Using Social Media for a Small Business
Social Media is an excellent way for small businesses to build relationships with potential customers. While there are several components to driving a successful small business, one of the critical things is ensuring that your sales are continually increasing. For your business to make sales, your message needs to get out to the right group of people. If your small business does not have a presence on social media, you’re missing out on an audience that’s ready to connect with your brand. In 2019 there are an estimated 3.02 billion people all over the world who are actively using social media. That’s a lot of potential business!
Regardless of the industry you are in, there are ways to utilize Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. to get your message out. All social channels are not equal. Different businesses attract various people. Those different people actively use and prefer different platforms. Meaning, some platforms are better for some industries than others.
It may seem overwhelming to start presenting your brand online, but a solid social media strategy is cost – effective and easy to navigate with the right tools. Below are 5 simple tips to create a presence for your business on social media:
1. UNDERSTAND WHO YOUR AUDIENCE IS
First things first, the root of all successful for businesses are the people that buy your products or services. It’s best to understand who they are, what information they are looking for, and what interests them. Once you have that information, your small business will have an easier time creating content that will convert into sales. When you know your audience, you can make an educated decision about which social media platforms your small business should be using and what content will resonate with them. Here are some questions you might inquire on to get a better understanding of who they are:
- How would your product or service help them?
- What is their income?
- Where do they live?
- What are their interests?
- What level of education do they have?
- Do they have hobbies? What are those hobbies?
- What concerns or frustrates them?
Having an understanding of the answers to the questions above will help you build strong relationships with your audience. Connections are essential to establishing trustworthiness to your brand. As time goes on, those relationships will help expand your audience because people will potentially share your business’ content with their audiences.
2. CAPITALIZE ON THE BEST SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM FOR YOUR BRAND
While it’s tempting to try and maximize your success on every social media platform, don’t try to do it all. Utilize social media platforms that play to your brand’s strengths. Not all platforms are the same. Some are better for conversation while others are better for visual representation and engagement. As a small business owner, you already probably have a lot on your plate. It’s important not to overwhelm yourself and waste time and money. Some tools and strategies can help you triumph on one of the platforms. Some of those are:
- Creating a content calendar: This will help you stay organized and ensure that your content is consistent, which is immensely important that you do! Your small business has to commit. A content calendar shows what will be posted and at what time and day. It’s best to create a calendar month by month so you can plan for special holidays and events.
- Using management tools: Management tools are an excellent way to accomplish your goals and save time. With these tools, you can schedule posts weeks ahead of time to post at the time of your choosing. You can plan weeks and months ahead of time.
- Looking into the insights: Each social media channel has a unique tool to help you understand your metrics. They can gauge your audience, the number of followers and likes your page has received over a certain amount of time, and insights about your ad spending. This information can help you make the appropriate decision for the future.
- Utilizing online resources: There are ample online resources to help you with all of your social media endeavors from creating content to running ads, and everything in between. HubSpot, Hootsuite, and Sprout Social are a few reputable resources.
3. SET YOUR GOALS
When creating a social media account for your small business, it’s necessary to understand what your small company hopes to achieve. Are you looking to increase sales? Drive traffic to your website? Make your business well known in the area? Narrow down what your goals are. When you have a specific set goal, it’s easier to measure results. When you have those results, you know what you can improve on and what steps to take to accomplish that. Take these steps to get an idea of your goals:
- Determine what social media success means to you. Success may mean increased sales, a larger following, a stronger presence in your community. Focus in on what that is.
- Figure out how you will measure that success. Everything needs to be measured in some way, shape, or form so you can use that information to your advantage.
- Ensure your social media goals work to achieve your business objectives. Social media is just one aspect of your small business. The goal is to have it align with your overall business plan.
4. OFFER VALUE IN YOUR CONTENT
The content itself needs to provide value to your audience. While it is your business, you are branding yourself to them, so create content that will encourage your followers to take action on your page and interact with your company. People love to put their input on social media. You can engage with them in the following ways to determine what they deem as valuable or essential:
- Create a poll or survey: This will give your audience the opportunity to demonstrate their opinions. You can ask them to choose between different products or services or ask them what content they would like to see from you.
- Share tips and tricks: The most valuable thing you can provide is information. Create content that educates your audience. You can make infographics, live videos, or post blogs that gives your audience insight.
- Encourage reviews: People often look to other people to determine a brand’s credibility. If your business has positive reviews, that’s wonderful for your reputation. If there are some mixed reviews, you can show off your exceptional customer service by responding in a timely and respectful manner.
- Reply to comments within your content: Value comes in many forms. At the root of social media is human interaction. If someone is taking the time to engage with your post, make sure you respond to them to build a stronger relationship.
5. RESEARCH COMPETITORS
It can be overwhelming starting social media. Your small business may not be sure where to start and what type of content to create. That’s where research comes into play. When creating content, look to see what your competitors are doing on their social media accounts. This information can give incredible insight into what works for your industry and what you need to do to stay ahead of your competition. You can see the type of content they are using. Is their content more video – based? Does it have infographics? Are they utilizing Live Video? If one kind of material seems to work better for them, capitalize on that and make yours even better. Social media success involves trial and error. Let your competitors make those trial and errors, and learn from their mistakes. You can look at:
- Content and what performs well.
- How they communicate with their audience.
- How often they post.
- The number of likes and followers they have.
Social media is just one aspect of your small businesses’ marketing efforts. While it can seem like a massive undertaking, social media can greatly expand your audience and help you reach your goals with a few simple steps. The overall takeaway is to create content that is valuable to your audience and establish strong relationships with those people to move your business forward. With these tips, your small business can begin to understand your audience and how to create content that resonates with them.