Building Brand Loyalty With Social Media

Our best tips and tricks to help your business succeed in social.

Oct 6, 2021 2:58 PM7 Minute Read

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    Let's reiterate what you already know: running a small business takes a lot, and while social media may seem easy-breezy at first, the effort can quickly become overwhelming and burdensome. But the reality is, whether you're a solopreneur or a small business with a dedicated marketing person or team, having a quality social media strategy allows your business to grow brand awareness and personally engage customers which, in turn, drives sales.

    Leveraging social media (and the right social platforms) offers numerous opportunities to engage clients and reach potential customers. According to data compiled by Statista, the average time spent on social media by US internet users in 2020 was two hours and three minutes every day. Capitalizing on that time can be pivotal for broadcasting your brand. Don't stress over how — we'll guide you through some actionable tips.

    A wonderful thing about small business social media is that it provides (nearly) unlimited room for creativity, risk taking and vetting new ideas with your audience (did someone say 'free' focus group?!). Even if your brand or business doesn't have a huge following, interacting with your close-knit group of followers will increase brand loyalty, help you test out new product offerings (or concepts in development) and gauge interest in products, deals, events, whatever — the digital sky's the limit. Your current audience is likely comprised of close contacts, clients and people you've never met. As time goes on, you'll get to know your audience better, so play to their interests, leverage their expertise and leave them excited for your next posts and offers!

    At this point you're probably saying — yeah, that's great, I'm jazzed, but who's got the time?!

    If you're in need of a little more structure, we've compiled a few of the tips, strategies and best practices that we use for our own social media platforms.

    First, planning your social media schedule is key. Start by considering the core elements of your business products / services:

    • What do you offer?
    • What do you stand for (think mission & vision)?
    • How do you want to promote your business / yourself?

    Next, find your voice. Will you use a casual tone with your audience (think the occasional emoji and "excited tone!") or a more polished style (just the facts, ma'am)? Perhaps you'll use a balance of both: casual for holidays and exciting promos and polished for technical / industry content.

    Once these decisions are made, it's time to plan what you'll talk about and when...enter your social media calendar! Rotate through your core business elements, create engaging visuals to partner with your text, and plan ahead whenever possible (especially for holidays, special events and high-sale seasons).

    Example of Social Media Post Calendar

    Want even more help?

    Sites* like Hootsuite, Sprout Social and Buffer offer free social media management tools that allow you to create, schedule and analyze posts across multiple social media platforms from a single management page, making posting and sticking to your posting-plan simpler.

    Congrats! You now have the foundation for a high-level content plan! Now comes the next hurdle: getting seen.

    While the cold-hard-truth is tough to hear, we need to know what we're working with. Platform algorithms and fierce competition among posts vying for your audience's attention make it difficult for you to reach everyone you want to.

    For example, Hootsuite reports that, "as of the end of 2020, organic reach is...on the decline. The average reach for an organic Facebook post is down to 5.2% [of your followers]." That's right. About five out of every 100 of your followers end up seeing your Facebook post in their newsfeed. Awful. If you're taking your social strategy seriously, you may be considering throwing your (hard-earned) money at sponsoring / boosting posts. Not so fast!

    While mixing in some paid content is good practice, let's review a few (FREE) ways to poise your posts for success (main takeaways: post effectively and regularly).

    First, look at the insights for your social media page(s). Timing is everything and helps your posts be seen by as many followers as possible. For each social platform, check what time of the day and days of the week your followers are likely to be active.

    Next, stick to posting on the same days of the week — every week. If you can't post daily but your followers are most active on Wednesdays and Fridays, use that to your advantage. An easy way to develop content on the regular is by incorporating holidays and themes like #TGIF #ThrowbackThursday or #MondayMotivation. A great site* curating holiday and celebratory days is National Today. These types of themes take a little pressure off generating post ideas, are topical and provide a little consistency for your audience.

    Posting frequently and consistently will allow followers to anticipate posts and even look forward to them! Additionally, frequent post engagement increases the potential for social media algorithms to position you in front of more potential customers.

    Lastly (but certainly not leastly), the quality of posts is more critical than quantity. Quality content is more engaging, provides more favorable brand recognition and leads to more share-potential. In addition to high quality text, incorporating a balance of picture and video on social is a great practice for appealing widely to individuals tastes, increasing engagement and reach. Social media is "all about the scroll," so don't be afraid to get creative when capturing photos for social media content. Often the most absurd angles are the best at capturing our attention - so use them to your advantage!

    Bonus Tips for Taking Pictures and Videos

    •  Let the sunshine in. Natural light is great for capturing captivating images.
    •  Get close to the object you're shooting or crop the image instead of using manual zoom.
    •  In general, keep videos short and to the point, using the first few seconds to grab attention. However, if you're showing your process (like decorating a cake or showing a manufacturing line), don't shy away from slightly longer video as it may captivate your audience and increase engagement ratings.
    •  Plan videos in advance and work on getting clips that help tell a story (or that can be viewed in a series!).
    •  If you're not into creating your own pictures, consider sites* that provide royalty free content like Unsplash, Pexels or Pixabay.

    Now, let's talk more about engagement

    Of course, the goal of posting is to interact with existing and prospective followers, so how can you increase engagement?

    A great way to get followers interacting with your Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn page is to utilize Stories. On Instagram, consider activating features like 'Ask Me Anything' or 'Polls.' Want to know if it's worth it? According to Hootsuite's guide to using Facebook Stories, "After viewing a business' Story, 58% of people say they've browsed a brand's website, 50% say they've visited a website to buy a product or service and 31% headed to a store to scope things out." Talk about conversion opportunity!

    Examples of Social Media Stories

    Not using Stories? Consider including questions or calls-to-action at the end of your post. This results in more comments, therefore, increasing the engagement score of the post and attracting others to join the conversation.

    Another good practice is to consider what's hot at the moment. Add topical content (but not click-bait) to your pre-planned calendar and address what folks are talking about. Using these tips, you will see increased post engagement from existing followers, as well as others looking to join the conversation (and hopefully even convert some to paying customers!).

    And when your audience interacts, interact back! Responding to everyone demonstrates you and your brand appreciate their engagement. And don't forget to invite people who react to your content! If they've liked some of your posts, they might want to stay informed about others.

    Let's sum it up

    Social media effectiveness measurements are based on audience size and engagement, whether that's 100 or 1,000 followers or 1 or 100 content engagements. Write up your small businesses social media strategy in a calendar, revise it frequently, post consistently, engage your audience regularly and you'll build brand awareness!

    Oh, and remember how we mentioned calls-to-action at the end of your post? To keep an eye on all we're up to, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn... @Simplisk


    * Simplisk does not endorse any particular third-party services, nor do we receive compensation for including these companies/services in our discussions.

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