Social media is most commonly used by small business owners to market their products, brand, and business.
But it’s NOT the most effective form of marketing.
It can be frustrating to deal with a platform’s algorithm updates and getting your posts to actually reach your followers.
When you use these 3 tips and change your perspective when it comes to social media marketing, it should become easier and more effective for you.
First things first…is it worth it?
Are you using a social media platform, or social media in general, because it’s a fit for your business and where your target market is?
Or are you using social media for marketing simply because everyone else is doing it?
More importantly, what do your numbers tell you?
How many hours do you put into social media each month?
Multiply those hours by your hourly wage (that’s your investment).
Now, compare your estimated social media investment to the sales that are a result of social media.
Depending on the sales channels you use, you may need to guess how many sales come from social media.
If you don’t know how many people visit your sales channel due to social media, or how many of those people end up buying, look at your total sales for the month.
Based on the number of clicks your social media posts get (or the number of interactions), and average conversion rates (approx 2% – 3% for an e-commerce store) how many sales do you think are due to your social media marketing?
Typically, you need around 100 – 200 people visiting your online shop to make 1 sale. If your social media posts for the month have 100 likes collectively, it’s unlikely those posts have driven hundreds of people to your online shop to result in even one sale.
Even if you think paying yourself for your hours is unrealistic and you don’t want to think of those social media hours as lost wages, think about them as lost time.
Time you could be spending perfecting your craft, creating quality products, marketing through channels that actually produce results, etc.
Look at the return on investment for your social media efforts and compare them to the ROI your other marketing efforts give you.
It’s okay to take a break from social media and focus on other ways to grow your business.
But if social media is a fit for your business, keep reading…
3 Ways to make social media marketing easier
If you believe your target market is on a social media platform and it’s worth your time, effort, and perhaps money to market through it, use these 3 tips to make social media marketing easier and more effective.
1 – Be your follower
As business owners, it’s so easy to get caught up in the business side of social media.
>> keeping up with posting frequency standards
>> brainstorming what to post to get more likes and clicks
>> growing your followers
But what are you doing all of that for?
When you stop and think about the purpose of marketing on social media, it’s to reach your target market and pique their interest.
So think about who your specific target market is on a platform and what they’re interested in.
I promise you, they are not following you on social media because they want to see what kind of products they can buy from you every day.
Think about the accounts you follow and the content you like/save/comment on for personal reasons.
It’s unlikely you’re as invested in accounts that fill their feed with products they want you to buy as you are in accounts that share free, valuable, and interesting content.
When I follow a brand on social media, it’s not because I want to stay up to date on the products they have for sale. It’s because they share information related to a personal interest of mine. That might be:
- Cleaning hacks
- Skincare tips
- Fashion trends and inspiration
I often do buy from brands because of a social media post, but it’s their interesting content that keeps them in my feed and top of mind for when I am ready to buy.
If they simply spammed my feed with all the products they wanted me to buy:
>> I would ignore their posts
>> Their posts would stop showing in my feed
>> Lower interaction with their posts means less exposure across the board
>> I would forget about their brand
>> I wouldn’t buy from them
Be your followers and consider why you would follow an account like yours.
What bigger purpose can your social media account serve?
What interest ties your followers to your products? E.g.:
- Fashion trends
- Skincare tips
- Interior design inspiration
- Organization tips
Now brainstorm content you can share that relates to your products, and even allows them to be tied in, but appeals to your follower’s greater interest.
2 – Be natural
We’ll never know the ins and outs of a social media platform’s algorithm (i.e. how many times they want you to post, times they prefer you post, content they favour, etc.).
But one thing we do know is they want people on their platform, using it.
And they don’t want people trying to find ways to cheat their system.
I’ve used a few tools for scheduling my social media posts, but they’ve come back to bite me in the long run.
The better approach, I’ve found, is logging onto a platform regularly and using it in the way it was built it to be used.
Sharing my content, sharing other people’s content, following/saving/liking accounts and content that aligns with my interests.
One of the tips I share in the article How To Market a Small Business if you Hate Social Media is to choose a platform you actually enjoy using in your personal life. When you do this, it’s likely you’re on the platform fairly regularly for personal use. When you’re there, you can simply switch over to your business account and be active. Like a few posts, leave a few comments, re-pin some content, etc.
Even when using the platform for business purposes, try to behave like a regular user.
This makes it easier to use the platform and is likely to give you better results than when you’re trying to implement “hacks” to trick the system.
3 – Genuinely Connect
Instead of focusing on getting thousands of followers (most of whom never see your posts), try building genuine connections with the followers who do see your posts and interact with them.
Respond to comments and try asking the commenter a question to start a conversation.
Try posting content that asks a question that followers can answer in the comment section.
Follow accounts that align with your, and your business’s, interests and take the time to like and comment regularly to make connections with people/accounts in your community (commenting “love it!” on dozens of posts isn’t going to cut it).
The more you enjoy a social media platform, the more you’ll use it and the more effective you’ll be using it.
You’re there to connect with your target market, so let that be the focus and seeing results will come easier.
If you want more tips for effectively marketing on social media, especially when you’re fed up with it, check out:
I hope these 3 quick tips help with your social media marketing!
Hey, I’m Erin 🙂 I write about small business and craft show techniques I’ve learned from being a small business owner for almost 2 decades, selling at dozens of craft shows, and earning a diploma in Visual Communication Design. I hope you find my advice helpful!