Listen to any marketing guru and they will tell you that social media is massive for your brand.
Yet despite knowing this, many small business owners struggle to wrap their head around the idea of keeping social profiles updated with content, especially when it feels like they have nothing interesting to say. It’s true, it can be discouraging thinking of an idea, but after posting it you’re back to square one struggling to think of the next.
Running out of steam is a major reason many companies don’t think social media consistency is important.
When I was working on my first business, I didn't have a process for my social media. I knew I had to put out content, but I didn’t know what I needed to do week on week. As a result, the business I got from social media was as inconsistent as my posting.
It’s understandable to be sceptical of what a strong digital presence can do for your business, but you need to overcome your fear of social media because your customers are online. Your target audience is living most of their lives virtually so it’s crucial you’re where they are.
Given Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter posts are free, your business can achieve big exposure with minimal effort and expense, for as long as you’re smart about your posts, brand personality and how you manage your platforms.
You might be frustrated thinking of new ideas to post each time, but with the right plan you can make the most of the tools at your disposal to boost your business.
A business’ social media presence increases brand awareness, online visibility and engagement with your target audience. 52% of marketers say social media positively impacts the company’s revenue and sales, owing to several posts shared over a fixed period of time.
Your company’s social media presence is best established when you share material on a schedule. It’s more convenient to implement and you can rest easy that you’re engaging with your audience, especially if you utilise tools which automate your posts.
According to Sprout Social, 78% of audiences will make the purchase if they have a positive experience with the brand on social media, being consistent about what you post and how you respond to concerns makes a difference. Following a regular content plan creates a better customer experience as it also increases your credibility, builds a good reputation and brand trust.
If you’re only sharing a post here and there, when you remember to make one, then you need to rethink what impression you’re making online.
Almost everyone is plugged in, to the point that more people see things and spend more time on social media compared to traditional avenues. The average person spends six hours a day online and the majority of the time is dedicated to social media, so your business needs to be where your audience is for most of their day.
When you stick to your strategy, it’s a marker of good habits. Including a sound and regular social media strategy in your business practices. Having that plan supports you as you work toward your business goals, rely on a foundation set everyday to make work smoother and still be able to complete tasks even when you’re not as motivated to engage your audience.
You can only do so much to build your online presence before it becomes a burden, but with the right information and tools any small business owner can have a consistent social media platform.
Here are five ways to achieve that:
A calendar lets you see every post you need to make at a glance. This way you can take note of any upcoming events or holidays which you can use as jumping off points for posts, and see when your content might be more visible to your target audience.
Scheduling tools like Planable, Sprout Social or Post Planner help you stay on top of posts and allow you to do everything in advance without worrying about things on the day of. The tool that works best for your goals takes the guesswork out of sharing a post when you need it.
Using a scheduling tool stops you doing things in an “ad hoc” manner because you know exactly when you’re going to share a specific kind of content and can do the work well ahead of time should you need to revise anything.
Your audience may be the average person who’s online for six hours a day, but that doesn’t mean they’re glued to their smartphones or computers every second of those hours. You need to remember that consistent posting doesn’t mean spamming your audience, because yours is not the only content they’re seeing and interacting with.
Posting consistently means that you’re posting at the same time on the same day every week, not erratically throughout the day. You’ll clog up their feed and discourage them from looking at your content, which is not part of the good experience you want to create for them.
But if there are relevant trending topics or brand-aligned current affairs you want to take advantage of to engage your audience, smaller posts are fine to post unscheduled. The idea is to keep the conversation going, not to bombard them with all the content you can think up.
Social media platforms have functions that let you see how well your posts are doing–some are advanced data analytics tools that can be challenging to interpret at first glance, but it’s crucial to be familiar with information on engagement.
Engagement shows you when your audience is most active, or at least tends to be online and likely to see your content.
Taking note of this activity gives you a better idea of when to share or schedule your posts. Recent studies from Hootsuite show that the optimal time to post on most platforms is 10 AM, during the middle of the week (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays).
Your audience will tend to be different from the ideal hours of engagement, so you can adjust early on once you’ve collected enough data.
Dedicating a day for social media content creation helps you stay consistent because everything around the piece of content you’re posting about is still fresh in your mind. This way you’re able to roll up your sleeves, brainstorm with your team and bounce ideas off each other until you produce content that you’re satisfied with.
Having all your content done in one go can keep you from panicking about not having anything ready to post. Whether you’re creating material for that week, several weeks or the month, wrapping up a day with a full bank of material lets you develop and implement your strategy efficiently.
Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. They’re receiving messages from all sorts of organisations and creators online, so the last thing they want to see is another business tooting its own horn about how excellent they think they are. Even if they’re online, they’re going to scroll past or ignore banners from a company which is only serving itself.
Instead of thinking about “what can I get?” think about how you can help your audience. You’re trying to reach people looking for answers, and you might be in the best position to give them the right information. Support from a brand tells customers that the company is there to help, and creates that positive experience which can drive them to purchase.
Being able to address this question allows you to better think of ideas, because you’re creating engaging content.
Social media consistency is a crucial part of your business’ marketing plan. When you’re sharing insightful and helpful content on a regular basis, your customers know they can depend on your business. Building that credibility can take work, but keep in mind these few steps to be more systematic about what you do on social media:
Developing the habit of consistently posting to social media is better done with a community.
If you are ready to meet other business owners who are on the same journey as you, join us at The Business Evolution. We can give you the support you need to help your business grow.
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