When working in a small business, focusing on utilizing social media may seem like it should be at the bottom on your list of your priorities. But social media is a free tool small business can use to get ahead. Social can increase the visibility of your business to the millions of people who spend time on social media every single day.
People are more likely to buy from brands they follow on social media.
Why is social media important for small business?
Small business shouldn’t count out the power and importance of social media. Social media is important for small business because it allows for brand awareness(1) of people around the world, allowing you to spread your reach promoting products to different audiences and customers, thus driving the sales of your business.
Social media can be used to engage with and to establish and build a solid relationship with your customers. Engaging frequently with your customers makes them feel invested in your business forming a sense of brand loyalty.
How to use social media for small business marketing
Smaller business don’t have to spend tons of money to reap the rewarding benefits of social media. The key is to simply be active, post frequently and engage with those that follow your business page.
Small business should utilize more than one social media platform. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc. all cater and target different types of audiences. Using all of them will maximize your reach and garner traffic to your business from a multitude of people.
Social media marketing tools for small business
Social media tools are an advantage is social media management. Tools help you keep up with engagement, pages on multiple platforms, generate reports, monitor keywords, social content calendars, analyze social media performance into data to analyze in the future and so much more, all within a single interface.
Tools hold all your data in one place making management easier. Sprout, Loomly, Hootsuite are among the most popular social media tools a small business should utilize.
Social media marketing strategy for small business
Developing a strong strategy is the first step is using social media marketing. Small business should set social media goals that align with goals of the business. Goals that will help your business grow.
The next step is do a social media audit to understand which platforms to target and learn what areas need to be improved to build a social media presence.
Next step is to build your social media presence by posting quality and engaging content that allows your followers to be informed and connected to your brand. Mirror other successful brands and monitor patters and analyze content to see what is working for them.
Another strategy would be to create a social media calendar that allows you to reach your followers on a consistent basis.
Social media tips for small business
Make a plan
Start by making a plan so you have clear ideas on what you want to achieve from social media marketing. Posting randomly and inconsistently is not going to yield successful social media marketing efforts. Start by creating goals and objectives that can have impact on your business. Research competition to analyze what they’re doing right, what they’re doing wrong and what you can do better.
Choose which platforms are right for you
When deciding on which social media platform, you should research where your audience is spending most of its time online and begin with that platform. You can use a multitude of platforms to achieve a multitude of different business goals or a different reach of audience.
Facebook is the largest social media platform with a neutral selling environment.
Instagram ideal for B2C businesses is popular among millennials and allows for social commerce.
LinkedIn is career-oriented with an older audience that might be great for a professional B2B brand.
Twitter is another popular millennial platform with neutral selling options. Familiarize yourself with each platform and try to be a regular on your social media accounts.
Know your audience
Understanding your customers will go a long way in connecting with your audience on social media. Learning your brands demographics and psychographics Knowing their habits, their lifestyle, their goals their ambitions, and traits can help you understand their needs so you can meet them. Researching your audience can allow you to create a brand persona that works to connect to customers.
Expand your audience
After studying your audience intently, it should be easy in attracting more people with similar viewpoints and ideals. You can use social media to drive potential customers from around the world. Share interest and use more interactive features to get audiences to engage. Spend quality time learning and implementing new things to accomplish objectives.
Conduct giveaways and contents that allow users to reach out for special promos and offers that can deepen bonds and relationships.
Social media allows you to connect and interact with customers and followers in a way that is popular more than ever. You can foster a relationship by liking, engaging, commenting or simply responding that can lead to future sales. Building a relationship with customers can establish trust, brand loyalty and community all before customers make their first purchase.
Share compelling visuals
Use social media tell a story about or that relates to your brand. Appeal to pathos and connect with users emotionally. Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat all are visual- based platforms that allow to connect and share images and graphics that can capture user’s attention further.
Quality over quantity
Although it’s important to stay active on social media, two quality posts can do way more for your business than 8 filler posts that do nothing for your brand. Make sure your posts offer value and contribute to your marketing goals. Aim to build relationships with every post.
There are different types of content to keep in mind. Informational content, sales content, user-generated content, ephemeral content, live video content, and hashtags. Stick to the content that works for your business. Make sure that some posts have action whether it be directing users to your site, to subscribe, comment, like, swipe up etc. Maintain a balance to not drive sales in every post.
Use the right tools
Social media tools are there to help boost productivity giving small business the resources of a large social media team. Tools can help you connect with the audience you already have, reach new customers, and increase awareness. Smaller businesses should take advantage of content curation, graphics and gifs to help with drafting quality posts and analytics tool to help analyze success of those posts into reports.
Monitor social media conversations
Stay in the know and be aware of trends that could affect your field. It is important to be aware of the conversation happening about your brand and/or field to know when to intervene and respond.
Schedule your content
Having a social media calendar is a great way to keep organized especially when balancing
and monitoring multiple platforms. You can plan and automate posts ahead of time so that you can pre-mange content and ensure you’re posting consistently. Your social media calendar should be detailed with times and dates that allows you to stay productive with your social media efforts.
Track and evaluate performance
The most important tip in social media marketing for small business is definitely evaluation. Analyzing will determine if the marketing strategy put into place is successful in reaching goals and objectives set.
Evaluating reports can teach you a lot about what’s not working, what could be changed and what you need to do better that can help improve marketing. It’s important to trach your brands reach, impressions, engagements with your brand and most important conversion rate.
You are doing a disservice to your business to underestimate the power of social media. It is wise for small business to use a multitude of strategies to see what works for their brand. It is important to use multiple platforms to expand your reach and post regularly to create brand awareness and loyalty to accomplish marketing goals.
Make sure each post is aesthetically appealing to customers and follows along with the companies brand and mission. Smaller businesses should take advantage of social media management tools to help organize and take their efforts to new levels.