By Eleanor O'Connor – On
Social media is a pretty powerful (and free) tool. Regardless of the personal social media accounts you may or may not have, your company must have a consistent presence on the social platforms your audience uses to remain relevant.
For your convenience, we've provided timestamps and summaries for specific portions of the video below.
Creating Your Social Media Content Strategy 2:55
Although you may be surprised to hear this, a social media strategy is extremely important for businesses that serve niche markets - maybe even more so than those that cater to a broader audience. With social media, you can find and interact directly with the people your product or service is specifically meant for.
Set Goals for Your Strategy 5:34
Experimentation with some specific goals in mind is key when you’re in the first stages of developing a social media strategy. Before you begin experimenting with everything these platforms have to offer, ask yourself the following questions:
‣ Who do you want to reach?
‣ What kind of story do you want to tell about your product or service, and company?
Your answers to these will help you determine your goals.
Experiment With Content 6:05
According to Lauren, experimentation is the name of the game. Initially, trying different types of content and seeing what sticks is the best way of determining which content your audience wants.
For example, when Lauren began The Buffalo Creative she experimented with both visual and informational types of content. When she realized that people were commenting on posts, asking for more informational content, she began to focus her efforts there.
Guerrilla Marketing is another tactic that’s especially useful for businesses looking to attract audiences in their niche through social media. On Instagram, you can easily discover the hashtags, influencers and specific locations related to the niche markets your business serves. You can then use this information to partner with niche influencers, businesses and other individuals that can help you better reach your target audience.
Ask Your Audience for Feedback 7:00
After experimenting, you won’t have to guess about which content is most engaging for your audience - using social media, you can ask them directly. Not only will likes and comments determine content effectiveness, but you can also create content that elicits a response or opinion from your audience. For example, creating a poll or Instagram story asking for content suggestions would be a good place to start.
When you ask for feedback from your audience, not only will you be able to determine what to post, but you’ll also be able to develop a personal connection with your audience through these interactions.
As a result, your audience will be able to view your company in a more “human” way.
Differentiate Your Business From The Competition 8:25
Why should someone follow your company’s social media profiles over your competitors?
Being able to answer this question is key. If you’re not providing something unique and valuable for the niche markets you serve, nothing will prevent them from following your competitor over you.
Analyze your competitor’s social media profiles to gain an understanding of the opportunities they aren’t taking advantage of. You can then use those opportunities to stand out and deliver something unique for your audience.
For Lauren, standing out from competitors meant creating content that helped business owners understand social media and “do it themselves.” She was able to uncover this opportunity by listening to feedback from her audience and looking at what her competition wasn’t doing.
A business that sells social media services teaching its target customers how to use social media on their own may seem counter-intuitive, but in fact, it is not. By helping your audience thoroughly understand what your business does, you have the potential to increase their interest in your product or service for any of the following reasons:
‣ Your audience views your company as an industry expert
‣ Your audience realizes they may need assistance due to the complex nature of the product/service
‣ You help your audience fully understand the purpose of your product/service
Lauren’s philosophy is to show her audience that “I know what I’m doing, I want you to know what you’re doing, and if you don’t have time to do what you want to do you can always call me.”
Create Go-To Resources Related to Your Niche 11:00
Most likely, your product or service was developed to serve a need or fill a gap in your niche industry.
When it comes to creating go-to resources don’t over-complicate things. Just think about what content you would find helpful in your industry. “You are your own audience,” says Lauren.
More Than Just Lead Generation 12:00
When your business is active on social media, it’s not just about generating leads. You’re also able to generate strong brand awareness in the niche market(s) you serve.
When your social media is up-to-par with your audience’s expectations and needs, it invokes a strong feeling of trust towards your company. “We are in an era where that (social media) is how we judge how reputable a company is,” says Lauren.
Think about it - would you visit a restaurant that only posted stock photos of food or a hairstylist whose Instagram had no before and after photos? To be honest, we probably wouldn’t.
Your social media profiles are also a great way to keep your company top-of-mind and generate word-of-mouth among your audience. When people need the product or service you offer, they’ll know where to go.
About Our Guest
Lauren Spoth is the founder of The Buffalo Creative and Creative Marketing Director at StepOut Buffalo. Lauren has always had a strong interest in social media. She began blogging in college, using twitter and Facebook to reach her audience.
Being one of the first employees at StepOut Buffalo, she was able to experiment with creating and developing their social media presence, growing their Instagram following from around 4,000 to 60,000. When she realized that small businesses in the area wanted to build their social media presence, but didn’t have the time or resources necessary to do so, she began The Buffalo Creative.