Social media has done small business owners everywhere a great service, when you stop and think about it. No matter how small your business is, your business can promote itself on social media to people from around the world. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram have given small businesses owners microphones. Which is great, until small business owners inevitably realize that when everyone gets their hands on a microphone, it’s a lot harder for you to stand out in the crowd.
Whether you’re new to the world of social media marketing or you’ve been involved for years now, it’s no secret that getting noticed on social media can be an uphill battle. The world’s most ingenious marketing content won’t do you or your business much good if no one else is seeing it.
Generally speaking, the more exposure your content has on social media, the better. While I can’t give you the fool-proof method for creating dynamite content every single time, I can give you some guidance on how to increase your marketing content’s exposure on social.
Understand the Platform
Before you start to look for one-size-fits-all ideas and tactics that you can start implementing, you need to focus on the unique nature of each individual platform. Content shouldn’t be promoted the same on Instagram and Facebook because they aren’t always going to be perfectly compatible. Your audience doesn’t use them the same way, so you shouldn’t either.
Let’s try a quick thought experiment. Take a look at Facebook. While it certainly has the ability to handle visual content like images and videos, there’s more that you can do on Facebook to engage your audience. If you’d like to connect with your audience via something like a blog post, that’s something that you can only accomplish on a platform like Facebook.
If you’re looking to share a short live stream video, Facebook can certainly handle that. And with over 1 billion active daily users, Facebook is a strong choice. But Instagram Stories has already hit 250 million users since it’s inception, and with an arguably more engaged community of users for a very specific tool, live streaming on Instagram has the potential to be a strong choice too.
The point of this thought experiment is to illustrate the fact that the more you understand about any individual platform, its place in the digital marketing ecosystem and the way that its users consume content, the more likely you are to make the right choice when it comes to maximizing your exposure. Ensure that the content you’re producing is custom-tailored to whichever platform you intend to publish it on. Only then can you guarantee that your content is being presented and consumed the way it was intended.
Explore the World of Visual Content
Speaking of things like live video, there’s a massive amount of potential being wasted by most small business owners when it comes to content creation.
Forget about the benefits of experimenting with content in order to discover what your audience enjoys the most, that’s a topic for another time. The real tragedy here is that adding visual content to your marketing efforts has been proven to be a straightforward way to increase the effectiveness of your content, no matter what it is.
Adding a visual component to your content is going to get it more views, that’s just a given. The only thing that you need to be thinking about at this point is what kind of visual content you’re going to use.
Thanks to the inherent low-budget appearance, live videos are a great way to create content with an authentic, intimate feel built right in. And if you’re operating with a modest marketing budget, live videos have the added benefit of actually being a low-budget option. You can document the creation of a product or hold a town-hall style Q&A all for free.
If you’re looking for long-term exposure, you may be better off recording a video with higher production quality. A video that’s officially posted on social media can be shared and watched over and over again.
And that’s not even addressing infographics, slideshows and a host of other types of visual content. To avoid getting too bogged down in this topic, just be aware that you’re going to need a visual component to your content and that the best option is going to be dependant on the platform you’re posting on and your overall vision for your marketing strategy.
The interesting thing about this section is that while it’s arguably the least ‘exciting’, it’s definitely the most crucial component of any social media marketing strategy. Without a heavy focus on metrics, your marketing efforts essentially amount to guessing at what’s working and what isn’t.
If you’re looking for ways to increase your content’s exposure, the process actually becomes pretty simple. Experiment with a variety of different styles of content, rollouts, etc. Track the data on each individual strategy using platform specific tools, focusing on metrics like exposure and reach. Once you’ve collected the data on each strategy, create and publish more content that’s designed to capitalize on what your audience is responding to.
Again, it’s easy to look at this section and say ‘well, of course metrics are important’. It’s much harder to actually understand what that means from a marketing strategy perspective. While there’s always room for creativity in the content creation process, taking a look at the metrics for your marketing strategies can be a bit of a wake up call for some small business owners.
An idea that you thought would be fantastic may have fallen flat on its face. An idea that you may have thought up on a whim might be the most successful piece of content you ever publish. There’s no way to be sure at first, but once the data is in, the judgment and preconceived notions need to be dropped immediately. Data first, decision second.
Ads on social are not like any other ads online. Why? Because they have massive upside. Facebook ads and Instagram ads have some of the best ROI in the paid ads game. And fortunately for small business owners everywhere, the paid ads game has changed quite significantly over the years.
It wasn’t all that long ago that the world of paid ads was dominated by t.v and radio. Unless you could afford a commercial on one of those giants, you didn’t have a chance of getting your marketing content promoted there.
Fast forward to the present and small business owners with smaller marketing budgets can collaborate with micro-celebrities and promote their content, product or service to millions of people, at a fraction of the cost of television. More importantly, you get access to plenty of engaged users. People who actively interact with your collaborator. It’s essentially a way to hijack a curated list of people in your demographic, who want your product/service. It’s hard to think of anything that’ll offer your content more exposure than that.
Most people aren’t going to wake up tomorrow and suddenly have the internet’s ear. All you can hope to do is take every step possible to increase your content’s exposure on social by building a marketing strategy that prioritizes data, industry understanding and execution.