Social media is a great marketing tool, especially if you have a small business that’s just starting out. Learn the ins and outs of marketing through social media for small business below.
How to Use Social Media for Small Business
With 3.6 billion people using social media worldwide and an average of 3 hours per day spent on social media per person, the power of social media is undeniable. As social media becomes a permanent fixture in everyday life, companies have learned to adapt to the changing times and use social media to grow their business. But, social media is even more useful for small businesses trying to establish a name for themselves.
Here are the best small business social media tips you should take advantage of:
1. Create a Plan
You can’t expect to gain any traction simply by creating social media pages for your brand. It takes a well-thought-out plan in order to effectively use social media for brand visibility and engagement.
To start, set goals and objectives. What do you wish to accomplish with social media? Do you want to build brand awareness or increase your conversion rates? Perhaps a mixture of both?
You will also need to observe what your competitors are doing. Learn from their strategies and tailor them to suit your brand. You can also learn a lot from businesses outside of your competition. If you already have a social media page, take a step back, and evaluate what you have been doing.
2. Choose the Right Platforms
The social channels you should use depends on where your target audience is located. Thus, one of the best social media tips for small business owners is to find out where your potential customers are spending their time online. Then, focus your efforts there.
Of course, you can always use a combination of several social media channels. After all, most people nowadays are present on more than one platform.
It is also worth noting that your goal should inform the social media platform you choose. According to eMarketer, Facebook is the go-to platform for customer acquisition, while Instagram and Pinterest are great for social commerce.
3. Know Your Audience and Extend Your Reach
Before you can learn how to promote your business on social media, you must first know to whom you’re promoting. Get to know your audience so you can tailor your strategies to suit them.
You can discover more about your audience by gathering data on your current set of customers. Additionally, you can use social media analytics to find out demographics and other information.
Once you have a picture of your audience in mind, you should then start working on expanding your reach. This way, you can increase brand visibility and awareness.
This will also help you take your business nationwide or even internationally. Some brands have found that ads that work on a local level tend to work globally as well if you have the same target audience.
4. Start Forming Connections
Using social media for business is a smart move not only because it’s cheap and has a wide reach but also because it allows you to form meaningful relationships with your followers. It is much easier to sell your products and services to customers who feel connected to your brand.
Let people get to know your business. Express your values through your social media posts. Posts that connect with your customers tend to receive more likes and social shares. This, in turn, can boost brand awareness. Forging a bond with your followers will take some time, though, but your patience and effort will pay off in the long run.
5. Monitor and Reply to Mentions
Simply being on social media isn’t enough. You must also use it to monitor mentions of your brand and respond to customer comments, whether positive or negative. Listening in on conversations involving your brand will allow you to learn more about what people think about your products and services. In doing so, you can make better business decisions.
One of the best social media strategies for small businesses is to go above and beyond when it comes to customer service. When you find that a customer has had a bad experience with your brand online, do something about it. Fix their problem as best you can. This will turn their negative experience into a positive one and can shape other people’s perceptions of your brand.
6. Take Advantage of Visuals
We live in a world highly reliant on visuals. It’s to be expected in social media, especially on visual-forward platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat. But, the same applies to text-heavy platforms like Twitter, where a simple image or GIF can get you more attention.
Don’t be afraid to take advantage of memes. If you can’t create your own visuals or shoot your own photos, you can always use stock images. Adding a captivating visual element to your posts is one of the best social media marketing tips you can adopt.
7. Post on a Schedule
It’s essential to create a social media calendar so you can post relevant content during the appropriate times. You don’t want to flood your followers’ social feeds, but you also don’t want to space out your posts too much as that won’t engage your audience. Generally speaking, follow the posting frequency below according to the platform:
- Facebook: Update once a day.
- Twitter: Multiple times a day.
- Instagram: It depends on your brand. If you have a visual-heavy brand, you can post multiple times a day. Test different schedules and see what works best for you. For Instagram stories, though, you can get away with daily posts provided they’re not repetitive.
- LinkedIn: Weekly.
Small businesses can use the 80-20 rule to start. This rule states that 80 percent of your content to educate, inform, or entertain your audience, with the other 20 percent geared towards promoting your brand and selling your products or services.
8. Use Hashtags
Incorporating hashtags into your posts is one of the easiest social media hacks you can use to enhance visibility. Make sure to use a mixture of general and specific hashtags to widen your scope. For instance, if you run a coffee shop, you can use #coffeelover and #coffeeart as hashtags, among other things. General hashtags tend to be more crowded, though, but you still might get lucky with a new fan or two.
9. Value Beats Density
When it comes to creating content for social media marketing for small business owners, always remember that quality will always beat quantity. Instead of aiming for a lot of posts, aim for posts that offer value. People also love pages that are fun, entertaining, and evoke authenticity. Make sure not to use too many hard-selling posts either. Remember the 80-20 rule? It applies here, too.
10. Partner With Influencers
Influencer marketing is another great way to get the word out about your brand. In fact, 49 percent of consumers say that they rely on recommendations from social media influencers when considering a brand.
You don’t need to aim too high too quickly here, too. Celebrities and influencers with a ton of clout tend to charge a high price per post. But, there are also influencers with a smaller but still sizable number of followers that are worth partnering with.
Some influencers also have niche markets that you might want to tap. Reach out to the ones you want to promote your brand so you can iron out a payment system that works for both of you.
Advertising isn’t confined to the traditional mediums anymore. With social media, you can also advertise your brand and products to a broader audience. You can choose the type of campaign you want to start as well as the demographics you want to target. The best part is that you don’t even have to shell out a lot of money to begin. You can set your own daily budget and then let the platform do the work.
12. Use Social Media Management Tools
The thought of using social media for small business owners might seem daunting because of the amount of time involved.
But, there are plenty of social media management tools you can use to automate and streamline the work. These tools organize social media mentions, messages, curate content, and even give you analytics all in one neat dashboard. Some examples include Hootsuite, Canva, and Buzzsumo.
13. Track Your Performance and Adjust as Needed
If you want to learn how to market your business on social media, you should be open to change. That means adjusting your strategies according to the performance of your campaigns. Not all of your tactics will work, while some might take a little time to get off the ground.
With the help of social media management tools, though, you can use analytics to track your performance and make the necessary adjustments. You can try split testing, otherwise known as A/B testing, which allows you to make small alterations to see what gets the results you want.
Leveling the Playing Field
In many ways, social media helps small businesses survive and thrive in a highly competitive business environment. It’s an accessible and affordable form of marketing that you can easily understand. In essence, social media for small business owners also provides an opportunity to match the reach of larger brands. It gives local brands a fighting chance.
Employing the use of social media is part of digital marketing, a field Tanner Grey specializes in. If you need help navigating the often confusing world of social media marketing, contact us online or give us a call at 844.500.1339 today!
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