Why should you use social media to grow your business? Well, social media is an excellent way for small businesses to connect with their customers and prospects. There are nearly 2.62 billion social media users in the world. That number is expected to grow to 3 billion by 2021.
If done right, social media can skyrocket your sales and market presence. Besides, marketing on social media platforms, unlike traditional marketing, does not cost arm and leg. Therefore, your small business can afford it and use it to reach a broad target audience without breaking the bank. For instance, you can promote to thousands of users with a single post on your online accounts. Unfortunately, most small business owners do not feel social media savvy. If you’ve been wondering how you can use social media to grow your small business, here are some expert tips to help you out.
- Start with a plan and decide which platforms are right for you
Just like other forms of marketing, social media marketing requires a plan. Thus, you must:
- Set measurable goals and objectives. Your goals ought to be SMART and focus on factors such as improving conversion rates and lead generation.
- Conduct an audit to determine which platforms your target audience uses, which audience is already connecting with you, and how your presence measures up against competitors.
- Create new accounts or improve existing ones in line with your goals
- Create a social media calendar and include the times you will be posting content
- Test, evaluate, and adjust your strategy. You can analyze metrics like sharing on Facebook to see which content interests your audience and make adjustments based on that data.
Since there are a lot of social media platforms, you do not have to be present at all. Instead, leverage the two or three platforms your target audience uses most based on the data you obtained from the audit. Doing so will allow you to create appropriate marketing content for the platform you want to utilize. For instance, if you prefer to focus on photos and videos to promote your brand, a multimedia-sharing platform like Instagram may work best for your business.
- Focus on your target audience
A strong social media presence isn’t about how often you post. It is about how useful your content is, compared to the sea of content that your competitors are generating. Customize your content for your target audience and ensure that the content speaks to them in their language. To appeal to your audience, you must understand important demographic factors such as their age, location, gender, and pain points. If your business sells car spare parts, focus on sharing valuable information and tips that build trust with car owners.
It’s helpful to pay attention to what your audience wants to see. If you fail to catch their attention when they come across your brand, you may lose them forever. Thus, it’s advisable to ensure your content speaks to the right people.
- Balance human and promotional content
Gaining customers is one of the primary end goals of social media marketing. However, this does not mean that every caption you use should be a sales pitch. Self-promotional is not only pushy but also gets old quickly. Hence, the majority of your posts should be humanized. Have a brand persona and personality that people can relate to. Also, encourage your audience to engage with you and let them know the faces behind your products, that is, your employees.
Furthermore, you need to be careful when posting on social media sites, as there may be restrictions to what you can and can’t post. For instance, if your account on Facebook gets flagged for inappropriate content, it may be difficult to figure out how to get out of Facebook Jail. This means you can’t post anything on your account or communicate with your audience. If this happens, your business’s growth and income may be affected. Thus, it’s vital to be meticulous and strategic when posting promotional content.
- Be visual
Attention spans on social media are very short. It takes a user a fraction of a second to move from your post to the next if your content is not appealing. According to 67% of marketing decision-makers, using photos, videos, and infographics boosts engagement. It also allows you to showcase your products and services. Always make sure that the visual asset you use is relevant to the content and the audience.
You can create a uniform look for your content so your audience can recognize your brand easily. For instance, you can use a specific color palette or font guideline to make all your posts consistent.
- Write eye-catching captions
As much as it is good to have visual content, a boring caption will dissuade audiences from viewing your content. To make your captions captivating:
- Tell a story: instead of introducing your product as the best, tell a story behind it. For instance, tell the audience what inspired you to make or sell a product/service.
- Proofread your captions to ensure that they have no embarrassing typos
- Avoids clichés and use powerful phrases that sell such as remember, new, off, and tips instead of ones that repel such as hurry now
- Seek a second opinion about every caption
- Prioritize quality over quantity
- Use humor where possible
- Keep an eye on competitors
Looking at what competitors are posting sparks creativity. Moreover, it helps you identify the content that interests your target audience. Check what other top brands are posting, the hashtags they are using, and the posts that are generating lots of comments and shares. Also, look at the influencers that are interacting with your competitors and follow them. Ensure that you spark a conversation with these influencers to see if they’ll engage you and talk about your product too. Imitate the good things that your competitors are doing. Be careful not to copy too much as that is bad business.
You can also try other methods you think will help boost your business’s presence online. For instance, you can conduct special promotions that engage your audience and encourage them to patronize your brand.
If you are serious about social media, it can take your business to the next level and help you save on advertising costs. Always remember that quality matters more than quantity when creating content. Make sure that your content shows a consistent brand image. Lastly, utilize popular hashtags in your field to make it easy for your audience to find you. Be careful not to use too many hashtags on a post or too long ones that will make readers lose interest.