Social media marketing is the most effective marketing strategy available for small businesses. With so many different social networks to choose from, you have a wide variety of opportunities to reach your customers. Ultimately, the best social media platform for your business will be one you can maintain with consistency. For some small business owners this may mean using multiple platforms. However, once you decide on the network that’s right for you it’s important not to post just for the sake of posting.
There are now 4.2 billion active social media users, almost twice the number of people who were using social media just five years ago. Those users spend an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes on social channels daily.
Social media is an integral part of marketing today. It allows you to interact with customers and stay on top of trends. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest…the list goes on! If you have a small business, how do you know which social media platforms are best for your company? And more importantly, how can you make the most of them?
10 Social Media Marketing Tips for Small Business:
- Always have a plan
It doesn’t cost anything to create a Facebook Page for your business, or start posting on Instagram, or create a presence on Twitter.
But before you get too excited about the social media phenomenon, remember: every good business strategy begins with a plan. Yes, you can use social media for free. But the time and effort involved still represent an investment in your business.
Without a plan, you have no clear goal for what you’re trying to achieve. That means there’s no way to know if your investment is paying off.
Take the time to create a social media plan upfront. This ensures all your social efforts support specific business goals.
- Set achievable goals
Social Media is a vast platform with a wide variety of audience. Setting the right and achievable goal for your social media strategy is a vital step in social media marketing. Always follow the SMART Framework while setting up goals for social media.
- Specific: Be clear and specific when it comes to setting up your social media marketing goals
- Measurable: Every goal needs a metric to measure its growth. With no metric to measure, a goal is not a goal for your marketing campaigns.
- Attainable: Goals should be highly realistic and attainable. Unattainable goals for your social media campaigns is not the right way to start.
- Relevant: This is the piece that ties your goal-setting back to larger business objectives. Goals should be relevant to your business objectives and goals.
- Timely: You should set your goals for a specified period of time so that you can analyse and strategize your further course of action.
- Competitor Analysis
How are your competitors using social media? While you don’t want to copy them, learning from what others have done is a great way to reduce your learning curve.
A competitive analysis is an analysis of your competition to find out what their strengths and weaknesses are, and how those strengths and weaknesses compare to your own.
It’s a process of comparing your own results against those of other businesses in your industry. It’ll help you identify opportunities for growth as well as strategies that aren’t performing as well as they should.
- Decide which platforms are right for you
Assuming anything about your target audience is not the right way to approach social media marketing
Instagram is the platform on which Gen Zers are most prolific, but it’s not their only home. A quarter of Facebook users are aged 18 to 24, making it one of the largest social networks for young people, and TikTok has become a juggernaut in recent months.
To effectively use social media for business, you’ll need to conduct some research of your own. You’ll want to understand how your specific audience spends their time online and what they like to see on the various platforms they frequent.
Choosing your social media marketing channels doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing approach. You can choose different platforms for different audiences, or to meet different business goals. The average internet user has 8.4 social media accounts, so you can connect with them on different platforms for different purposes.
- Build Relationships
Social media marketing is a unique benefit for small business. It allows you to communicate directly with customers and followers, building relationships over time rather than asking for a sale upfront.
More than 44% of internet users use social networks to research brands. Part of that discovery is getting to know who you are as a brand and what you stand for.
When customers engage with your organic content or ads, it’s a solid idea to engage back. This helps to build trust and form a loyal following. As fans share and like your content, you rise in the social algorithms and gain new, free exposure.
- Focus on Trends
We’re not saying you should leap on every meme that goes viral.
Among social media trends, there are many that could be helpful to your business. It is a good idea to pay attention to them so you know what people want when they log into their networks. This allows you to create content that resonates with people over time.
- Combine multiple Formats
To keep your social media feed fresh, switch up your post formats. If you’re used to posting GIFs, try a JPG next time. Or if you’re used to still images, try a video instead.
And take advantage of all the formats within each social network, like Stories, or Reels, or Live video.
The Facebook algorithm uses “content type diversity” to ensure a person’s newsfeed had a good mix of content types. The algorithm looks at how many times a person has seen the same format, and will re-share posts from people who have been posting different formats. Switching up your formats may boost your content’s reach.
- Focus on Quality
Small businesses can create a multitude of social media accounts to reach a large audience—but it’s not necessary. It’s more important to have quality content on a couple key networks than to have an account everywhere, just for the sake of being there.
Above all else, social posts should be valuable. If your only goal is to sell, people will lose interest quickly. Remember that social media marketing is about building relationships.
- Use Appropriate Tools
The key to using social media effectively is taking advantage of tools that automate or simplify much of the work. There are loads of tools that will help boost your productivity, meaning you can start using social media for business without having a full-scale social media team.
Types of tools for social media
- Track your Performance
When you’re building your social media strategy, it’s important to measure your results. This helps you figure out what works and what doesn’t so that you can improve upon your efforts. Analytics tools like the ones mentioned above give you a great snapshot of your social efforts and can help track whichever metrics matter most to you.
At the End of the day, Social media marketing is a process by which organizations can engage with their target audience through social media. This engagement often leads to business growth, increased awareness and an overall improved brand image. Businesses are increasingly turning to social media marketing as it saves money, time, and effort in comparison to traditional marketing techniques such as direct mail or print ads.