8 Amazing Ways to Use Social Media for Small Business
8 Amazing Ways to Use Social Media to Market Your Business
Ask any marketing expert and they will tell you that focing your attention on social media has the potential to exponentially increase your success. Social media allows business owners to target their audience at low, and often no cost! To help you take advantage of the power that social media offers, we have compiled 8 amazing ways to use social media to market your business.
Choose Social Media Platforms Wisely
First stop should be researching statistics to see what platform(s) your target market is using. For instance, if you are selling baby goods, your target market are going to be mostly women of child-rearing age. Doing some research to see what platforms are most used by this demographic will help you decide where to focus your time and energy. Choose one or two to establish a strong profile and following. When you focus and build with intensity, you will see results quicker and without spreading your time, energy, or money too thin. You can use targeted ads to increase your presence in a specific market. Once you have a grip on the one or two platforms you have built, then you can add additonal platforms if you have the resources and choose to.
Establish Market Credibility
When clients and potential clients see that you are active on social media, it does a few things:
- It brings your business into their daily lives. They will see your posts regularly, reminding them of what you provide and that you are there for their needs.
- When they see your dynamic online presence they will know that you care about the community and are there for more than just the bottom dollar, they will begin to identify you as a trusted and reliable source, increasing the chances that they will turn to you when the need arises.
- You make it very easy for people to refer their friends to your business by tagging or sharing your business profile or post. It also makes it easy for the potential customers to check you out and begin building trust that will ultimately convert them in to partons.
Post Daily & Strategically
In order to leverage the power of SM you must post and communicate DAILY. Make it apart of your day and dedicate 30 mins to scheduling your posts. Different platforms have different uses and ultimately different norms for how often to post. Keep up with the latest trends on the particular platforms and find the right balance to ensure that you are capturing as many eyeballs as possible, while not annoying people.
Avoid spam, your audience isn’t on the platform to be “sold" they are there to learn about what is going on in the world. They are also there to recreate – if your posts get in the way of that, they will unfollow you and you will have lost them as a customer. It would be best to research optimal posting times for each platform and adapt to your target time zones to have the most reach with your audience.
As an example, regarding our baby goods business: for most parents nap-time might be a good time to catch up on what is happening on social media… which would be a good time for this business to post every day. And instead of posting sales or products every day, post parenting tips or heart-felt news stories about parenting or kids. Work to build a community and you will do more than land a sale, you will create human connections and brand loyalty which are more likely to convert monetarily.
Establish a Brand "Voice" to Attract Customers
Establish your voice and attract the type of customers you want to work with: The more you personalize the voice of your brand in your posts, the more likely it is that you will attract and build a loyal following of the type of customers you are targeting and want to work with.
Social media allows you to share your brand personality and culture in a way that makes it easy for customers to connect with you. Use language, conversation and campaigns that help to build a rapport, you will gain greater loyalty and engagement.
For instance if you are in the busniess of selling skateboards vs. bookkeeping, the lingo, slang and over all approach to your customers in your posts will be vastly different. Use the language of your target audience to establish credibility and trust.
Create Original and Engaging Content
Again, not every post needs to be a sales pitch or “look what cool thing I’m doing” post. Post community or industry relevant news that your audience will find valuable. Post humorous (but tasteful) posts that increase your likeability. If you are using more graphics-focused platforms (like Instagram), put care into making your content visually appealing. Stay away from controversial subjects (unless that is your business.) Be informative, helpful and offer value at every turn – put yourself in your customers shoes, what kind of content is worth your time? If you aren’t sure, be it never hurts to ask….
Think about running a brief survey to get a better read on your targeted audiences needs. When you are client-focused rather than sales focused, it is very apparent, so make a rule for every one “sales” post…. post 2 community posts.
Create Engaging Campaigns
Create focused and well planned campaigns rather than posting randomly. Some ideas:
- Host a challenge or a contest month that makes sense with your brand. Post regularly in regards to this special time for your business. If you are giving something of value away and are creating an opportunity to win, your audience will be more receptive to a slightly higher volume of content.
- Run a contest that includes your audience tagging friends and also answering a question that is helpful to you in learning about your audience. When they do so, they will be entered to win in a drawing that you will follow through on with choosing a winner(s). This spreads the word as warm referrals to the friends and family that they tag or the friends that see the post. It boosts credibility and trust while attracting new followers. It is also an opportunity to learn more about your target audience.
- Use seasons and holidays to your advantage to add variety to your posts. Consider doing an annual giveaway to help build routines and anticipation.
- Offer exclusive content, coupons, or promos only to your followers. It creates some exclusivity and helps retain followers.
Use an All-inclusive Scheduler
Auto-Schedulers are powerful tools that allow you to create your content ahead of time and set it up for an auto-post at your targeted times. You can also comment and respond to others through programs like these (Hootsuite is one example of a well rounded tool.) Use a calendar to spread your content out appropriately and if you are concerned with having enough content for all of your platforms, it is okay to post the same type of thing on different platforms. You will likely have a different audience on different social media accounts, so you are less likely to be redundant.
Study Competitors and Partner Strategically
Study how your competitors are engaging your target market. Is there a strategy they are using that may also be beneficial to you? Also, follow others who are influential or related to your product or industry. Can you both benefit from a relationship with each other? Do you have an intersection in your target markets that you can use to add value to customers and each other? Again, back to the baby goods example, often caregivers need to be pampered, perhaps you partner with a local day spa with a giveaway? Special holidays like Mother’s or Father’s day might also be a good day to partner.
What Are You Waiting For?!
With these 8 amazing strategies to market your business with social media, you will bring awareness to your brand and build a loyal community all at little to no cost by reaching out directly to your target audience. In this day and age, you can’t afford to NOT use social media as a go-to marketing strategy.
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July 30, 2019
Mary Elizabeth Dean is an educator with over 10 years’ experience as a teacher and writer. Her educational background includes doctoral studies, a Master’s in Business (MBA), and two undergraduate degrees in science.