In today’s time social media has become an important platform that every small business owner should use in order to grow business and build brand awareness. If you are you looking to promote your small business on social media and find local customers on social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram , Pinterest and Facebook then here is a practical guide to grow your small business using social media.
From social media websites such as Instagram to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google plus, there are a wide array of platforms that exist for any small business owner to take advantage off and reach out to the right customers through targeted social media campaigns.
- In fact, 82 percent of small business owners already use one form of social media site to grow their business and over 63% home business owners use online marketing tools to promote their businesses.
- Over 52% Small Businesses post on social media websites everyday and women owned businesses are more into using social media platforms compared to men.
- 86% of the small businesses use Facebook, 48% use Instagram, 46% use Youtube followed by 44% that use Twitter to promote their businesses.
Social Media Usage Data about Small Business Owners:
- 52 percent of small businesses post to social media at least once per day.
- 79 percent post weekly.
- 94 percent post monthly on social media websites.
Building a dominant social media presence takes time and lots of consistent efforts but it is worth putting in the efforts as social media websites are full of users that could be your potential customers and social sites can prove to be a gold mine for small business owners if they know how to create content that users are hungry for.
A lot of small business owners believe that a few blog posts, random status updates and a healthy number of likes and followers can help bring in business while that’s not true at all.
Many times digital marketing agencies make false promises to the small business owners that they can bring in business by promoting business on social media but the fact is that most of the small business owners end up losing money with no results because the truth is that it is not that simple that way you have been told or informed.
It takes real strategic planning, dedication and consistent efforts to be able to grow a small business using social media.
There are few very important points that you need to keep in mind before moving ahead with your social media campaigns to properly harness the power of social media platforms such as:
- Identifying your target audience.
- Understanding their needs and what they are interested in.
- Creating content that they are hungry for.
- Keeping them engaged through offers and discounts.
Having engaging and relevant content will allow people to share such a content and as such will widen your audience to a lot of subscribers, potential fans and customers.
Irrespective of if your business is a large corporation or a sole proprietorship, making use of social media is the most inexpensive and powerful marketing tool that a business can use to widen its reach.
Here are some effective tips that you can use to grow your business fast using social media.
Figure out your objectives: before even creating accounts on social media websites for business and commercial purposes, it is best to first identify your goals, objectives and what you want to achieve out of it.
Each social media website is built for a different purpose and has different kind of audience and you should know what kind of audience you can reach with each of them and what your aims are so as to get off on the right foot.
For example, there’s a huge difference between the audience that you will find on Facebook compared to Linkedin.
Interaction is the key to engage the audience: Customers love to associate with the businesses that they can relate with and therefore it is advisable that you show your audience your professional as well as softer side.
You can show your audience your softer side by interacting with them quite often by responding to their posts and interact with them when they show interest.
When your audience sees your softer side, there will be a sense of connection and they want to associate with your business or brand.
Be consistent with your posts: consistency in posts and creating great content should be your primary focus if you intend to grow your business using social media as that helps audience to stay informed about your business and brand.
Always try to be consistent with your posts, messages and the frequency in which you use various social media websites that are valuable for you.
Always schedule your posts in advance to ensure that you stay consistent with your updates, posts and statuses to help audiences stay informed.
We suggest you to adopt a system of posting a few times a day or in a week.
Being inconsistent with your posts make your business appears unprofessional in the eyes of your audiences and will definitely disengage them.
Be Present on every social website: Once you have planned to create a social media presence then go for each and every popular website because as mentioned above not everyone uses the same social media website.
One of the most common mistakes that are made by small business owners is that they try to use only those websites that they themselves are most comfortable with, forgetting that many potential customers may not feel the same way.
If you want to grow a small business using social media, then you should spread the buzz on all the major social media websites that are available such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.
Customize your posting approach according to the audience on each platform: Just having an account on all the major social media websites does not mean that you can post the same things or information on each of the websites.
You should customize your posts to meet the needs of each of the platforms and feed the audiences.
For example, if you want to share pictures or infographics then go for instagram, for long posts and articles LinkedIn is the best, Videos and memes can go on Facebook and Short announcements can go on Twitter.
So even if you have the same content in mind, they should be bespoke for each platform.
Try to identify the needs of your audience: The key to success is identifying the needs of your audience and if you can figure it out then you can feed them the same type content that they are looking for.
For example, you need to test with pictures, videos, infographics, article, stories, games and other meaningful content and then identify with what type of content you are getting maximum engagement and then you need to intensify your efforts in creating the same type of content.
Once you have a clear idea of their needs, you will be able to use this to your advantage and grow your small business using social media.
Work more on social websites where you get better engagement: Although, we encourage you to use as many social media platforms as possible, you will find out that some may be working out better for you than other networks and you should work on those platforms.
Once you have identified the platform that works better for your business and brings you customers, it is best to increase your efforts on that platform in order to take advantage of that opportunity.
We do not encourage you to abandon all other social media platforms that are not working out too well for your business but we suggest you to put more efforts on the one which is working for you compared to the others.
Create content that delivers your brand’s message: Remember social media is vast and beyond just likes and followers it is easy to get swept away with the numbers but number of fans, likes and followers doesn’t translate into business always.
However, you should look beyond the number of response that each of your posts gets in the sense that you should not just deliver content that draws attention without actually being in line with your brand.
For getting customers and business you need to focus on targeted audience and for this you have to create content and posts that is aligned to your business.
Entrepreneurs often make mistakes by posting content which brings likes and followers but not customers because that content maybe engaging for the audience but it doesn’t relate to the brand or business.
Remember everything needs to fit within your brand identity and promote what it is that you are trying to say to your audience.
Post content which is important without worrying about getting shares, likes and followers: don’t care too much about shares, likes and followers as we are talking about targeted audience since beginning and your aim is to turn your audience into loyal customers.
You should always focus on posting meaningful content and keep in mind that certain types of content such as testimonials, charity pots, press features and even some important blog posts do not usually get those many likes or shares but important means that it needs to be posted.
Customers often want proof, references and want to read testimonials and reviews before closing a deal with you or making a purchase and while testimonials, some blog posts may not be very popular but they will work in your favor by giving your business credibility, it needs.
Since, now you have a clear idea about how to use social media for growing your small business it’s time to explore some great social media marketing tools that will make your job even more simple and easier.
Best Social Media marketing tools for small business owners
Social media is one of the most powerful marketing platforms for small businesses both in terms of establishing a brand identity and acquiring new customers.
Creating social media profiles for your business is just the first step but you also need to maintain a presence on various platforms and interact with your audience on a regular basis.
Below are some free social media marketing tools for small business owners to simplify marketing tasks:
Buffer – This is a straight forward social media management tool that helps small business owners create and schedule posts for various social networking websites.
Once you have created the posts and set the dates for posting, buffer will automatically publish your posts on your social profiles on specified dates.
With free version you can schedule up to 10 posts for each social medial website. You can also choose premium version if you want to post more and access analytics to get the insights about your posts and user engagement.
TweetDeck is a powerful free marketing tool for managing business profiles on Twitter. You can customize your Twitter experience and manage your lists and tweets efficiently on the platform.
Hootsuite is another social media post management tool that provides small businesses a limited free option for scheduling posts and tracking engagement on social media.
There are upgrade options for businesses that need more versatility and insight.
No matter what marketing plan or strategy you have but your final objective should always be to capture the social media by creating a great presence or else you will be missing a lot of opportunities.
A good social media marketing strategy would not only help you online but also add value to your offline marketing efforts by bringing in new and offline users to your social profiles.
Social media is affordable but yet a greatly under-utilized platform that can help with virtually every aspect of your marketing plan.
Social media can be a game changer for Small Businesses but often ignored or under-utilized by the small business owners due to little or no knowledge about how to use to social media to grow a small business.
We hope with this guide will help you grow your small business using social media platform.
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