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Social media allows small business to compete with big business. It’s the great leveler. Even so, small businesses don’t have the same margin for error or budget that their big business counterparts do. Therefore, it’s vitally important that small business know how to maximize each and every social media strategy for the greatest return.

Before you get started elevating your social media presence, evaluate efforts from the past year and note what’s worked and what has not. Examine or create goals for your campaigns. And use these 5 trends to measure and plan your social media activities.

Video is King

People want their information quickly and with asĀ little effort as possible. Small businesses use video to quickly communicate important information to their target audience. Video leads to higher conversion rates and greater brand awareness, more than any other media type. Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook Live have made it easy to connect with audiences. In addition, video uploads on social media platforms successfully engage viewers.

Social Media Engagement is Critical

Likes and page views are nice, but they are not enough. You need engagement. Three critical measurements will help evaluate your social media success.

Engagement Percentage. This measures the ratio of comments to followers. If you have 500 followers and 100 of them comment–positive or negative–then you have a 20% engagement rate. What makes a good rate depends on your industry.

Share Percentage. When customers share your content, it means they like you. If you have 500 followers and 50 of them share your content, you have a 10% share ratio–and hopefully a lot more followers.

Conversion Percentage. The ultimate goal for most businesses on social media is to generate leads. If you have 500 followers and your Facebook post generates 5 leads, you have 1% conversion rate.

Focus is Necessary

Although it’s easy to jump on the latest social media craze, it’s not the wisest strategy. Find where your target audience hangs out on social media. Learn how to reach that target audience–at first ads might be required to draw them to your business page. Master the platform before moving on to the next.

Great Content Before Great Conversion

The most important rule of content marketing applies to social media. If you want to attract your target audience, you need to provide them great content that addresses the reason for why they came to your website in the first place. Post content that entertains, informs, and inspires. Solve the problems of your audience and lead them along the sales journey.

Conversion is the Goal

Social media needs to drive your customers through the marketing and sales funnel — especially if you’re an e-commerce or subscription based site.

  • Do your YouTube videos generate sales inquiries?
  • Do your Twitter posts drive traffic to your website?
  • Does your Facebook page generate meeting requests?

Social media marketing must generate leads. When using social media, look at your activity from the viewpoint of a customer and the different stages of theĀ sales funnel.

  • Awareness Stage. Make your audience aware that there is a solution to their problem and that you have that solution.
  • Consideration Stage. Let your audience know that although there is no “one size fits all” solution, you have options for them.
  • Decision Stage. Let your audience know that your product or service has features that have solved the problems of people just like them.

Just knowing the trends is not the same as formulating a social media strategy that incorporates the trends. Contact Link Encounter today and see how they can help you generate leads through social media.