Small Business Social Media Marketing: How to make it work for you.
Small Business Social Media Marketing: How to make it work for you
Let’s start with the facts: If you own a small business that’s not using social media marketing to expand your customers, you don’t need to thank me for writing this blog. Truth is, building a strong social media presence is one of the best ways to tap potential customers you never knew existed. There are 2.5 Billion (with a strong B) registered social media users and that number grows each day. Here are a few tips on how to make your small business virtually explode by developing your brand through social media marketing.
Develop a social media marketing plan and hit it full force.
Social media is like eating a 60 oz. steak in one sitting for a t-shirt and photo on the wall of fame… it can be done if you do it one bite at a time. If you are a steak eating machine, with zen-like patience, you should have no problem harnessing the time and dedicated attention needed to establish a solid social media presence. The golden rule is to keep it simple and pick the platforms that suit your small business best and keep the goals and objectives streamlined:
- Determine what social media platforms to become active in. Facebook is the most popular with the biggest following. Instagram is a visual / photo driven site, owned by Facebook. Snapchat attracts a younger crowd, LinkedIn connects to the business professionals and Twitter is a wordsmith’s playground. Each of these social media platforms can work for your small business. Choose wisely because they all require equal time.
- Establish a functional site that will allow you to connect and interact with social groups, peer groups and other local / industry specific pages and become an active member in their discussions, activities and social media posts. Making yourself present is a great way to establish a social media presence.
- Evaluate your competition and see what they are doing for both direction and inspiration that can separate your products from theirs. Give them a follow and check out their profiles to see what they’re doing. Figure out what makes your small business unique, identify what drives your sales and put that special branding “twist” that can distinguish yourself from the others. Being creative is icing on the cake here.
- Develop ways to track, analyze, plot, and measure your social media marketing initiatives so that you can monitor what works and what doesn’t. Keep your strategy loose and nimble so that you can adjust on the fly when needed. If you notice a trend in activity from a certain post, figure out new ways to relay that message with fresh content to keep it going.
- Dedicate the time needed to keep your posts and social media entries fresh, creative and innovative with unique content, witty humor and business-related objectives. This often takes the most time because you want to get a message across without it being “all business.” Tap that creative block and make each post have some zing, verbally or aesthetically.
Know your audience and then hit them with the goods they want.
The golden rule of any business is to understand who their customers are. Knowing what makes patrons walk through your door will help you create a social media strategy that will appeal to them. If you are a small boutique, perhaps you choose Facebook and Instagram so that you can post creative photos and displays that link across the platforms. Maybe your small tax service hits Twitter or LinkedIn with an entry about “tax time” to reach a targeted audience. Regardless, identifying what your customer could be looking for (and how your service offers that need) should be the tip of every arrow you shoot on social media. Ask yourself: What would entice you if you were the customer?
Choose quality over quantity when making posts so that you don’t overwhelm your audience.
If you’re scrolling through your social media feed and all you see is food shot after food shot from the same business, chances are you zip right by. By understanding the analytics, often offered by the platform, you’ll know to time your posts when they can reach the maximum users. Morning, lunch, mid-day (when everyone starts to zone out behind the desk) and evening times are usually the most active. Three to four choice posts a day that hit these times will ensure your message isn’t over-saturated or “spamming” the feed of your followers. Use #hastags at the end of your post to enhance your exposure by connecting your image to a spider-web of others who utilize those same hashtags. This is how you build your network.
Finally, the number one rule to establishing a social media presence is by being present.
I’ve already said it once here, but it’s worth repeating; the best way to make your small business compete with others on the social media marketing playing field is by suiting up and getting in the game. Be sure to interact with peers, “like” their photos, comment on their posts, and engage in conversations that are started both on your page as well as on others’ in your airspace. These actions “personalize” your connection with others by showing you are listening, understanding and invested in what they want. If you’ve left messages in your inbox for more than 24 hours, you’re out of the game and, statistically, 80% of the other team has gone home. Dedicating the time is how to win the game.
So, ask yourself, “Is my small business doing the best it can with social media marketing?” If you don’t know the answer, you could be sitting on the team bus wondering what’s happening. Establish a social media marketing strategy, find an employee (or hire a social media management firm if you have the bucks) that can suit up to get in the game. With the right content, harmonized message, zing and zip to catch the eye and data / analytics to back each action, your small business should be gaining exposure and attracting business from places you’d never think possible before.
If you ever wanted to see a solid example, you can find waterproofmenu.com on both Facebook and Instagram and we welcome your follow and like!