Social media is everywhere. Everybody’s phone has at least Facebook’s Messenger app installed, Instagram, and maybe even TikTok, if we’re talking about younger generations.
Everybody that has access to the Internet in some capacity has at least one social media account. Not to mention LinkedIn, which was built specifically for people to connect for business purposes.
As a company, it can be hard to gain traction online, especially if you haven’t had the time to invest a considerable amount of resources into search engine optimization and link building yet, as well as on an effective small business strategy.
So, social media is a great place to start spreading the message about yourself. In this article, we will discuss how you can use social media to establish a better online presence for your small business and gain the attention of more potential customers.
First Things First
There is a lot of planning that goes into social media marketing. The very first thing you need to do to get started is answer two simple questions:
- What is your target audience and which platforms do they prefer to spend their time on?
- What are you trying to achieve? Sales, engagement, more interactions with your customer base?
The second question is easy to answer – since you are most likely looking for all of these things.
But to answer the first, you need to do a little bit of research. If you have a website, you can use Google Analytics or tools like Alexa to learn more about your audience. Age, location, gender – all these things come into play.
But, if you don’t have a website or aren’t really getting enough traffic to draw conclusive results yet, it may be a little bit more difficult.
In this case, pick a “top 3” of your customers, and think about what they want/need from you. These three top customers will serve you as a buyer persona of sorts, and all of your strategies will be tailored for them.
It’s All About The Content
When you log in to your Facebook, what do you do? Personally, I just scroll down my feed for a few minutes to see what’s recommended to me.
What should you post in your group? First of all, it’s safe to say that if people join your social group, they’re interested in your business and what you have to say. You can add more authority to your account by getting it verified.
A pretty safe start is to re-post newly published articles from your blog. If you don’t have one yet, it’s really worth investing your time in.
What are the pain points of your customers? How are your products/services helping them? The articles and the bulk of the content posted on your social media should be helpful to them in some way.
But it can’t be all articles. Questions, polls, giveaways – all these things are very good ways to drive engagement and measure your customer satisfaction.
Consider adding video content to your SMM calendar. If your company runs webinars or does live streams, you can always repurpose them with the help of an online video editing tool. Last but not least, always add subtitles to your videos since video content is auto-playing on the majority of SMM platforms in a silent mode.
Let users post their own posts in the group as well – this increases interactivity and can actually help you out when you’re struggling with new post ideas.
And, of course, the memes. Keep it simple, lighthearted, and, of course, relevant to your business.
Here’s an example of a meme that the marketing manager at Respona, Ivan, came up with within Respona’s group (props to him):
I love Danny DeVito.
According to Luella (senior marketing manager at Test Questions), Memes are a great way to brighten up the mood, and seeing one in the recommended feed might prompt the user to visit your group, which in turn might lead them to click on an article link and give your blog a visit.
Everybody Loves Freebies
I already mentioned giveaways, and indeed, they’re an awesome way to drive engagement.
Giveaways can take many forms: invite x people, get a chance to receive a prize, like and comment on a post, share promo codes, etc.
And while the increase in users and engagement usually justifies the giveaway, there is a way to make those even more useful to you.
Turn a giveaway into a contest. For example, if you sell t-shirts, mugs, or anything that can be designed by anyone, you can run a design contest.
Even if your business is service-based, you can still boost engagement on social media by offering a giveaway for branded promotional merchandise. Sometimes, all it takes is a great graphic or logo to make your branded merch attractive enough to wear around in public.
The winner gets a cash prize and their design will later appear in your shop. This way, you will save your own time on designing your product and have it done for you, all the while increasing the engagement within your social group.
It’s good to hold these every once in a while.
Tap Into The Influencers’… Influence
As a small business, it’s hard to reach new audiences on social media all by yourself. Once all of your most frequent customers join in, you’re likely going to reach a certain number (around a hundred) of users, and stay there for a considerable amount of time.
You can invest in two things: paid ads, or influencer marketing.
Ads are good, but most people don’t really click on anything that has the letters “AD” next to it.
Influencers, on the other hand, already have an established relationship with their audience. Hence the name – stems from their ability to “influence” their audience’s buying decisions.
Look for nano (no more than a thousand followers) and micro (up to 50,000 followers) influencers within your niche.
You can either straight up pay them to promote your product or arrange collaborations like giveaways (that come with a review of your product on the influencer’s channels) and contests.
With the help of influencers, it will be much easier to get your business in front of new audiences.
Influencer takeovers are also a known practice for developing your social media presence a bit more. In such a scenario, an influencer would take control of your social media account, and work on some areas that you need help with. After all, social media is kind of their job.
Alternatively, you can hire a social media manager to do it for you, although it is a much more viable option for bigger businesses.
Mix Your Social Media Marketing With Other Marketing Forms
On its own, a social media profile probably will not provide you with drastic results. So, combine it with your other marketing efforts: include a link to join in your email signature (for when you’re doing outreach), run an email newsletter, and use advertisements to boost visibility.
And, of course, take advantage of trends.