How to Use Social Media Marketing to Benefit Your Business
When you work for a smaller organization or business, you may find yourself with more tricks in your hat than Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat. One of those tricks may be to run multiple social media profiles across different platforms. We understand why this task may seem tedious or overwhelming, but it is 100% necessary for the success of your small business. Paying for a billboard, radio ad, television commercial, or flyers just isn’t enough anymore in our technology-driven age.
Let us show you how having a small business on social media actually gives you an advantage, how to save money on advertising by running your social media profiles, how to set goals, and to wrap up reasons you should prioritize your social media efforts.
Small Businesses Actually Have the Social Media Advantage
When you own a small business, you are probably always looking for new ways to engage with potential clients or customers. The truth is, small businesses actually have an advantage on social media over big businesses because social media effectiveness boils down to engagement. If a business is unable to engage with its customers, their chances of success from social media marketing is slim.
Small businesses are community-based and individual focused: You don’t have to worry about a huge customer-base because you will typically find yourself community-based. Social media will allow you to interact with individuals who are interested in your brand and engage with people curious about your products or services. One way you can increase customer engagement is to ask your followers to share pictures, post reviews, interact with your posts, and even answer questions about your services when others ask.
Social Media Marketing is Less Expensive than Most Advertising
Facebook and other social media offer some paid features, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money (if any) to be successful on these platforms. Having a business page is completely free! It is easy to update your followers on promotions, new products, sales, or even just industry information. Don’t forget! Photos are worth a thousand words.
Your current customers that follow your social media will be great brand ambassadors. By offering small giveaways or discounts on your products/services when a current follower shares your post can help promote engagement from potential clients as well.
Setting Social Media Marketing Goals for Your Small Business
One of the best steps you can put into your social media efforts is to pre-plan and set goals. Many small businesses make the mistake of offering too many promotions, posting too much, or posting too infrequently to fully engage with their audience. Setting goals to make sure you are driving the right kind of traffic to your social media is essential.
- Brand Awareness: this is a worthy goal of your social media. You want people to know about your brand so when they wake up one Tuesday wanting a product/service you offer, they think of you first.
When your goal is brand awareness, you should be sure to track things that show increased engagement like followers, likes, shares, and comments.
- Public Relations: another worthy goal of social media. You want to know what people are saying about your business and respond to complaints in a timely manner to show others that you mean well and that issues will be resolved quickly.
In order to track PR goals, make sure you note your company’s mentions, reviews, and even star ratings.
- Driving sales: Obviously, the number one goal of any marketing effort is going to be to drive sales of your product or service. We haven’t listed this one first because companies that forget to focus on the small details are likely to be unsuccessful in increasing their sales using social media.
To track sales from social media, make sure you are tracking increased web traffic, click through rate, and clicks to landing pages from your profile.
Other Reasons to Prioritize Social Media Marketing
Engagement: Unlike traditional marketing efforts (a radio ad, a flyer, or even a billboard), customers can engage with the content you share on social media in the form of likes, shares, and comments. Shares are our personal favorite because it means our customers are so happy with their service that they want to share it with their friends.
When a customer comments on your post, you have the opportunity to engage with them by replying. Nurturing your customer relationship can lead to more sales or utilization of your service in the future.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The goal of SEO is to make sure your business appears on Google and ranks high enough that people are easily able to find your website. Social media marketing can help drive more traffic to your website, increase your backlinks, and even rank your social profile in the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs) as well. This happens because every share of an article on your website counts as a backlink and as your brand gets noticed and your social media page begins to gain authority, it will appear in the SERPs along with your website.
Viral Potential: Going viral on social media should never be your ultimate goal; however, if you share something that resonates with enough of the social media population, your post could go viral and reach a much larger market than your brand is used to.
Tips on Getting Started with Your Social Media Strategy
When you are first getting started with social media, you don’t have to jump head first into every platform available; however, on the contrary, we believe that your best bet will be to learn one platform at a time before tackling another option.
Consider applying a few best practices to your efforts:
- Post consistently.
- Plan a few posts at a time so even if you only post once or twice a week, you are still actively engaged with your page.
- Types of posts that we have found to be the most successful:
- Informative/Educational posts
- Engaging Posts (invitations to interact with your brand)
- Respond promptly to comments because engaging with your customers is important
Benefits of Facebook First
Facebook is arguably the most popular no matter where you are located within the United States. A Facebook Business Page can serve your business by allowing people to learn about your brand, find out how to contact you, and where you’re located. Your page also offers a place for current or past customers to share reviews about your products/services. Additionally, you can share photos and videos on your page such as before and after photos, limited time products, customer testimonials, and more.
- Organic Reach: The biggest benefit of a Facebook business page is that it provides opportunities for your content to be shown to new people through likes, shares, and comments.
- Call-to-Action: Language that encourages people to interact with your brand is best. Phrases like “Shop now!” or “Click here for more information” are good ways to catch people’s attention.
- Facebook Ads: While these cost money and aren’t just free publicity like a Facebook Business page offers, ads can further increase your visibility. You can specify who sees your ads based on factors like age, location, and interests.
Social Media Marketing Wrap-Up
Social Media Marketing doesn’t have to be the toughest or most tedious part of your day. Set goals, plan ahead, and reap the benefits of this free advertising source. If you are overwhelmed with the task still, look into free or cheap ways to streamline your posts with services like Buffer (a website service which allows you to schedule posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for specific days and times). The other option would be to hire an agency to manage your social media, like Momentum3 Growth.