If you’re running a small business, with all its challenges and curveballs, it can be exceedingly difficult to find the time in the day to focus on marketing endeavors. And unfortunately, social media is one of the first things small businesses begin to ignorewhen they’re low on time.
However, it is essential to remember that social media can be a powerful asset for businesses in any industry and of any size. Your ability to find customers on social networks has a measurable impact on your bottom line.
While finding customers is not easy, it is perhaps even more important to build relationships with your existing clientele. Negative customer experiences are shared within your audience quickly, and the inability to perform damage control could cost you dearly.
Damage control aside, social media can help you engage with your loyal customer base, and the number of users willing to buy from your brand will skyrocket as a result.
By now, it should be pretty clear that social media is a vital channel for growing your small business, and it should not be neglected no matter what.
Now that we’ve covered the value of social media for your small business, let’s focus on some practical advice regarding how to improve your social media presence through a few simple and actionable tips.
Let’s dive in!
Most social media marketing companies will tell you that the first step in creating a successful social media marketing campaign (or any marketing campaign for that matter) is getting to know your target audience.
Though you probably have at least a tangential understanding of who your audience members are, there’s always a way to deepen the level of that understanding through social data.
Third-party social media tools and even social networks’ own analytics engines can provide you with a much clearer understanding of your social audience.
For example, to access demographic data on your Twitter page, all you need to do is click on your icon in the top-right corner, go to Analytics and navigate to the Audiences tab. The process is similar on other social media platforms.
The data you find here can help you identify precisely where your audience is coming from and who they are, enabling you to create content they’ll enjoy.
Build Relationships and Increase Engagement
Social media allows you to stay on top of your prospects’ minds, but perhaps more importantly, it lets you build relationships with them. According to Lyfemarketing, consumers are 71% more likely to recommend a brand to friends if they have had a positive experience with it on social media.
This means engaging with your audience through social networking channels is crucial. You don’t even have to try too hard to reach out to customers, as they will contact you for various reasons, such as questions about your product or service, problems, or even praise.
Responding to your social media audience promptly can build brand trust, help you reach new customers through recommendations, and ultimately boost your revenue. You likely wouldn’t ignore a valued customer calling your office phone, so all you need to do is apply the same criteria to social media.
As is the case with everything in life, planning your social media calendar can save you a lot of trouble down the line. Instead of finding yourself scrambling for content, a content calendar gives you the peace of mind of having all your posts planned out and ready to go.
This solves a significant problem since having quality content to share across your social media channels is massively important when attracting new followers and engaging the existing ones. We could write a whole separate guide on how to plan out a social content calendar, but there are four essential steps you need to remember:
- Find out what type of content your audience is interested in seeing
- Determine how often you should be posting on each social network
- Create high-quality content, or outsource this step to an internet marketing service
- Outline your social content calendar with a social media publishing tool
Even if you have a detailed content calendar with weeks planned out in advance, you still need to know the best time to post for your audience.
You might have heard that certain times of the day work best for specific demographics, which is partially true. However, when every business in your niche figures out this optimal time, and you all start posting your messages during the same time slot, a large chunk of them will likely be lost in the flood.
That’s why the best thing you can do is post content at your own optimal posting time. Unfortunately, the only way to find your optimal posting time is through experimentation. Study your social media posts and look for trends and patterns of engagement. Then, stick to the times that provide the best results for as long as they keep working.
While hashtags are often found on the receiving end of jokes in all kinds of media, they are still a critical tool for social media marketers. They can do a crucial job in increasing your reach, sometimes even incentivizing users to tweet and share Instagram posts, although they normally would not have done so.
If you’re not sure which hashtag to use on which day, Google the phrase “hashtag holiday calendar.” This will give you a list of resources showing all the upcoming Hashtag Holidays, such as National Button Day, World Kindness Day, National Unfriend Day, etc.
This can be a great way to inspire content while taking advantage of a trending topic; just make sure that the holiday makes sense for your brand identity.
There’s no I in team, or Tweet, for that matter. Having your team involved in your social media efforts is vital since social networks are used by people in all facets of your organization, not just marketers and branding specialists.
Your customer service team can use social media to manage client relationships, while your sales team can engage your audience. This allows social to play a crucial role in all areas of your business, allowing you to discover new avenues for your organization.
If you’ve been running a small business for any amount of time, you know that efficiency is key. Making the most of your small team is crucial if you’re to have any hope of success against the big competitors on the market.
Ensure that your team can respond to all challenges, including incoming social media messages, without being overwhelmed.
Tomas is a digital marketing specialist and a freelance blogger. His work is focusing on new web tech trends and digital voice distribution across different channels. tomas.mckannie[@]gmail.com Digital Strategy One
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