Five simple steps to grow your social media presence

SMEs can struggle to be seen in terms of social media presence when competing with bigger brands who have massive online marketing budgets.

So how can you make your business stand out on social media with minimum spend? Here are our tips to help you boost your social media presence and convert seasonal customers into life-long customers.

1. Work out what you are trying to achieve

Likes and followers are great, but are you on the right platforms to reach your customers, and how are you driving them to purchase online? If digital sales are an important objective, take the time to analyse what worked for you online last Christmas and what type of content is generating customer engagement for your competitors.

The 2016 Sensis Social Media Report found that 30 per cent of businesses measure their return on investment online. Be the smart business that invests your time and money where it is working. This will help you to determine who you should be targeting and how.

2. Spread some joy

Everyone loves something for nothing. Thank loyal customers and entice new followers by running a competition or give-away. Our report found that the most common reasons people follow businesses or brands on social media are for discounts, give-aways and exclusive offers.

Facebook requires permits when you are running a game-of-chance competition. Think about running a game-of-skill instead, allowing you and your followers to get creative and have some fun while creating content for your platform.

3. Change with the seasons

As the weather changes, so do the things people want to look at – wardrobe, food, sport, weekend activities and feelings of comfort are all vary from summer to winter. Our research shows 41 per cent of social-media users will inspect a brand’s social media presence before making an online purchase, so it is important to remember your social media pages play a vital role in how your business is perceived by potential customers.

Once you’ve updated the feel of your page, make use of the call-to-action feature on your Facebook cover photo. You can find this by clicking on the “create call to action” icon. This will direct followers straight to your website. Instagram is linked to Facebook, so you can easily choose to run your call to action across both platforms.

To keep momentum going during the campaign, share posts that emphasise what perfect gifts your products and services make and alert your followers to the items that are selling fast to create buzz.

4. Send timely greetings or messages

Easter doesn’t have to be just about buying chocolate. Use calendar opportunities to let new followers get to know you and your business. What are you doing for your holidays or celebratory occasions? Get a little more personal and introduce the faces behind your brand.

Video is extremely effective, easy to create and is favoured by Facebook when it comes to displaying content in newsfeeds. Use the video feature on your smartphone or download a free video-editing app and produce a clever video that shows your product in use, some behind the scenes footage of your team or to directly wish customers a happy Easter.

5. Schedule content to keep your customers engaged

Take advantage of scheduling tools so you can still maintain a presence and talk to your followers while you enjoy your holidays throughout the year. Social media doesn’t take a holiday and plenty of your followers will still be online.

A scheduling tool such as Hootsuite allows you to create content before you go away and schedule it to be shared with your followers at the appropriate time. Remember to target content to run when your followers are most likely to be online. Our report shows users are most likely to check their social accounts first thing in the morning, after work and in the evening.

Social media is a great, economical and targeted way to let your followers know about your plans. It doesn’t have to be onerous to manage and there are a lot of free tools to help you streamline your processes.

Alice Mentiplay, General Manager of Digital, Sensis

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