Believe it or not, but influencers with a small following (even only 1000 followers) actually have a lot more engagement on social media than companies with millions of followers.
Take a look at this study: Markerly found that Instagram influencers with less than 1000 followers generate more likes than those with more followers.
The point is that it is not always about the numbers; it’s about crafting a highly engaged audience, even if it’s on the small size.
You can expect to post generic posts on social media and cultivate a highly engaged audience while doing so.
Social media is a powerful tool, but you have to use it in the right ways.
1. Best Social Media Practices: Take A Cue From Micro Influencers
As you saw above, micro influencers have more engagement than companies with a lot more followers. They are doing something right.
Your business may not necessarily be considered influencers yet, but you can certainly take a cue from them and leverage the power of influencer marketing yourself.
So, how can you do that?
First of all, many businesses, especially smaller ones, make the mistake of using social media platform as a one-way of channel to broadcast their own updates. Essentially, they operate in a vacuum.
However, part of the reason why influencers have highly engaged audiences is because they make their audience part of the conversation. They take the time to respond to them personally. They get their opinions on what posts like would see.
Neil Patel himself says that “The simplest way to stand out is to respond to people and help them out.” Most businesses are unwilling to even respond to a simple tweet.
In short, businesses really need to spend time cultivating unique relationships with their audience. For example, they may send a personal DM if they like a comment and send other personalized messages.
Next, really understand your audience and what they want. Sure, website analytics certainly offer a great starting point for your understanding your audience’s’ needs, but influencers also listen and engage (offline as well) to complete the entire picture.
Another reason why micro-influencers have such highly engaged audiences? Because they are trustworthy.
Yes, it can take a long time to build that trust, but it’s important to focus on providing high-quality content and not fluff. Influencers’ content is genuinely helpful.
They don’t create content that is recycled but rather content that deserves to be shared. They don’t push products. When it comes to building trust, these are good starting points.
Lastly, influencers are also relevant. Not only do they care about what their audience really wants to see, but they are also up to date on all current trends in their industry so that can deliver timely content. Simply put, influencers are always on.
2. Reveal Your Personality
It is a broad statement to make, but the best social media accounts have personality. Whether you hire someone to craft witty, funny or charming social media posts, personality is critical if you want to stand out amongst the crowd.
Your personality/voice should also reflect your brand’s values.
Even being real and being human counts. Don’t sound like a robot.
Really spend a little bit of time thinking about the content of your social media posts. Is it generic and lacklustre? You might want to rethink your posts.
Sure, you need the combination of high-quality content and personality to really see results, but the combination of the two is a lethal one (for your competitors, that is).
3. Cultivate Your Visual Identity
We likely don’t need to tell you how powerful images are (but we will anyway).
First of all, posts images generate tons of engagement. Think more likes, shares and other social currency. According to Kissmetrics, posts with images get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs.
Secondly, people remember images. When people hear information, they only remember 10% of it just three days later. When that same information is combined with a relevant image, people are 65% more likely to remember that information.
While businesses are paying more and more attention to their visual assets, many completely forget to consider it at all. They tend to think only about their content strategy, but remember: your visual identity is just as important.
Simply put, images allow you to capture immediate attention and be memorable at the same time. They can also become part of your very brand.
When it comes to standing out on social media, you will hear over and over again the importance of using images. Images catch attention right away. So, if you want your social media posts to get a boost, accompany them with images.
If you are a Twitter user, simply download Twitter Cards (it’s free) and you will be able to add images, videos and audio to your tweets.
4. Use Facebook Live To Conduct Customer Service
If you’ve been keeping up to date with the digital space, video is forecasted to be the future of content. Here’s one stat for you: by 2021, it is predicted that 82% of all Internet traffic will be in video form. In other words, it’s a pretty powerful medium.
Live video is the latest extension of video and is particularly trendy at the moment. Even Facebook has updated its algorithm to push live videos (and longer videos) to the top of its feed.
What’s great about live video, in particular, is that it humanizes your business and offers a behind-the-scenes look. It’s an intimate look at the inner workings of your business, which many customers appreciate.
Live video is still a novelty and even using it at all is a good start. But, there are a lot of creative ways to use Facebook Live and make yourself stand out. But, one of the best ways is to use it as a means to conduct customer service.
Whether you answer common answer FAQs or you use it to conduct live customer service, the option is yours. But, the point is that it will make you stand out.
Right off the bat, customers won’t be met with more generic customer service options but something personal and more intimate instead.
An added benefit of using Facebook Live to answer common customer service related questions is that you can save the video and then continue to direct people to the video. You no longer have to answer the same questions over and over again.
So, not only will live video make you stand out, but it will also save you time as well.
5. Leverage The Actual Power of Micro Influencers
As you saw above, businesses should take a cue from micro influencers out there when interacting on social media. However, they can also make use of their star power in more direct ways: by partnering with an actual micro-influencer.
This allows you to get in touch with your target audience. Not only that, but you stand out from the crowd by leveraging the micro influencers’ own audience.
Believe it or not, but micro influencing is also pretty affordable for businesses, even small ones. Bloglovin found that you won’t pay more than $250 for a post on Instagram. Twitter posts are even more affordable than this.
If you were willing to spend a little more, you won’t pay more than $500 for a blog post.
If you’re wondering just how much micro-influencer marketing will do for your business, take a look at what it did for a weight-loss tea company.
Markerly got the Kardashian sisters (i.e. major celebrities) to promote a tea that helps with losing weight. While the celebrities drove solid results, they found that the 30 micro-influencers they partnered with actually generated more conversions.
While there are a lot of micro-influencers out there to choose from, it’s important to be authentic – that is, to choose an influencer with whom you share a similar core audience.
6. Make Use of Holidays & Observances
Remember how we were talking about the importance of personality? Holidays and observances that occur throughout the year (like National Donut Day or National Pizza Day) are great tools to draw attention to your brand and products in a fun way.
Who wouldn’t like a pizza-themed tweet? You get the idea. They are just fun.
Just don’t forget to use hashtags and so on to get more eyeballs on your posts.
Don’t shy away from crafting more serious posts based on events like National Breast Cancer Month – these can also be a great opportunity to reveal your core values.
The Bottom Line
Social media can be a powerful tool. But, for small businesses it can be difficult to stand out. That’s why it’s important to focus on being a strong force with the followers you already have (i.e. take a cue from the social media influencers out there).
Once you have the best social media practices down (which will grow your following), you can then start using social media in more creative ways – for example, by using live video as a means to conduct customer service.
To sum all of this up, social media is something that requires investment, but if you want to see results, you need to invest in it yourself.
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