Social media is one the fastest digital marketing platform that promises rapid growth for small businesses, in terms of global and local reach. Before the rise of the digital world, if a business wanted to gain the attention of their customers, they had to first pay a huge amount for a TV or radio space. Other than this, they had to put up billboards in strategic places.
As a small business owner who is just starting out, you are on a tight budget. Most times the amount of money set out for marketing is hardly enough to afford an ad space on TV or radio. These businesses depend on referrals and word of mouth for their business visibility and reach.
As times change, coupled with the revolution of the digital space, advertisement for small businesses has become different and easier. Local businesses had to learn how to adapt to the modern way of marketing. With social media, businesses can reach both local and global audiences. The best part of social media marketing is that advertising can be done without costing you a dime. You just need to know where to look.
Define Your Marketing Goals
Before you start posting on social media about your business, you have to define your marketing goals. In defining goals, you have to be sure of the goals you plan to accomplish with your social media efforts. Whether you are looking to generate leads, build brand awareness or engage customers.
Whichever marketing goal you tend to achieve with social media, you have to establish the goal first before anything else. Once you decide the purpose of your social media campaigns, it will be much easier for you to come up with content to post about your business
Research the competition and Conduct a Social Media Audit.
Research is an important factor to consider when you want to start promoting your business on social media. Also, to understand how your competitors are using social media. While you don’t necessarily have to copy them, you can learn from what your competitor in the same niche has done.
A competitive analysis can help you learn what’s working and what’s not for other businesses like yours. Also, conduct a social media audit to evaluate your existing efforts.
Pick the platforms you deem fit for your business
Make proper assessment of all the social media platforms. Don’t make assumptions about where your audience spends their time online. For instance, if you wish to target millennials, you should skip Facebook and focus on Instagram and Snapchat.
Compile the demographics information for all the major social networks. Use it to gain insight into where your audience spends their time online. To use social media for business effectively, you need to conduct some research of your own.
This will help you to understand how your specific audience spends their time online. However, you can also use different social channels to reach different audiences or to meet various business goals.
Know your Audience
One of the reasons why you are using social media to promote your business is to target a certain audience. To do that, you need to know and understand your customers. The insight will help you to drive new creative concepts.
Knowing your audience is critical regarding social media engagement because the interests and needs of your audience will determine the type of content you should be sharing and the way you engage your followers.
Automate Posts with Tools
Staying active and promoting your business on social media can be tasking. But with some automation tools available, you automatically publish posts and schedule posts up to a month in advance. These tools include Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Buffer, and BuzzSumo.
They can save you time by allowing you to plan and schedule batches of posts at once. They also make it easier to monitor your networks and respond to messages quickly. You don’t have to check each social platform individually for these messages; the software allows you to send all messages to one inbox.
Utilise Platform-Specific Selling Features
If you want to use social media to boost sales and reduce the steps required to complete the purchase. The most effective way to do that is using the native shopping options provided by Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
With the Facebook Shop, you can sell physical products and add as many products as you want. It is possible to do this while integrating your shop with major e-commerce platforms. Examples of such platforms include CMS such as Shopify, BigCommerce, and Squarespace.
Instagram Shoppable offers your business the opportunity to tag your products in organic posts. With this, users are redirected to the brand’s website when they click on the product.
Pinterest Buyable and Rich Pins allows businesses to sell their products via Pinterest. The feature works like Instagram Shoppable.
Run Paid Ads
Organic posts on social media can be restrictive, as it is limited to your reach and business visibility. To drive ROI from your social media activities, you need to invest in social media ads. You can either display or search ads to increase your reach to a global level.
Many social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, offer sophisticated targeting capabilities that can enable your brand to connect with a specific stratum of your audience.
Build a Community
As a business promoting your products on social media, instead of trying to get as many followers as possible, focus on finding customers who are interested, loyal and engaged. These people are more likely to repost your content, like your posts and become customers.
Building a community around your brand is the greatest leverage you will have in terms of visibility. You could even try reaching out to exceptionally influential social media users and asking them to help you by reviewing a product or mentioning you in a post.
Use Social Influencers
Influencer marketing is the fastest-growing method for you to acquire customers on social media. Try partnering with micro-influencers to increase your product credibility. For better results, use influencers in the same niche as your business.
You can engage them to post content about your brand, share testimonies for using your products or services. This strategy is effective because micro-influencers have more robust engagement metrics with their followers.
Make Brand Advocates of Your Followers
Make the customer the focus of your content, and then turn them to brand advocates. Choose the right social network and align your campaign goals along with your target audience to help determine which is the most appropriate. Next, decide how you’re going to encourage your followers and clients to post about your business.
For instance, if you own a restaurant that is Instaworthy, clients who visit can toot your horn by sharing a picture of having a good time in your restaurant. That way, you are not only receiving the benefits of user-generated content (UGC), but you’re also making that customer feel important.
There are about 3 billion active users in the digital space, which makes it a potential goldmine of new customers who could become repeat customers if you promote your business the right way. Focus on creating a great social media strategy, connect with the right target audience and grow your customer base.