In the last decade, social media has become increasingly popular amongst Canadians. Some use it to reconnect with their old high school friends, while others use it to keep up-to-date with what is going on in the world. No matter the use, people are hooked on social media. Social media can be very intuitive and enticing for users, and continues to be a platform people choose to spend hours a day utilizing. According to Statista, in 2017, there were approximately 22.7 million social network users in Canada and is projected to grow to 24.09 million by 2022 (Source).
The question here is not how to get people to log in to social media, but how to make your business profit from it. Being a user is easy, but understanding the preferences of users in order to profit, grow, or create awareness about your organization is what makes it interesting.
As the media coordinator for Katan Kitchens and Quinta Quinoa, an innovative health food enterprise that produces local high-quality superfoods, it has been clear that social media has a lot of potential to increase product awareness which can lead to increased sales and customer loyalty. Start-ups, small businesses, and not-for-profits can use these platforms to their benefit to see rapid growth. Below are some tools that I’ve found beneficial to develop and expand Katan Kitchens’ social media platforms. These strategies can be used for building the social media networks of other small businesses’ as well.
The most successful social media platforms are the ones that produce and release original content regularly. For example, Ontario farmer, Andrew Campbell (@FreshAirFarmer) an influencer with 21.2K followers on Twitter, posts, and shares at least one to five times a day. He is successful due to the quality and consistency of the content he shares. Most companies have to multitask on a day-to-day basis; taking care of daily business tasks while also handling social media can be difficult, especially for a start-up with a small employee base. Scheduling allows businesses to have social media incorporated into their tasks because it decreases the amount of time spent on posting or sharing from your phone or laptop. It is possible to schedule something that will be posted hours, days, and months later. Hootsuite and Buffer are both free platforms that are used for social media scheduling and management.
Learning and understanding your audience is as important as sharing content regularly. Talking to the right individuals and sharing the content that they enjoy and are interested in is key to social media success. To track behaviour and platform engagement, you can use the insights/analytics available on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. What kind of content your public likes the most, how often your public watches your videos, and others, are some of the insights and analytics available of these platforms. I also use software called CYFE. This software monitors social media platforms, websites, Google analytics, and a wider range of data using visual dashboards for better understanding. I use the free version of this software and it provides all the depth I need to track Katan Kitchens’ social media engagement.
Content Creation & Management
In order to create unique content, it’s important to stay up-to-date on what is being said about the subject or topic you’d like to talk about. Social Mention is a social media search engine that provides you with user-generated generated content about a specific topic. This social media engine helps you understand what the public’s sentiment is, and provides keywords and hashtags that can be used when talking about any topic. I use this tool to learn about what is being said about quinoa, superfoods, and Ontario agriculture and support Katan Kitchens’ social media content.
According to HubSpot, when people hear information, they're likely to remember only 10 percent of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65 percent of the information three days later (Source). When reviewing Katan Kitchen’s Social Media Analytics (using the aforementioned tools), it is clear that the content containing visuals performs best amongst our target audience. Two of the design tools I use to create Katan Kitchens’ social media visuals are Canva and Snappa. Both tools are very intuitive and user-friendly, and they also provide tutorials to help guide your learning experience.
At the end of the day, social media is part of everyone’s lives, and we, as a start-up or business, have to learn how to manage it and benefit from it. Social Media has revolutionized how we market our company and communicate with our consumers. So, consider using these tools to help you be creative, analyze, and succeed! Discussing your successes and challenges with people in your sector can help you to adopt practices that will work best for your target audience.
Check out Katan Kitchens’ social media platforms to see how we use these strategies to learn from our public and grow the business.
Media Coordinator, Katan Kitchens
Bioenterprise Recent Graduate & Mentorship Program