If the pandemic proved anything about the state of social media, it’s that consumers are spending a lot of time using it.
If your small business is only posting a picture or two on Facebook, or just announcing major sales, then you have a lot of work to do. Here are 8 Ways to Use Social Media to Grow Your Small Business.
Harness Recent Trends to Create Value
With over 3.6 billion social media users in the world, every business (big and small) must have a presence. But many have some catching up to do regarding how they’re using various platforms.
Before we dive into individual techniques, let’s look at some general trends that will carry your social media strategy into the future.
Less is more
You don’t have to post every day and all the time. In fact, there’s only one platform where posting more than once a day is even effective (see below).
Value is More Important than Quality
The content you create for social media doesn’t have to be of high quality, take pictures and video with your smartphone. But it needs to be of value to customers!
Video is King!
Video is the future of marketing. Always add a video to any post or story if you can.
Think QVC—Big businesses are taking things live on social media and creating their own home shopping network experiences for potential customers. Small businesses should get on board if they want to compete!
Find Your Target Audience
Small businesses have limited marketing resources, so to get the best bang for the buck, they must have a clearly defined social media target audience. But how do you define that audience?
The easiest way to get a snapshot of your audience is to look at who is buying, following, and interacting (on posts) with your business. Then look at the following data points:
- Life Stage – Instead of age demographics that wrap everyone up in a number. Try looking at life stage analytics like new parents, college students, just married, retirees, or empty nest parents.
- Location – Knowing location (globally) helps you know where to target your posts and ads. It also helps to analyze the time zone of potential customers to know when to post or place ads.
- Income or Spending Power – A spending power analysis helps you create content that’s tailored to the purchasing approach of the target audience. It also allows you to address spending concerns within that category.
- Interests – Look at what your audience likes (movies, music, other businesses, etc.) to use in your content. Is there a new movie coming out? Mention it in your post and relate it to one of your products.
Use Analytics and Reporting to Measure Effectiveness
With a target audience in mind, it’s important to keep track of the effectiveness of your posts. Social media analytics can focus on two levels: general results or a specific campaign.
Each platform has its own analytics (like Facebook Insights). However, there are great third-party applications like HubSpot, Sprout Social, and Falcon.io that provide a more comprehensive analysis.
In your report, look at analytics like:
- Net followers (lost and gained)
- Number of comments, views, likes
- Reach of the post
- Number of link clicks
While this information is especially useful, the meat of your analytics should come from Google. And it’s this two-step analysis that provides an accurate picture of social media effectiveness.
Using Google Analytics, you can see where your site’s traffic came from and the number of leads converted along with their demographic information. After all, your website is ground zero for sales and marketing campaigns, even if your business isn’t an eCommerce store.
In combining these two reports, you can have a clear picture of what content is effective.
Social Media Marketing Campaign Strategies
With the right strategy, social media is one of the most effective inbound marketing tools for small businesses. The problem is that many owners have no posting strategy.
It’s great to get hundreds of likes on a post. But if the interacting audience isn’t going to the website to interact and purchase, what’s the point?
Without a strategy tailored for each platform and your target audience, that’s the negative result you can expect.
Here are the five key platforms and a content posting strategy for each:
Strategy: Post content that educates and informs customers as a means of engagement.
Posting Frequency: There’s no limit to the number of videos to upload, but customers love consistency.
Strategy: Twitter is a forum for people who like to share every thought, every second. This is where to post anything and everything (promotions, contests, sales, updates, etc.).
Posting Frequency: Post multiple times throughout the day. Otherwise, you’ll get lost in the feed.
Strategy: Keep your posts casual and related to updates or upcoming products. Also, use Facebook to cross-promote to other platforms, like a new YouTube video.
Posting Frequency: Don’t dominate the feed. Post only once per day.
Strategy: YouTube is video-based, but Instagram is the most visual platform. Use Instagram to build your brand and give your business a personality through pictures and stories.
Posting Frequency: There’s no set number for posting on Instagram except that businesses should be consistent. If you post three times a week, then stick to it.
Strategy: LinkedIn is about connecting professionals and businesses, so the strategy is to post content related to the business side of things.
Posting Frequency: One post per week is effective.
Copywriting for Social Media
Copy for social media is just as important as any other marketing format. In fact, it’s the direct driving force in engagement with your content. After all, most viewers skim the title and one line of a description before clicking play on a video.
The key to good social media copy is to always write with a goal in mind. This only adds to the importance of outlining a strategy for your campaigns.
With your strategy, write in a way that does one or all these three things: leverage, elevate, or encourage.
- Use your experience and leverage with copy that entices people to learn about your product.
- Elevate content (images and video) with copy that appeals to emotion.
- Encourage customers to click, subscribe, follow, and buy with direct calls to action (CTAs).
Solidify Your Brand with Social Media
As we know, branding has been around for a long time—think print ads, radio jingles, TV commercials. But with social media, branding has become more than a logo and a catchphrase. Brands, even for small businesses, represent how a business or product makes us feel.
Social media is an immensely powerful tool in solidifying your brand’s identity. Branding on social media has four elements:
- Establish your banners, logos, and bios. Basic branding didn’t leave the world of marketing.
- Match your visual elements. Fonts, color schemes, and aesthetics should match on every platform.
- Content should cater to a target audience on each platform. We know this as a marketing persona
- Create a personality for your brand with your copy and content.
Convert Social Media Engagements into Sales
The core of what converts social media marketing into sales isn’t in the social media campaign. It’s on your website. Without a fully optimized site that’s ready to convert, you might as well flush any time and money invested into social media down the drain.
However, with a fully optimized site, you can start directly engaging customers and driving them to your site through social media landing pages, social selling (chatbots and comments), and paid ads and promotions.
Baked Cravings, a cupcake company based in New York City, explained in their interview with UpFlip that they used social media engagements as their top lead generator. It helped turn their cupcake business into a $500k/year venture!
Optimize your site and engage with customers on your platforms to increase sales!
Automate for Efficiency
Most small business owners don’t have time to put so much focus on social media marketing. There are many other revenue-generating tasks on their plate.
To grow your business with social media and make things easier, there are several automated systems available to help you improve your presence.
Here’s a list of key services that can help you do things like schedule posts (in bulk) and reply to comments all in one place!
Social media is how small businesses can use content to leverage marketing campaigns against large companies. If you’re struggling to increase your revenue, review these eight tips and create a social media strategy to grow your business this year.
Nice article, thanks for sharing. I would just add that video is also past and present of marketing 😀 It’s not just a future of marketing. Already there is much more genuine engagement for video content as it has the power to transfer the message better and touch the audience in a more personal way.