6 Social Media Tips for Your Successful Small Business
Without customers, it is hard for any business, big or small, to survive. Why use social media to pursue potential customers? Because that is where most of them are. Social media projections indicate that by 2021, there will be at least 3.02 billion social media users across the globe. More and more, businesses are embracing social media as a marketing tool due to its effectiveness in finding and connecting with new and existing customers. Though social media helps in building awareness, driving sales, and acquiring new customers, it will have little to no impact if it is done wrong.
The following 6 tips will guide you on how to do it right.
Limit the number of social media platforms
There are quite a number of social media platforms in the world today and they keep increasing. It might be tempting to try getting into as many as possible to widen your business’ reach, but that is actually counterintuitive. Rather than struggling with a dozen or more social media platforms, a small business owner should choose two or three platforms and optimize them. Study your audience and establish what platforms they use most. Google analytics can help know what social media apps your website visitors use.
While you will not copy each of your competitor’s moves, it can also help to check what platforms they use and whether their social media strategy is effective. This will enable you to narrow down your options, after which you can learn the ropes on how you can leverage them to your advantage. Focus on offering consistent quality content to your audience.
Plan, plan, plan
It can be tempting to dive right in and start sharing content. However, social media marketing, as simple as it seems, requires that you have a clear and realistic strategy. The lack of proper planning is the most common cause of most social media marketing failures. What goals should the social media platform achieve? Do they align with your company’s goals? If not, how can they be fine-tuned so that they align?
For instance, if you choose to use Facebook, the number of likes does not imply higher sales or more leads. Find insights on what your audience expects from you and tailor your content to meet these needs, but ascertain that each reflects your specific core values and objectives. Perform regular social media audits to have a clear perspective of how your customers perceive you. An audit will help you identify the areas that you need to improve on.
Engage your audience by being active
Laxity is another cause of social media marketing failures. Clients are looking for consistency, and by failing to engage them frequently and consistently, you are only pushing them to your active competitor. Personal involvement with your brand followers is an effective way of creating an emotional bond and strengthening relationships with existing clients. These form a powerful base of brand campaigners.
One way of engaging your audience is by offering a giveaway or hosting a contest. A popular strategy, especially on Instagram, is to offer a giveaway entry in exchange for tagging a number of friends. Ask questions on your posts and establish discussions. Most people are willing to share unbiased opinions. Alternatively, make use of poll functions in social media apps such as Facebook and Instagram. This is a quick way to get a perception of your customers.
Never ignore negative feedback
Negative feedback does not necessarily translate to a ruined reputation, but it could if you ignore it. You should handle complaints and negative feedback by responding quickly and in the right way. Remember that the customer is always right and acknowledge the problem.
Offering an apology and a workable solution is the best way to turn a discontented client into a brand supporter. Explain the situation and provide a discount or a free product or service to lure the client back. Follow-up with the client to ascertain that they are now satisfied. Should the client be quite agitated, it would be ideal to ask for their contact so that you can handle the situation offline. In most cases, negative feedback offers your business a chance to prove that you provide outstanding customer service.
Incorporate visual content in your posts
Humans are visual beings. Visual content is more likely to grab your clients’ attention than plain text. Further, engaging visual content has higher chances of being shared by your customers or even going viral. Visuals can include GIFs, memes, videos, and static images. Taking pictures with your iPhone could be your way of cutting on operational costs, but your audience will expect your business to have a professional social media image. Learn how you can take professional images or videos on your smartphone if you prefer to DIY on the cheap.
Alternatively, seek the services of a professional. The old saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words” might sound cliché, but while a hazy photo might look fine on Snapchat, it will not look as fine when viewed on Facebook using a desktop. It might not completely ruin your reputation, but it can have a negative impact, especially when you become known for sharing shoddy images frequently.
Personalize your social media accounts
Social media is all about having fun. It offers an effective way for a business to hold two-way conversations with their customers. This can further be achieved once you personalize your engagement with your clients. Subtly promote your company by creating content that is not self-serving at least half the time. This can be achieved by highlighting your employees or even customers and sharing their story or what’s unique about them, or even finding content online that will be valuable to your audience. Using holidays that are popular with your followers is also an effective way of personalizing your social media engagement.
The role that social media plays in promoting a small business cannot be ignored. Running social media accounts as an amateur could be daunting and ineffective in the long run. To realize its full potential it would be better to hire a skilled professional to manage your business’ accounts. This does not mean that they will be working in a vacuum. Rather, they should seek ideas and feedback from you and each of your team members.