When talking to small business owners about their social media marketing, I find that they usually understand that this tactic provides opportunities to engage with both current and future customers, and consequently promote and grow their business.
But, I also found that many are struggling to make social media work for them and when sales do not reflect their expectations … THEY GIVE UP! sometimes too early.
Unfortunately when they drop out, they are left at a competitive disadvantage. Because having a social media presence is becoming a must for businesses. Social media is now part of our everyday life and influences customers’ purchase decisions.
Social media is about being social, engaging with customers and prospects, and building trust. This takes time, commitment and a good strategy.
Related post: 10 Steps to a Successful Social Media Strategy
Before you give up on social media, ask yourself those questions:
1| What are you trying to accomplish with social media?
- Generate new leads?
- Build brand awareness?
- Engage your customers?
- Improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
2| Who is your target audience?
You have to reach your customers through the media of their choice so it’s important to define your target market.
If Facebook and/or Twitter help you serve your clients’ needs and interests then you should consider an effective strategy to help you capitalize on those opportunities. But, those channels may not be a good fit for every business.
Depending on your goals and target audience, other platforms can give you a better ROI. Consider:
- LinkedIn, if you are a B2B (Business to Business).
- Pinterest, if women are your target market and you are selling merchandise online.
- Google+, if you are trying to leverage social media to improve SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
- YouTube to show your target market how to use your product or
- Instagram, if you have visual content that is shareable and will interest a younger audience.
3| Do you have a social media budget?
Although it’s free to set up your business pages on most platforms, organic growth is slowing down. It makes social advertising a necessity for business owners if they want to reach more customers especially on Facebook.
Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn are also following this trend. Establish a social media budget because, at the end, social media is still a cost effective marketing tactic for a small business.
4| Who is going to manage your social media?
You or someone who understands your business goals should write the content and manage your platform (s).
It’s important to consistently post to your social media channels to engage followers and turn them into customers.
5| What should you write about?
The content you share with your followers shouldn’t continually be attempting to sell them something. Instead, share valuable information and stories with your customers and prospects such as:
- Company blog posts or articles
- Tips and advice related to your industry
- Fun facts about your products and services
- Reminders about specials, coupons, or discounts
- Your activity with local charities or non-profits
- Behind the scenes photos or videos
- Your followers want to support your business, engage with them by asking or answering questions, thanking them for re-tweets, mentions, etc.
Here are 5 tips to help you with your social media marketing:
1| Focus on the one or two platforms that work best for your business and use them really well.
2| Commit to posting a minimum of time per day or week.
3| Save time by taking advantage of social media tools such as Hootsuite or Post Planner to help you schedule your posts and tweets.
Related Post: 16 Social Media Tools For Small Businesses On A Budget
4| Spread the word online and offline.
5| Use your business blog to create content that can be shared and amplified through your social media platforms and drive traffic back to your website.
Your website or blog should act as your social media home base.