Social media is a great way of promoting your business, especially for small businesses or newly started ones. But you need to know about certain basics of using social media platforms for your business in order to get the most out of it. Here are our ten social media marketing tips for small business owners to help develop effective social media marketing strategies:
Choose the Right Platforms
There are multiple social media platforms, with the numbers growing every day, each having its unique offering and audience. So, while choosing social media marketing for small business, there are some things to be considered, like your target audience, the type of content that aligns with your business, and platforms popular for your business.
It is ideal to start with just one platform and put your full focus on it, then explore more after you get the hang of it. Because if you start across multiple platforms at one go, you might not be able to actively keep up with them. So, after you get the hang of it, you can use multiple platforms to accomplish different business goals or reach different customers.
One of the very basic things about starting brand promotion through social media is profile page optimization. You need to fill out your page properly, adding links to other social platform profiles, filling out the about section, updating your profile and cover image, pin the most important and engaging posts, customizing page links, call to action button, and other information so that anyone viewing your page or channel can get a basic idea about what you are offering.
Create a Social Content Calendar
It is very important to be disciplined and consistent when you start promoting your business across social media. For that, creating and following a social media content calendar is a must. This helps you to avoid posting the same content time and again or the risk of ending up with low-quality content due to a last-minute rush.
You can also set up goals and objectives for your posts and keep track through the calendar. This, on the whole, helps you plan your posts beforehand and make them ready before the desired time of sending them out.
Know Your Audience
A report suggests that more than 44% of active internet users use social media platforms to know about brands and what they stand for (source). The main reason why social media marketing boomed more than traditional marketing practices is because the former offers two-way communication. Social media platforms allow you to interact with your customer, and you can even micro-target them.
That is why knowing your audience is a must. Adequate research and proper use of social media analytics are also required to know more about your audience and how they spend time online; it is not ideal for making assumptions instinctively about a specific target audience.
You can opt for creating Facebook groups which is a proven way to enhance brand loyalty and improve relationships with your audience. Again, connecting with other entrepreneurs and influencers in your niche can be helpful for establishing brand trust, as they have dedicated followers who’ll know about your business. Again, you can mention your followers in your post and stories as a step to engage with your audience and establish relationships with them.
You can even ask your audience for suggestions about content, products, or any other feedback they have for you. You can make polls on certain social media platforms for that and can ask for comments in threads in others.
Another way of building trust can be to ask customers to share their reason for purchasing your product or what it means to them. Not everyone will have a story, but you’ll find stories that other people can relate to, and this will help a lot to bring your customers closer to the brand.
Plan contents carefully according to audience demand
It is important to acknowledge that social media is ever-changing, so a strategy that worked for you historically might not work now, and that is completely understandable. You just need to upgrade your content to the audience’s current needs.
Visual content, like photos, illustrations, infographics, and videos, helps your content to stand out and get better traction in social media as they easily grab people’s attention. It is easy to say more with visual content without taking up much space, and it ends up being a more engaging post than a typical one. You can also keep experimenting with different types of content to better understand the type of content that your audience loves the most.
Again, it is important to keep a tab on ongoing trends in social media platforms to understand what the audience is looking for and post content accordingly. But that doesn’t mean jumping on the bandwagon every time a trend goes viral because that might not align with your brand identity and will seem like a try-hard.
Apart from that, you need to post your content timely to get maximum engagement and traction. So, you need to track that information using social media analytics tools and post accordingly.
You can add your other social platform links even in your page’s bio, or on some platforms, there are options to link your other social media profiles/pages. And you can even ask people to follow your other social media handles at the end of any content to give a gentle reminder occasionally.
Again, if your business has a website, make sure to incorporate social media icons in the homepage so that it redirects the customers to your social media page, and they can view it from there. This is also applicable for newsletters and email signatures; adding your social media handles via the social icons is another reminder to the audience that they can find you on those platforms, too, if they want.
Use Social Media as a Sales Channel
Using social media as a sales channel is a big opportunity for small businesses to increase their sales volume. It is quite tough nowadays for small businesses to get quickly noticed, so this is where social media pops out as a goldmine for them. It is not necessary that all your content will generate a whopping number of sales, but some will do, and then others will follow. Again, the post getting the most engagement doesn’t necessarily guarantee the most sales generation, so it is better not to have false hopes.
You can set up direct links to sell your products/services via your posts or content so that customers can easily get redirected to the page or website for purchase. You can also develop live chat assistants to chat with customers via direct messages at any time of the day. Conducting post-purchase surveys is another way of knowing how the customers got to know about your shop or website, and you can work on the insights accordingly. Again, if any customer gives out a positive or useful review about your brand or tags you in any group showcasing your product, share them on your page or profile for other customers to see, which will make them interested in purchasing from your shop.
Respond and Address Problems Quickly
People are ought to send messages to your page for queries and giving out feedback. So it is ideal to be prompt in replying to messages and comments and address any problem that comes up. This sends out a message about the kind of brand you are, i.e., essentially helps build a positive brand identity. This way, people will also know that your page is responsive, which creates a good impression on your audience.
Measure success with analytics
To prosper in your attempt to promote business in social media, it is very important that you keep track of how your content is performing. You need to track how much engagement your content is having (likes, comment, share on Facebook), post reach, increase in the number of followers or subscribers, use of brand hashtags, messages received on the page, number of brand mentions, mentions in comments, posts and stories, positive reviews and some other metrics as well.
This will help you get an idea of which content is getting more traction and is more engaging for the customers. To help you with that, there are loads of social media marketing tools, and most of the platforms have their own analytics system for content creators and business profiles.
Social media is a great platform for small business owners to promote their brands and get noticed. It allows you to connect the customers with your brand and help generate sales. It is often tricky to start, but once you get the hang of it, the sky’s the limit.