How To Use Social Media For Small Business
If you’re on a small marketing team, the sole marketing person at your company, or you’re running all facets of your business. You know what it’s like to wear multiple hats. With countless deliverables to push out to keep your small business running, social media marketing can seem like a non-essential tactic that is easy to push to the wayside when things get hectic.
But I Wouldn’t Write Social Media Off That Quickly
We know that people are spending more and more time on their phones, and a lot of that time is spent on social media apps. We also know that social media users regularly interact with companies they are interested in or already do business with. So not only is social media free, but your customers and prospects are already there waiting to hear from you.
Small businesses focused on community, and individual customers make social media a powerful platform for connecting directly with an audience to build brand awareness and brand loyalty. Even better, social media is also an effective platform for lead generation.
You can create the content and resources that will provide added value to your prospects and customers while nurturing their brand affinity. When users click on your content or offer, they are actively looking for it or opting in to receive updates by following your business. Because these people have already opted in, they’re more likely to convert than a random person seeing an ad or offer unrelated to what they need.
Social media is a free and easy tool for businesses to connect directly with people interested in their brand, and it’s fun (c’mon, we have gifs!). Free, easy, and fun doesn’t mean that you can log in and start posting, though. Before that, you need to set up a social media strategy.
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Why Social Media Is Important For Small Business
Considering the number of billions of people on the Internet, the number of small businesses that social media will potentially reach, and the potential reach of this opportunity, social media presents a genuine and often overlooked platform for small businesses to grow. For example, Facebook is used by more than a billion people around the globe.
According to Comscore estimates, there are 31.5 million small business pages on Facebook in the United States. This is important considering that the average small business owner has less than 10 employees, according to a recent report from Small Business Trends.
With nearly 50 percent of consumers making their purchase decisions based on social media, it's clear that social media is a key part of a small business' sales and marketing strategies. And it's not just what you do or what you post. It's the community you establish. If you focus on making your social media profiles inviting, user-friendly, and useful, you can gain a strong following of loyal customers.
In addition, having a strong online presence with strong reach and high engagement will position your small business as an industry leader and put you ahead of the competition. According to a recent report, 82 percent of small businesses believe social media has become extremely important in driving sales.
How To Use Social Media For Small Businesses
Now that we’ve covered the basics, we will look at some tips for using social media for small businesses. Tip #1: Understand Your Audience – When you understand your market, you’re in a better position to drive your audience to your website, landing page, social media pages or any other content that you create.
To know who you are interacting with on social media is a simple first step. Many small businesses forget this first step and spend hours and hours on social media and fail to return on investment. Tip #2: Create Value – Content is important, but so is value. When you create content, be sure that you’re adding value to it to improve its relevance.
The most popular social platforms are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Each has its own set of different tools, interfaces, and objectives for use. In this article, we look at each one and some of the pitfalls to avoid to help you successfully leverage the social platforms and experience the best possible returns.
Social media marketing methods for small businesses grow through organic, viral, and paid methods. It's important to remember that social media is really just the first step for businesses. Once they've created an account, created a solid online presence, and gained an audience, they still have to engage and make meaningful connections with that audience.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Social Media For Small Businesses?
Social media is changing the way people communicate with brands and the way they engage with brands. Facebook has over two billion active users. Instagram has more than 400 million users. Twitter has nearly 300 million users, and LinkedIn has almost 600 million users. These huge audiences are very useful for businesses.
They allow a company to reach out and interact directly with its audiences. This leads to increased brand awareness, sales and retention of loyal customers. It's not uncommon for a business to create thousands of pieces of valuable content that customers will never see. They “like” or engage with the content, taking it for granted and simply dismissing it as spam.
The key benefit of social media is its accessibility. In today’s society, more than one in three consumers are looking for businesses online. Social media gives companies a venue to interact with potential customers, encourage their patronage, and follow up for the next transaction stage.
Businesses can follow this audience engagement strategy by placing relevant information at the top of their profile pages, creating weekly or monthly blogs and posting updates on social media throughout the year. The power of social media also extends beyond the limited information exchange – it also helps establish your business as a resource for a market that you might not otherwise reach. You can follow up leads through testimonials, customer reviews, or referrals.
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How To Create Your Social Media Plan
There is no right or wrong way to create a social media plan, nor should there be one. What you’re looking for is a social media management and strategy that will work best for you. Choose a platform that fits your business goals and brand strategy. If your business is eCommerce focused, consider platforms such as
- Twitter, and
If you’re trying to build your customer database, then try LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram. If you’re looking to stay connected with your customers and prospects, various platforms can be used, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Snapchat. The most important aspect is that your plan must fit your specific business goals and goals.
Create a plan for your social media. Who you’re targeting is a huge part of the process. There are three easy ways to break it down for you.
- Target audience – focus on those with a shared interest
- Content – create an individualized and quality content marketing plan that incorporates the goals of your brand
- Partnerships – provide value to your audience by sharing, supporting and talking with your partners.
This allows your target audience to connect with your brand without you having to spend a lot of time or money doing it. So what’s your next step? You need to engage your target audience now that you’ve decided who to target and how to approach your strategy. You can create posts and content in multiple formats: video, audio and print.
Social media can be thought of as a tool or weapon in the arsenal of social media marketers. Just as with other tactics, there are no off-the-shelf templates. Several different approaches can be taken, and many successful companies mix them to create an appropriate and effective social media strategy.
Social Media Planning – Every business can find useful content to share on its social media pages. Create a social media calendar and schedule social media postings and activities at certain times of day, based on the needs and preferences of your target audience.
How To Set Up Social Media For Small Business
At a minimum, you need to have a presence on a couple of platforms. Some great websites provide free tools for setting up social media for small businesses. These include Social Media Examiner, Wordstream and Brand Facebook.
But, you will likely want to research other social media platforms and install the tools to get the most out of your presence and outreach. Twitter is most popular for user-generated content and tweets on brand and industry-related topics. Of course, you can use Twitter to build visibility, engagement, and advocacy for your brand.
Plan it out. Everything starts with planning. Set aside time each day for your social media marketing efforts. Doing so can create a steady stream of new followers and followers to stay on top of.
Creating an initial posting schedule for your small business’s social media channels can help you stay organized and productive. You don’t have to be a social media expert or professional marketer to follow this advice. It’s simply a practical set of guidelines that you can follow and adapt.
Identify your website – First, it is important to have an idea of your website's URL. You need to link it to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. You can always create different URLs for each platform, but you can also have one URL with all three. That way, your site is consistent across all platforms.
You can either use your website's built-in social media pages or create your own. The two most popular free websites that do this are Buffer and Hootsuite. Set up Facebook and Twitter accounts – You can either set up a new account or open an existing one. It is best to opt for creating a new one.
Creating The Perfect Content For Social Media
Let's take a closer look at how to create the perfect content for social media. This is a surprisingly wide and diverse topic to cover, especially when you consider that social media has been in existence for over a decade now. Even after so many years, the process has not yet become easier to master.
This is the result of the dearth of expert content creators and a natural inclination to create increasingly advanced forms of content such as animated GIFs and video clips. When it comes to content for social media, you need to start with the very basics. That means finding an outlet that makes sense for you and your business, whether Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or even just a blog.
Today's social media platforms are inundated with content, all vying for your attention. Some of your content can be placed on Facebook, while the rest of your posts should be created to be shared via Twitter and Pinterest. Even if you don't have the time to sit down and create 100-page posts, there are free tools that will help you do so.
In fact, many small businesses don't even know how to begin with social media. As such, you may find that working out of your digital space creates the perfect environment for you to easily create multiple videos and write concise copy that can be used to communicate your unique brand identity.
The process is easy, but there are many content-related considerations that any small business should bear in mind when building a social media marketing strategy. Please start with the social media platform itself. You'll need to decide which social media platform best suits your business needs.
For example, some social media platforms require businesses to use their specific API. Others are better suited for small businesses where users need to post limited content or need a particular level of privacy. If you're planning to use Instagram for lead generation, then Instagram Stories will be better suited for you, given Instagram's 140-character limit. The same goes for Facebook Messenger.
Optimizing Social Media For Lead Generation
Setting up social media accounts for your business is an excellent place to start, but it’s not enough to start engaging. It would be best if you did some essential things before you can get the most out of your social media profiles, and you’ll need to periodically check on your brand’s social media stats to stay on top of which posts are working and which are not.
Provide useful and relevant information: Make sure you create an abundance of original content that provides meaningful information to users. Don’t be the poster child for online chatter, but consider providing relevant tips and answers to questions, as well as giving an inside view into how your business works or what products you sell.
First, focus on one to two main social networks, depending on your audience. Then, look for opportunities to post on these platforms every few days. Don't worry about spending hours posting updates. Just make sure they are interesting and valuable to your audience.
Your most important social media posts should be encouraging people to share with others, giving people a call to action for taking action and offering your audience something of value. However, the best way to promote content and specific offers is through a Facebook Like button.
With this feature, you can encourage your audience to post, re-post, retweet or share your content on a chosen social media platform. Even better, you can start a contest for anyone to win an Amazon gift card.
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Which Social Media Should I Use For Small Businesses?
If you don't know which social media platforms are right for your business, it's a good idea to get a little guidance on what's best for you. Various resource guides and product review sites are available to help you find the right social media platform and the best way to use it. Once you have chosen a platform and a content strategy, it's time to dive in.
Organic growth and engagement – To get the most from your social media presence, it's important to remember that organic search marketing is crucial to small business success. The importance of ranking high in search results is not new for anyone. But what is new is the extent to which organic search can be a tool for your social media strategy.
To begin with, it is important to understand the different types of social media and determine which social media outlets best suit your business. It's important to understand which channels are most commonly used by your customers and prospects and carefully choose the most appropriate social media channels to communicate your message to them.
Twitter is one of the most widely used social media platforms, with more than 320 million active users. While it is a place for businesses and consumers to interact, it can also be a great platform for B2B businesses to connect with prospects and customers. Twitter allows you to post messages to your Twitter followers and engage with them via Direct Messages at the most basic level.
Strategies To Use Social Media The Right Way
After successfully using social media for several years, we realized that while social media can make us more visible to a wider audience, we could not grow our business to the level we envisioned. While we were certainly happy to get many leads, we didn't have the information we needed or had any idea how to use these leads effectively. We decided to approach the problem by working closely with a consultant who recommended several strategies to our small business.
To get the most out of social media for business, you need to be proactive and engaging. At a minimum, the following strategies are good:
- Add relevant hashtags that help individuals find your content.
- Post regularly to engage with your audience and keep them interested.
- Write with a clear and simple marketing message to create awareness of your brand and keep your message in front of your potential customers.
- Create compelling content that will satisfy the readers' curiosity and generate blog posts.
- Consider inviting a panel of experts to share their expertise in a specific area rather than relying on self-serving commentary.
- Use videos to illustrate the information you provide.
- Find a purpose for each social media campaign you initiate.
Using social media successfully requires a deliberate approach and a clear understanding of your audience and their needs. You can't post too much. That goes for both your business's content and the user-generated content that is posted. The content you post can be different for each social media platform you use.
For example, Instagram and Facebook have high-quality image-centric sites, so those sites will probably have the most robust image platforms on your list. Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter have relatively basic media features, but they're much more visually based and easy to use. Facebook, however, has an incredibly robust feature set, so you'll likely use that platform as your primary venue for posting.
Social media has an undeniable and irrevocable role in today's business world. With the power of apps, online tools and social media, anyone can grow their business from their living room or wherever they have a computer. You can control your online brand, strengthen your relationships and build your own authority.
Getting your customers to trust and value your company requires two essential components. One is trust. The other is knowledge. Building trust is all about keeping your promises and being truthful. People expect honesty and transparency from your business. Without these two traits, trust will not develop. Knowledge builds trust. It creates transparency in your marketing strategies and shows your customers that they can count on you to provide value for their buying decisions.
I trust you enjoyed this article about How To Best Use Social Media For Small Business. Would you please stay tuned for more articles to come? Take care!
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Thoughts? Ideas? Questions? I would love to hear from you. Please leave me your questions, experiences, remarks, and/or suggestions about How To Best Use Social Media For Small Business in the comments below. You can also contact me by email at Jeannette@WorkFromAnywhereInTheWorld.com.
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