Handy Guide to Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses
Nowadays, more and more small businesses are looking to take advantage of the marketing possibilities provided by social media. By modifying your social marketing strategies to your target audience, you as a small small business can better reach your community and potential customers. You can explore these more effective means to take advantage of social media tools to boost your business’ growth. Developing a social media strategy should be one of the prime focuses that can promote your brand in a very effective and convenient way, also at an affordable price.
The main dilemmas small businesses experience with social media generally occur due to not defining and catering to their target audience well enough. They may also face issues when not recognising who they are competing with, and not finding the best types of content and platforms to use. Most businesses do not even make use of the native analytics accessible in most social networks like Facebook and Instagram Insights, missing out on capitalising their full potential of data. Small businesses often overlook organising and implementing a plan for online marketing strategies, which can lead to mishaps such as creating a social media content strategy or calendar to follow.
During this social distancing period, social media is more influential than before to support the success of any brand (Source: Social Media Report 2020). Taking on the responsibility of managing your social media accounts can be both an exciting and stressful task. So, we have outlined some social media tips below to help you market and brand your small business through social media.
Choosing The Right Platform
One major and common mistake that small businesses make is implementing social media marketing strategies without insights from research or data analysis. You should know that the content on social media is distinct and vastly varied from platform to platform. To ensure effectiveness, the content strategy will have to be changed between each platform, including the type of content posted, the frequency of the content and level of interaction with your audience.
If you are initiating social media marketing for your small business, you must do proper research to determine which social media platforms your target audience prefers or engages with the most. You should also review the capability of the social media platforms that you are already using. Analyse the size of your audience across various social media platforms, your post engagement, and its engagement rate metrics.
You can also choose the right platforms by analysing the activities of your competitors. Monitor which social media platforms they achieve good results with by doing an audit, and start focusing on those same platforms. This will enhance your chances of getting recognised by the right audience.
Relationship With The Clients
Consumers admire brands that are responsive to audience preferences and seek engagement with their audience on social media. Be that sort of brand by catching every opportunity to engage your social media followers.
- Establish personal connections by asking the audience to share their opinions
- Like and reply to comments
- Find ways to interact with your audience more often, such as going live to answer audience questions or using branded hashtags
- Welcome interested promoters to suggest content and then share it with your target audience
People will potentially speak about your business across the network, which is great publicity, but also something to be wary of. You may have comments from the audience that express both positive and negative sentiments. You have to determine how you will handle various types of comments, from compliments, to questions or complaints with an in-house social media policy.
Your clients may reach out to you directly, or they may review your brand online. Either way, they prefer and wish to be heard, so that is something you should capitalise on to maximise glowing comments with a meaningful reply, or diffuse negative ones to create a positive outcome. Your key priority is to make contact with your clients by replying direct messages, brand mentions, tagging or through comments.
Your audience will get bored and lose interest in your business if you are only posting content that directly promotes your products or services. Be careful, as an inauthentic and disconnected facade can be developed through constantly pushing promotional content. Featuring your accomplishments and products can be great, but ensure it is infused with quality content that provides real value to your audience. You should be posting a mixture of promotional content, affinity building content that reaches out to your community, and curated content from your industry. Your social media presence should add extra value to your customers and clients that follow you.
While promotional content is effective in some situations, you should concentrate on posting value-building content to engage your audience. Establish your brand personality, inspire them to engage with your content, allow them to become familiar with your brand and the wonderful team behind your products. Content with a personal touch performs best!
Your customers and clients require that genuine connection to follow you on any social media platform worth while, so beware: you cannot talk about yourself all the time! You can try some of the below ideas to engage the audience in a more lively way:
- Creating polls
- Ask me a question
- Posting national day posts
- Milestones achieved
- Live streams
Visuals are so influential on social media, especially with more visual social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. Not to mention video mogul, TikTok, bringing home video creations to go viral. As a business, sharing articles and news can be a great way to show industry knowledge, but it is a good idea to use as many pictures as you can. Of course, they should be relevant and if possible, exceptional!
Vision is one among the foremost influential senses and thus we gather information, choose ideas, flourish feelings, and take proper actions to what we have seen. By posting the best images and videos, you can take advantage in social media marketing for a better result.
- You can show information about your brand, products or services through quality images
- You will be able to create a positive impression of your business and show off your brand’s personality
- You can engage the audience more emotionally and connect with your brand, particularly with branded content
Using hashtags is how you can hit new customers on social media. Putting familiar hashtags related to your brand may help you to get into the mix of similar posts, and be found by an audience that is looking for that type of content. Whether it be digital media or a bakery, hashtags are for searching, filtering, and following different types of content.
Attempt to advertise your exclusive offers and sales through social media platforms. Using the right hashtag can be the key to online marketing. Certain tools like Hashtagify and Ritetag are available to find out the right hashtags for trending topics. These third party platforms can show you the popularity and reach of different terms and phrases.
Patience is one of the crucial elements in social media marketing for small business owners. But let’s be real: it’s likely you won’t get thousands of audiences, likes, comments, shares within days, but an online marketing strategy is crucial to success as another communication channel in the long term. You need to build a solid and credible social media presence and it may take years. Surely it is worth working towards if you are looking for growth! Just be patient and take care of your audience and customers, giving them relevant content they are hungry for. By practising these social media tips for a small business mentioned above in this article, you will surely be on your way to social success.