How To Use Social Media to Build Your Small Business
Social media for small businesses is an amazing tool. However, many small business owners aren’t sure where to begin when it comes to building their brand online. Looking at the slick social media marketing campaigns of big competitors can be intimidating. However, the truth is that you don’t need masses of followers or an enormous budget to market your small business on social media.
A good small business social media strategy can help to draw in potential custom and make you more visible online. Customers nowadays expect brands to have a social media presence. If you don’t use social media for marketing for small business, you’re missing a trick if you want to grow and increase your revenue.
The good news is that creating a social media campaign can be simple and budget friendly. You could do it yourself or pay an affordable company like Small Business SEO to do it for you. Here are some easy ways to make social media work in your favour and give your small business a boost.
Why is social media marketing important for small businesses?
Social media marketing helps to level the playing field between small businesses and big businesses. In fact, small businesses often utilize social media marketing more successfully because they’re better at engaging with their followers on a personal level.
Social media is an effective and important marketing strategy for any small business. Engaging on these platforms with existing and potential customers is a great way of letting people know about your brand, increasing your sales and building loyalty among your customer base.
Another factor that makes social media marketing ideal for small businesses is that it’s free and easy to do. Anyone can start marketing their business on social media without paying a dime. Although you can pave advertising on social media platforms, simply regularly posting valuable, engaging posts for your followers can be just as effective.
Social Media Marketing Tips for Small Businesses
Now that you know why social media is so important for marketing small businesses, it’s important to understand how to use it to best effect. Here are some simple and powerful social media marketing tips that any small business owner can use.
Figure out your goals
The first thing you need to do when devising a social media campaign for your small business is to decide what you want to achieve. It can be tempting to try and do too much at once. However, if you’re new to social media marketing, the best thing to do is to sit down and figure out the main three things that you want to achieve from your campaign. Then, think about how social media can help you to achieve this. This will allow you to focus your efforts in the right area to make sure that you get the best results for the time you spend on your social media campaign.
If you’re not sure where to start when setting your social media goals, try looking at your competitors for ideas. You’ll notice that social media marketing generally aims to make potential customers aware of your brand and get people talking. It also helps to encourage people to visit your website and produces more traffic that is meaningful and could potentially lead to sales.
Consider using video content on your social media platforms
If you take a look at any successful online business, you’ll notice that they probably have loads of video content on their social media channels. Video content is highly popular with consumers and helps to create customer engagement. Importantly, social media algorithms actually give preference to video content, so by posting plenty of videos, you’ll be able to make your business more visible. The more people that see your content the better, because this helps to drive traffic towards your website and will hopefully lead to increased revenues.
If you’re not used to talking in front of the camera, making videos to post on social media can seem like a daunting task. However, it is a good skill to try and cultivate because fortunately, video content doesn’t need to be professionally produced to be engaging. The most important thing is that it’s warm, authentic and reflective of your brand image. In other words, it’s the perfect medium for small business owners. Spend some time looking at video content that you enjoy watching and pay particular attention to the presenting style. Give yourself plenty of time to practice, and don’t worry if it feels strange at first. Before long, you’ll be creating great video content to post on social media that creates a buzz around your business.
Make valuable content for your followers
It’s a common misconception that the best way to get new customers through social media campaigns is to advertise. Although it may sound strange, you can successfully market your business without putting out adverts all the time. Bombarding followers with advertisements isn’t always the best way to produce more sales.
Although there’s nothing wrong with putting out some adverts, it is important to produce and post content that builds trust with your customer base. This content should reflect your brand values, be informative and, most importantly, provide something valuable to people that read it. This shows potential customers that you care about their needs and have the ability to solve their issues. This creates an amazing first impression and makes it more likely that people will then go on to visit your website, check out more content and even buy.
Engage with your followers
It is important that your social media posts lead to engagement from your followers. Algorithms on social media sites such as Facebook prioritise showing posts where people are commenting and engaging in conversation. If the comment section is dead, that tells the social media site that people are not engaging with it and it won’t get seen as much. So, how do you get users to interact with and comment on your Facebook posts?
A simple but highly effective way to do this is to ask questions on your social media posts. Including a question on your post and inviting people to answer in the comment section gives a clear reason to engage with your post and helps to create a buzzy conversation. This shows the social media site that your content is valuable, interesting and the sort of thing that their readers want to see. This means they will show it to more people. The more people that see your post, the more meaningful traffic to your website and the higher your revenue.
Make sure your posts are visually appealing
Text-only content doesn’t create engagement well on social media. This is because people expect social media post have attractive visuals, whether this is in photo, video or infographic form. It is important to remember that potential customers are far more likely to pay attention to posts that have great visuals.
This is an important element of a social media campaign on any platform. However, if you’re using a visually driven platform such as Instagram or Pinterest, visuals will form the most important part of your post. Nowadays, smartphone cameras take high-quality images, and there’s no shortage of editing software that you can use to make your visuals look slick. So, you won’t necessarily need to go to the trouble and expense of hiring a professional photographer. Taking photographs yourself means that you can be spontaneous and capture visuals at the moment that you think your customers will love.
Some small businesses will find it reasonably easy to use images in their social media posts. For example, if you’re a crafts person selling a beautiful product, you’ll have no problem taking appealing images to encourage people to engage with your posts. However, for some small businesses it may not be immediately obvious how to create appealing images that represent their company.
One way to approach this is to use images of your team having a great time providing service to their customers. Behind the scenes visuals are very popular on social media and give your customers an insight into your brand identity and culture. You could also try including photos of satisfied customers alongside testimonials.
If you’re finding it difficult to capture appealing visuals to represent your business, you may want to consider using stock photography. Stock photographs are generally high quality, and lots of them are free to use. However, it is important to make sure that any stock photograph you use is licensed. You can’t just use any image that you find using a Google image search. If you do this, you could find yourself in hot water.
Don’t sacrifice quality for quantity
It is true that you need to keep your social media regularly updated to keep your followers engaged. However, don’t be tempted to post any old thing just in order to increase the quantity of posts you’re making. Constantly inundating your followers with adverts and low-quality content is annoying and alienating and isn’t a good strategy to grow your business.
Also, don’t feel that you have to have a strong presence on every social media platform. Trying to cover all the social media platforms will be overwhelming if you’re doing your social media campaigning yourself. If you have limited time, choose the two or three social media platforms you think your customers are most likely to use and concentrate on those. Make sure to update them regularly, but only with content that adds value, reflects your brand values and gives a great impression of your business.
Watch and answer conversations about your company
As we mentioned above, it is important to get people talking in the comments section of your posts if you want them to be visible to as many people as possible. However, it is important to keep an eye out for people talking about your business elsewhere on the Internet, whether positively or negatively, and respond to what they have to say. This is another great way to get across your brand identity and values and deal with any complaints quickly. It is also a valuable way to gather feedback on what you’re doing well and what you could do better.
Schedule your content
Of course, sometimes you want to post content spontaneously to social media if you see something in the moment that you think your customers will love. However, the majority of the time it is a good idea to use a scheduling tool to post your content at a future time of your choosing. This means you can block out some time in your diary to dedicate to creating social media content, getting a week’s worth or more done in one go.
What’s the advantage of scheduling your posts in this way? Well, if you get all of your social media marketing done in a few hours, this frees up a lot of time. You can use this time to respond to and engage with your followers on social media, creating a conversation around your brand. As we’ve already mentioned, engagement on social media platforms is a vital way to promote your brand and, ultimately, increase your sales.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, social media for small business is a cheap and easy way to build your brand profile online. In fact, it gives you a way of competing with the big hitters in your industry area. By using the simple tips and tricks in this article, you’ll be well on your way to creating a social media campaign for small business that builds customer loyalty and improve sales.
At Small Business SEO, we are experts in using social media to improve the online visibility, search engine rankings and customer engagement of small businesses. Get in touch with one of our team today to find out how we can help you attract more meaningful traffic to your website and take your business to the next level.