In the second episode of our I’ve Heard That podcast on the Hurrdat Media Network, host Meghan Trapp is joined by Social Media Director Kirsten Smith and Paid Search Director Allie Burkey to chat about how small businesses can use social media to attract customers, grow their brand, and more.
Which social media platforms should businesses be using?
Smith: I think it depends on their strategy and knowing who their audience is and what they want to communicate. What’s their story? What do they want to get out there? Is it brand awareness? Is it product-focus? Is it getting user-generated content? Thinking of the whole strategy can help you break down what the best platform is for you.
Why is engagement so important and for algorithms?
Smith: Engagement is one of the top KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for social media. That means the audience is liking what you’re putting out there. They’re listening to you, and they’re liking what you’re saying. You’re maybe solving their problems. The more engagement you get with a post, the more the algorithm is going to put your content in front of that audience.
How has COVID-19 affected paid advertising and where people are spending their budgets?
Burkey: It’s definitely been a challenge, especially because I think a lot of businesses’ entire business model changed. Especially for the first couple of months, businesses just looked entirely different. For us, specifically, I think it’s important to be agile and adaptable because things were changing by the day. Shift your focus to maybe driving things online. For example, if you’re a bank, maybe it’s pushing your promotions more toward your mobile app. Just thinking of ways to adapt to the current world we’re living in and how we can still get out our message and still promote, but be sensitive about our promotions.
Say I’m a small business owner. What do I need to do on social? Where do I start? Can I do it myself? Do I need help?
Smith: Social media is a great way to get your brand out to a large audience. And especially organically, it’s cheap. You can tell your story pretty well through organic posts by reaching the people that you want to engage with and then hopefully return as a customer. As far as doing in-house or using an agency, it all just depends on your headcount and how big your business is. The nice thing about an agency—especially us at Hurrdat Marketing—is we become experts in your field. We do so much research. We get to know your business, and we’re the experts at knowing what to get out and talking to the right person at the right time with the right message. Just being able to trust someone to do that leaves a lot off your plate so you could run your day-to-day business.
Burkey: Know your goal. Know your audience. Know where your audience is. Know how your audience interacts with these different platforms. And then test, test, test, especially with something like paid. If you’re putting money behind it, it’s really important to make data-driven decisions. Testing is really so important to hone in on your messaging and what’s working. It’s not “set it and forget it,” so you have to keep an eye on it at all times.