Social media marketing is an essential part of today’s marketing strategy for any company. However, for service-based businesses, it can be especially challenging to get the most out of social media.
In this article, I’ll share five tips that will help you harness the power of social media for your service-based business.
Why Should You Care About Social Media Marketing?
When businesses think about social media marketing, they often focus on the cost of marketing materials and the time it takes to produce them. However, the most important aspect of social media marketing is engagement.
Engagement means connecting with your customers on a personal level. It means providing value so that they want to come back and hear from you again. It also means creating a relationship with your customers that goes beyond simply selling them something.
Building a strong social media presence can be difficult, but it’s worth it if you want to reach your target market in a cost-effective way. There are many different ways to approach social media marketing, so find one that works best for you and your business.
How to Choose the Right Social Media Platform
When choosing a social media platform, there are a few things you need to consider.
First, what type of content will you be publishing? Video content vs. long-form blog posts perform differently on different platforms, so you need to first strategize what sort of content you want to create. Start with a medium that’s easiest for you to do so it lowers the friction. For example, if you’re a “walk and talk”-er, consider doing a podcast or using voice transcription to create blog posts (I use both play.ht to convert blog posts to podcasts and HappyScribe to convert podcasts or videos to blogs)
Second, what type of audience will your content be aimed at? Do you want to focus on a specific demographic, like millennials or moms? Once you know your target market, it will be easier to choose the right social media platform.
Third, what are your marketing goals? Is your goal to reach as many people as possible, drive traffic to your website, or generate leads? Don’t try to create multiple goals, especially in the beginning. You need to start with one goal, test, and retest until you nail it. From there you can expand, but don’t try to do too much too quickly or you’ll get overwhelmed and burn out.
The Best Social Media Platforms for Service-Based Businesses
Since you’re selling something intangible, it’s not as easy to generate visual content that will get clicks. However, you can still create great content that will connect with your target market as long as you hit the right platform.
LinkedIn is the perfect platform for businesses that are looking to build relationships with potential and current customers. You can create custom ads, post blog articles, and even create podcasts to build awareness and communicate with your target market.
Twitter is a great way to reach a wider audience quickly. You can use it to share news, announce new services, and connect with followers who might be interested in what you’re selling.
Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform and it’s perfect for reaching a targeted audience. You can create customized ads, publish blog posts and promote your events on the social media site. I have beef with Facebook/Meta but still understand the value, especially of Facebook Groups for creating community.
Pinterest is one of my favorite platforms because it’s designed to get you off-platform instead of keeping you on. Creating a Pinterest-heavy marketing campaign can be a great way to funnel people through to your website, but only if you have content-rich stuff to offer. If you’re just using it for direct sales, you might not be as lucky.
Instagram is another great platform for creating content that targets Millennials but shouldn’t be a primary platform for you if your services are technical or high-level. Coaches and graphic designers can do well on Instagram but it’s a slog.
YouTube is a great way to get your message out there, but you need to be strategic about what type of videos you create. If you’re selling a technical product or service, make sure to create videos that explain the features and how to use them. Also, your content should try to be evergreen when you’re starting out to help you gain traction over time.
Creating a Content Strategy for Social Media: Who and What
Once you have chosen a social media platform and decided what type of content will be published, it’s time to figure out who will produce that content. Do you have the time and resources to create all of the content yourself? If not, find a professional producer. There are a lot of freelancers who produce quality content for a fraction of the cost.
Then, once you have determined who will produce the content, it’s time to think about how often that content will be published. You don’t want your blog posts going out of date or becoming irrelevant in no time; publish at least once per week. If you have more time and want to stretch things out (and I totally get why!), try publishing twice per week.
5 Social Media Marketing Tips for Service-Based Businesses
Now that you know what type of content will be published on your social media platforms and when it will be released, it’s time to think about how to promote that content. Again, there are many different methods available depending on your goals and budget but here are my best 5 social media marketing tips for your business:
1. If reaching as many people as possible is one of your goals, consider using paid advertising platforms like Google AdWords or Facebook Advertising. These platforms allow businesses to directly target their audience with ads that appear on search engines and social media sites respectively.
2. If driving traffic to your website is one of your goals, consider using SEMrush or BuzzSumo to measure where visitors from social media are coming from and which keywords are most effective in attracting them over other pages on your site (SEMrush also has features for organic SEO). They do get expensive so head first to Appsumo to see if there’s a similar service you can get for a lower price.
3. If you want to create engaging content, think about what your audience wants and provide that content in a way that is interesting and easy to read. For example, if you offer services such as home cleaning or pet care, include photos of the work you’ve done and testimonials from satisfied customers.
4. If generating leads is one of your goals, consider using LeadPages or MailerlITE for lead capture forms and email campaigns (MailerLite also offers automation features for email campaigns).
5. If your main goal is to build a community that supports your services and becomes a powerhouse of ride-or-die fans, you need to focus heavily on outreach and engagement in addition to content creation. Building a loyal community takes a LOT of time but can pay off dividends once you put the work in. Use tools like Metricool to keep track of all the social media accounts you’re following and monitor the comments and shares on your posts. Follow hashtags that your ideal customers pay attention to and ask open-ended questions often.
Granted, these 5 social media marketing tips only work if you’re willing to put in the effort, and finding the momentum to keep going can get difficult so don’t worry if you’re getting overwhelmed already. There are many different ways businesses can approach social media marketing so find one that works best for you and start publishing quality content that’s relevant to your audience!
Troubleshooting When Your Social Media Marketing Doesn’t Work
Okay so you tried one (or all) of my 5 social media marketing tips but are still coming up short, what next? If you’re having trouble getting your social media marketing to work the way you intended, here are a few tips to help diagnose the problem and get your efforts back on track.
1. Give it three months. It can take some time for your social media efforts to pay off. Give yourself enough time to see if your strategy is really working and tweak your approach accordingly.
2. Check the demographics of your followers. Make sure that you’re targeting the right people with your posts and strategies.
3. Use relevant keywords in your content. SEO isn’t just for blog posts; it’s a critical factor for social media strategy. If you’ve ever seen a screenshot of a Twitter post with something bolded in the content that’s because someone searched for that keyword. Like this (I searched for “Alocasia”):
4. QA your funnel. QA means Quality Assurance and it’s essentially just bug-checking. Go through your sales funnel: how fast does your website load? What does it look like on mobile? Do your forms work? Are ads overtaking your content? Is your content easy to read? What’s your font size? Is your SSL updated and hooked up correctly? Does your form send submissions to your inbox or spam folder?
5. Monitor comments and shares on your content to see what’s resonating with your followers and make necessary adjustments based on that feedback.
6. Use analytics to see which posts are getting the most engagement. Look at likes, shares, and comments to help you identify which posts are resonating with your audience.
7. Check out your competition and see what they’re doing that’s working well. Compare your own social media strategy to what other businesses in your niche are doing and learn from their successes and failures.
8. Make sure you have the right tools for your campaign. Poorly designed or executed social media campaigns can be disastrous for businesses, so make sure you have the right tools (like an effective blog) to support your content marketing efforts.
9. Try different tactics until you find one that works best for your brand and audience. Don’t be afraid to try different things until you find something that really hits home with potential customers.
10. Keep testing new ideas and strategies until you find something that really catches on with your followers – this is how successful businesses evolve over time!
The Tools I Use for Social Media Marketing
Building a strong social media presence takes time and effort, but it’s well worth it if you want to reach your target market in a cost-effective way. If you follow the tips outlined in this article, you can start building a successful social media marketing strategy for your service-based business.