5 Best Social Media Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Whether you have a small business or a startup, you cannot disagree with the fact that social media is an essential part of marketing strategy. Anything going wrong on social media can have a negative impact on your business. Here, we’re presenting the five best ways through which you can make your social media marketing strategy work:-

Proper Planning

Many small business owners think social media marketing is simply creating an account and sharing regular updates. However, when they don’t get any positive response, they give up straight away thinking that social media doesn’t work. Conversely, the reality is that they did not make a real plan.

Social Time Scheduling

In social media marketing, the time and the frequency chosen for posting are important. You will have to keep a close eye on the latest ongoing trends that are pertinent to your business. Regular interaction and having conversations with your clients is essential.

Clients’ Engagement

You are required to focus on regular engagement with your clients. A small business owner can engage with clients by promoting their updates, and sharing their views. You are required to reply to their queries, asking them questions, and asking them for their opinions.

Content is Real King

Writing and sharing interesting content with your audience and potential customers should be your main concern. It can play an important role in getting your message across. A great content will attract visitors organically, and they will regain in touch with your business.

Have Some Excitement

Your social channels should be practical as well as they also need to be appropriate. Everyone loves to express amusement, so make time to keep your audience by posting jokes or fun images. Focus on your target, post relevant updates, and keep up pace with the newest trends going in the market.

Some of the social media marketing strategies involve:-

Facebook Marketing: Facebook had whopping billions of monthly active users. You need to be taking full benefit of this most popular social network. We’re here to help with forward-thinking social media strategies including content creation and promotional contests related to your business.

Twitter Marketing: Twitter has become a great place for businesses to connect with customers. Most of the users are more likely to procure a brand followed by them on Twitter, there’s no better place to get started now!

LinkedIn Marketing: LinkedIn is the largest professional network in the world. In the event you’re looking to establish your brand, don’t forget LinkedIn out of your marketing strategy.

YouTube Marketing: YouTube has maintained its position as the top video sharing website in the world, and with over billion hours of video watched every month. In the event, you have commercials, ‘about us’ videos, etc., YouTube is the main property for getting your videos found.

Social Media Marketing Tips for Frustrated Small Business Owners

Are your social media marketing efforts bringing you the results you want?

Do you even KNOW what results you want?

That’s a rather important first step, I’ve learned. When I took an intensive one-day continuing education course on social media for small business a year ago, I must confess to having been completely overwhelmed several times throughout the day. I wasn’t the only one.

To many of us, social media is daunting. It’s one thing to post a cute photo of me and my dog on Facebook. It’s quite another to learn how to use social media as an effective marketing tool that will lead to results – but that doesn’t require an enormous amount of time, energy and money.

Once I determined the results I was looking for – new readers and ultimately, more book sales – I had to ask myself the next obvious question: was posting my dog’s photo on Facebook going to achieve that?

Er… no. At least not directly.

Okay, then how about my tendency to write and post blogs that only a handful of people – the vast majority of whom have already bought my book – will read: is that going to yield more book sales?

You get my drift.

That’s why I took the class. And frankly, sitting in a computer lab for 8 hours, learning about SEO and hashtags, tribes and Google analytics wasn’t just overwhelming, it was exhausting.

Another, ahem, middle-aged writer in the class put it perfectly when she said to our 20-something instructor: “You are a social media native. We are social media immigrants. We’re still learning the language, the culture, the lay of the land… and to be honest, it’s not only frustrating and confusing – most of us don’t even want to be here! We’re here because we have to be. We know we have to learn this so our businesses can survive.”

Here, here!

And even though I didn’t understand half of what the instructor was saying – while patiently showing us on the overhead screens – I dutifully took detailed notes and crossed my fingers they might make more sense later on.

And sure enough, something interesting happened on the drive home. All that the instructor had said started to click into place… as it related to my company.

By the time I got home, I’d stopped perceiving social media networking as yet another ‘marketing thing’ I had to figure out and conquer because I needed the sales – and instead started to view it as an incredibly useful tool that, when used correctly, would help me reach new people who wanted to hear from me.

In other words, the internal barriers I had towards social media started to dissipate.

When I got home, I read through all my notes and highlighted the key points. Then I set a clear, tangible goal of what I wanted to achieve through my social networking efforts (number of website visitors who actually spent time reading my blogs). Then I determined exactly which social media platforms I was going to use and how. Then I made a SHORT list of the tasks I needed to do and when I was going to do them over the next six weeks.

And since the best way to learn something new is to teach it to someone else, I jotted down a few pointers from the course for other small business owners out there who might also be stumbling – frustrated and confused – through the cyber-wilderness called social media.

10 social media marketing tips for the not-so-techno-savvy small business owner:

1. You have to determine what results you want to achieve from your social networking efforts. Increased visitors to your website? Increased product or service sales? Increased number of subscribers to your e-zine?

2. You need to figure out who your market/s is. Then you need to find your market… your peeps, your tribes.

3. You will need to do a bit of trial and error to determine which social media platform/s is best for you to connect with your tribes: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. You don’t need to do them all – and I suggest you don’t even try.

4. Facebook is excellent for connecting with friends and maintaining relationships. In my case, as a writer it is a great way to share snapshots of my life – but not necessarily my writing.

5. Twitter is great for connecting with like-minded people you don’t know. Twitter is a fantastic way to build a buzz about your business or product. Twitter is where I am really starting to see some action, at least in terms of increasing the number of visitors to my website. But this only started to happen once I began using hashtags.

6. Hashtags are really important to use in your tweets because they help target who will see your posts. Hashtags are all about the use of key words that pinpoint your subject matter.

For example, since my book is about grief, I often use #grief when tweeting about the book. And low and behold, Twitter users who are looking for content about grief can find my tweet. So be sure to do a hashtag search first to ensure you are using the correct word/term to reach the people you want to reach.

7. Retweet other people’s tweets! And don’t be afraid to favourite someone else’s tweet now and then, either. Social media is social – it’s not just about you.

8. LinkedIn is not a sales platform (oops). LinkedIn is about connecting to like-minded professionals. It’s a great place to learn about what the people in your industry are up to and to share ideas, job postings, etc. I am also finding that it’s a great way to get readers to visit my website to read my blogs – but ONLY if I take the time to write a brief catchy blurb about the blog (using key words), that will actually catch their attention.

9. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is basically just the key words you need to use in your blog posts, article titles, web pages, tweets, etc so that search engines can find them. Here’s a quick trick to see how search engine optimized you are: Google the key words that pertain to your business and see if you or your business comes anywhere near the first page of rankings (which is where you want to be).

10. Google Analytics tracks your social marketing efforts. You set this up on your website and then you can see who is visiting your site, how long they are staying, which pages they are visiting, where they’ve come from, etc. This is very important because if you don’t know what is working and what isn’t, you won’t be able to tweak your efforts accordingly.

In my experience, using social media to effectively market one’s small business, products and services does take time and effort to figure out.

But once I shifted my attitude from feeling that I had to learn about it to an attitude of embracing the incredible opportunities that social media can offer, I began to realize that as a writer, social media means I can reach far more readers than I could twenty years ago. And I am seeing significantly more visitors to my website… and yes, they are even taking time to read my blogs.

Social Media for Small Businesses

Social media has become an integral part of our day-to-day lives. Businesses of all size and shapes have started making the most of available mediums. Today we will try to anatomize tips on social media for small businesses. There are a plethora of small businesses eyeing social medium to promote their business/services. However, majorly these small businesses are failing or not being able to make optimum use of social media for their business growth. There are many theories and strategies on how to effectively use social media for established brands, but the topic social media for small businesses is seldom addressed. According to Digital state of eMarketing India 2017 Octane Research:

60% small businesses promote their business on social media. 50% focus on SEO and 35% use multichannel marketing funnel.

70% small businesses consider content strategy as their primary marketing activity.

52% business owners are using social media as to efficiently address customer engagement.

More than 20% of business owners said that they are making 50% plus profit using social media.

The primary reasons for the low turnout are uncertainty on an application of social media, calculating return on investment and persuade employees/stakeholders to clinch social media. Hence it is important to address the elephant in the room and analyze how beneficial is Social media for small businesses.

Social media for small businesses is a great way for emerging businesses to generate lead and build a reputation. If regularly updated, social media can deliver more results as compared to traditional mediums. Social media for small businesses gives brands an edge of control over the content that they want to post. Also, since social media is a two-way dialogue process, it helps businesses to instantly identify what is benefitting them. Social media for small businesses also helps generate Word of Mouth, which is one of the best tools for emerging businesses.

Social Media for small businesses | 10 Tips to effectively use Social Media

Define your Target Audience

The first and foremost important part that small businesses should focus on is to define their target audience. This helps small businesses to device their social media strategy accordingly. The target audience should be defined basis age group, sex, location, users’ online behaviors, their likes, interests, and preferences. For niche products, business owners can even target users based on their birthdays, anniversaries and important milestone. Audience targeting plays a very crucial role in the outcome of the results. For e.g.: a local shop selling footwear should not target users with interest in entertainment. The shop definitely won’t get the desired results.

Set achievable goals

Overnight success is a myth. Small businesses must understand this basic fact. Generally, when a new business starts selling on social media, there is palpable excitement is achieving more than set targeted sales. Businesses need to set goals which are upwards and forward. To achieve enormous goals, small businesses start updating social feed with multiple updates in shorter duration. This leads to user’s disinterest in the product/service. The set goals should be in sync with brand’s core capabilities and expertise. For e.g.: if a business is into selling shoes, they shouldn’t set a goal to repair maximum shoes in their area.

Choose the right medium

By now everyone knows, social media is for free. Even paid campaigns can be conducted at a relatively low cost as compared to traditional mediums. It is in this scenario, that we often see small businesses jumping the bandwagon and creating profiles on all the available platforms. Creating social profile doesn’t hamper brand image, but aggressively promoting a brand on wrong platforms can lead to brand losing its potential customers. Hence it is advisable for SME’s to first identify the right platform through which they can maximize their business. For e.g.: If a shoe selling brand tries to aggressively sell on LinkedIn, they won’t get a plausible response as compared to promotions on Facebook/Instagram.

Promote your core product/services

Since each and every business is riding in the social media wave, it is important for a them to promote their core product/services. Nowadays, we see a lot of businesses promoting their services as well as promoting peripheral products/services, which revolves around their core product/services. Majority of the times, this SME’s doesn’t have capabilities to fulfill a requirement, which can lead to a bad word of mouth for their business on social media platforms. Let us go back to our example; if a shoe seller is trying to aggressively promote socks instead of shoes, it is not going to benefit the business in the long run.

Create quality content

Now that we have covered the topics of identifying the target audience, setting achievable goals, choosing the right medium and promoting the right product/services let us now take a look at the type of content a business should promote on their social pages. A business should always focus on creating good quality content rather than not-good quantity content. Even if the business updates their page once in a day as long as it is relevant to their business, advocates about its core products send across a clear message it is considered as a good quality content. Antagonistically, if a business posts multiple updates which aren’t even relevant to the business’s products and services leads to users considering the business as fake/spam. Also, new businesses should try and refrain from promoting other businesses on their social platforms initially.

Create a content calendar

Making a small business successful on social platforms is no small task. It takes a lot of efforts for the businesses to keep up their conversion ratio. One such effort is to create a content calendar. Small businesses must anticipate important events and create a content calendar accordingly. Ideally, a content calendar must be planned a month in advance but an even weekly content calendar is highly recommended. This helps businesses to avoid any last minute hassles, strategize much more effectively and it also helps in creating curiosity amongst its loyal fans/customers.

Test and re-test

Social media is highly unpredictable. The content a business posts today, might not work for tomorrow. Hence, small businesses must always test their content before publishing it on their pages. Testing content also applies to the platform a small business chooses to promote. Small business owners must always don the consumer’s hat before posting about any product feature, updates, schemes or offers. A consumer’s perspective is the key when testing the content that has to be uploaded.

Look for inspiration

Small businesses must always look for inspiration from a competitor who is successful in the same category. Copy pasting competitors idea or content is not the answer. Small businesses must look for the kind of content its competitors are putting up and derive their own strategies subsequently. Inspiring content/stories always make a business to strive to create their own content that is appreciated by one and all. It helps in increasing brand consideration, brand visibility thereby increasing conversions for the business.

Calculate ROI

Even a small promotional budget is not justifiable if there is no mechanism to calculate its return on investment. It is more important in case of small businesses. It is very important for a small business to keep a tab on the budgets allocated to any promotions and the subsequent ROI related to it. If a certain promotion is not doing well or the business is not getting desired results, the brand custodian can always look for other platforms to generate quality conversions.

Analyze and Re-strategize

There can be umpteen instances where a particular campaign/promotion might not work for a business. That doesn’t mean that the promotion is wrong or the product/service is not good. Doing an analysis of the campaign is as important as setting the objective. This helps the business to formulate their upcoming strategies in more effective ways. At the end of every campaign, brands must note down the learning’s from that campaign and identify if the content/idea was appreciated by their fans or not. This helps businesses to skip the non-performing updates from future communications.

Final Thoughts

Social media for small businesses is definitely beneficial and fruitful. If followed correctly, small businesses can benefit tremendously from the power of social media promotions.

Ignite Social Media for Optimal Small Business Visibility

Social media has come close to surpassing almost any other type of communication device known to man. However, with this type of exposure and popularity, how does a small business ignite social media in a way that creates visibility for their business on levels in which they've never realized? Well, here you will discover some important information that deals with small businesses and their ability to use this platform in a way that will drive targeted and relevant traffic to the products and services that they provide. If you aren't currently using this platform in your marketing strategies, the information provided here will be extremely important.

Facebook alone has over 800 million users. 250 million of those users are active at any given time. 100 million of those users are looking for products and services to purchase. 50 million of those users make purchases on a daily basis based on what other users are recommending. Now, this is just Facebook alone. There are other social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Foursquare, MySpace, and Plaxo. If you aren't utilizing these services in any way shape or form, you are missing a vast marketing opportunity for your small business.

Now, it's important to understand that owners really don't have the time required to create a presence in each and every one of these areas. However, a small business cannot afford to wait until they can. In fact, a vast number of owners that have made a decision to ignite social media for optimizing their visibility have seen their numbers drastically increase. In fact, after making a decision, many owners strictly utilize the power of this type of marketing for driving traffic, creating exposure, and marketing their products and services on a consistent basis.

Using this type of marketing that involves Social Networking and Social Bookmarking for your business is more important today than it ever was. In fact, there are so many users that utilize these networks, that at least eight out of every 10 people you talk to will either be using this platform, or know someone that does. So, if you've been thinking about tapping into the exposure and popularity that this platform can provide for your company, it's time to ignite social media, whether via Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, YouTube or any of the various other Social platforms available today, in a way that can optimize your visibility and allow targeted relevant traffic to find the products and services your company provides.