Social media has become a dominant form of marketing today. However, companies and the people who run social media campaigns aren’t always experts in digital marketing. A small businesses may have to test out various social media approaches to figure out what will work best for the company.
For tips on how to test new social media strategies without causing negative repercussions to your brand, we asked members of YEC Next this question:
Q. What is one way small businesses can test social media strategies without damaging their brand in the process?
1. Don’t make things personal
To understand how you can avoid damaging your brand, it’s important to define your brand. Who is your target audience? What is the tone and vocabulary of the company? Then while creating posts or responding to comments, ensure you are careful to respond according to that brand identity. Remember, this is business. Don’t make things personal. If things don’t go as planned, don’t become defensive. —Ryan Meghdies, Tastic Marketing Inc.
2. Research your competition first
It’s fairly easy to research other businesses in your industry. By visiting their social media accounts you can check out the different styles, topics, and images that are attractive to your potential audience and garner the most engagement. You can then create your own content, test it out with a campaign, and have data for comparison. With practice, you’ll feel confident in social media marketing. —Turath D’hont, San Diego Moving Co.
3. Conduct A/B testing on existing customers
The best way for small businesses to develop social media strategies is to analyze existing customers and then conduct A/B testing. Find out the likes, dislikes, and demographics of people who already care about your brand. Then experiment, pay attention to the results, and make adjustments as needed. —Kyle Wiggins, Keteka
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4. Don’t be afraid to try new things
The beauty of social media is that you can experiment! Assuming the content itself is on-brand (and not offensive!), the worst that will happen is that no one will pay attention. In which case, no one will know that the campaign wasn’t a success and you can just move on to the next idea. Content on social media has a super short shelf life, so even total gaffes are quickly buried in the feed. —Kristine Neil, Markon Brands
5. Use surveys to understand your audience
Surveys are a great way to get an understanding of your audience before you market to them directly. Design surveys in such a way that a number of different factors can be measured. You’ll want to get a full sense of where your audience stands, and you’ll want to know where the tipping points are, in order to avoid them. Test a diverse range of people and design your social media approach accordingly. —Bryan Driscoll, Think Big Marketing
6. Test your channels against each other
If you are not testing anything else, you could start by testing how your channels perform against each other. You also want to test the times in the day you get the most engagement and what days your followers are most active. These three areas give a good foundation to adapt content to your target audience. Then, use a social media presence checker to keep a close eye on where you stand. —Jessica Baker, Aligned Signs
RELATED: 12 Ways for Businesses to Deal With Hot-Button Topics on Social Media
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