So you made a social media page for your small business, and it’s not performing as well as you had hoped. You’re not alone.

Social media has been marketed as the golden goose of small business marketing because it is free, and it is an easy way to reach consumers. The reality is it is challenging to create content people want to see, and what is even more challenging is finding the audience who wants to see and engage with your content. In this article, we will not talk about making sales, post, or content calendars. Instead, we will focus on what your social media goals should realistically be, using insights, and how to maintain steady growth for your social media pages.

Highlights:

  • Do regular research and keep an eye on other similar brand social media pages.
  • Quantity does not equal quality. Don’t create Zero Carb Content!
  • Find your community/audience; they are out there!
  • Don’t just focus on how many followers you have. Keep track of your social media analytics.
  • Have fun with it!

Do Your Research

There are tons of social media business pages out there; take advantage of it by using other business social media pages for your insight. Start following your competitors and businesses that are similar to your own. See what is and is not working for them on their pages. Take notes, screenshots, and try and notice which of their post are performing well. Once you start compiling samples of successful pages, you can start brainstorming how you can integrate that into something that represents your small business. 

You can also put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. If you have personal social media pages and you follow companies, ask yourself why? Do you follow them because you like to see when new products are released, sale announcements, entertaining, help educate you on specific subjects, or do you just like the way their post look? Start looking at these as blueprints into how you can reach your similar audience. Once you figure that out, try and take those same ideas and make them into content that benefits your business.

Define Your Goals

Once you finish your research and have an idea of what you want your business’ social media pages to look like, the next question you need to ask yourself is, what are your social media goals? Now, keep in mind social media marketing is not sales or advertising. Your social media page’s goal should be to grow to give your brand a personality and audience reach.

You won’t go from 10 followers to 10,000 in a month, so when building out your social media goals, remember to keep them realistic and attainable. Setting unattainable goals will put more pressure on yourself and make even the accomplishments you have achieved feel like failures. 

Setting and failing to reach impossible goals can then lead to burnout and abandonment of social pages. So, what are some goals you should set?

Goal 1: Create Engaging Content 

Is your content relatable, useful, or entertaining? Users get on social media as a source of entertainment, education, and connection. Social media gives you the chance to bring some personality to your brand’s voice. Your social pages do not need to be as prim and professional-looking as your website, press releases, or sales pitches. Use your content as a chance to show the more relatable side of your brand. Am I saying throw all professionalism out of the window? No. Just keep in mind that using this platform for non-stop ads and sale pitches will not grow your base. 

You also do not want to go too far into left field and start sharing funny memes that have no relevance to your brand. 

Keep your content engageable and on-brand with:

  • Behind-the-scenes content
  • Tips and tricks on how to use your product/service
  • Interview clients who love your brand
  • Share reviews

The goal is to make your audience feel like a friend who’s getting the inside scoop.

Goal 2: Maintain Slow and Steady Growth

Check your social media analytics and note your follower count, reach, impression, and engagement. Start monitoring these numbers regularly to get an idea of an attainable goal to work towards to increase those numbers. One of the great things about social media insights is getting instant feedback on how your post performs. 

Keep notes on what posts generate the most reach and engagements to help curate future posts. Keep in mind these numbers grow slowly so, don’t get frustrated with yourself. If you put the work in, you will see positive results! We will go into more detail about these numbers in the Analytics section of this blog.

Goal 3: Create Regularly Scheduled Content

Keeping up with regular scheduling posts for your pages is a key factor in keeping your audience engaged. It is always a great way for people who happen upon your page that your information is up to date, and you are on top of keeping your audience informed. If you go to a Facebook page and see the last time they posted for 4 months ago, odds are they are not going to give you a follow since you don’t update your page, and they will get nothing out of it.

With keeping a regular posting schedule, remember not to overdo it. You don’t want to flood your feed with a new post every hour because it will be hard for your audience to go back and find content. Don’t make Zero Carb Content, or your audience won’t consume it. 

If you are generating multiple posts for the sake of posting, you will start falling short of substance. You will just be creating noise and clutter on your feed, and your audience will lose interest. So, if you want to post twice a week or every day, just make sure it is useful, entertaining, or educational to keep your audience interested and engaged. 

Goal 4: Reach Out to Your Community

Your audience is out there. You just have to find it. If you are in the business of stringing violins and think you are not performing well on social because no one wants to hear about violin building, you are wrong! The great thing about social media is it has curated a place for these niche interests to indulge. You just have to find a way to connect with them because they are out there. Try looking for Facebook groups that have similar interests to your business, utilize hashtags on Instagram and Twitter to help navigate this niche audience to your page, check out Reddit to see what people with that same interest are looking at and discussing.

If you are a local business, make sure to reach out to your community. Cities and small towns love supporting local businesses, and networking with local community groups and other businesses can open many doors for your social pages. Check out your local business chamber chapter. They have several resources to help connect you with similar businesses and organizations in your community.

Measure Your Goals

Keep an eye on your social media analytics to track how your pages are performing. To see your analytics make sure your pages are set to the business profile set to access these insights. Once you have access to your profile insights, you will start seeing numbers for reach, impressions, engagement, and followers. Now, contrary to popular belief, social media success is not only about your follower count. You need to take in the full social media insight matrix to grasp how your page is performing. Let’s break down what each of these terms means:

  • Impressions: The number of times a piece of content is displayed to users.
  • Reach: The number of users exposed to that piece of content.
  • Engagement: The number of users who interacted with a piece of content; liked, shared, commented, retweeted, favored, sent in a message, etc.
  • Followers: The number of users who liked or followed your page to receive regular content in their feed.

Since our goal is to grow our brand and online presence, I would suggest focusing on impression and reach before moving onto followers and engagement. The whole reason you created this social media page is or bring awareness to her small business, so getting eyes on your brand’s content is doing just that! Paying attention to your reach compared to your impressions can also be a great indicator of your message’s reception.

If you have a high impression and low reach, that could mean that your post is not catching your audience’s attention enough for them to stop and look at your post. It can also mean it is a subject that is just not catching their interest. If you see that, change up how you are presenting your messaging and see if that helps. If your impressions are high and your reach is high, that means most users who come across your post are stopping to look at it, which means the public is viewing your brand. That is exactly what we want to happen.

Are you struggling with low engagement?

Don’t get discouraged if you have a high reach, but low engagement. Engagement is low for most brand-based social pages because the average social media user has a low engagement. The average user is consuming content passively, meaning they scroll through their social media feed for a quick look and rarely like and share a post they enjoy.  On average, this user shares one post a month, so it is hard to make sure your post is the one they share, not impossible, but difficult. 

Engagement can help boost followers and reach for your brand, but all three should grow over time if you keep to these steps. If you want a quick boost engagement, try holding a contest. Ask your audience to like and share your post to be entered to win one of your products or a gift card. However, keep in mind that this quick boost does not always lead to long-term growth and loyalty.

Social media can be a fun and frustrating aspect of your business. If you go in without a plan, you’ll quickly find that you can spend endless hours tinkering with your social media pages without any real gains. However, when used correctly and with a plan, it can be a powerful tool to grow your business, expand your reach, and gain new customers. 

Ready to take your social media to the next level? Check out these 6 steps to get started! Don’t miss out on the incredible growth that’s waiting for you when you implement an effective social media strategy. While learning anything new can be intimidating, it’s worth the time and effort!

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Written by Ellen McCandless

Ellen McCandless is the Social Media and Community Manager for 1-800Accountant. She has worked in the Social Media Marketing field for 6 yea...