Social media can be an invaluable tool for small business. Not only is it an inexpensive way to spread the word about your amazing product or service, but it also gives you the opportunity to build relationships and interact with your customers in real-time. Read on to learn how to make social media marketing work for your business.
Only Create What You Need
The key to using social media effectively is choosing channels that make sense for your business. Start by understanding what each of the major social platforms is used for when it comes to business.
- Facebook – most effective for business to customer (B2C) products and services such as pet grooming, accessories, make-up, and house cleaning.
- LinkedIn – most effective for business to business (B2B) products and services such as office cleaning, graphic design or software technology for business.
- Snapchat – useful if your target audience includes millennials, but you do not need to create a Snapchat channel in order purchase advertising which is fairly inexpensive.
- Instagram – According to Hootsuite’s Instagram Stats You Can’t Ignore in 2019, “60% of users (that’s 600+ million people) seek out and discover new products on Instagram.”
- YouTube – a great platform if your business could benefit from providing demos or discussions related to your product or service.
Don’t Spray and Pray
Having social accounts that are inactive, unmanaged or not being used properly could hurt business. The set it and forget it mentality doesn’t fly on social. It is like opening up an ice cream parlor and leaving for the day. Who will interact with the customers? How will transactions take place if no one is minding the shop?
If you have a social channel, followers will expect you to post content consistently and respond to their inquiries. You don’t need to be everything to everyone and you certainly don’t need to have an account on all of the social channels in order to have a successful online presence. Choose one or two platforms that make sense for your business and master managing those before deciding to add more channels.
Consider a Social Media Marketing Budget
Building an audience organically is possible, but will take time. If you can spare social media marketing dollars be sure to boost any content that seems to be performing well. The beauty of social paid ads is the budget is completely up to you. Most platforms require a daily minimum of only $10.
Social marketing budget could include more than just a few paid ads. Keep in mind you may need to purchase some professional images to include in your content plan or hire a social manager so you can spend time on other areas of your business.
Plan Your Content
Content should be planned at least one week in advance. Not having a plan could cause your social channel to become confusing or appear to have no clear directions. If you’re having trouble deciding where to start, consider using the sales funnel approach to begin building a relevant audience:
- Build brand awareness by sharing what your business has to offer.
- Generate interest by showing followers why your business is unique.
- Influence decision making through storytelling like with customers’ written or video testimonials.
- Get your follower to take action by offering a discount or trial or offering a valuable free download in exchange for an email address.
Ninety percent of success is just showing up. Monitoring social accounts each day and responding to direct messages is an important piece of a successful social media channel. The simple gesture of liking or responding to a fan’s post comment could lead to a loyal customer for life.
It is Called Social Media, not Sell-cial Media
Social media is not the space to always be selling. The focus should be on providing your audience with valuable and engaging content. Which is more compelling? A post stating you have a button to sell vs. a series of images showing a fun unicorn shaped button being used on a blouse or a purse or being made into a necklace.
Bombarding your audience with ads will cause them to quickly unfollow your account. Get creative and have fun showcasing your business in a way that makes your followers see you as unique and worthy of doing business with.