Author: Cassie Scott
Don’t fear social media. Embrace it!
With the ATA’s resources and this four-step plan, you’ll boost your business by capitalizing on social media. Let’s get started.
Step 1: Define Your Marketing Goals
If your business doesn’t have a marketing plan, it’s time to create one. Analyze your business to learn what you can best achieve through social media. Do you want more customers? More sales? Better programming? More brand awareness? If you need help defining realistic, attainable marketing goals, read the Entrepreneur article “This is How You Come Up with Marketing Goals.” Be specific and create quantifiable goals.
Choose whatever social media platform will work best for your clientele base. Photo credit: Unsplash
Step 2: Pick Your Platforms
Next, determine how you’ll connect with your audience. Consider the many social-media platforms available, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat. You can try them all, but it’s best to focus on the one or two platforms that can most help you achieve your marketing goals.
According to the Small Business Administration, Facebook helps companies build pages for their brand and to stream live videos. Instagram is great for sharing product or lifestyle photos. YouTube lets brands share videos. Twitter is best for brands with short, “newsy” messages or announcements. Pinterest is like a digital bulletin board with images linked to ideas or projects. And Snapchat lets brands share in-the-moment videos or images that disappear after 24 hours.
Also, consider how many – and what type of – people use each platform. Facebook, for example, has 1.5 billion daily users, with 58.3 percent of American users between ages 25 and 34. Snapchat reports 186 million daily users, with about 71 percent of its users under age 34. As you study your market, decide which platforms best suit your audience.
Step 3: Create a Posting Schedule
Or Use the ATA’s Free Social-Media Calendar!
Posting on social media can intimidate some businesses, but customers want content that’s fresh, interesting and informative. Don’t worry! The ATA’s got you covered.
ATA offers a free 12-month Social Media Calendar – complete with informative posts – for ATA members to use. Log in to the ATA’s “Resource Website” and download it for free. It includes weekly messages with timely, meaningful content that engages customers. You can use each message as is, but Scott Einsmann, ATA’s digital manager, recommends tailoring each one to your brand and customers.
“Social media is your company’s digital voice, and should represent your business’s unique identity,” Einsmann said. “If you manufacture awesome products, your posts can educate customers on those products and show them in action. If you’re a retailer, help customers get to know your business by posting hunting reports, archery tips and product spotlights. It also establishes you as a knowledgeable resource.”
Many ATA posts encourage people to comment online, visit your website or stop by your store. Those actions help them interact with your brand and discover your products and services. Which leads us to Step 4.
Make sure to respond to comments and make a personal connection. Photo credit: Unsplash
Step 4: Interact and Engage
When people connect with you (the underlying goal), you must return the favor. Whether they interact with you online or in person, make them feel welcomed and appreciated. Say hi, thank them for visiting, ask them how they got into archery, and then offer your help and advice. Your interactions should build trust, which creates loyal customers who support your business.
If someone comments negatively about your post or brand, be careful. You should respond, but don’t get defensive. Read this article to learn why it’s important to respond, and how you can capitalize on tricky situations with smart, thoughtful answers.
No matter the interaction, people like being acknowledged. Try to respond to social-media comments within 24 hours, and greet customers soon after they enter your store. Kindness creates – and keeps – customers.
Search ArcheryTrade.org for more articles about social-media strategies and best practices. Contact Scott Einsmann with questions about the ATA’s Social Media Calendar at (866) 266-2776, ext. 114; or firstname.lastname@example.org.