8 Simple Tips to Use Social Media For Small Business
A strong social media strategy can help small businesses reach their target audience, increase brand awareness, and drive conversions. Oftentimes, small businesses have limited resources, including time, funding, and staff, so social media can play a crucial role in supporting growth and community.
3 Reasons Your Small Business Should Be On Social Media
Generate Free Brand Awareness
Creating branded accounts on the top social media platforms can lead to increased brand awareness and trustworthiness. It technically doesn’t cost anything to create a Facebook Page for your business, start posting on Instagram, or create a presence on Twitter (unless you boost posts or run paid campaigns). The sooner you establish your business’ social media handles, the better.
Many social media users refer to a brand’s Facebook or Instagram pages to find the most recent product updates, promotions, or contact information. If your brand doesn’t have a page for users to refer to…it can almost seem fishy.
Additionally, a user choosing to follow your small business’ account may serve as a step toward making a purchasing decision in the sales cycle.
A recent study suggests up to 90% of people buy from brands they follow on social media
The ROI of creating a free account and implementing an optimized social media strategy is evident.
Reach Customers with a Likelihood to Convert
The top social media networks have entire teams dedicated to refining the algorithms that keep users coming back again and again. These algorithms present an individualized experience for each user, prioritizing content that is relevant to the user’s interests and the likelihood of engagement.
In simple terms, this means that Instagram or Facebook might only show your small business’ posts to people who would actually care about and engage with your content. Leaning into the specific industry or niche that makes your brand unique will lead to increased customer engagement and new customer relationships. As a bonus, the more frequently a customer engages with your content, the more frequently your content will appear on their individualized feed.
Provide Customers with an Additional Sales Channel
Several of the top social media networks have added a shopping function so users can make purchases directly within the app. On Instagram, 130 million users tap on shopping posts to learn more about products every month!
The addition of a shopping functionality has created powerful e-commerce opportunities for small businesses looking to expand their sales channels. What’s more–setting up an Instagram shop is easy.
5 Ways to Maximize Social Media Success
Create a Social Media Plan
Even if you’re just beginning to build your small business’ social media presence, you probably have at least some familiarity with the platforms from your personal use. The key to getting started with business profiles is to develop a plan that takes into account your overall business goals. Any initiatives your brand creates on social media should support specific goals of the company that can be measured by platform-specific metrics, sales, or website conversions.
Within your plan, clearly define your target audience and the needs that your brand can fulfill. Create specific categories of content that will appeal to each of the audiences you identify. Look at what other brands within your industry or niche are doing…
- How are they interacting with their followers?
- Which platforms are they posting on?
- What kinds of content are they sharing, and how often?
- How big is their follower base, and how much engagement do their posts receive?
All of these answers can help guide your own plan and give you an idea of target key performance indicators (KPIs) for each platform.
Build a Realistic Content Calendar
Having an organized and manageable calendar of your social content for the next week or month will help guide content creation and track performance based on execution. Social media content calendars should include details on post topics, intended platforms, media types, and captions, as well as a date and time. The most important part of building your social media calendar is to not over plan or overextend your efforts; it’s great to be ambitious, but don’t burn out on social content publishing by planning for more than you can handle.
For content mix, we recommend using 80% to inform, educate, or entertain your audience. The remaining 20% can be used to promote your brand or lead to conversions. Remember–every type of content raises brand awareness, and authenticity is key when it comes to well-received social media content.
Understand Your Audience on Social Media
The key with a social media audience is that they have the potential to be a customer and should be treated with the same level of customer service you would give to customers who come through more traditional channels.
Social media platforms allow for hyper-specific targeting when it comes to sponsored ads which makes them especially effective. The key to finding success with target ads is understanding who you should be targeting! Take a look at your CRM, website analytics, and any other existing channels to compile data on your current customers.
As you use your business’ social media channels more, the internal analytics of each platform will offer you additional insights into the audience you are reaching. Creating buyer personas can help make targeting even more effective by delineating your audience based on the type of content being shared.
Grow Your Social Audience
Now that you understand who your audience is, it’s time to look for ways to reach more of it. Since more than 44% of internet users use social networks to research brands, interactions with your social media pages can be a huge step in gaining conversions.
Increasing engagement can take your brand’s profiles a long way, earning you a higher stake in the algorithm and exposing you to new audience members. When people comment on your posts, it’s important to respond to them in respectful and informative ways that will keep them coming back and inspire new audience members to want to follow you.
Track and Make Adjustments Based on Performance
Because we’re huge data nerds, we always come back to this key aspect of marketing strategy. Regularly reporting on what’s working and what’s not working with your social media content is essential to maximizing the effectiveness of your profiles. Social media applications change constantly, and making adjustments to your content routine based on those changes can make or break how often you appear in someone’s feed.
Keep track of your social media KPIs and the ways they influence your business goals in order to refine a social media strategy that will benefit your brand.
Ready to get started? Contact us today to set up a social media consultation, and we’ll get you on the right track to develop a plan that works best for your small business.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of social media for small business?
Social media is an effective way for small businesses to grow their online presence. It's free to use, quick to set up, and a simple way to connect with your audience regardless of size.
What is the best social media platform for B2B?
B2B audiences can be receptive across several social media platforms, depending on niche. The top B2B platforms traditionally are LinkedIn and Twitter, but Facebook's advertising capabilities have made it a popular choice of late.
Can social media help small businesses boost sales?
Social media is a great sales tool for small businesses. It usually works best at the top of the sales funnel as a way to raise brand awareness and drive people towards the website.