Gloria is an adventure and new business venture addict. She founded her first business when she was 14 years old and created a ten-people start-up at 19. She now runs Venturer, a go-to guide for Gen Z and Millennial entrepreneurs.
Social Media Marketing Tips for Small Businesses
With the rise of social media in the last decade, small business owners should stop thinking, 'Should I use social media to promote my business?' and instead ask themselves 'How should I use social media to promote my business?'
As a small business owner, your time is incredibly valuable. From product design, customer service to marketing, you probably know every bit inside and out.
Social media marketing on the other hand, can be time-consuming when you first start.
To help you out, we're going to discuss some practical social media marketing tips that do not require lots of time to implement and which will help your business!
1. Picking Your Social Media Channels
Let's first look at which social media channels you should use. With so many social media platforms to choose from, you will need to pick those that your target audience is active on.
For businesses that primarily serve business clients, you can consider using LinkedIn.
This social media platform has over 260 million active business professionals and generates the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74%, - this is much higher than 0.69% on Twitter and 0.77% on Facebook.
For general B2C businesses, Facebook is a great platform to start with.
It is the social media network with the most users. Statistics show that there is 2.7 billion monthly active users with a diverse range of demographics.
So I recommend that you start by creating a Facebook page, then complete all the required sections to provide a clear overview of your business and services to your potential customers.
For brands with an emphasis on visual content, such as fashion, makeup and design - Instagram and Pinterest are your best friends.
2. Don't Forget Your Business Information
After creating a business account or page on the social media channels that you choose, fill in as much information as possible. Many small business owners made the mistake of omitting information that their customers might find valuable.
For example: restaurants forget to provide simply things like their opening hours on their Facebook page.
3. Tell Your Story
There's a saying that goes, 'People don't buy the products you create. They buy the stories you tell.'
This is your chance to can tell people why you started the company, or other exciting stories that help establish your brand - this is especially useful for small businesses.
Telling your story is an excellent way of connecting with customers with a personal touch.
4. Establish Your Personal Brand And Authority
Share your knowledge and the story behind your business. People are often far more interested in hearing authentic 'personal' stories.
You can start by sharing on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. These can help establish your personal brand and authority online.
5. Create Posts That Encourage Engagement
In contrast to traditional marketing, social media allows two-way communication. This gives you an excellent opportunity to communicate with, and listen to, your customers.
Take this opportunity to create posts such as a Twitter poll or ask questions that encourage customers to express themselves.
For example: you can ask what new features they would like to see in your next product launch or where they would prefer your new store location to be. This way, you can collect your customers' preferences.
You might be surprised at what you learn - and it might boost your business results at the same time!
6. Create Visual Content
High-quality visual content can boost engagement by 37% than a simple text post.
Including visual content in your post which is engaging for the reader, is more likely to go viral as other people will share it to their contacts and on their social networks. It can effectively increase the reach of your posts and your business.
That is why I recommend that when creating social media posts, you should try to include visual content such as images, infographics, animated gifs and videos. It's best to create unique visual content.
But if you have limited resources and time, you can consider using stock images and repost other users content (after checking the copyright and getting the creator's consent).
7. Post Often, But Don't Sacrifice Quality
Numerous studies demonstrate that posting once per day is optimal.
Posting frequently is essential to keep your audience interested. However, there is no magic formula for how often you should post on social media.
What works for one brand may not work for you.
There are plenty of case studies that show brands who post daily experience consistent growth in follower count.
There are even brands that post every hour.
How often you post depends on your business type, your target audience and the resources that you have available.
To start with, it is best to post frequently to keep your audience engaged, but don't sacrifice your post quality for the sake of just posting something.
The quality of your posts represents your brand. You should aim to post high-quality content consistently, instead of publishing low-quality content in high volume that your audience will find spammy and put at risk your brand's reputation.
8. Schedule Your Posts
With so many things on your to-do list, it's easy to forget to log in and post.
Fortunately, with the help of social media management tools, you can schedule your posts in advance.
I suggest that you set aside an hour or two every week to create and schedule posts for the week ahead, then leave it to the tools to automatically publish the posts for you at the set time.
9. Check Your Analytics
Most social media platforms offer an analytics tool for business accounts. It allows you to check a range of statistics such as: your audience demographics, post engagement, followers' most active time etc.
The analytics provide you with insights about your audience and help you to better plan your social media strategy.
As an example, if your social followers are most active between 7pm to 10pm, then set your scheduling software to publish your posts during these hours.
You can also acquire insights into what posts tend to perform the best. For example: if 'case study' type posts give higher engagement consistently, do more of this type of post in the future.
By experimenting with different post types, you will develop a better understanding of what your audience likes (and dislikes) so you can improve your social media strategy in the future.
10. Don't Try To Do It All By Yourself
Social media marketing can be time-consuming and requires lots of effort to establish a loyal following.
Although it's essential to know the basics, set the right strategy, and understand your audience, it doesn't mean that you have to do everything by yourself.
Business owners need to free up their time to focus on 'higher level' activities which will grow their business, instead of worrying themselves about creating social media posts.
If you have a bigger budget, consider hiring a social media manager on a part-time basis. Many of them manage multiple brand accounts, so it's important to check if they're working for a competitor to avoid any potential conflicts.
Most of the current social media platforms allow you to invite 'team members' to manage your business pages. You can set their page role to 'editor ' or similar, that way you remain in control but it allows them to create and schedule posts.
Over To You!
Social media marketing is continually growing and is definitely worth investing your time and money into. Start connecting with your customers and establish your social media presence today!
If you found this post helpful, please share so others can learn from it too. Just think, it's your first step to social media marketing.
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