It’s hardly news that social media is an important part of any digital marketing strategy. Regardless of the goal, social media is often the leading means of creating awareness and getting engagement in real-time.
For any small business that wants to capitalize on digital strategies to market or promote its brand, it needs to take social media seriously. The benefits of social media to business growth is immeasurable.
For small businesses, the idea of using social media to market their brand may seem impossible considering the competition or lack of tens of thousands of followers. In this regard, a lot of small businesses make the mistake of buying fake followers just so their account portrays affinity.
However, more important than the number of followers is the possibility of generating leads from the target audience and eventually make sales which is a direct ROI on the business.
Truly, the time is near when a business’s absence on social media would mean inexistence. This is because social media is the new hangout.
The average person will spend 2 hours on social media every day. Of course, the average person – even in your immediate locale – doesn’t see your store every day. Do the math.
When social media is not capitalized, a business is prone to a lot of disadvantages. They include
- Limited market reach
- Lack of social proof/credibility
- Untapped growth opportunities
- Untapped communication opportunities
- Lack of relevant and valuable insights
In order to tackle the difficulty faced by small business entrepreneurs regarding launching and winning their social media efforts, this article is designed to provide 5 strategies that will help you effectively market your small business on social media.
Social media is a world of brands; personal and business. Before you launch your business on relevant platforms, you need to create a unique image, color, and voice that represents your business in the best possible way.
This is of utmost importance because it is going to be the means by which your activities across all platforms are easily recognized and ascribed to your business.
It is important that your audience is able to recognize a specific look or feel with your business, this will register a picture in their minds, therefore, making your online efforts easily recognizable.
2. Create your account on relevant platforms
Social media is both efficient and effective. However, not every platform has to be right for you. Just before getting on every social media channel there is, pause to examine and determine the platforms that are right for your business.
A way to this is to examine where your target audience hangs out. For example, if your business targets millennials, you might want to be more focused on millennials or Gen Y, you might want to consider doubling your effort on Instagram.
For B2B business, LinkedIn would be an ideal platform, the reason being that business-related content is more often shared on LinkedIn more than other social platforms.
This attracts more businesses, making the platform their hangouts, hence, a ready-made audience for a B2B business.
You should also ensure your image is consistent across every channel you decide to use. You don’t want your customers confused. This is the importance of branding.
Needless to say, you need to have clearly defined goals for getting social. In fact, the least of the reasons is that it will help you measure progress.
Just before sharing content or networking with influencers, you need to determine your marketing goals, this will help you to be more strategic about your plans and executions.
Among the common reasons why businesses use social media are
- Brand awareness
- Lead generation
- Customer engagement
- Building reputation/credibility
- Driving traffic to website/blog
Setting clearly defined goals will make the execution of plans much easier since there is a standard against which performance can be compared.
Aimless efforts on social media will result in futility. To really capitalize on social media benefits, you must have clearly set goals.
4. Plan valuable and relevant content
Beyond having profiles and clearly defined goals for social media marketing. You need to plan your content. Content is of high importance such that it is your way of conveying your message to your current and potential customers.
Regardless of your goals, content is the only means of bringing them to reality; It is the biggest determinant of how much followers you get, how much leads you’re able to generate and ultimately, people’s perception about your brand because perception is everything.
You need to ensure that your content is relevant to your target audience and also offer value in terms of helping them solve problems or providing valuable information. Ensure you give people reasons to follow you with your content.
Your content should not just be about product promotion. As much as possible, share content that will post you as a thought leader in your industry by offering tips that your audience will find interesting. Another way to go about it is to run a contest once in a while.
No matter how you do it, one thing is most important, always make your audience the hero. Your content should not be about your business, it should be customer-centric
After your account has been created, goals defined and content planned, the next thing is to start sharing your message with your audience.
Avoid a dead account at all costs. Ensure that whenever someone interacts with your account, they find something recent.
Inconsistency will portray a lack of intention in the mind of your customers and you don’t want that. Ensure there is always something valuable and recent for your audience to interact with. For you to make a lasting impression on your followers, you should post daily.
Consistent share of content will keep you top of mind and make your audience seek you when they need the solution you offer. You can repurpose content from your blog or a video you recorded.
Ensure you don’t just talk at your followers, try to engage them as much as possible by responding to comments timely.
Also, avoid spamming your followers, posting several times per day will flood their timelines. Regardless of how relevant, nobody wants that.
Using social media to market your small business is no longer a choice to be considered but a strategy to leverage if you want to grow your business. And it doesn’t have to be stressful.
Avoid putting all your efforts on one platform, spread across the different platforms as much as you can. Each platform has its unique way of reaching its users, maximize that.
Ensure your content is relevant, valuable and consistent. Also, maximize the use of visuals, followers are attracted to appealing creatives.
Social media platforms also have provisions for businesses to be able to reach their target audience, even if they don’t follow them. You should leverage that as well.
We do hope you find this article useful, kindly make use of the comment section to ask questions or share opinions.