Social media can provide your small business with some of the marketing muscle of your larger competitors, without the high price tag. If you haven’t already, it might be time to join the many small business owners who are using social to build awareness, drive sales, and gain new customers. Here are five tips to help set your small business up to succeed in the social sphere.
Choose your platform
Rather than stretching your social presence across multiple platforms, chose the platform that best reflects your target audience and your brand. If you run a design driven business, you might choose Instagram or Pinterest to best showcase your product, while a service driven business might choose Facebook or LinkedIn. Try to go where your audience is – if you aim is to attract a younger demographic, then use a platform that attracts a younger audience.
Define your goals, purpose and objectives
Just like a business plan, you need to have a plan to make sure your social efforts are purposeful and aligned with your overall sales and marketing strategy. It’s important to go beyond vanity metrics such as likes and focus on leads generated, conversion rates and website referrals. Once you’re clear on your goals, you’ll need to create a content calendar outlining dates and times when content will be published and guidelines around editorial content (particularly if more than one person is posting).
Share fresh, snack-able content
Remember what your main propose of having a social presence is. Is it to inform, promote, educate, solve an issue, sell or entertain? Make sure your content reflects your purpose and is delivered in an interesting and engaging way. Remember the quality of quantity rule. It’s great to have lots of regular content posted, but make sure it’s relevant and meaningful. Incorporate visuals such as images and video to bring your brand to life.
Be your own Brand’s Guardian and protect your Brand’s reputation
While having a social presence creates an opportunity for your customers to share their positive experiences with your business, it also creates an environment where your customers can vent their frustrations with your product or service. Most small businesses will not have a dedicated marketing team to manage their social media, so it’s important to ensure you have a central person who has the responsibility of responding to feedback (both positive and negative) and follows up quickly. Having a social media presence can be highly beneficial, damaging your brands reputation is not.
Equip yourself with the right tools
To streamline you social marketing, it’s helpful to use social media tools to manage your presence on social networks. Tools such as Hootsuite can help you schedule posts and keep track of brand mentions, while free tools like Buffer allows you to view engagement stats to let you know how effective your posts are. These tools are particularly useful if you’re using more than one platform.
Creating an social presence can be daunting for many small business owners, but with half of all Australians active on social media daily, it’s important you try to engage with your customers by showcasing your brands unique perspective. Doing this can help you to build brand loyalty and create genuine connections with your customers.