Who, in this day and age, is not on some kind of social media? This channel of communication has developed into a major source of revenue for businesses both big and small. Unfortunately, if you’re a small, new business, chances are you can’t afford to hire a Social Media Specialist. This makes marketing and attracting new clients and followers very tricky. Posting a picture or tweet here and there is not going to attract or engage a large number of followers. In order to truly use social media to its full potential, businesses must prepare to invest some time and effort into better understanding how to market on different platforms. Fortunately, we’re here to offer some advice:
1. Quality Over Quantity: You’ve heard this phrase before. As a small business, you want to reach for loyalty as opposed to millions of followers. You don’t need to “go viral” straight off the bat. Instead, focus on building strong relationships with a smaller number of followers. Social media relationships, like real-life relationships, take time. When you start to attract and build these loyal relationships with a select few, you tap into their social circles. Building a solid reputation for great customer service and support will translate into referrals and will build your following over time. Don’t put all your effort into one huge campaign for immediate value—let your following build up with LOYAL clients who plan to stay for the long haul.
2. Focus On Your Local Community: Start local. Look at the types of businesses that are around you and post targeted content. You can also offer incentives for local workers who check into your facility on social media.
3. Plan In Advance. We cannot stress enough how important this is. Create a content calendar so you know what kind of content to post on each day. This will save you so much time in the long run and consumers will appreciate your consistency. Also, start by experimenting with the best times and days to post content. Perhaps you get more engagement from posts on Wednesdays at 9am. Experiment and then make it a ritual. Also, take advantage of Holidays! Offer a Christmas special or free guest passes on Mother’s day—the possibilities are endless!
4. Use What You Already Have. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Utilize content you’ve already created or include quotes from satisfied customers. In the age of Yelp and other review sites, clients are looking for first-hand experiences to form their own decisions. Adding a client testimonial will go a long way in attracting new followers. 5. Be Engaging! People love quizzes, polls or any other medium where they can post their opinion. Let the public know that there are real people working at your gym, and don’t be afraid to show a sense of humor! Take some risks.
6. Translate Relationships Into Sales. So, you’ve established some loyal relationships, not how do you turn this into revenue? Begin by offering special offers to clients via social media. Offer online and offline coupon codes. Create contests with prizes such as free classes or memberships. This will generate sales both online and at your facility.
7. Quick Response Time: Never ignore a complaint! Think of complaints as little gifts. If one person voices an issue, there are usually ten more with the same issue that are just too lazy to post it. The people who DON’T speak up, are usually just leave rather than deal with the issue. Use these complaints to better your business and let the client know that they’ve been heard and that you are actively working to address their concerns. Most importantly, by responding quickly, you show that your company cares about your clients and want to create the best customer experience possible. With that being said, respond quickly to positive comments too! Everyone likes to be acknowledged and if you ignore a compliment it might rub followers the wrong way.
8. Use Data and Analytics. Finally, make sure you are measuring your reach and engagement on social media. This is critical to understanding what is and isn’t working. Most social media platforms provide their own set of analytics. However, it doesn’t hurt to use an additional tool for accuracy. Some of the data you should be sure to measure include:
• Who is promoting your business the most and has a vast amount of followers you can tap into?
• Who is visiting your page and when?
• Who made purchases from you in the past? This will help so you develop tactics to encourage future purchases.
The fact is, there are a myriad of ways to promote your business. Don’t dive straight in and try everything at once. Gradually build up your following with loyal members and nurture those relationships. Listen, respond, and get to know your audience so that you can develop your overall marketing plan into a major success.