Social media is now serving the business firms as a key channel to build their brand awareness and to drive product sales. Alongside effective communication, these social media companies provide exceptional comforts to all the businesses in not just finding customers, but also maintaining relationships with them by providing engaging customer services. Even more and more startups invest in social media for small business, to attract audiences.
This upsurge in eCommerce sales is due to the benefits of social media including a user-friendly interface, easy access, timely updates, interactive audience, and also free marketing tools and strategies.
According to Digital 2021, we have more than 4 billion active users of social media today, double than before. However, out of these active users, a single person regularly spends 2 hours and 25 minutes using these social media sites on average. Considering this, today all the business markets have an opportunity to utilize these 2.5 hours in benefiting their own brands.
Moreover, social media has the power to generate leads for businesses by easily converting prospects into customers. That is the reason why all the businesses are essentially considering social media marketing strategy in their business to-do list in this day and age.
Whether you are a new startup or a developed business, you will need social media channels to build a client base. Especially for small business marketing, social media helps save time and marketing expenses because a new startup comes in the market with an owner wearing multiple hats, responsible for handling the limited budget effectively and potentially and for building a strong base for business to stand with reasonability, quality, and trust.
Why small businesses need a strategy for social media?
Because of its active use, social media for startups has now become an important part of small business marketing strategies. Creating worthy content and have a valuable ranking for it on search engine results pages (SERPs) is important for business goals, but sharing the right content with a targeted audience and increase the number of clients is second to none.
Moreover, opting for the right platform is important for making sure that the right content is delivered to the right audience. Each platform will provide you with different marketing tools with different usage, purpose, and benefits and have a specific way to be consumed by the end-users.
So, business social media is crucial for every business, no matter its size and reach, and finding prospects, converting them into customers, and maintaining relations with them on these sites is a challenge that directly affects brand sales and bottom line.
If your business misses out on opportunities or provides poor services and experiences to customers, it will serve as a wildfire for the firm that you’ve built tirelessly. And any incident like this will be even more dangerous if you, as a brand, are inactive and irresponsive on these social sites because it will not be visible for you to see until it’s too late.
Conclusively, 81% of small businesses use social sites for brand building. So, this guide will tell you about some important tips especially for social media for small business, trying to ramp up their product demands. Let’s explore.
Social Media For Small Business
Now let’s dig in all the social media marketing tips that will help you set the business social media strategy to market your product with productivity gains.
1. Set a plan
Social media is quite easy to use for all the people around and we all use several social sites for different purposes comfortably. The same goes for business and marketing tools, provided by these social sites.
It does not cost anything to create a group or page for branding your product on Watsapp or Facebook site. Neither it is very tricky to make an Instagram or Twitter handle and start posting there. But when opportunity meets with plans, it brings good fortune to you.
Define Goals for your business
As a matter of fact, without having a specific goal, you can’t achieve anything in life. The same holds true for business social media marketing strategies. You can use social media for business aims easily, freely, and handily, but investing time and efforts in the right place will help you give productive yields. Your time and efforts are equivalent to investment in your business goals.
Certainly, if you don’t plan things, you can never know whether your investment will give something in return or not. So, take some time and try to set a specific goal that defines what you want your customers to get and who will you work for. Then, set a plan accordingly. It will ensure that your efforts align with your goals.
You may also use the SMART framework of goals that says your goals should be Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Set out your goals on metrics that will impact your business directly. For instance, go to increase the rate of conversation instead of running to score maximum likes on your business post.
Beware of competitors
Another social media for small business tip, before participating in a competition, know your competitors well that how are they using business social media marketing tools, what are their strategies, and how they succeed in driving sales. It will help you know what will work for your business and how. For sure, learning from others’ doings will help you reduce your learning curve. So look, inspire and learn!
Make a business social media calendar
Lastly, create a calendar to successfully implement the social media strategy of your business at right time and on the right and potential social channels. As a new startup, try using social media channels 80% for educating, entertaining, and informing your prospects and 20% for your brand awareness, product activities, and market sales.
2. Choose the right platforms
Don’t look for the question where the majority of your audience spends more time. Each platform will serve you differently.
According to Digital 2021, an average user has 8.4 social accounts on the internet. In light of this fact, you can use different platforms for different business purposes.
For example, You may not take interest in TikTok marketing, considering it not the best fit for your brand. But in actuality, all the brands are experimenting with this platform to market their products whether or not their targeted audience is Gen Z.
Similarly, you might have an instinct that targeting Gen Z, TikTok and Instagram would be helpful. But you’ll find a quarter of the Facebook audience under 25 years of age. Likewise, you may think that my brand would target baby boomers so using social sites for targeting them would be barren. But, you’ll notice the majority of boomers using Pinterest and Facebook widely.
Consider facts and figures
Further adding to this if you get stuck somewhere and couldn’t help yourself to decide which platform to go for, so take the facts and figures into consideration. For example, TikTok application saw a rise in a large number of downloads in 2020. Only in December, the application recorded 56 million new downloads surprisingly.
So, it’s better to conduct research first and know which platforms will support your business goals and which sites can be ineffective for successful business strategies.
Make different strategies for different platforms
You can also make a different strategy for different platforms and use different social media sites to reach different audiences for your brand marketing. For example, you can use Instagram and Facebook to generate leads and can provide customer service by using your Twitter handle.
Make sure whichever platform you are using will serve your purpose effectively and will help you meet your business goals.
3. Set your targeted audience
Another one of the great business social media marketing tips, define your audience before you go for marketing and identify who you are going to target to drive sales.
If you are a developed business, you can either identify your new product target by analyzing the existing customers. In this way, you will get to know which age group is considering your product more by using social media analytics.
Identifying your audience will also help in letting you know how to speak to them convincingly. It will assist you in creating content they’ll enjoy by keeping their needs in mind.
Know your audience, create a buyer persona and start targeting!
4. Build Customer Relations
The most effective benefit that cheap social media marketing provide to small businesses is direct interaction with your prospects or clients. Take time and compellingly talk to your prospects to convert them into regular customers.
According to Digital 2021, more than 44% of internet surfers use business social media to search for brands. They want to search for what your brand is and what it offers. So when they engage with you, try to be reactive and catch back.
If you actively engage with your audience, it will create a sense of trust between your brand products and visiting audience and form a loyal following. As they visit your brand activities, you will get new and free exposures and gains.
Consider the example of Facebook. All the Facebook users receive thousands of posts in their feed. Whenever a friend likes something, it will appear in all his friends’ news feeds. So, when you increase your engagement and establish relations with your followers, they and all of their friends will receive more updates regarding your old and new products.
You can also build a deep understanding with people by organizing activities like giveaways, sales, and offer to answer their questions, accepting opinions, and many more. When you nurture your relations with customers, it will help drive more product sales.
Some other ways to build relations with customers are creating Facebook groups, mentioning your followers in brand activities and stories, sharing your customer’s posts, messages, or reviews on your handles, and re-sharing your customer’s mentions.
In this way, you can build a loyal customer community to increase your brand sales through a win-win situation.
5. Use Hashtags
Using a hashtag can increase your audience reach. You can also drive sales by paying attention to trends.
You are not advised to follow every incident or meme that goes viral. Instead, you should have the know-how of what people look for as they sign in to any social handle. It will also help you to relate your content to trending subjects.
Keep the needs of your audience in mind to make it work in present. For example Survey of Digital 2021 says, the top five reasons behind people’s consumption of social media include timely updates, entertainment, sparing time, connection with friends and family, and sharing visuals and graphics. You should try branding your products in a way that will somehow fulfill the audience’s needs. It will help drive people’s attention and consideration towards you.
As Gen Z follows trends largely, that is the reason why most businesses take advantage of this hashtag strategy for increasing their traffic. An increase in engagement will also help in generating expected sales.
6. Use Social Commerce for branding
With evolvement in marketing strategies and social media tools, social media now offer business firms to get benefit from Social Commerce, which means you can sell your products directly from social sites.
A business, whether new or old, doesn’t need a website in the present day to sell its products. Selling can be done by using social media applications now. You can now sell your services by using this social media shopping tool. All you have to do is to create handles on these sites and boom, your business is started to run.
Supporting with eMarketer facts, 18.3% of adults in the United States of America purchased different things from these online social media platforms and 11.1% of adults bought products directly from Instagram.
7. Create quality content with graphics
Unlimited free business social media marketing tools may overwhelm you, especially when you are new in the business market. But you don’t need to use it all.
Try to create quality content with appealing graphics rather than focusing the quantity. It’s better to share quality content on a few channels than to have a presence on all.
As business social media marketing is all about brand-client relationships, so you should create content with value and motivation. Reach out to your targeted audience on channels where they’re more available and offer them valuable content. But don’t try to fake it.
A picture speaks a thousand words. With that said, creating posts or videos with great visuals will help you strengthen your tie-ups with the audience. So, take a small step first and start marketing your product by focusing only on one or two channels. Once you become a pro, you can expand your efforts then!
8. Use mix-up formats
Get benefit from all the formats wisely used and available within every social network and switch to different patterns from time to time. For example; if you recently shared a post with images, now try videos. If you usually use GIFs, then try JPG this time. If you share videos frequently, come live in this period.
Switching to multiple formats will help you analyze which pattern is best suited for different social channels, social networks, and different types of content. Try to provide a mix-up of formats and contents to your audience because it will surely attract attention and boost your brand reach.
Don’t forget to add captions to pictures and videos, ensure quality graphics as well as make sure your purpose is clear in the presented visuals.
9. Audit your performance
It’s always important to look back at what you’ve done and what you got achieved so far. Keeping the track of your performance automatically results in improved strategies for much better results.
To make sure that your social media marketing strategy successfully works for branding your products, you have to keep up with your activities. Once you get an idea, you can easily polish up your efforts to have an improved outcome.
You can use some business social media analytics and tools to audit your performance including Hootsuite and Sprout. Identifying the loopholes will help modify your efforts that will ultimately lead your business to achieve the targeted goals.
So, always dig into the past and supervise your moves. If you find the opportunities overwhelming, go to smart small.
5 Big platforms for small businesses
For small companies, cheap business social media marketing Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter are five big stands where they can easily establish their brand. Let’s see how.
Facebook is a social media platform with a massive user base. You can easily find your targeted audience of every age here because this application has more than 2 billion monthly registration of active users.
Being a conversational platform, Facebook allows you to share any type of content with the benefit of placing paid advertisements freely. If a prospect decides to like your page, join your group or follow you on FB, it depicts that he wants all updates regarding your brand products, events, activities, shares, and engagement. So try to come across well.
As sharing on Facebook is limitless, don’t make the mistake of posting too much. The more you post, the more likely people will start un-liking you. Similarly, the less you post, the more your risk your engagement.
You should consider how often you should post to market and promote your products. One post per day is an optimal number for businesses to post about them.
Also, don’t be serious and formal while posting your content. Try to indulge soft corners and value in your content because it will appeal to your audience while scrolling and bring them closer to your firm.
LinkedIn is the oldest and widely used platform especially for Business-to-Business (B2B) marketing with 94% content sharing.
People use this platform to get business updates and for networking mostly. You can easily connect with marketers, businessmen, professionals as well as online firms here.
If you want to increase your product engagement on LinkedIn, try to make product-focused videos with business insights and value. It will increase your engagement rate.
Through LinkedIn, you can convert your employees into product counsellors. So, utilize them in the growth of your brand. To get your content on the platform, post on LinkedIn once a week. It will lift your product involvement without oversharing the content.
As it is a professional community that allows you to connect with each other, your content should reflect this connectivity and professionalism. You should post helpful content through which consumers see a way to become a better fit in your area of expertise and to get product valuable updates. Share the best facets and win an audience.
If you want to go for the biggest video platform, then it’s YouTube for sure. This platform is considered a mammoth of business social media with more than 1.9 billion active users in a month who spend billions of hours watching YouTube videos daily.
YouTube comes on the second number as a website having the most traffic and is the second-largest platform in search after Google, worldwide.
Having a presence on YouTube helps increase your brand’s trust, credibility, and engagement. Making videos and optimizing them according to SEO to come in research is quite tricky in actuality. It plays the part of a huge gamer to show your videos to customers as they search for them. Through YouTube, you can earn and also drive sales by paid social media campaigns, advertisement sponsors, and Google ads.
As a business, if you really want to leap in your feet, try to make “how-to” videos on YouTube. As it is the second largest search platform, people usually use it to search for content that can solve, show or explain their problems. The duration of videos should not be long as two minutes will be enough to serve as a sweet spot.
And if you are making quality videos that can help people differently, then you are not restricted to any number. If it’s working then don’t consider the number. Try to produce as much helpful content as possible.
Instagram provides you with the flexibility to use multiple formats including IGTVs and permanent posts for marketing and focusing on audience needs.
You can increase your brand engagement through stories and posts in an array of styles. You can create a poll, ask open-ended questions, can overlay music, BTS for brand videos, tag location, and companies, and enter a countdown.
If you start marketing on Instagram, you will have to be consistent because otherwise, you will lose your followers. It’s a photo-based platform so post high-quality graphics.
Twitter is an international-level text-based platform widely used for news and business sources. It is the most relied-on social channel for the user base.
You may post product updates, promotions, company insights, and other things on Twitter but in limited words. With more than thousands of tweets per day, you will be lost if you don’t post multiple times. So keep it bright!
Social media provide free, fun, and easy-to-use platforms for businesses where the users directly interact with brands. Apart from free marketing tools, it avails you of a ready-to-talk audience who is always waiting to hear from you.
For small business marketing, social media thrives with consistency. Even if you have a limited budget and time, you can still successfully step-in in the business market if you use business social media strategy and tools rightly for effective engagement, brand awareness, and sales. Grow wisely, save your time and monitor your efforts. Try it!