You simply cannot underestimate the importance of social media marketing for small businesses.
With the right tools and tactics, you can win a good number of prospects through social media alone.
First, we’ll introduce each social media platform and discuss their best practices. And then, we’ll give you six social media marketing for small business tips that will help you get started with social media right away.
Getting to know social media marketing
You need to understand what social media marketing is.
Simply put, it’s the art of connecting with your brand followers through social media platforms to grow your business – done so by posting insightful texts, helpful videos, or visually appealing images.
Business owners also use social networks to resolve customers’ concerns. It portrays sincerity and commitment towards customer satisfaction, which is good for attracting potential clients, too.
Social network services are no longer a luxury but have become a necessity for any business.
Wide accessibility and outreach are the two main reasons behind its rapid adoption. If you haven’t built your social media presence, you have to start today.
7 Best social media marketing platforms
Kicking off with social media marketing for small businesses can be confusing at first.
There are various platforms and not all of them are created equal. Each one has its merits and disadvantages over the other and should be used differently.
How can you decide which one is best for you?
It all depends on your needs and target audience.
Here’s a list of the top seven networks with social media tips that can be great for your business.
With over 2.45 billion active monthly users, Facebook stands tall among the very few widely used social networks. Plus, it’s predicted that 87.1% of US marketers will be using Facebook marketing in 2020.
So, to help you stand out from the rest, here are some best strategies that will bring results.
Generate Engagement Through Facebook Events. By using the feature, you can create and schedule events such as product launches and discounts.
Community events are an excellent means of creating brand awareness and attracting potential customers. If you own a restaurant, you can invite consumers to try your latest menu.
Highlight Customer Reviews. There’s a chance that if you share delightful, authentic, and positive customer stories, you’ll increase brand awareness and attract more potential buyers.
At the same time, they can help build business reliability and trust, which will then eventually lead to conversions.
Leverage Facebook Ads. Advertising on Facebook can also help you reach your business goals. If set up correctly, the ads can be a great asset for increasing your revenue and followers.
You can also retarget your existing customers by uploading a database of your past customers, emails, or blog subscribers.
Or, choose to target people who’ve recently interacted with your business in one way or other – visited your website or watched a video.
The strategies mentioned above will not only help you win more conversions but also increase your followers on Facebook.
However, it doesn’t stop there. You need to:
- Post frequently. Publishing about 4-5 posts a day will bring the highest engagement. However, if that isn’t feasible for you, make sure you publish one post a day.
- Upload videos. Not only are videos engaging and entertaining, but they are also sharable and easy to digest. Two minutes is the recommended length.
- Analyze your audience. What attracts and engages them the most? When are they most active? Once you have the data, planning your strategies will be easier.
Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that your twitter marketing tactics are well-thought-out and attention-grabbing too.
To help you get started, here are the best twitter marketing strategies and tips.
Create a great first impression. The way your Twitter profile looks creates that first impression, which eventually attracts followers. Keep your bio, profile picture, and website information updated. Your bio must answer who you are and what your customers can expect from you. Do make it simple, short, and to the point.
Discover and define your voice. Having a well-formed and consistent brand voice for your business is crucial. It’s what connects you with your audience. Make sure that your voice is unique and easily relatable.
Often, it’s that perfect blend of your internal culture and the kind of experience you aspire to deliver. Adhering to your brand voice will not only help you boost engagement but also enhance your brand reputation online.
Make use of hashtags (#). Remember to start with research and not merely add as many hashtags as possible. Your brand should be the main hashtag, followed by ones that are associated with it. Take note as to what hashtags your competitors use and which ones are most popular among your followers.
Create or join Twitter chats. Twitter conversations are an excellent means of attracting precisely targeted audiences. There are talks about various topics ranging from SEO to marketing – and everything in between.
You can either find a great topic that relates to your business or host one yourself. This will help you earn trust and credibility from your followers. Once they’re in your ecosystem, making a sale becomes much easier.
Twitter marketing is about discovering your voice, finding an audience, plus delivering valuable and compelling content — frequently and with the right set of hashtags. Keep an eye on the results you’re getting and continue refining your approach to match your customers’ tastes.
Boasting over a billion monthly active users, Instagram is undoubtedly one of the most effective social media marketing platforms for your business.
Plus, 72% of Instagram users bought something they previously saw on the platform. This means Instagram marketing is a stride worth taking.
Here are a few distinct strategies that will put you on the trajectory of influential Instagram marketing.
Create visually appealing content. Instagram is all about images. The photos must be intriguing and telling a story worth sharing.
Through your Instagram posts, you can evoke strong emotions among your audience and inspire them to take action.
If you’re having a hard time coming up with Instagram post ideas, here are a few:
- Motivational – share images that inspire, and connects your audience
- Behind-the-scenes – give an insider’s view to your audience
- Videos – create short product videos that are informative and engaging
- Highlight great stories – share best posts from employees and customers
Harness free Instagram tools to your advantage. An Instagram business profile can provide you a bird’s eye view to the engagement your posts are earning. You can have a glimpse of who’s interacting with your content.
For instance, you can check the gender, age group, top locations, number of impressions, and much more. These insights can help you make informed decisions about when to post, what content your followers love to consume, etc.
Leverage Instagram ads. Nearly three quarters of US teens agree that Instagram is the best means for brands to notify them about new products and promotions. Instagram ads can significantly enhance your conversions.
They allow you to precisely target your audience through various types of posts such as videos, photos, carousel/dynamic ads, stories, and many more. You can also easily control the budget to be spent on ads.
The strategies and tips above will certainly help you gain more followers and build an unshakeable online presence.
However, it’s always good to test new ideas and embrace the ones that produce excellent results.
Gone are the days when LinkedIn was solely used for head-hunting job candidates. Today, the platform has evolved to become the number one channel B2B marketers use to distribute content.
With over 660 million users, the platform is growing rapidly at the rate of two new members joining every second. As a business owner, you can be sure that LinkedIn is a worthy investment.
Here are a few LinkedIn marketing strategies and ideas that will amp up your game.
Create valuable content. People come to social media to learn something or to get entertained. If what you share fails to meet either of the goals, it’s going to be ignored (at best).
Most businesses tend to create self-centered content, which is the wrong way to go. You must keep your audience at the core of everything you create.
This way, your posts will be naturally liked and shared by your customers, and prospects too.
Actively participate in discussions. Joining conversations relevant to your niche is a great way to build your audience on LinkedIn. You can use popular hashtags to find top-performing posts or groups tailored to your niche.
Get involved in the discussions by leaving meaningful comments on whatever you find interesting.
If you do this consistently enough, people will start noticing you. And that’s what you want.
Invite them directly to your network. LinkedIn is the only platform that allows you to attach a short note while sending a connection request. Why not make use of it?
Through advanced search, you can easily filter and reach out to your target audience with a personalized note.
Everyone likes connecting with like-minded people having something in common. Make sure your note is highly personalized and engaging.
Don’t be too pushy. No one wants to be sold to. Just send a message that’s relatable and fun.
LinkedIn can be a great platform to earn new customers and connections. You can also make use of LinkedIn ads to target your audience with great precision.
Additionally, you can opt-in for a premium LinkedIn account. Doing so will open up numerous opportunities for reaching potential customers.
With 322 million monthly active users across the globe, Pinterest serves as a visual search engine.
People, who’re looking for great ideas and solutions on topics ranging from fashion to cooking and everything in between, browse on Pinterest.
Here are a few tips and tactics to make your business stand out on Pinterest.
Add educational pins. It’s a great way of attracting people to your account. But everything you share must be unique, informational, and visually appealing. For instance, if you sell clothes, try providing distinct fashion looks. You can also promote your pins by embedding them into your blogs.
Use Pinterest analytics. It gives you a bird’s eye view of what’s happening in your Pinterest. You will be able to figure out which of your posts are performing well and adapt your marketing strategy accordingly. However, only business accounts can access the Pinterest analytics dashboard.
Pin regularly. This may sound obvious, but a lot of businesses are not consistently posting on Pinterest. By pinning regularly, you will gain more exposure and maximize customer engagement. To be more consistent, you can use various social media scheduling tools to publish your pin on time.
These are just a few ideas to help you get started on Pinterest. Once you get going, you’ll know what works best and how you can enhance your results.
Nearly 90%of people also admitted that they discover new brands and products on YouTube.
The numbers above demonstrate the effectiveness of YouTube marketing for small businesses. So, here are a few strategies you can get started with.
Consistency is the key. Looking at successful YouTube content creators and influencers, you can see how important it is to deliver valuable content regularly.
When you keep publishing engaging videos and do it often enough, your audience will anticipate your content. Eventually, they will form a habit of returning to your channel monthly, weekly or even daily.
See what others are doing. When you are just starting out, it’s good to have a closer look at what the top brands and influencers in your niche are doing.
Take notes on how they plan out their content if you want to achieve similar results. It’s that simple. You will get enough ideas to get your channel off the ground.
Make your videos stand out. You can do so by adding attractive titles, appealing thumbnails, relevant descriptions, hashtags, and keywords.
Make sure everything resonates with the purpose of your video, but keep in mind not to oversell or use the clickbait tactic.
For instance, if the video is explaining your business marketing services, don’t title it “How to become a millionaire in a day.”
It will do nothing but disappoint your audience. They will never trust you again.
YouTube is a huge platform, so you might not be able to figure out all the strategies. Yet, the key is to keep going while absorbing everything and learning along the way.
Boasting over 330 million active monthly users, Reddit is the last piece of the ‘big three’ – the media giants that are Facebook, Instagram and Reddit.
A single positive mention on Reddit will get shared beyond the platform as most Reddit users have multiple social media accounts.
Marketing on Reddit is only about being genuinely interested in adding value to the community. If you try to hard-sell anything, it is likely to be removed by Reddit or ignored at best.
Here are a few strategies that will go a long way in getting your voice heard on Reddit.
Leverage paid ads. Advertising on Reddit starts as low as $5 per day. It’s a great way of attracting visitors directly to your website. The platform allows you to target users based on location, interest, subreddit, device, or time.
If done right, ads from Reddit can yield great results. You can also check the metrics of your ad campaigns through a centralized dashboard that will help you analyze data and optimize your ads’ performance.
Know what consumers are looking for. Using Reddit as a research tool doesn’t require you to be a sponsored contributor or advertiser. What you need is a Reddit account and a few minutes of your time every day.
You can explore all the subreddits and search for topics relevant to your business niche. You will see a long list of suggested communities to join and a few of the most popular posts related to your search query. Once there, you can learn about your audience — what they like, lack or need.
Start participating in real conversations. They are the best means to drive organic traffic to your website. And Reddit is a platform where conversations are happening all of the time.
The only prerequisite is, everything you publish must add value to the community. Directly promoting your business won’t work.
You can directly target specific niches via subreddits and start connecting with people who might be interested in your product/service.
With such a vibrant community, Reddit is certainly a platform worth investing in. Try new strategies and adapt to the ones that work best for your business.
6 Steps to start your social media marketing
Now that you’re well-versed in the top seven social media networks, it’s time to act. Here are six steps that will help you get started.
1. Set your goals
Firstly, what is your business model? The goals you set greatly depend on your audience and that includes social media marketing strategies.
B2B social media marketing is mainly focused on generating leads and web traffic. Everything revolves around conversions, from content to ad campaigns. You can set a specific number of followers or sales as your goal and plan your strategy from there.
B2C social media marketing involves creating engaging, shareable content. the aim is to earn your customers’ trust and attention. How many comments, likes, or shares are you targeting on a single post?
Once you are clear about your audience, you can set strategic goals that are specific and measurable.
Use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track your performance. The last thing you want is to run after every shiny goal and end up nowhere. This is social media marketing for business in a nutshell.
2. Allocate your budget
When it comes to social media advertising, spending more money doesn’t necessarily mean better results.
Typically, business owners spend about 2 to 10% of their annual income on marketing. So, how much of the budget should go to social media management? You will need to strategize and decide the amount you will be spending.
The costs of content production should be considered first. This connects to the social platform you will choose, as creating a video might require more resources than posting a picture or text.
You’ll then need to grow your social media presence and allocate some money to drive followers to your profiles.
You can now advertise your products/services through paid ads to your targeted customers or reach a broader audience.
If you have a bigger budget, you might want to collaborate with social media influencers and use paid endorsements or guest posts. Social marketing services can also be an option if you need help managing.
3. Conduct a social media audit
Let’s be honest. No marketing campaign is perfect. Only the ones that are continuously monitored and optimized can yield great results. Through social media audits, you can uncover the bottlenecks and the underperforming channels and ads.
You will see where you stand, your top-performing channels, most shared posts, strategies that worked, and the opportunities for improvement. This data is crucial if you seek to dominate your competition.
It doesn’t have to be complicated as all you need is a spreadsheet and at least 15 minutes of your time.
Start with locating all your social media profiles, noting down the URL, name/description, number of followers, date of last activity, and the money spent.
Check the consistency of your brand, logo, imagery, and bits of details as well. Then, look back on your goals and see how much you’ve grown.
Analyze successful influencers and brands in the same niche. Based on the data, make new goals if you need to.
4. Make plans
Now that you are ready, it’s time to plan your campaigns.
Depending on your goals, there are many aspects to social media marketing for small business you should consider.
Here are a few to get you started.
- Brand Image. How do you want to be perceived by your customers? What impression should they have of you? Make sure your brand image stays consistent across all the social media channels.
- Content. Every social media platform requires a unique style of brand representation. However, the different posts you publish, whether it’s a picture or text, they must reflect your identity. It should weave in your core values and resonate with your users.
- Intent. What message are you seeking to spread? What solutions do your products or services bring? Your purpose should be clear.
- Platforms. Choose the channels that fit your goals, budget, and targeted audience. Then make maximum use of them.
Well-defined goals, a carefully planned social media strategy, and key performance indicators (KPIs) are a few traits of a successful campaign.
With a meticulous agenda, exceeding your social media goals will be fun and hassle-free.
5. Create a social media campaign schedule
Keep in mind that consistency is what fuels success. If you keep publishing great content, people will start noticing it.
Experts recommend that you must post about two to three times a day on each social media platform you use.
But as a business owner, social media management is not the only work you do. That’s why creating a calendar or schedule is essential. It will not only help you stay focused but also boost engagement.
If you cannot publish content daily, schedule everything weekly or monthly – whatever suits you best.
6. Integrate your website with your social media campaign
Your website is where all of the fun happens. You get new and potential customers, conversions, and subscribers.
So, why not add it to your social media profiles and posts? Doing so can bring a substantial boost to your web traffic. More traffic means a bigger chance of sales.
If you don’t have a website yet, now is the time to take that leap. Don’t worry if you know nothing about web development. I can help. Just shoot an email, and let me convert your amazing idea into a clickable reality.
Evaluating your marketing campaign results
When it comes to social media marketing for small businesses, campaign results are gold.
Assessing them will help you measure the return of investment (ROI). You’ll know which strategies work well and what needs improvement.
Marketing metrics are the best means to measure your success. The data can help you determine whether you were able to fulfill the goals you set initially.
- Views. The number of times your content is viewed on social media. By analyzing your posts, you can check which ones have the highest view count. You will know what your followers love to see most, then continue creating similar content.
- Reach. Simply put, reach is the number of people who see your content on their feed organically, through paid ads, or viral shares. This metric will help you understand your audience more so you can implement better strategies.
- Impressions. They represent the number of times your content is displayed on a social platform. You can compare it with views to determine the effectiveness of your posts. For instance, if your content has 1,000 impressions and yet was only viewed by 100 people, there’s still room for improvement.
- Engagement. One of the most important metrics to measure your social media campaigns is engagement. It represents the number of likes, comments, or shares your posts are gaining. You can see your top-performing posts and channel your efforts in the right direction.
- Conversion Rate. It’s the percentage of people who took the desired actions from your social media campaigns. It can be visiting your website, making a transaction, or signing up for a newsletter.
- Third-party Social Media Analytics Tools. The majority of social platforms provide their own analytics tools. However, you can also harness various third-party services such as Google Analytics and Sprout Social for making informed decisions that will yield profit and more sales.
Social media – extremely valuable for small business
Social media marketing ultimately boils down to great content, impeccable strategy, and the right platform.
Learn which platforms your target audience prefers the most and figure out which type of plan will work best for your business. Keep refining your approach to match the latest trends and your customer behavior.
Diving into social media marketing for small businesses doesn’t have to be complicated. You can use all the strategies from our list, but don’t limit yourself to that.
If you realize your customers are active on Quora or Ello, use them in your marketing strategy. Observe how your competitors are reaching out to their customers and get inspired.
Lastly, remember that marketing is all about adding value.
Whichever platform or means you use, if you can add value to your customers and do it consistently enough, they will naturally start trusting you and success will follow.