Social Media Marketing Basics for Small Businesses
Written by Professional Academy Guest Blogger Sarah Jacobs
Thanks to Social Media, small business owners can now employ marketing and advertising strategies without paying insanely high costs for it. Setting up a Social Media profile for your business is easy and the best part is, you can do it for free!
Yet even though Social Media marketing can be done without costs and difficulties in setting up, it does not mean that you should neglect strategies and particular goals for it. The very reason why you should be using it in the first place is to get results - specifically, to gather leads and sales for the business.
To make sure you get those desired results, below are a few basics in the Social Media Marketing realm that applies to small to medium-sized businesses alike:
Different Platforms Carry a Different Audience and Purpose
At first glance, you might think that every Social Media platform is the same in a sense that they can connect you with thousands or even millions of other users. However, each platform actually has a different set of audience with different attitudes towards decision-making and consumer habits.
On Instagram for example, users are more particular when it comes to aesthetics and lifestyle shots - so you might want to incorporate that whenever you post photos and stories there. Facebook however is more capable of conveying longer posts and stories, so promos and contests are best done through them.
You Don’t Have to Sign-Up Everywhere
Since each type of Social Media has a different type of audience and purpose, you don’t have to sign up in every one of them. You only have to make use of Social Media that coincides with the type of people you are targeting.
Business-to-consumer (B2C) companies for example can make use of Facebook and Instagram, but business-to-business (B2B) companies are more suited in platforms like LinkedIn, GooglePlus and Twitter (though Twitter is also good for B2Cs). Focus your energy on maintaining just a handful of Social Media platforms that are most effective and beneficial to the business.
Follow-Up Your Social Media Efforts With Another Strategy
Social Media is powerful because it can reach hundreds or thousands of people at a time, but your presence alone cannot really inspire action from your target market unless you put in more effort. Sure, some might be convinced to try out your product for a first time, but how do you make sure that they actually purchase again?
This is why you should complement your Social Media efforts with other marketing and business strategies. Couple it with an email marketing campaign, or make partnerships with online retailers that can make transactions between you and your customer easier once they decide to purchase the second time around.
Monitor Engagement to Improve Your Reach
Let’s face it, some of your posts are not exactly popular compared to some other posts you made the other week or from the other month. That’s just how Social Media marketing works. Some posts can easily resonate with the audience, but there are times when most of the audience would not really care about what you have to say, or what you have to show.
So to know what your audience wants to see and hear from you via Social Media, the only way to do it is to monitor which of your posts garnered the most likes and comments. You can also take into account the time of posting, length and nature of the post. Was it a promo offer? Was it a customer story or testimonial? The type of content may be a crucial factor too.
Consider Using Paid Promotions
Although Social Media is easy to set-up and is then reachable to anyone who is online, the fact still remains that many users still have the choice when it comes to the type of content that they want to consume. Even if your page is already done, people won’t still find it if they are busy with their own social network only. One way to break that barrier however is to make use of paid ads or promoted posts.
Social Media owners give paid posts a chance to be seen by a bigger audience. It is exposed to a larger number of people that fit your target market (determined by age and location) which can easily garner you more leads in a short period of time.
Put Customer Service First
Communication is the main purpose of Social Media, and your customers will primarily use it to ask queries about your products, follow-up on their orders and give feedback (whether positive or negative). Your Social Media presence is of no use if you don’t get back to your customers as soon as possible.
Communication should be a two-way street, and if customers notice that you are not responsive through these channels, they would be more inclined to not transact with you again. The way you respond is also crucial. Remember how some companies went viral because they were rude on Social Media? Yup, you might want to avoid that from happening.
Take Your Time
You can’t find Social Media success in just a month, you still have to nurture leads, boost posts and engage with the audience as much as possible before garnering thousands of likes and interactions. So if you are having a slow start, don’t fret! Take your time and observe constantly which type of posts and strategies worked the most.
Social Media presence is not just about setting-up your page, it is also about constantly updating your page with informative content, contact details, updates, announcements and policies that might concern your customers. Moreover, you also need to answer customer queries and concerns from there.
It might be said that Social Media marketing is a 24/7 job, because your pages stay online anytime and anywhere, and people can access or write on them whenever they want. This should not mean however that you have to put someone to man your pages 24/7, you can still limit interactions and postings within the normal business hours of each day.
Sarah Jacobs is an experienced writer who loves creating articles that can benefit others. She has worked as a freelance writer in the past making informative articles and fascinating stories. She has extensive knowledge in a variety of fields such as technology, business, finance, marketing, personal development, and more.
Find out more about her company here: http://www.lea-p.com/
If you would like further information, you can visit our Digital Marketing Qualification (DMI) information page, download a copy of our DMI Qualifications brochure or contact a qualifications adviser today.