How, exactly, do you succeed on social media? It can seem like a crazy wilderness, with everyone yelling, “Do this!” or “Come over here!” Of course, those folks want to sell you their particular system, but you have no guarantee it will work at all.
Fortunately, there is someone you can truly learn from. Your competitors! If others in your industry have gained success on social media, you should pay attention and see what you can learn from them. Here are seven lessons you may encounter.
Who is Your Audience?
Unfortunately a lot of companies are far too broad when it comes to defining your audience. You may say “everyone who owns a home,” but that doesn’t allow you to create effective marketing. Instead, think about who the specific decision-maker is that most often buys your product or service.
It’s likely that your competitors have messaging that speaks to a specific type of person. Take a look at their marketing. Are they targeting men or women? Moms? What age groups and job categories? This can help you narrow your own audience.
Credits: Omkar Patyane
How Often to Post
You can find dozens of articles about how often you should post on social media, but take your cue from your successful competitors. Whatever they are doing seems to be working, so give it a try. If they post twice a day on Facebook, you do too for at least a month. Then, measure your results and see how effective it’s been.
Different audiences are online at different times. You may find that moms are online during the day but professionals tend to visit social media in the evening. By knowing the audience, you’ll learn when and how often to post.
What to Say on Social Media
Many, many small businesses struggle with what to post online. Take a look at your best competitors. What are they saying? In all likelihood, they are sharing valuable information that the audience finds helpful and trustworthy.
To take advantage of this yourself, you may need to create new content on a blog or company website. Target specific keywords and topics, and then share these posts on social media. If that sounds overwhelming, you may want to work with a leading SEO provider in Canada. They can take care of a lot of the content and targeting for you.
What to Promote
Many businesses have a variety of products and services and it can be hard to know what to promote. Take a look at successful competitors. What products and services do they talk about on social media? How much engagement do they get on each post?
You can often find out what will be most effective for you by focusing on what works for them. If they promote five products but only one type gets comments, likes, and shares, then focus your own social media strategy on that one product. Find ways to lead folks to other offerings through the one they like best.
Credits: Simon Steinberger
How to Use Paid Ads
Paid ads on social media seem very inexpensive at first, but they can add up quickly if you don’t target them well. If you have the wrong audience, the wrong language in the ad, or even the wrong landing page, you can have a total flop.
Investigate your competitors’ ads and click on them to see where they go. Find out how the landing page works and think about whether your customers would find it helpful or convincing. Then, use the best parts of what you discover!
What Language to Use
Do you know how your customers talk about the problems solved by your product or service? If not, you might miss the mark in your marketing. You don’t want to use a highly professional phrase if your customer tend to talk more casually.
To discover what language customers use about their issues, take a look at what they say in the comments on your competitors’ best posts. Pick out phrases that come up often or seem especially targeted. Use those terms and phrases in your own marketing. You’ll find yourself connecting to prospective customers better than ever before!
How Customer Service is Handled
Today customers expect to be able to reach you on a variety of platforms, not just using the phone or email. They may reach out on Twitter or Facebook with a concern about your company, product, or service. It can be challenging to know exactly how to respond in a public forum.
Take a look at the successes and failures that your competitors have in social media customer service and learn the lessons that are available. Discover how to reassure the customer but take the issue into private channels quickly. Others are watching, and they’ll be forming an opinion of your company as well.
Learn From Your Competitors
Sometimes you just don’t have to reinvent the wheel. When you pay attention to how your successful competitors are doing things online, you can learn a lot of best practices for free. When you implement them, you’ll boost your company as well!