Focus your efforts
The reality of small business probably means that don’t have a lot of spare time up your sleeve, so you need to make sure your efforts are focused.
Fish where the fish are, and the fish are on Facebook. Facebook accounts for the vast majority of social traffic in Australia, so it makes sense to get that right first, and then focus on other platforms once you’ve mastered it. You’ll need to commit at least 2 hours per week to start having some success.
Don’t post boring content
It’s important to think about talking to your fans in the same way that you would talk to your friends. For example, if you keep writing, “buy our product, buy our product, buy our product,” your fans are going to disengage.
Keep your content fresh, varied, and relevant, and you'll be well on your way to having an engaged, thriving fan base.
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Provide great customer service
Social channels are a great place to facilitate customer service because of their timely nature - which means that you can monitor and respond in real time.
The transparency of social channels is a scary thought for some small business owners, but if you provide great customer service as a business (and you should be), then facilitating that service through your social channels is a great way to promote the fact that you treat your customers well, because it’s there for all to see.
Businesses that provide good customer service encourage communication through social channels and they will respond quickly.
Build interactions with your followers
The best way to grow your interactions and engagement, especially when you’ve got a small audience, is to make sure your audience is seeing your content.
Facebook allows you pay to boost your posts, to make sure that you get more eyeballs on your content. You don’t have to have a massive budget to do this, $5 will help you reach an extra 5,800 to 11,000 people.
As a rule, only promote posts that are already doing well in terms of engagement – there is no point in showing more people poor content.
Use advertising to build your following
If you have a bigger budget, Facebook has a couple of really cool tools within their Power Editor campaign manager called Custom Audiences, and Lookalike Audiences.
Custom Audiences allows you to target your existing customers and contacts with Facebook advertising, which is a great way to grow your fan base. Facebook then builds an interest and demographic profile of your existing customers, and you can target ads at users that have similar interests and demographics to your existing customers. We’ve tried this out and are already seeing really great results using these tools.
Use a strong call to action in your posts
If you want to convert social media traffic to sales, it really depends on what sort of business you have.
If you’re a B2B business, targeting decision makers using LinkedIn can be really effective. If you’re a creative business, for example, a homewares retailer, the hyper-visual platform Pinterest might be a better bet for reaching your audience.
Getting people to click through is all about asking them to do so. Businesses often forget to ask their customers to click, interact and buy.
Use a strong call to action - when you ask people to perform an action like click or buy, give them a reason to click or buy. They’re thinking "what’s in it for me?", so address that question in your call to action.
Dominos Pizza Australia are great at this. When they suggest that their fans should have pizza for dinner, they give their Facebook fans a special discount code. This makes redemptions via social channels measurable for Dominos, and is a good incentive for their fans to convert into sales.