Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope…
Is it me or does it feel like there’s a new social media darling every day?
Just when we’re getting comfortable with Facebook and Twitter, there are brand new media channels to learn. It can be exhausting to keep up with the internet’s pace, but as a small business owner, it’s one of the many hats you must wear.
We’re advocates of jumping into popular new media avenues, especially those like Snapchat and Instagram that seem to be here to stay, so we put together this introductory guide to getting started with some of the newer social media.
First things first:
Is it right for me?
Like every overworked entrepreneur, you’re probably wondering if new media marketing is actually worth your time and effort. The overall statistics are clear, but will these channels work for you and your business specifically?
There are a few things to consider when deciding this — chief among them is your target market. If the people you’re trying to reach, the people who buy your product, don’t hang out on these networks, your marketing could just be a shout into the void. Discovering where your audience lives online is a vital first step to developing any and every digital marketing strategy.
So how can you find out if your customers are on Snapchat, Instagram, or Periscope? One option is to survey your existing customers and ask for information about the social media sites they frequent. You can also analyze existing demographic data — like the audience information in Google Analytics.
Generally, it’s the younger demographics that you’ll find on newer media sites like Instagram and Snapchat, so if your customer base is under thirty, you’ll fit right in. That being said, Facebook Live lets you reach an audience as wide and varied as you can find on Facebook, so there’s a good chance your customers are there regardless of age.
With any new strategy, the first step is to establish specific goals for each new network that tie into your overall business goals. Consider what you’re trying to achieve by marketing with each new media. Are you aiming for brand recognition or engagement? Sales or website traffic? Whatever your purpose is, write down specific, measurable goals so you can assess how your strategy is performing down the line. Now, let’s jump into the networks themselves.
Snapchat is a huge opportunity, particularly for brands targeting a younger (college-aged and below) demographic. A study by Sumpto found that 45% of college students would open a Snap from a brand they don’t know, and a whopping 73% would open one from a brand they do know. You can even bring your presence from other social networks to Snapchat — 69% of those surveyed noted they would follow a brand on Snapchat if they already follow them on other networks.
You might be wondering: That’s great, but what do I even post on Snapchat?
The answer depends partly on the goals you set forth for this strategy, but here are a few safe bets for Snapchat content:
Tease new products. If you have a new or seasonal product that’ll be available soon, release a teaser photo or video on Snapchat. You’ll drum up excitement and suspense for the product and create the impression that your followers are getting an exclusive first look. Exclusivity = follows.
Offer exclusive incentives. Offering exclusive incentives just for your Snapchat followers is a great way to reward them for engaging with your brand, and it creates a perfect excuse for followers to talk your business up to their friends. That means more followers and more potential sales.
Highlight events. Snapchat may not be live, but you can still communicate with your audience in real-time. Working a booth at the local fair? Let your customers know you’re there, and show them what they’re missing out on.
If you’re active on Facebook and Twitter, Instagram may feel a little more familiar than some of the other new media channels. It’s essentially a feed like Twitter, but for photos instead of 140-character zingers.
A picture’s worth a thousand words, right? You can say that again when it comes to social media — Instagram averages 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter. You read that right: 120 times more. Not to mention it was the fastest growing social network last year.
You’ll find plenty of giant brands here, but there’s plenty of room for smaller businesses, too. Here are a few ways you can tap into Instagram’s prowess:
Host an AMA (ask me anything) session. Allow followers to ask you any burning questions they have and you can post a video chronicling the answers with Instagram Stories.
Use geotagging to bring in foot traffic. Instagram lets you geotag photos and videos, so you can target a hyperlocal audience and entice them into your brick & mortar.
Audience-source content. Your customers might be talking about your business whether you’re on Instagram or not. Once you’re there, curate your customers’ content, and share that social proof with the rest of your audience.
Source: The Tasty Biscuit
Live Video: Facebook Live and Periscope
I don’t have to sell you on the behemoth that is Facebook. With over a billion daily active users, you can’t get reach like that anywhere else, and there’s a good chance your audience is part of that billion. With Facebook Live, you can meet them where they already are and bring something new to the table. What’s more, live video options like Facebook Live and Periscope let you jump into the video trend without anyone expecting you to be an expert videographer with perfectly polished clips.
Consider posting live videos along these lines:
Give a behind-the-scenes look. Real-time video is perfect for letting your audience see behind the curtain. Give them a live look in on company parties, secret recipes, and new, upcoming products.
Provide helpful advice & tutorials. YouTube bloggers have been cutting their teeth on video tutorials for a while now. With live video options, you can share your expertise and help establish authority within your niche.
- Broadcast live events. If you’re holding an event at your business or attending industry events, give customers an inside look at what’s happening. Promote events while they’re happening and show your audience what they’re missing.
As a rule of thumb, your content and interactions on any of these new media channels should follow the same basic tenets as any other social media website. Stick to these guidelines, and you’ll be able to hit the ground running with any digital marketing you do.
Tell your existing networks that you’re on these sites
Be as real and human as possible
Engage with your audience
Keep abreast of big events and join in
Jumping into new and unfamiliar territory on social media can be a really intimidating prospect. But as an entrepreneur, it’s your job to be fearless and dive on in anyway. Your business (and your wallet) will thank you.