In the digital age, businesses are always looking for new opportunities to capture and maintain the attention of their audience. And as sales through social media continue to rise, many have dipped their toes (or are already neck-deep) into these channels to connect with their target audience – anytime, anywhere.
For small businesses especially, social media marketing can help foster loyal relationships with current customers and those ready to get involved. From the ability to connect with a variety of different audiences over numerous social platforms, to stimulating brand hype, and saving overall marketing costs, social media marketing is one of the most compelling means of audience engagement.
But with attention spans decreasing and audience’s focus wandering, some small business owners can find themselves overwhelmed when they’re getting started but don’t have the time to do a deep dive on their own. That’s why we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you understand social media marketing for small businesses – and never miss a hot new lead ever again.
Setting a social media strategy
Before diving into the Social media marketing for small business’ landscape, it’s important to have a strategy. The best approach might look a little different for every business, but the goals are always the same – set your objective, do your research, create your content, and measure your success.
For you, that could look a little something like this:
First, ask yourself why you’re on social media. Could it be to boost brand awareness? Redirect audience traffic to a website or online store? Give customers a way to reach out? Sell a certain amount of fluffy pink slippers? Understanding what you’re trying to achieve will help you set goals, measure your success and refine your approach.
Just like with any kind of marketing, it’s important to hit the books! A strategy within social media marketing for small businesses should understand the audience they are trying to reach and the other brands they’re up against.
With social media it’s also a priority to uncover any current trends within your target demographic, as these can really influence how much your content resonates. Be sure to jump onto these trends quickly though – social media is a fast-paced industry and trending content can go out as quickly as it came in!
3. Engaging content
For small businesses, valuable content always trumps the quantity of content. The best strategies bring together a variety of styles, formats and approaches, including everything from videos and infographics to text posts and images. While it’s important to use a range of options, it’s also fundamental to look at what’s resonating with your audience. For example, video is taking center stage in many industries as the preferred content, however for other businesses it’s posts with longer captions that are performing the best.
After putting together an engaging, well-researched and goal-driven content plan, it’s important to keep a close eye on your metrics to see how everything performs. Some key metrics to note include:
- Likes, comments, and retweets: Individual engagement metrics on each post are a great way to see which ones are connecting with your audience best.
- Engagement: This is the number of engagements divided by impressions or reach. A high rate means the people who see the post find it interesting.
- Account mentions: Organic mentions that aren’t part of a reply or tagging a brand in an Instagram story without prompting, indicate good brand awareness.
By stepping back and reviewing your approach, you can continually refine your work to ensure you’re always getting the best possible return on your efforts.
Social media marketing for small businesses: which platform?
Small businesses have a world of choice when it comes to social media channels. The biggest challenge is often knowing which ones will be best for your business, which usually depends on your industry and customers. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular options:
The largest social media site in the world with one of the most fleshed-out advertising networks online, Facebook excels with almost all content formats and features a seller marketplace to directly connect audiences with products. A messaging system also allows businesses to communicate with their customers, which is great for service-based organizations that need to manage bookings.
Instagram is the perfect platform for businesses driven by visuals, as it’s focused almost purely on image and video posts. For eCommerce brands, media companies and those in the creative space, Instagram’s colorful persona allows for bold marketing. Businesses can tap into the massive influencer culture, let audiences in behind-the-scenes with stories and set up paid, targeted ads.
The second-biggest social media giant in the world, YouTube is a video-marketing dream. With the ability to host short and extended videos, YouTube is for things that might need a thorough explanation, can visually show-off products, is easily integrated with eCommerce stores and has a phenomenal back-end analytics. You can also invest in targeted video ads to reach a massive online audience.
What was a job search engine has now become a rapidly growing professional platform connecting businesses with other businesses. And it should become part of your social media marketing for small business’ plan. Stand out in your field with a dynamic LinkedIn profile to disrupt and inspire markets as well as build future prospects within your industry.
Another visual-based content platform, TikTok has sky-rocketed in popularity in only a couple of years to become a profound and inspiring social channel. Create short video advertisements to scatter amongst the dances and memes or connect with a myriad of influencers to push products towards a relatively young, but active demographic.
Twitter is a jack-of-all-trades, allowing multiformat microblogging that can connect small businesses with other businesses as well as current and potential customers. A very open chatting dynamic benefits businesses ready to be involved with their audience and quickly build rapport.
A niche channel not to be underestimated, Pinterest is built on inspiration through visual prompts and is also a versatile marketplace. If they’re not making purchases directly from the site, many users use Pinterest as an information resource before eventually committing to a sale. Perfect for creative retail businesses.
A Huge Aspect of Your Digital Approach
As Social media marketing for small business muscles up alongside other popular digital marketing techniques such as email and pay per click (PPC), it’s increasingly beneficial to jump on the bandwagon and get their name and products circling throughout the interwebs.
With so many channels popular right now, LeadOwl understands it can be difficult to choose which platforms suits your business.
That’s why you should always stay in touch with our blog to dig into this seemingly endless marketing rabbit hole - we can assure you it’s worth it! Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest articles in marketing for small businesses with us!