You should be creating “sharable” and “snackable” sized posts on social media at varying times over each week so that you appear active.

These days, a savvy digital marketing approach must include a user-friendly website, familiarity with search engine optimisation (SEO) and an adoption of social media platforms.

Free social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube have been adopted by many  businesses recognising social media as a catalyst for marketing.

These platforms are also vital for advertising, building trust in a brand, connecting with customers and networking within the industry.

So how can you stand out from the crowd? As you start to reach your social media goals, there are three top tips every SME should consider, advisesStartupSmart contributor Zach Kitschke.

The power of visual storytelling

Social media has evolved to become a highly visual platform evident in the rise of Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Tumblr, portfolio sites like Behance and Coroflot, as well as Facebook’s shift to timeline.

“Visuals have the power to inspire an emotional reaction,” says Kitschke. “They’re easier to understand and they’re shareable.”

Even Twitter allows you to embed links. It’s all about getting your message across with images. You’re most likely noticing the visual takeover in your own online behaviour, sharing and viewing more photos, videos and infographics.

“When considering your visual content calendar, aim to build consistency with your content,” he says. Also aim to keep consistency with colours, readable fonts and templates for each post.

“Each time your content appears on a follower’s News Feed, it will stand out to your followers because it reflects a consistent brand.”

Good content is bite-sized and sharable

You should be creating “sharable” and “snackable” sized posts on social media at varying times over each week so that you appear active.

It’s also good idea to share and spread the word – link your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media pages across the top of your main website.

Leverage all of your existing communication tools — your mailing list, e-mail newsletter, website and personal social media pages. If your customers like what they see, sit back and watch your ‘followers’ surge in number.

“Did you know that more than 80% of content on Pinterest is re-pinned?” says Kitschke. “That means people are looking for content they can re-share on their own Pinterest page.”

Connect with your customers

Progressively more customers are using social media to report satisfaction, complain or use the online space for commentary and debate.

Investing time into interacting with your customers, replying to their comments, or posting regularly will build relationships with people in your network. It’s imperative since everyone is increasingly living their social and professional lives online.

Getting your name out there increases traffic across all of your sites, increases brand exposure and eventually people will begin to ‘share’, ‘like’ or recommend you. Capitalise on the exposure – it will breed a sense of familiarly and trust so that customers become increasingly aware of your services.

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