It can be overwhelming when you first begin using social media to grow your small business. However, you shouldn’t stress too much about it. There is no need for you to spend hours trying to rack up a ton of followers or creating a slick social media brand campaign. All you really need to do is use these effective, affordable tips for using social media marketing in your small business.
One of the best ways to bring in new customers and connect with current clientele is to use social media. Truth be told, if you don’t have a presence on all the social media platforms, you are probably missing out on millions of people who would enjoy connecting with you about your brand. The best part is that using social media to market your small business doesn’t have to be overwhelming, scary, stressful, or expensive. No matter your business size, you can use these easy social media tips for marketing to grow your list of customers, reach a bigger market, bring in new clientele, and increase sales as well.
Begin with Making a Plan
We all know every successful business strategy begins with making a good plan. This means before you begin to market on social media, you need to come up with a good plan. Whether you are an addiction rehab facility or a marketing company, you need to have a plan. Of course, you could just start out with organic posting for free in the hopes you will connect with millions of people, but this probably isn’t the best idea. You see, without a plan, there is no way of knowing what to say in your posts. However, if you take the time to create a plan, you will be able to achieve your overall business goals. This means you will know what to say in your posts. In addition, you will be able to see if your posts are helping you reach your marketing goals. The below outline should help you to create a good plan.
- Set objectives and goals – Make sure to keep your goals specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Create goals that will make a difference to your business as well.
- Competition research – Use social media to research your competition. Of course, you don’t want to copy them. However, you can still check out their social media pages to get insight on what things are working and not working for businesses similar to your own.
- Get inspired – You have taken the time to check out other businesses in your industry, but now you should take a look into small businesses from other fields. Looking at any kind of small business can help you get inspired, which can then help you come up with great ideas for your marketing plan.
- Do a social media audit – After you have been using social media for a while, you should take some time to evaluate what you have done this far. One thing to pay attention to at this point and moving forward is to look for imposters and people who are creating accounts that appear to be the same as yours, as you don’t want anyone stealing your thunder or customers or bad-marketing for your business.
- Make a social media calendar – Creating a social media calendar can help you post the proper content to the correct social platforms at the right time. You should include a plan which includes a mix of content posts. Basically, it is a good rule to start with using 80% of the time you post being content which informs, entertains, and educates your marketing audience. The other 20% of the time you will promote your products or brand.
Figuring out Which Platform is Right for You
Remember not to make assumptions regarding where your audience spends their online time. Your gut might be telling you the majority of your customer base uses Facebook or Instagram, but what if they don’t use either of these platforms. The best way to figure out which platform suits your marketing goals is to do a little research. Perhaps, trying both of these platforms might be a good idea at the beginning, until you figure out which one is helping you reach your goals. Remember you could even try Snapchat or other social media platforms.
Learn Your Audience
It is important to know your target audience. You can start learning who your audience is by collecting data on your current customers. After you collect data, you can dive deeper by using social media analytics. This will give you a solid foundation. It will show you who’s buying your products, and who’s happy with your services.
Build Solid Relationships
A unique feature of social media marketing compared to traditional forms of marketing is that it enables you a chance to speak directly with your customers. It allows you to build solid relationships with them, rather than having to ask for a sale upfront. Social media makes it easier for a business owners to communicate with their customers. It allows owners to learn what their customers desire and want them to offer in their business. Social media lets business owners interact directly and efficiently with each one of their customers. This gives owners and customers the chance to build a trusting relationship from the start.
Time to Expand Your Audience
When you get to the point where you feel there is nothing else you can do to get more customers in your original market niche, then you must consider reaching out to a new people. You can do this by increasing your posts, putting more offers on your social media pages, and expanding to other niches. For example, if your original niche was fitness, perhaps you should expand into bodybuilders, nutrition, or other fitness demographics.
Share Images and Visuals
People love visuals and most have come to expect them. Many people are more likely to engage with posts and become followers of a small business if they offer visual elements such as videos, photos, GIFs, and infographics. However, it is important to pay attention to the visuals you post because they must look good. People tend to stop scrolling to read any text within the post if they don’t like the look of the visual. One good visual you could post on your social media page is pictures of your happy customers using your services.
Quality Over Quantity
There are many social media marketing tools and platforms available for a small business. It all might seem very overwhelming. Just remember you don’t have to use every available marketing platform, technique, or method out there on the internet. It is a lot more important to choose quality over quantity. Posting a remarkable post or visual image on one key channel which will let you reach your target audience is more beneficial than posting a ton of unimportant pieces of information on every social network platform. The purpose is to build relationships with your new and current customers by being human, remaining honest, and providing quality content.
Use Tools to Help You Market
One secret for being successful with social media marketing is to use tools which help you simplify and automate most of the work you will need to do on your chosen platform. There are many tools available to help you build your business and boost your productivity line including the following:
- Analytic tools
- Engagement management tools
- Graphic tools
- Content curation tools
- Scheduling content tools
All of these tools can help you grow your business. They will make marketing on social media networks easier and more effective.
Be Aware and Respond
It is important to monitor and respond to all posts, conversations, and information being posted on your business home page. This lets people know you are paying attention and care about your customers. However, it is also important to be aware of any conversations taking place about your business on other places online. This will give you the opportunity to see what people think about your business, good or bad. It also enables you to respond to anyone who might be having a problem with your business. This means you have a chance to explain yourself to negative feedback.
Track and Refine
From the beginning, you should track your posts, likes, what is working, and what isn’t working on your social media platforms. This will allow you to look back and refine any marketing plans which haven’t been helping enhance your business. It will give you a chance to make a better marketing plan for the future and help you improve your image overall.
The fact is that whether you are just opening a small business or have owned a business for many years, social marketing is a great way to connect with your customers, reach new clientele, increase sales, and enhance brand awareness. Stay positive, breathe, and remember you don’t have to do it all. Social media marketing doesn’t have to be overwhelming, stressful, or time-consuming. It can actually be fun and one of the best ways to engage with people all over the world.