How well do small businesses in Bristol understand customer social media habits on Facebook and Twitter?
Understanding how customers use and what they share on Social Media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus is vital if your marketing plans include online marketing. If you take the time to understand sharing habits, your online marketing plans will benefit and take on a life of their own. Getting your message out to local people and potential customers is far more effective when it reaches them through shares from their friends. So how do you find out what your contacts and customers share on social media?
This week, leading social media publication Social Media Examiner published some great insight into the social media sharing behaviours of people that use leading platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It looked at the platforms used, whether they use computers, smartphones or tablets, the time of day that people post and share and what they are most likely to share.
Several key findings are of vital importance to small businesses that use social media to increase brand awareness, sell products and engage with people they hope to turn into customers.
The key Social Media Examiner findings that relate to how local small businesses should use social media are:
1. Adopt a Mobile Friendly social media marketing plan.
All the latest research into social media use suggests that people are increasingly moving away from computers to mobile use. The number of people using social media from a mobile telephone has increased by 23.3% and almost doubled on tablets. Computer use has fallen by more than 30%. This has also pushed Google to update their algorithm to raise the search ranking of mobile friendly websites and reduce the points given to sites that are not responsive to mobiles and tablets from April 2015.
This means that providing simple and well presented digital content such as photos of product ranges and what your business sells or visual evidence of the benefits of your services are more likely to be shared and reach a wider local audience than ever before. For example a Bristol restaurant sharing well presented photos of their speciality dishes or people enjoying a night out is more likely to be shared and people are more likely to be attracted to visit the restaurant than ever before.
2. Facebook remains the most powerful sharing tool.
If you have limited resources for a small business social media marketing plan, Facebook remains the most popular and most used social media platform. 81% of sharing measured by ShareThis came through to Facebook. Pinterest was second, with just 7% of shares.
There is evidence to suggest that social media is being over-used and der-thought. When employing a social media strategy, it is important to know what customers share and provide content they want to show off to their friends.
Brand-generated content is seeing the lowest engagement rates now than anytime in 2013 and 2014; 43% of professionally marketed blog posts receive fewer than 10 interactions. On Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn, more than half of all posts receive fewer than 10 interactions (73%, 60%, 65%, and 68%, respectively).
3. Lists and Why… posts are most likely to get shared.
Blog articles are a great way to keep your website current and provide the regularly updated content that your website needs to perform well on search engines. Many small businesses use WordPress to create a website with a blog facility. This is the website system we recommend at Bristol Marketing for the vast majority of our small business clients. There are many free add-ons that allow sharing of articles across social media with ease. Writing a list of benefits about the service you offer, 10 reasons why this product will have your friends in awe or providing some interesting thoughts around a topic affecting your customers will increase interest, but most importantly, increase the chances of getting your page shared and read, bringing your attention to more people, increasing visitors and developing brand awareness.
4. Time your social media posts on Facebook for maximum impact.
How many times have you heard the phrase “timing is everything”? Time affects business in many ways, but timing your post on social media can make all the difference between major impact or being scrolled over in the afternoon Facebook catch-up flick down the newsfeed.
The social media examiner report says the blueprint for timing on social media is:
- Twitter: 5:00 p.m. for highest retweets
- Facebook: 1:00 p.m. weekday afternoons to get the most shares
- LinkedIn: Most shares occur on Tuesdays from 10:00–11:00 a.m.
- Pinterest: 9:00 p.m. on Friday or Saturday nights has most traffic
- Google+: Best engagement is 9:00 a.m. on Wednesdays
- Instagram: For brands, evening hours
If you work with a local marketing agency or social media expert or use your own platform, you can see your own statistics and find out when your followers are most likely to share your posts. At Bristol Marketing, we have a platform that allows us to monitor the social media usage of our clients’ followers to see when they are most active and when posts are likely to get the best response and then set them to publish at the ideal time. Neil Patel claims in the report that he raised his social media traffic (coming from his channels to his site) by 39% when he followed the guidelines. Always good to test!
5. Work with a local online marketing agency
To create a truly unique social media marketing plan that talks to your customers and delivers real results for your business, work with a local company that specialises in social media marketing for small business. There are many advantages of doing this. At Bristol Marketing, we have many local clients that are affected by the same local issues such as residents’ parking schemes, transport issues and the impact of out-of-town retail centres. This means that posts are relevant to several businesses that can amplify each others’ social media output and share a platform to multiply the effect. Posting about local issues that affect local people is a great way to build customer relationships and develop brand loyalty.
For more information about social media marketing and how Bristol Marketing can help your small business, give us a call today.