How important is social media for a small business?
If you asked me the same question, a decade ago, I wouldn’t give an affirmative response. Social media today is a be-all-and-end-all platform. It’s where you communicate, create dialogues, form opinions, drive sales, build relationships, break relationships, share, post and start your day – first thing by looking at your account – which is an unhealthy habit, though.
Anyways, the point I’m trying to put forth is that Social Media is a catalyst for success for your business. And if you’re yet to ride the current Social Media Tidal Wave – you’re missing out the best source of business opportunities and success.
Everything is changing
Everything around us is changing at a lightning fast speed – from consumer behavior, political scenario, climate to the proximity between brands and users.
How can a small business use social media channels to acquire more customers?
Hell, with the cynics who are living in their own bubble and bursting it by saying that “social media is nothing but a fad” Well, it’s not a fad and it’s definitely not going to fade away. Take the 45th US President – as an example – He’s blowing his Trump-et inconsequentially via Twitter!
When a world leader is swearing by Social Media – why should a small business owner lag behind? Use social media marketing and get a quantum leap in your business.
Today, social media and business – big or small, an established enterprise or a startup – are two parts of the same coin. In fact, the latter is super dependent on social media – for countless reasons.
- Connect with the audience
- Drive online traffic
- Expand network
- Boost brand identity
- Sell services/products
- Engage with users
- Build relationships with consumers / clients / peers / community
- Become a part of an innovative and disruptive industry
Whether you have a small business or are just starting out – it’s crucial to find a result-driven marketing channel. More and more small businesses (even the big league enterprises) are choosing social media marketing – over every other marketing protocols.
How to use social media to earn customers for your small business?
Social media marketing is all about being SMART – yes the adjective works too. But in this context – SMART involves a social media metric and goal modality.
SMART – Specific – Measurable – Attainable – Realistic – Time-bound
SPECIFIC – Define a clear and concise goal. Ask fundamental questions – like – “Why should I use social media?” “To connect with my users?” “Sell my products/services via social media ads?” “Talk about my brand?” “Build brand awareness?” “Become an influencer?”
MEASURABLE – Measure progress of every executed and implemented strategy. And align the results with your goal/goals – “likes, comments, shares, clicks, etc.”
ATTAINABLE – Find out whether you can achieve the defined goal or not. And this is possible by setting realistic and practical goals.
REALISTIC – Be realistic towards your expectations. Ensure the presence of resources and tools that will help you in attaining your objectives. Set time-bound goals and measure the impact within that time-frame only.
By following this technique, you will give get an expansive space for experimenting with different social media channels, without hurting your goals, resources, time and money.
TIME-BOUND – Time is all about money. And when you’re starting with social media marketing, it’s only evident to respect and value your time. So, set goals within a specific time-frame.
It will allow you to measure the results, experiment – as I’ve already mentioned earlier – and access your target audience via the ideal social media channel.
Know your audience and access them through the right social media channel
There are so many social media platforms – big leagues and emerging ones – it’s a daunting task to choose the right one for a small business. You cannot go about using all of them. It’s an ineffective and time-consuming method – that will not drive any of your desired results.
Late christmas shopping means savings
Determining your target audience and choosing a social media channel for your marketing campaign – is likened to going Christmas decoration shopping on the 26th but for next year. Because that’s the right time to get the best deals and items at dirt cheap rates (that’s a tip for you!)
For example, you’ve started a customized surfboard business in California and are looking to get the word out about your brand.
Use friends and family to build brand buzz
The best way to create a brand buzz is by accessing users from rock-bottom. Start by posting pictures – for example on Instagram – and ask friends, family and neighbors to like, share and comment on them.
This will create a chain to attract users via them. Once you’ve gotten a couple of 100 or so people talking about your product – move ahead and dive right into the action.
Get feedback, opinions and ask questions frequently
Ask them what they like or dislike about your surfboards. Will they be willing to buy one and so on. The inputs and feedback will help you understand what your audience is looking for and where. This is S.M (Specific and Measurable) part of SMART metric system of Social Media Marketing.
It’s no use of using a platform that drives irrelevant results. The key is to generate organic traffic and engage users who will either become potential customers or act as your brand ambassador (Influencers)
Create or enhance your social media profile
Be the kardashians of your social media profiles
Become the Kardashians of your social media accounts. Get the attention, become the pioneers like them.
When you’re using social media to leverage small business revenue, brand value and sale – you need to audit your accounts and work on your profiles. Build one from scratch. Update your existing accounts – with texts and images. Remember, every social media channel has its own set of audience. And you need to meet the eye of each one of them.
Use creative designs, images and texts
Wear your creative hat and start developing that fantastic looking Facebook Cover Photo, bedazzled Instagram profile, get an awesome Twitter handle and more. Also, get your accounts verified. It helps in creating a trust factor.
Add all relevant information about your small business / brand / yourself
Complete your profile with all relevant details – description for the About Me section, company overview, mission statement, contact information, and others. It’s just like ‘breaking the ice’ with your audience.
Create engaging content, schedule posts and distribute strategically
All frills and fancy aside – it pays to have engaging and informative content. Nothing else will help drive customers to your website, social profiles, brands, stores and page – than shareable and valuable content.
Creating actionable content is not rocket science
Create content that your users will share, like, and engage with. Start with a solid content marketing plan. Take care of the following pointers:
- Build editorial calendar
- Content curation
- Content creation
- Content distribution
Determine the type of content you want to post, aligning it with your intent and social media marketing goal. Work on your creatives keeping your target audience needs and preferences in mind.
It’s all about doing rhe right math
Experiment with fonts, colors, images, texts and design. You can calculate what works and what does not.
Create editorial calendar
An editorial calendar will help you to schedule posts – as well as – publish content on different social media platforms. It will also keep a check on your efforts and prevent you from missing out on any valuable course of action.
For example, posting 3 – 4 times on Instagram per daily is a legit option. But you can’t opt for the same technique when publishing content on Facebook. There you need to carve out a different approach.
I’ve seen people going overboard and jumping the plank, with a series of hashtags in their posts. Some even are unaware of the purpose of hashtags. Thus, they add #in #everything #and #anything #they #write #and #publish #in #social #media 😉
Purpose of a #Hashtag
Hashtag or hash mark # is used in a keyword, phrase and/or topic that catapult a message, search and enables social network to index the same – so that when a user searches for a relevant topic of interest – your post is made to appear. The math is similar to SEO.