Social media marketing for small businesses is carving its way into the marketing space in a big way.
Social Media is undoubtedly here to stay, and with its ever-expanding clout in the marketing world, if you are not present on social media yet, it’s time for you to stop everything you are doing, and for you to seriously rethink your marketing strategy.
Social media marketing for small businesses is an oasis of opportunity and success. You just need to know where to start…
It is no longer a question of “if” a small business should be on social media, but rather “when”. Any business with a social media presence immediately gives a company more “street-cred”. An active social media presence has even more weight as this will allow you to gain loyal and long-term customers.
Slowly, Slowly Catch the Monkey
Although it’s tempting to go gung-ho from the start by signing up to every social media network on the planet, start slowly. Social media marketing for small businesses is essential, but it is also about being steady, focused and clever. Start off with one to two social networks. Once you have found your rhythm and you know what you are doing is working, you can begin to expand.
Know Who You Are Targeting
First, it is important to Identify your brand’s identity. This is essential for your business and this can be done by choosing the perfect brand archetype. Once you have established what your brand’s identity is, you can then focus on developing buyer personas so as to really zone in on your ideal target audience.
Find Out Where Your Audience Is
Just because you love Twitter doesn’t necessarily mean that you will find your customers there! Figure out where your target audience is and learn how to use that platform to reach them. It makes more sense to go to where they are, rather than spending time and money trying to entice them to your favourite digital space.
Engage with Your Target Audience
Firstly, it is important to understand that you won’t get noticed right away, social media strategy takes time. People are inundated with content, offers and marketing gimmicks all day and every day. So, expect to wait at least six months before you start seeing results. A potential customer will only start to share and endorse your product when they fully trust who you are and connect personally with your brand ethos. Run competitions or build hype around your brand by offering a free product if followers share, like and tag friends in a post. Ask followers questions – make them feel that your messages are personal ones. Most importantly, listen to what your audience has to say. Make them feel appreciated.
Be Clever and Strategic in Your Thinking
Social media marketing for small businesses can be easy if you learn how to effectively engage with (and in turn convert) potential customers. Check out some quick-fire ways to draw attention to your brand or business:
- Following people back when they follow you
- Retweeting interesting messages on Twitter
- Mentioning other users in your captions
- Responding to direct messages
- Sharing posts on LinkedIn/Facebook
- Look for cross-promotion opportunities – look for businesses that have the same business ethos as yourself and create collaborations. Not only do you tap into their target audience, but you have the potential to convert their followers to become loyal to your brand too.
Content is King
Content marketing is essential for a successful business. You need to create eye-catching, interesting, honest content that provides your audience with a memorable interaction or emotion. Once you have created your content, create a content calendar that allows you to set up a content plan for at least a month in advance. Find your favourite social media management tool (such as Buffer or Hootsuite) so that you can schedule your posts in advance. If you want to master social media marketing, you’ll want to be one step ahead of your competitors, so keep informed.
Start a Blog
A blog is a brilliant platform where you can publish content to make your business stand out from the crowd. If you already have your own website, then adding a blog is simple and it is a great way for you to create content which is easily shared on social media. With a blog, you can also encourage your followers to share your content across all social media platforms.
Monitor and Measure
Social media marketing for small businesses will only work for you when you are able to get sales and lead conversions, so you will need to track results all the way. Is your social media strategy working? Is your target audience engaging? What type of content is working best? Are people starting to click through to your landing page? And are they spending time on your website? Are they returning regularly? If you don’t track this process, then you have no way of knowing what’s working and what isn’t. Don’t go in blindly – one of the biggest challenges any small business faces is proving the return on investment (ROI). Measuring social media ROI doesn’t have to be expensive. Most social media platforms offer really fantastic built-in, free analytics tools such as Facebook Insights. Engagement and impressions are more important than the number of followers you have.
Keep your Customers Close; your Competition Even Closer
Make sure you watch what your competitors are doing and posting. It’s also important to monitor what social media marketing other small businesses out there are doing for inspiration. Sign up for social media articles and tips from experts so that you can continue to upskill and grow.
Our final thought on this is don’t delay. Create your social media accounts today and start learning how the digital space works. Be bold, be creative and post whatever you really believe would resonate with your ideal followers, using our tips above. Your target audience will guide you on how your campaigns are doing, so our final piece of advice is to listen to them. If this feels overwhelming and you don’t know where to start, this is where we come in. We have the skills, tools and understand the challenges small businesses face. Get in touch with us here, let’s see how we can help. Alternatively, check out our affordable business growth services here.