The world of business social media can often best be described very much as pay-to-play, with high-profile brands and large-scale organisations commonly having the financial advantage over their smaller contemporaries.
However, a bulging chequebook and gargantuan profit margin don’t mean that large businesses can simply walk all over their modest opposition. When it comes to social media, there are a variety of ways SMEs can fight back against their Goliathan competition.
So, grab that social media slingshot and prepare to lock and load with knowledge, as we take aim and fire back with this guide to social media for SMEs.
Social Media SME Tips
In a sphere where phrases like “content is king” pop up more often than a bad penny glued to a spring, genuinely insightful social media advice can be hard to find.
Instead, many so-called experts rely on hardly revelatory stock answers as their contribution, commonly advising you to “provide great content” in order to up your social media game.
Not only are gems like this extremely obvious and lazy, it doesn’t take an expert to deliver such a message. In fact, pretty much anyone with a Facebook account could tell you that quality content spurs the best interaction.
Luckily, we’ve made a conscious effort to avoid such social mediocrity. Instead, we’ve taken the road less travelled and delved deep into our bag of tricks to provide you with some helpful insights and insider tips for your SME social media strategy.
Before we go anywhere else with this, let’s start at the start and focus on your chosen social media platform – a fundamental factor that can have a profound impact on your social media success in itself.
Often overlooked, this part of the process is commonly bypassed by those eager to create a social media presence, with autopilot taking over and the desire to get up and running overriding a sensible, systematic approach.
The best content in the world delivered to the wrong audience achieves nothing and benefits no-one. If your audience predominantly uses one platform over another, make sure your brand is represented on that platform.
If you’re unsure exactly which platform (if any) is preferable to your core target audience, take the time to identify your target demographic. Find out where they reside online and which social media platforms they commonly gravitate towards.
Similarly, choose a platform that benefits your brand, services and content. A clothing store that posts visual content and images is going to benefit far more from an Instagram presence than it would Twitter.
Think of it as having a great show on the wrong TV channel. After all, would Breaking Bad have become such a global success had it not migrated to Netflix? The same principle applies to social media.
While your individual mood may fluctuate throughout the day, it’s important to keep your business loyal to its online personality. Even if your cat was run over that very afternoon, posting emo poetry memes on an otherwise witty and jovial account is not the way to go.
Similarly, it’s also important to maintain consistency between social platforms. A “cheeky chappy” approach on Twitter juxtaposed with a strait-laced tone on Facebook creates a notable disconnect between accounts and an internal branding conflict.
Maintaining a consistent and authentic tone of voice on your social media can be key in creating a stable and memorable brand attitude. Meanwhile, it can also help provide assurance that all accounts are legit.
This theme of consistency also extends to your appearance too. If you use multiple social media platforms, aim to use the same images, logos and colour scheme in your profiles to strengthen the visual connection between accounts.
Juggling multiple social media platforms can be difficult and time-consuming. If you’re attempting to man multiple accounts, a busy schedule can quickly result in favouritism and leave others to fall by the wayside.
To avoid such neglect and unintentional social media bias, focus your efforts on one or two platforms and keep them up to date and maintained. A dormant account that’s rarely updated can lead your audience to think you’re out of business or the account isn’t legit.
Alternatively, you may want to link accounts so that the same content is released across multiple social media channels at once. This a great way to kill two birds with one stone and maintain a broad presence without focusing on each account individually.
Most platforms can be linked if you do enough digging; e.g. Twitter and Instagram can easily be connected to Facebook, while both can also be linked together. A quick Google search can report back a tonne of step-by-step guides unique to your chosen platforms.
Additionally, if you don’t have time to post live regularly, you may want to consider scheduling your posts in advance. Popular tools, such as Hootsuite, allow you to create posts ahead of time and plan exactly when you want them to go out.
Engage Your Audience
While social media is a fantastic tool that can help boost sales, increase revenue and financially benefit your business, using it solely for this purpose can have an adverse effect on your social media presence.
As such, it’s important to know the difference between engaging and selling. Constantly giving your audience the hard sell can be detrimental to your following, pushing your audience further away rather than strengthening their relationship with your brand.
While the bottom line of business is almost universally to make money, try to steer away from overly salesy posts, at least on a frequency basis. Instead, aim to provide content that’s either informative or entertaining.
When employing this approach, it’s also important not to lose sight of your tone and tenor. Keep your posts in-line with your brand. An overly humorous approach may not befit a serious business, while a dull tone of voice won’t fit a youthfully exuberant brand.
Visuals are also innately eye-catching, easily digestible and can quickly grab the attention of your audience as they scroll through their news feeds. Incorporate fitting hi-res visuals in your posts can help you stand out in an oversaturated social space.
When it comes to building relationships between your brand and your followers, one of the best ways to do so is to simply take a responsive approach to interaction. This is where SMEs have the edge over large enterprises.
Like any other relationship, social media followers want to feel valued by the brands they love and reciprocal appreciation can go a long way. Simply responding to comments can make all the difference and make an individual follower feel like they truly matter to the brand.
For those really looking to make an impact on social media, building personal relationships with your followers can go beyond a generic “thank you” response. A personalised yet professional DM from a business account can strengthen a relationship considerably.
Responsive engagement can also be a great avenue for market research. Don’t be afraid to ask questions in response to a statement and continue the conversation further. In addition to providing genuine feedback, it can make your followers feel like their opinion matter and is truly valued.
While it may take considerable time and effort to interact with all of those that engage with your social media content, going the extra mile won’t be overlooked and your brand will stand out notably as a result.
For more social media SME advice or SME social media strategy tips, why not drop us a line direct? Call now on 01446 339050 or click the button below and let us help you achieve social media supremacy today.