When it comes to social media, everyone wants in on the action. That doesn’t come as a surprise. After all, social media has grown into a very popular marketing platform. If you are running a small business, social media can help bring more traffic to your startup, which you can then convert into sales. On the surface, social media marketing may seem pretty simple. But it involves more than just creating a business profile on various social media platforms and sharing posts. You need a strategy that is practical and effective.
If you are interested in social media marketing and don’t know where to start, here are ten solid ways on how you can use it to grow your small business.
1. Pick the Right Platforms
As you may already know, there are a couple of social media platforms. Not all will work for you. Various social media platforms have their share of pros and cons. Before venturing into social media, you must first settle on the ideal platform. Please note that your personal preferences shouldn’t be a determining factor when it comes to social media marketing. Go for platforms that are popular amongst your target audience.
For small businesses, here are the top social media platforms worth considering;
- Facebook is an ideal platform to promote your small business because it connects your brand to local community groups. This can significantly boost your brand awareness. Through Facebook, you can also know about local events, which can bring you closer to your audience.
- Instagram – If the nature of your business depends on visuals, then this channel can expose your brand to a wide range of opportunities. Its essential that your pictures and videos are of high quality.
- LinkedIn – This platform has a professional touch to it. It works best for B2B businesses. Moreover, you can connect with other companies.
Other platforms such as Twitter are perfect for sharing time-sensitive information such as announcements and breaking news. TikTok is becoming increasingly popular these days, and it’s the ideal channel for small businesses targeting the younger generation.
2. Set Realistic Goals
Do not venture into social media just because everyone is doing it. That’s where setting goals comes in. There are numerous ways social media can help your business grow. It can bring more traffic, increase brand awareness, improve customer service, foster better relationships with your clients, and give you insights. These can all put your small business on the path to success.
Setting a realistic goal determines the strategy that you will follow. For example, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, your strategy won’t be the same as that of growing business traffic. Take a step back and evaluate why you want to use social media.
The other goal you need to set is regarding the number of followers. A lot of small businesses crave having millions of followers. But this isn’t the best practice. You would rather have a thousand followers actively interacting with your brand than 100,000 who are inactive and don’t even relate to your brand or business.
3. Develop a Robust Strategy
By this far, you should know which is the best social media platform to use, and you should have clear goals in mind. The next step is to create a solid social media strategy. A critical part of this strategy is setting up a social media team. This is usually not possible for small businesses because of the unavailability of resources. What most small business owners do is that they hire web solutions providers to handle their social media marketing. This is an excellent strategy because you will have more time to focus on other aspects of your business while still enjoying the benefits of social media marketing.
Another aspect of a social media strategy entails creating a posting calendar. This will guide you on when to post and where to do it, that is, if you are on multiple social media channels.
4. Create Relevant and Interesting Content
Unlike web marketing, social media requires a well-thought-out content creation approach. Not all sites are created equally. You need to figure out which type of content will suit a particular social media platform. For instance, if you are running a plumbing business, Instagram may not be the ideal platform to share content on. A plumbing business can benefit from a combination of text and visuals.
When you figure out which type of content will appeal to a specific social media channel, developing exciting content is next. When creating content, you need to discover things your target audience will find appealing. Back to the plumbing business example, no one wants to know about the complex plumbing systems. People want to learn quick fixes to common plumbing issues such as stuck drainage. Or how to prevent such problems.
5. Engage Your Audience
One of the ways you can grow your business using social media is by engaging with followers. By engagement we mean commenting on posts, sharing helpful information, and participating in general conversations. Through these engagements, you will improve your relationship with your online audience, resulting in trust and loyalty.
6. Use Social Media to Communicate and Not to Sell
Even though social selling has become an increasingly popular practice, many people despise promotional posts. Nowadays, when you scroll through Facebook, nearly half of the posts you will see are of businesses trying to sell you something. This is a mistake many companies are making. Instead of being promotional, use social media mainly as a communication tool. You may share promotional content once in a while.
7. Build an Online Community
Who said that online communities are only for big companies? Even with your small business, you can build a solid online community and create genuine connections with customers. Social media is the best place for you to build an online community. A good example is Facebook. Here, you can create a group for your business and invite existing and potential clients to join. With time, your community will grow, and you will notice massive growth.
8. Maintain a Constant Online Presence
Social media is an amusing platform. No matter how great your strategies are, people will quickly forget about your brand if you are not online. Not that we are saying you should spend the entire day on your business’s social media pages. But it would be best if you were consistent with your online presence. This can be achieved by checking in frequently, commenting on new posts, or uploading content.
9. Learn the Best Social Media Practices
Because this is a platform that you will be using regularly, you must learn the best practices. Taking a course on social media marketing can significantly promote business growth. This is because you will have better knowledge of how to engage your audience. Plus, you will have a deeper understanding of how different platforms work. By learning the best social media practices, you can perfect your techniques.
10. Be Human
Gone are the days when businesses online had to come off as faceless corporations to appear professional. Nobody wants to talk to a robot. When engaging your audience on social media, be human. You can still be both professional and charming. Make jokes, be free and act as if your audience is your friend. That’s the only way to build better relationships with clients and grow your business.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to using social media to promote business growth. You have to try a bunch of techniques and stick to the ones that will work. The strategies we have outlined here for you have been proven to be the most successful. Give them a try today and watch your business grow.