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Social Media: Building A Strategy To Go Viral
This is because at the end of the day, you’re working with people and trying to guess their feelings and behaviors, which are very difficult to anticipate. For a little help with figuring out your audience’s tastes, feelings, and behaviors, take a look at our guide to Customer Research, which will help you get an idea of which platforms would likely be most popular among your users.
Before we take you through the awareness and consideration stages of the funnel, you’ll need to decide on your end goal – or the “conversion”. Just like sending mice through a maze, you need a clear picture of what exactly you want the mice to do – otherwise you’re relying on chance for the mice to get from point A to point B, which is never a good idea.
Ask yourself, what do you want your potential customers to do? Do you want them to call you directly? Request a quote by filling out the form on your website? Pick the conversion that best suits your business, and use it as the endpoint to drive your new clients towards.
A general rule of thumb in marketing is that 80% of your content should be aimed at nurturing your relationship with customers while only 20% should be sales.
Does it nurture your relationship with the customer?
As mentioned in our Networking Playbook, people like to work with people they trust, so it’s vital that you build that trust and connection on social media. This can be done by sharing information that’s valuable to customers in a way that’s either entertaining, inspirational, or educational.
For example, you might share tricks and tips based on your expertise and show how you’re uniquely equipped to answer customers’ needs. You can also utilize fun memes related to your trade, quotes and personal success stories, reviews, case studies, behind the scenes content, or employee/customer features, also known as highlights.
A general rule of thumb in marketing is that 80% of your content should be aimed at nurturing your relationship with customers while only 20% should be sales. Remember that by no means do you have to stick strictly to this 80/20 ratio. Use whatever ratio and method that best suits your businesses’ needs.
Does it get you sales?
But for any of the considerations or conversions to happen, you’ll first have to find a way to get on your future customers’ radars. Simply creating a website and Facebook page isn’t going to cut it and get you sales.
You’ll have to find ways to make your presence known online, and the easiest way to do that is to go into spaces where your audience is already spending time. Think about what you and your friends/family do online. What kind of people do you follow on Facebook? Are you in any groups? Where do you go for local news? Are there any local events or places you frequent?
Let’s say for example that you’re marketing your plumbing business on Facebook. You’ve got a killer Facebook page with top-notch content. You’re sharing all kinds of great plumbing tips and tricks. You’re funny and personable. Your offers are irresistible, like offering free water testing. But the problem is, no matter how great your content may be, nobody’s seeing it. It’s just you talking into the void – well, a void and two people you haven’t spoken to since high school and your distant aunt from Jersey you’ve invited to like your page.
You should also tag locals with a lot of followers, or other businesses, in your posts. If you go to the local hardware store, take a photo and tell your followers how you’ve trusted them for XX amount of years, and tag that business. Comment on other people’s posts from your Facebook page’s profile – or your own if you’re sharing content to your personal Facebook about your business.
At the end of the day, social media is a numbers game. The more people that see you (awareness), and the more people follow you (consideration), the more sales you’ll get (conversions).
At the risk of getting a little meta on you, you should know that you’re actually in a marketing funnel right now. Sure, we genuinely enjoy creating content like this that helps individuals grow their businesses, and making a daunting task like marketing simple and accessible for the everyday person.
But, if you’ve taken the time to read the rest of this overview, you should realize that you’re currently in that relationship nurturing/consideration stage where we help you get to know us by providing something of value to you in the hopes that you’ll like it enough to keep engaging with us. Then, we can quietly slide you a promotional offer relevant to your interests. An example of this would be telling you…
“Hey, while you’re thinking about growing your business through social media marketing, you know what would also really help? Our business management software. It’s going to reduce how much time you’re spending on administrative tasks by streamlining and automating your day-to-day so you can spend more time focusing on promoting yourself online.”
On the off-chance you click that link we provided, you’ll notice a handy UTM code at the end of the link you clicked so we can track how you came to our website, which will tell us where you came from so we know where to put more time and money into advertising.
And odds are, the reason you found this post is because we were employing some of the methods we just discussed above, like sharing our content to relevant groups and people on Facebook. Or maybe you came from another form of online marketing in that awareness stage like a Google Search or paid advertising. Take a page out of our (play)book and try this method on your audience!
It’s far better to be really good at one social media site, like Facebook, and learn its intricacies than to be just ‘okay’ at a lot of them. Keep in mind that even social media experts usually don’t bother to learn more than 3-4 social media channels.
At most, you’re going to want to focus on 1-3 platforms, not including local listings and directories like Yelp and Angi. As a local service business, the odds are those platforms are going to be Facebook and Instagram, sheerly because of their popularity. However, you should also consider utilizing TikTok, as it’s one of the fastest growing social media platforms of all time.
Follow Best Practices
The first, and most essential step, is to make sure your social media accounts are set up correctly, following best practices, and fully filled out. This is easily the most common mistake people make, and there’s about an 80% chance that if you have a business social media account, you’re not following best practices and it’s impacting your numbers.
To make this simple, we’ve created these social media cheat sheets you can reference:
DOWNLOAD FACEBOOK CHEATSHEET
Looking for a quick and easy guide to Facebook marketing? Our cheatsheet includes: Facebook Setup Checklist, 50+ post ideas, 20+ editable templates, sizing chart, tools, KPIs to track, and posting guidelines.
Take Time To Learn The Platform
After that, you need to take the time to really learn how the social media site works and all the features and tools at your disposal. Learning the intricacies of a social media website will help you see patterns and make educated guesses about why your audience is behaving a certain way. That way it’s easy for you to troubleshoot and test what tactics are best.
Here’s a few of our favorite websites to learn from and stay up to date with:
Find Non-Intrusive Touch Points
Luckily, finding non-intrusive touchpoints is easy. It’s in the name: social media. Here’s a few examples what you can do to connect with people on social media and get your name out there:
- Tag people in photos
- Comment on posts
- Like posts – 25/50 a day is usually safe (otherwise the social media platform may think you’re abusing the system)
- Send direct messages to chat or share posts
- Follow them – follow !25-50 ppl a day on Instagram and Twitter then after some time has passed and you get over 200/500 followers, unfollow everyone who doesn’t follow you back
- Follow the people your followers or other relevant people are following
- Share other accounts’ posts
Hashtags typically serve two purposes:
First, they make content searchable. To search for a specific hashtag, users go to the search box, enter their criteria (like #dallastexas), and browse through images related to that search.
Second, hashtags serve as communities that bridge users with similar interests together so they can discuss a topic. Take the #plumbinglife and #plumberscrack hashtags, for example. These hashtags are often used by plumbers to share memes, photos of their work, tool reviews, and other shared interests with one another.
Hashtags are actually the primary way people search and discover new content on Twitter and Instagram. Users see posts they like inside tags, click on the photo which takes them to the account of the user who posted the photo, and based on whether they like that person’s content, they will follow the user.
This begs the question: Which hashtags should be used to make your posts searchable and connect with potential customers?
- Google for lists of hashtags related to your niche (e.g. “hashtags for plumbers)
- Type a broad hashtag into the search box (e.g. “#plumb”) and use autofill to provide suggestions as well as information about their popularity.
- Steal your competitors’ hashtags
- Use a site like Tags For Likes to find hashtags related to the one you type in as well as their popularity.
As a general rule of thumb, you should try to stick with the following hashtags:
Create a list of locations you serve including your city, local area, region, and other terms that searchers might use to describe your area, like cultural slang (i.e. Philly for Philadelphia).
Then, search for each location on your list under Instagram’s and Twitter’s hashtag searches. You can also include popular landmarks (e.g. universities, stadiums).
This can also be a great way to find bloggers, influencers, and partners – for example, you’ll often see hashtags like #dallasbloggers #dallasrealtor ,#dallasmom, #dallasyoutuber, or #dallasmomblogger.
Sure, you won’t get customers directly from using a hashtag like #plumbing or #plumberslife – you’ll mostly just connect with other plumbers also using this hashtag. But larger hashtags like this are invaluable for ranking at the top of those local hashtags that do get you sales.
Because these hashtags get so much content posted to them, you won’t show up at the top very long and your post will quickly get buried. However, they’ll give you an initial burst of popularity that can help your post show up at the top of your followers’ feeds and give you the number of likes and engagement to help your post show up in the suggested posts for a tag and the explore page where it can stay for hours – or even months depending on the popularity of the post and how active the tag is.
We have an extensive list of trade-related hashtags you can consult for ideas.
Posting On Social Media
What To Post
Coming up with ideas for social media posts can be challenging, especially as a small business. This is why we’ve taken the time to create a list of ideas for what to post, calendar of social media events to post about, and professional templates to plug these ideas into to give you an idea of how you can create an immaculate feed tailored to your business.
When you’re ready to start creating posts, we highly recommend that you use Canva to do this. Canva is a free platform that allows you to create high quality designs in whatever size or format you may need.
How To Post
When it comes to the act of actually posting your images, you can usually schedule posts through the platform itself through these links:
This will give you more control over the look of posts and more posting options. However, if you’re looking to schedule your posts in batches or far in advance, we’d recommend that you use a scheduling platform like Buffer as a free option and Hootsuite for paid.
We’d recommend avoiding Hubspot as it will modify any link that you choose to post with a “hubsly” link shortener. This means that if you decide to switch platforms, any link that you posted using Hubspot will be broken, which means a ton of manual labor to clean it up later on.
For example, FieldPulse has been using Hubspot for quite some time. Whenever we put our shortened link (https://fpul.se/udDyf) into hubspot, it automatically changes the link to https://hubs.ly/H0V34TW0.
Getting Your Accounts Set Up
For some more help on setting up your social media accounts and marketing basics, take a look at these resources:
- How To Create A Facebook Business Page Step-By-Step (video)
- Everything You Need To Know About Creating A Contractor Facebook Business Page
- How to Create a Facebook Business Page in 7 Easy Steps
- Twitter For Business A Step By Step How To Guide (video)
- Twitter Marketing: The Ultimate Guide
- Twitter Marketing: The Complete Guide for Business
And just like that, you’re prepared to be a social media winner. We’ve gone through a social media overview, and covered the different stages of your marketing funnel in detail. We’ve also taken you through some examples, best practices, and general advice when it comes to social media, as well as how to leverage hashtags and touchpoints.
Finally, we’ve touched on a few tips and tricks to help make creating and scheduling your social posts a breeze. For some extra help getting started, take a look at our templates.
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