Social Media Marketing Tips for Small Businesses Owners
If you’re new to advertising and marketing on social media, it can certainly be a bit overwhelming during your initial go. Owners of small businesses generally don’t have a lot of funds available for advertising and marketing, nor do they have a lot of resources to commit to the process. That makes it important to get as much bang for your buck as possible, and to maximize your use of social media so as to achieve the greatest possible return for your company. Here are some tips that will help you get the most out of your social media involvement, and will help you to get the greatest ROI for your market spend.
Establish a regular presence
There’s no doubt that even as a small business owner you should have a regular presence on social media, and in fact that’s one of the best ways of leveling the playing field with larger businesses and corporations. When your company has a presence on social media, it will automatically be perceived as being more authoritative and thoughtful than some of your rivals who lack an online presence.
Even better would be to participate and engage with other users as often as possible, so they can tell that your company is comprised of real caring humans, rather than being a faceless, uncaring corporate giant. Initially, it’s probably better for you to create and send out more frequent posts, as long as you can keep the content of high quality and make it relevant to users.
It’s very important to focus more on getting some exposure in the beginning so that other users can take notice of you and become aware of your presence. Later on, you can begin to refine the message and be more selective in what you post, as well as more focused on a specific target audience you’re trying to reach. After the initial phase of your social media engagement, it will then certainly become more advantageous for you to customize your messages to the target audience most likely to purchase your products or services.
However, once you get going with consistent posts, you should try to avoid over-processing the content you put online. By this, we mean that it shouldn’t be reviewed by 10 people so as to get the language absolutely perfect and as refined as humanly possible. Most users do not respond well to this kind of obvious excess, and instead they prefer content which is comfortable for them to read and understand, like that which is expressed in everyday conversational language.
Which social media platforms to choose
There has been a prevailing opinion for some time that unless you have a presence on Facebook, you might as will not make the effort with any of social media. This is simply not true. In fact, for your business purposes, it’s entirely possible that one or more of the other social networks are better suited to get your message across.
For instance, if your target audience consists primarily of business professionals, managers, and executives, the place you should be establishing a significant presence is LinkedIn. The underlying truth here is that you should be active on those platforms where your customers are most active – it makes no sense for you to have a strong Facebook presence if that’s not where your best potential customers are.
There’s another pitfall you should avoid as well regarding the number of platforms that you are active on. There are no guidelines that suggest you need to be active on as many social media platforms as possible, nor are there any guidelines for choosing the top three or the top two. You should be as active as possible on however many social media platforms that you have the time and resources for. It won’t be effective for you to spread your efforts out over four different platforms and create subpar content for each of them. It’s far better that you focus your efforts on one or two of the social networks and create really high-quality material for your posts.
What kind of content is best?
A good place to start when you’re trying to figure out what kind of content to post regularly is to observe what your most successful competitors are doing. It’s also a good idea to sign up for regular tips and articles from well-known social media experts, so that you can receive inside information on what works best and what doesn’t.
Apart from those tactics, it’s much better to post content that is useful to your target audience and has either informational value or entertainment value. This will help to build up the relationship between your potential customers and your company in a way that will be much more effective than if you just hit them on the head with an advertising blitz. Keep in mind that most users who participate on social media are there for the purpose of being entertained in some way, not to listen to sales pitches.
The golden rule of your content posts should be to primarily engage with customers. Let the marketing come later. Regarding the content itself, it’s always much more effective to use high-quality photos and videos because they increase user engagement significantly. The vast majority of social media users prefer visual content to plain text.
Measuring your success
After you’ve been active on social media for a while, it will become important for you to somehow measure whether you’re being successful in your efforts to reach your target audience. After all, if you don’t know how well you’re doing, you won’t know whether or not something needs changing. To accomplish this, you can make use of the built-in analytics tools supplied by each of the social networks. There are also a number of software applications which do the same thing and will even provide fancy reporting of all the statistics.
The important thing to remember about using analytics is not to over-emphasize the number of followers you have, or how many new users join your group each month. The statistics which should be most useful to your company will be those that tell you how engaged your target audience is, i.e. how many people actually read your posts, how many respond to those posts, and how many demonstrate further interest in your company’s products and services.
Establishing a solid presence on social media is valuable for your brand, as it allows you to engage with your potential and existing customers in a very active community setting. The most important thing to remember: have fun and stay engaged!