Small businesses generally have limited funds, time, and manpower. If you have a small business, you must choose a marketing channel that provides the best results with the most judicious resources. Social media provide one such marketing channel in the form of social media marketing. You can expand your professional network; increase your brand’s reach, and increase sales using social media channels.
The following tips on social media marketing can help promote small businesses while saving you valuable time and resources:
Tip #1: Build your brand’s online reputation using social media
For the survival of any business, trust is an important component. Your online presence gives legitimacy to your business and brand, thereby building this trust. You can gain customer loyalty by giving people easy online access to information about your company. By creating a LinkedIn business page, Facebook company page, Twitter profile, or an Instagram account, you not only gain new customers but also to nurture your current relationships.
Tip #2: Connect with potential customers during the research phase to sell your product and services
Unlike earlier times when the selling relationship involved listening, helping solve problems, and making the sale; social selling consists of connecting with potential customers during the research phase using social media monitoring and social media engagement tactics. Most importantly, ensure that your first point of contact is successful.
Tip #3: Use large networks like Twitter to improve your customer relationships
With over 200 million active users on Twitter, there is a high chance that many of your potential or existing customers are on Twitter. You can build relationships with customers, and connect with the businesses and communities of your interest on Twitter using features like advanced Twitter search and Twitter lists, or take advantage of information provided by built-in, free analytics tools like Facebook Insights. These resources are online and manageable even with a small team.
Know exactly what to measure. Your target should be to watch out for engagement and impressions rather than gathering a million followers.
Tip #4: Advertise on social media to increase your reach
The traditional system of advertising such as billboard may be visible to few people on a particular route in a particular city. In contrast, targeted ads and sponsored messages on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter provide an opportunity to increase the reach of the companies and businesses across the world.
Tip #5: Know your target customer and develop a niche voice on social media
Marketing on social media takes finding your niche and building your relationships there. Understand that your product/service is not for everyone, so make sure that you are interacting with the right people. Narrow down your target audience by developing buyer personas.
Tip #6: Create a LinkedIn business page to expand your professional network
LinkedIn is an important social network where all businesses, big or small, have a presence. So you can find professionals, potential investors, and customers, all in one space. You can provide authenticity and credibility to your brand through a business page that houses information covering the bases of who, what, and where of your business, thus using it as a free and highly effective marketing tool.
Tip #7: Use social media sites to improve your business’s customer support
Having a small business doesn’t leave allow much time and resources to be invested in customer support. However, social media networks like Facebook provide an outlet to solve customer problems effectively. Customers can post on your Facebook wall or send private messages to connect directly with companies in case they have a problem or want to give feedback.
Tip #8: Front-load new profiles with content to combat the lack of social media presence
Push as much content as possible when you are just getting started. However, be consistent in posting the content and don’t worry so much whether “it’s brand appropriate?” Just get started and build content.
Tip #9: Do not overdo and take on what you can handle
If you think of signing up for every social media channel that you come across, you may end up spreading yourself too thin, and your content can actually perform poorly. Keep in mind that having conversations with potential customers takes time and you need to plan, create, and schedule your social media content accordingly.
Tip #10: Try to include entertaining and useful content rather than promotional content
The general tendency of people using social media is to be entertained, and not to be marketed at. Therefore, the priority of your company should be to engage first and market later. Your post needs to be ‘useful’ to your followers in order to engage an audience.
Tip #10: Images are the key
You need to rely on high quality, crisp visuals to increase social media engagement. Recent research on Twitter retweets and Facebook posts have shown that images enhance engagement considerably.
Tip #11: Boost engagement
Be totally involved after setting something upon social media as social media moves quickly and you need to be more reactive than other channels. Moreover, engagement is a two-way street. Let people know that you are listening when they mention your company on social media. Be quick at responding to a question or positive comment. Likes or favourites for these posts go a long way.
Tip #12: Seek local cross-promotion opportunities
You need to engage locally and authentically. For this seek out local organizations that have a natural affinity of demographic crossover with your business. Follow them and engage with them by retweeting and reposting their content. You can also feature them in your content. This leads to an increase in your audience engagement.
In the words of Mary Kay Ash, an American businesswoman and founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, “A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go farther than a great idea that inspires no one.” So it is up to you to use these tips to the best use and attain success with social media marketing.