Social media is a driving force for much of our communication in the 21st century. Lula has put together 6 social media tips to help small businesses get ahead in 2024.
Many cannot go far without checking their Facebook, IG, and Twitter feeds. The recent GWi consumer trends for 2024 reveal some interesting facts to consider when planning communications for social spaces and beyond. The study reveals insights supporting the rise of AI and concerns attached to it, the rise in the lack of trust in media and how short-form video is changing sports.
This being said, social media marketing needs to have a strategy – it requires clear objectives and planning to achieve those goals. Here are some easy ways you can use social media to positively impact your business.
6 social media tips for your small business:
- Choose platforms suited to your business.
- Planning is essential.
- Engage with customers and potential customers.
- Be aware of what to avoid doing on social media.
- Make use of curated content and UGC.
- If you can, make use of social advertising.
1. Choose platforms suited to your business
Keep it simple. You don’t need to use every social media platform under the sun. If you have a restaurant, Instagram is a great option. It’s a very visual platform that can help you showcase your dishes. If you have a consulting business, you’ll probably want to stick to more professional platforms like LinkedIn. Research to find out what social media sites your audience spends time on and is using. This way, you don’t waste time and resources posting on platforms that won’t generate leads and engage with potential customers.
2. Planning is essential
Create a social media marketing plan before you do anything else. Your plan should have clear objectives and goals that you want to achieve. Perhaps your business is new, and you want to create more brand awareness, or you simply want to increase sales. With goals in mind, you can assess whether your social campaigns are successful. Create a content calendar for your social media postings. This can help you plan content for the week or month and allow you to schedule these in advance to save time.
Tools like Hootsuite can prove to be quite handy. HootSuite is a central platform from which you can schedule tweets, Facebook posts, LinkedIn updates, and other social content. It also allows you to read and respond to what’s happening across various feeds. Here’s a great video on more of that.
3. Engage with customers and potential customers
Listening to your customers is as important as sharing content with them. The best way to show them you are listening is to engage with them on social media. This makes your customers feel like you understand their needs and hear their concerns. It also shows that you are proactive when dealing with complaints and shows your customers that you value them. Lyra Communications gives some great tips on engaging with your social media followers below. Take a quick listen.
Lean more into user-generated content and promote your customer’s authentic stories and content. As trust is an issue in 2024, it will make sense to generate content that feels real and can resonate with your audiences well.
4. Be aware of what to avoid doing on social media
One of the most annoying things brands can do is use clickbait. This is when someone uses controversial headlines to gain more attention. More often than not, the article offers no new information or provides content that contradicts the headline. This can be extremely frustrating for audiences and should be avoided at all costs.
Another thing you want to steer clear of is using social media purely for advertising purposes. This makes customers feel like your only concern is the bottom line. Instead, use it to add value to your customer. Share information that they would find useful and can help and inform them.
If your business is online, you might receive a negative comment at some point or another. The worst way to handle these is to ignore or delete them. Rather, use this as an opportunity to show the kind of brand that you are and the kind of service you work hard to provide. Answer these types of queries timeously, try to solve the issue quickly and engage with the customer to see what you can do to improve things.
Remember that every interaction online is an opportunity to showcase your brand and the type of business you are. Turn negatives into positives, and determine how you will handle these situations before they crop up – this goes back to the first point about planning.
5. Make use of curated content ad UGC
Don’t just talk about yourself. Everyone hates the hard sell. If all you do is bang on about your product or service and how awesome your business is, you’ll start losing followers. There will be other businesses or industry leaders who write better blogs or have greater industry knowledge than you do – don’t be afraid to share their content. Always keep in mind that the content you share on social media is there to add value to your customers. Let that rule of thumb guide what and how you share curated content.
6. If you can, make use of social advertising
Social advertising can make a meaningful difference. Boosting content on Facebook or using LinkedIn-sponsored content can help you reach a wider, targeted audience. Take advantage of these opportunities if you have the budget. It is a great opportunity to make more people aware of your business, make your content accessible to those who don’t yet know about you and gain new customers. If you require the budget, consider taking out small business funding to plan effectively for your social media needs now, during this busy festive season and into the new year.
Check out this video explaining why you should use social media.
What next for social media marketing in 2024, you ask? One of the key trends to keep an eye on in 2024 is how AI will be integrated into social media marketing strategies, AI will revolutionise personalised marketing, enabling brands to deliver tailored content to their audience at mass. Then, according to the Semrush Social Media 2024 Trends report, user-generated content (UGC) will be used over professional and more polished content. Authenticity and trustworthiness have been rising amidst the rise of AI, and UGI resonates more with consumers – it’s just more real. Simply put, Social media users will listen to the voices of everyday customers to promote moving forward. What will your strategy be in 2024?