Social Media Marketing is no an longer option for small businesses in 2019. Many believe that social media won’t benefit their companies or have a mentality that it doesn’t do much.
“Our customers know who we are, and they know where to find us.”
It is great to have an established customer base and social media is great for brand recognition however using social media goes beyond just that: it can help you market your small business and get more sales/business from your existing customers in addition to obtaining new ones.
While you may not think your lack of a social media presence is having an impact on you today, not having an effective social media strategy can be harmful to your small business. It will eventually catch up with you down the road. You have to keep up with the latest social media trends, as they’re always changing, and then apply them to your small business.
If you’re a small business owner not quite convinced that you need social media marketing to improve your business, or if you are using social media to market your business but are not seeing the results you hoped for, keep reading he tips in this blog!
Tip #1: Create profiles on multiple platforms… but remember your target audience
“We’re on Facebook.”
If you have a Facebook page for your business, that’s great and you’re headed in the right direction however Facebook alone won’t be enough to maximize your reach. You need to establish a presence on as many social platforms as possible.
Here are the social media channels that small businesses use
As you’ll see, Facebook leads the way for small businesses however there are other platforms out there to be utilized as well. Before you rush to create a profile on all of these channels, it’s important to do the leg work prior to signing up. Understanding your target audience/market is essential.
For example, if you’re a small business that is targeting Generation Z as your primary target audience, you may want to consider using Snapchat as 71% of Gen Z uses this platform at least six times each day. However, if your small business is trying to generate leads from Baby Boomers, it wouldn’t make sense to prioritize this platform. The same if you’re a B2B company – you may want to consider LinkedIn.
It is a safe bet to start with a Facebook profile as with 1.5 billion daily active users, you can assume your target audience is there. After you determine your target audience and what other channels are suitable for your brand and marketing strategy, then start creating other social profiles.
Tip #2: Define your marketing goals.
It is not wise to just start blindly posting content on your
social media without any rhyme or reason. It is always important to have an end
goal in mind. Some of these goals include generating leads (which is the goal
for most small businesses using social media), building brand awareness, and
engaging customers. These are not the only goals though. You can use social
media for many other things such as providing better customer service or
directly drive sales. Whatever your reasons are, make sure they’re clearly
defined. You wouldn’t run an ad on the radio or print advertisements without
establishing a goal first.
Tip #3: Post content on a consistent basis.
Now that you have a social media profile on multiple platforms, you need to ensure that you keep those accounts active. If someone stumbles upon your page and the most recent page was from 3-4 weeks ago, they’re not going to follow you. What’s the point of following a brand that doesn’t post content? Furthermore, think about all the people already following your business page. For the most part, these people won’t just navigate to that page on their own to see what you’re up to. You need to post new content to appear in their news feed and timelines.
As you see from this graph, only half of small businesses post on a daily basis. One of the reasons why small businesses aren’t posting daily is they’re not sure what to post. This is where you can refer to your marketing goals and see what you would like to do with social media account.
This is also your opportunity to stand out from your competitors and make a lasting impression on your followers! Each time you post new content, you remind your followers that your brand exists. When they need or want whatever you’re offering, they’ll think of your business as opposed to another small business in the area.
Tip #4: Give customers a reason to follow you
In order to be successful on social media, you need to have a lot of followers or nobody is going to see your content (then what’s the point?) Once you’re able to grow your social following, it’ll be easier for you to convert your followers into customers. This is because they’re more likely to buy from brands they follow on social media.
Here are some of the top reasons why people are interested in following small businesses/brands on social media:
· Your content is entertaining
· You have offered an incentive or coupon
· You offer exclusive promotions on your social media account
· They’re curious about your products/services
· They need to reach a customer service representative
· Their friends or family members follow your brand
This is where it’s essential to make sure your content is worth following! Run a contest, promote flash sales and discounts. Just make sure that you don’t post too many promotions or sales type posts as this can also deter people from following. In fact, 46% of consumers say they’ll unfollow brands that post too much promotional content. You want to be able to build loyalty and trust by posting content that’s enjoyable and not pushy into sales. Remember that there’s a difference between posting daily and spamming your followers.
Tip #5: Implement automation tools.
Everything that we’ve discussed so far can be extremely time consuming and as a small business owner, you need to wear multiple hats throughout the day. Depending on the size of your business, you may be handling the majority of your company’s responsibilities. Using an automation platform can allow you to schedule your posts in advance. Another benefit of using an automation tool is the ability to respond to messages in a timely fashion.
Tip #6: Encourage user-generated content
This connects to my discussion about the type of content you should be posting. You can’t go wrong by sharing content that encourages user-generated content. As you can see from the numbers below, UGC has a direct correlation with the consumer buying decision.
UGC also helps you build brand awareness as well. For example, if you run a contest on Instagram where the participants have to post photos featuring them use one of your products, your small business just got exposed to a wider audience. Anyone who follows people who enter the contest will see your brand being promoted, even if those people don’t follow you. The majority of consumers say they trust a referral if it comes from someone they know therefore, UGC is a great way for you to get more followers and ultimately turn those new followers into buyers.
Tip #7: Take advantage of ephemeral content.
Ephemeral content is different from a regular post. This type of content is only shown for a short period of time such as 24 hours. The most common places where you’ll find this content on social media is on Instagram and Snapchat in the form of “stories.”
If you would like to post several times per day, do it on your story. This won’t spam the timelines of your followers and it gives them the option to see your content.
In conclusion, your small business needs to use social media to stay relevant in this day and age. With these few tips, you can take your social media marketing strategy of your small business to the next level.