Social media plays an important role in business promotion. It has become immensely important for any business be it a small business or a large enterprise. Bloggers and entrepreneurs alike want to build relationships with readers and acquire more leads using social media platforms to increase turnover and income. There are many different ways to use social media for small business, but the one you might be looking for is to break through the noise without wasting cash and reach and convert the right users.
Hence, if you are serious about using social media for promoting small business, then follow these steps to make social media a vital part of your digital marketing strategy.
How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Small Business
With traditional marketing tools such as TV advertising and newsletters are gradually losing their effectiveness, small-business owners are looking for and finding new ways to attract their target audiences. Social media networks have great potential for building both personal and business relationships, as well as connect with people who haven’t heard of you yet or already love products/services you’re going to promote.
So what are the steps to a successful social media strategy? Aside from implementing and using the latest technology and tools, you need also keep in mind the following:
- Strengthen your personal brand to make it more noticeable and memorable;
- Enhance your professional network;
- Develop relationships with other influencers;
- Engage your target audience;
- Create engaging content that speaks for itself;
- Share links to relevant brands that your followers will find useful;
- Interact with your subscribers and users who support you.
Small businesses around the world know that everyone uses social networking sites these days. Merely take a look at the social media demographics across platforms to realize that! Therefore, there’s still time to cultivate a proper social media presence because the benefits will be worth the effort.
There are many advantages to building a better social media presence. It can help engage with your social media followers, reach new audiences, build authority, and get more clicks on your links. In a nutshell, creating a social media marketing strategy can drive growth for your small business by fostering lasting and loyal relationships with your followers.
1. Set the social media goals for your business
You can’t use Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for promoting your business without setting goals. This is an essential first step and you should be as specific about the time frame and your goals as possible. Don’t just limit yourself to getting likes. Instead, set measurable and realistic goals that include content production and aggregating the estimated costs.
To drive success for your business on social media, focus on factors such as leads, sales, conversions, and referrals. For example, if you want to increase link click-throughs on social media, your marketing goals may be to analyze social conversations and create platform-specific content.
2. Determine Your Target Audience
When it comes to running a business, identifying your target audience is the foundation of your marketing strategy. What would be the result if I try to sell lingerie to seasoned travelers? Not very productive. It doesn’t sound smart.
Likewise, if you are planning to promote products or services on social media, then you must spend some time creating your social media strategy around the audience persona you want to target.
Be prepared that not everyone on social media will need your product or service but in order to understand people having problems that can be solved by products you promote, you need to find the right audience.
Steps to identify your audience personas on social media:
- Discover users’ problems;
- Identify users’ needs;
- Understand your followers’ objections;
- Figure out their information channels;
- Identify their buying behaviors;
- Pitch your product in a way that will resonate.
3. Which social media platform should I use for my business?
Basically, choosing the right social media platform for your business means focusing your energy where it matters most. As a small business owner, you want to maximize social media efforts by figuring out where your potential followers are actually spending time. Each social media network offers a unique audience and it can be difficult to find the one that suits your needs the best. Before you actually join any of them (if you haven’t already), research your audience and keep in mind your goals.
Here’s some information to help get you started:
- Facebook. The most popular platform that is perfect for small businesses that want to generate leads and build relationships;
- Twitter. This microblogging and social networking service is ideal for businesses targeting 30+ audiences and who need to stay on top of time-sensitive information;
- Pinterest. The image sharing and social media service is designed for businesses with visual appeal. In fact, Pinterest is a combination of search engine and targeted advertising tool, which makes it a great platform for driving sales because many users browse the site planning purchases;
- Instagram. Acquired by Facebook in 2012, Instagram allows users to post photos and videos, as well as offers interactive features like Stories and IGTV;
- LinkedIn. The largest professional platform can be a great social networking site for both B2B and B2C businesses to build trust, build leadership, and promote your small enterprise;
- Youtube. This is the most popular online video sharing and social media platform owned by Google. Being also the second most popular search engine, this platform can help you build a successful online business;
- TikTok. This is a video-focused social networking service that has seen rapid growth during the Covid-19 pandemic. The app is extremely popular amongst influencers and celebrities so consider entering it if you target a younger demographic.
4. Come up with a social media content strategy
Once you’ve figured out the social media platforms you’ll use, start crafting a social media content strategy to help you reach your goals.
With your target audience in mind, try to answer the following questions:
- What types of content you’ll create. With different types of visuals such as photos, videos, and infographics, you need to decide which of them will actually impact your readers or viewers;
- Come up with a topic. In general, you’ll need to at least 3-5 topics you’re going to stick to. For instance, if you’re using social media for selling cars, you may post about changing your oil filter, replacing wiper blades, and checking your tires. What key messages do you want your target audience to hear?;
- Come up with posting frequency. What is the optimal posting frequency for your business? Create a content calendar that will help you plan posts;
- Decide on your appearance. To stand out you’ll need a unique brand voice and personality.
To answer these questions research on what users are currently responding to and what are the trending topics and hashtags today. If you don’t have much of a presence on any social media site yet, you can start competitor research to strengthen your marketing campaigns and stay up to date with industry changes.
5. Use social media calendar
You can’t be successful at social media marketing merely by posting random content. To succeed, you should create a social media calendar to plan the content ahead of time—ideally at least 1-3 weeks in advance. To help you automate the posting process, consider using a social media management tool like Buffer, Hootsuite, or Later. Thanks to the social media automation tools available to content creators, you can automatically schedule content up to a month in advance.
6. Engage with your audience
Although content is important on social media, it’s not enough to just post it and then leave. The ultimate goal here is to create content that excites and entertains your followers to connect and drive engagement. Users will have questions and if you want to foster the relationships and gain the trust of your audience you have to answer them.
Here’re some ways small businesses can engage with their audiences:
- Always reply to comments;
- Initiate and participate in conversations;
- Share relevant content;
- Get more user-generated content;
- Post surveys and polls;
- Learn key skills for handling complaints;
- Show respect for your followers.
7. Don’t spend too much time promoting products/services
Yes, we know you’re doing your best to increase sales and become increasingly popular among users. But using social media for small business is different from what most people are used to.
Rather than using social as an active promotional platform, it’s best to use it as a tool for building a lasting (and fruitful) relationship.
To do this, you need to follow the 80/20 rule and keep your promotional content to 20%. The rest 80% of content should be dedicated to meeting the needs of your audience.
8. Measuring metrics will help you build a better social media presence
To reach your social media goals, you need to determine which metrics might suit your needs the best. For example, if you want to increase link click-throughs on social media, then pay attention to content and audience engagement. Metrics are not always about numbers but the exposure you earned from your target niche. The right metrics could tell you about how people engage with you on social media.
Here’re questions you should be asking while measuring your metrics:
- What your content people share and why?;
- Do they leave comments on your posts?;
- Do users enjoy your content?;
- Content types that get attention;
- How effective were your CTAs?;
- Was your sales forecast accurate?;
- How to increase sales for your small business?
Having clear answers to these questions might be a valuable asset before launching your next social media campaign.
9. Connect with other influencers on social media
In the online world, relationships are everything. Whether you are promoting products/services on Facebook or Instagram, you must take out some time to build meaningful connections with others.
If you are assuming that you’d be able to reach your goals on social media without relationships, then you are wrong. Alike in the real-world where relationship matters to get things done, it holds true for social media.
Thus, you should be spending time building relationships with other influencers with similar audiences that are not in competition. It’d give improve your social media exposure.
As a content creator or micro-blogger, you’d be thinking that it would be difficult for you to take out time on a daily basis to build relationships with similar influencers. However, you can use various social media monitoring tools to find and engage with the right individuals.
10. Be consistent
Remember, it usually takes time and patience to grow a strong social media presence.
When is comes to content creation, make sure that every post is in line with your topic and image. This might seem obvious, no one likes interact with a blogger ot influencer when they have various topics covered in their account. By posting relevant content regularly and responding to people on your page, users get to see that you are serious about your goals.
People will be more likely to comment, respond, and click your links with you when they can see that you are consistently there.
In addition, users generally only purchase from those they know, like and trust – posting consistently with great, quality content about your niche will essentially show your audience you’re worthy of their trust.
Eager to know from you
Life of an influencer is full of ups and downs. It takes time to build an audience and make money on social media promoting products.
Let us know your opinion and write down your experience with us about this post in the comment section below. We are eager to know from you about your social media strategy and ready to help you in every way possible.