentic stories are quickly becoming the reality of marketing in today’s world. Encourage your customers to share their great experiences on social media, then ask permission to reuse that content on your own page, crediting the contributor. This creates a feel-good moment for that customer and a genuine testimony for your brand.
Experiment – After you’ve done your research and narrowed your efforts to a manageable number of social media outlets, look at the numbers. Keep in mind it takes time, and money, for a brand to gain traction. If, however, you’ve done your homework and followed a prescribed strategy to increase followers and engagement, but still aren’t seeing a measurable ROI, re-evaluate and focus your efforts elsewhere.
In the end, don’t be afraid to try new things, pay attention to trends, and learn from brands who are nailing the social media game.
Kristin McClellan is the Marketing Projects Specialist for Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority and NCET’s VP of Social Media. NCET is a member-supported non-profit that produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology. This column originally appeared in the Reno Gazette-Journal.