With more than four billion people worldwide spending an average of two hours and 25 minutes on social media, it doesn’t come as a surprise that 72% of SMB businesses are using it to market themselves.
We can’t blame them. It presents an opportunity to build brand awareness, reach their target audience, keep their existing customers engaged, and even make sales directly.
If you’re reading this right now, we’re assuming that you’re a small business owner who’s trying to dig up the latest social media marketing tips. We know how challenging it is to stand out online, especially in this digital age where almost all brands are on social.
That’s exactly why we’ve created this post. We’re here to help small businesses like you successfully promote your brand on social networks. That being said, here are five proven ways:
Pick the Right Platforms
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Tiktok – these are the obvious choices for just about anyone who’s looking to connect with their prospective and current customers online.
The question is, do you think you’ll be able to reach them in all platforms? Unless you’re targeting people of all ages and genders, you absolutely can! But, what if you only have a specific group in mind?
Simple. Do your research first. Know which platforms your prospects are usually active on. That way, you won’t only find it super easy to reach out to them, but you’ll also stop wasting time and effort advertising in channels they barely use.
Don’t choose your platforms based on assumptions.
For instance, if your ideal audience is Gen Z, you might find yourself skipping Facebook and focusing on TikTok and Instagram instead. However, studies reveal that about a quarter of Facebook users are between the ages of 18 and 24 – hence, why you should always research before deciding.
Create a Social Media Calendar
If there’s one way to post the right content to the right platforms at the right time, it’s definitely gotta be through the use of a social media calendar.
Nobody likes content that’s produced poorly, and most of the time, that content is the result of disorganization. A lack of preparation can cause repetitive and rushed posts. Rather than driving new customers to your business, you’ll drive them away.
Or, if you have multiple channels and are only prioritizing one of them, you’ll have a lot of missed shots. Imagine skipping Twitter for five days because you were so busy with Facebook and other responsibilities, only to find out that you lost a number of followers the next time you logged back in.
Making a social media calendar isn’t really that complicated. Just have a regular calendar for each channel and plan out your posts ahead of time. Consider the 80/20 rule: 80% of your content should educate, inform, and entertain your audience, and the remaining 20% should promote your brand, products, or services.
Among the reasons why social media marketing has an edge over the other forms of marketing is that it allows businesses to interact directly with their customers and followers. It’s not a one-time thing where you can just ask for a sale and bid farewell, but it can turn into a continuous relationship over time.
When your followers engage with your posts or ads, responding to them is the best response. It will help establish trust, eventually leading to a loyal following. And, as your content is getting more and more interactions, you elevate in the social algorithms, which means free exposure.
While your aim might be to acquire as many new customers as possible, downplaying the value of customer retention is something you should avoid. Rather, you’ve got to focus both on gaining and keeping customers.
Encouraging engagement is key to achieving these goals. Be interactive and communicate with your followers. Humanize your brand. Show them that you truly value them.
Besides responding to comments or questions, here’s how you can build relationships with your audience:
- Post content that’s fun and informative at the same time. Videos, infographics, and memes? Yes, please!
- Create interactive video Q&As where followers can ask about you and your offerings.
- Mention followers in your stories and posts to make them feel special.
- Use polls and surveys to initiate discussions with your followers.
- Start a Facebook group where like-minded users can share ideas and opinions.
- Host social media contests, from photo caption and logo design contest to photo contest. More participants mean more exposure for you, which is why your prizes should be enticing.
Use Social Commerce to Sell
Social commerce allows you to sell your products or services directly from your social platforms. In other words, you don’t need a website to sell what you’re offering anymore.
Facebook Shops lets you catalog your products in collections. Interested shoppers have the options to browse, save, share, and even purchase within the app.
Instagram also offers two apps similar to Facebook Shops – Instagram Shopping and Instagram Live Shopping. The former allows customers to choose and buy products straight from the app, whereas Live Shopping gives you the chance to showcase your products and interact with your fans in real time.
- Quality, Not Quantity
Although there’s a sheer number of social media marketing tactics available for small businesses, you don’t really have to force yourself into doing it all.
What’s important is that you’re creating quality content that people will enjoy. There’s no point in posting numerous stuff on social media regularly if your audience won’t find them interesting.
Again, social media marketing is about forming relationships. If you’re just there to pitch, sell, and repeat, you’ll set yourself up for failure. You’ll discourage users from buying from you, let alone follow you.
Keep your posts real, authentic, and conversational. Besides, if you were in the shoes of your audience, wouldn’t you prefer a brand that sounds like a friend, not some salesperson who just wants your money?
Before you can start applying these social media best practices for your small business, you should know that there are many other ways to leverage social media. What we provided are just five of the simplest yet effective methods.
Nevertheless, be sure to prioritize them in your marketing plan.