Effective Social Media Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
Social media has become an integral tool for the success of all businesses. While big businesses have the luxury of funds and time, small businesses need to be more strategic and creative in marketing their businesses online.
The biggest pro of using social media marketing for small businesses is that, at a low cost with little maintenance, you’ll be able to grow your brand and expand your reach. But it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Coming up with an effective social media marketing strategy for a small business needs a lot of brain-cracking and guesswork.
Don’t fret, this post has demystified social media marketing for small businesses and has come up with the 8 best strategies for you.
1. Set Goals
You must set smart goals in every part of your business. Most small businesses use social media for marketing but have you ever stopped to see how much you’ve achieved?
What are the results that you want to achieve and within what period do you want to accomplish it? These are essential questions you need to ask yourself. Setting goals is crucial because they help you know what you are going to do and how soon you are supposed to make it happen.
An example of a goal is; to increase my Facebook followers by 20% in the next 6 months. After 6 months you can check back to see if you’ve hit your goal.
Ensure your goals are realistic. Increasing your Facebook followers by 20% might not increase your sales directly, but it will help you grow brand awareness and expand your reach.
2. Choose the Right Platforms and the Right Content
We have many social media platforms out there, each with its distinct features and audience. Thus there’s a lot of room for you to be creative and strategic.
It’s important to choose the best platforms that align with your business and target audience. For example, if your business is B2B, you may need to focus more on Linkedin. Alternatively, if you target a younger audience, Tiktok, and Instagram may be the best platforms.
Also, there’s a need to diversify your content and always be up to date as social media is constantly evolving. Play around with content formats as much as you can. For instance, on Instagram, you can post pictures and reels while on Facebook you can go live, or conduct polls.
Here are some content formats you should leverage:
- Stop motion
- Live streams
Research has shown that small businesses get the best engagement from creating relatable and educational content while large businesses get more engagement by creating interactive content. This makes sense because big brands have been in the space for a while and would have known the interest of their audience.
Small businesses on the other hand are just starting and they have a lot to discover about the social media space, so the best way to grow their audience is by posting educational content.
Also read: How To Use LinkedIn To Grow Your Business
3. Engage your audiences
Communication on social media is a two-way thing, that’s why it’s important to build a good relationship with your audience. While making your posts informative and inspirational, ensure you’re training your audience to interact with your brand.
Respond to comments and direct messages timely. Ask questions, engage them in conversations about trending topics related to your business, and make posts that stir up emotions.
If you’re a business coach, what you’re selling is confidence, success, and business tricks. These are all topics that can easily get your audience glued to your page. Posting about success stories or asking them to share theirs can be a great way to engage your audience.
These engagements are what funnel sales to your business, posting content makes people interested in what you’re selling but these one on one conversations are how you get people to buy from you.
Use Twitter threads and Facebook/Instagram live videos to interact with your customers and know their honest reviews about your brand. This makes customers feel involved and helps you create strong customer loyalty.
4. Schedule your Posts
You’re running a business page, not a personal page so you can’t be posting randomly. Posting consistently shows your audience that the brand is active and serious.
But how do you stay consistent on social media marketing when you have a lot more to take care of? Here’s where technology comes in handy.
There are a lot of platforms that allow you to schedule your posts ahead of time. You can schedule posts for up to a month. This helps keep you consistent and saves a lot of time.
All you have to do is to include a day or two every month that you’ll schedule your posts on all the social media platforms then you rest while technology does the work for you.
5. Define Your Brand Voice
Brand voice is your business’s identity and personality that’s intended to be perceived by your customers. Two brands marketing the same product can have different voices. Puma comes across as confident and brave while Nike is more of being inspiring and optimistic.
Defining your brand voice makes your audience develop an emotional attachment to your brand. Every brand needs a unique voice and narrative to be recognized and talked about.
Building a connection with the audience is more than just offering better discounts than your competitors. The audience needs a brand with a striking personality and voice that they could see as an extension of theirs.
You must note that brand voice and tone aren’t the same. A brand voice is unique and constant while tone depends on the context of the content and it’s not constant.
6. Use More of Niche Hashtag
The importance of hashtags in increasing your social media reach cannot be overemphasized. Be smart in your use of hashtags – employ the use of niche hashtags more than general hashtags on your social media posts. Niche hashtags are less populated than general hashtags. They are hashtags that are specific to the audience you’re trying to reach. They mostly include branded phrases, specific locations, and the like. General hashtags on the other hand include generalised phrases and aren’t specific. For example, the hashtag #fashion has over 860 million posts on Instagram, as a small business posting with that hashtag will have your product lost in the masses. But if you use a more specific hashtag like #miamifashion, you’ll easily target an audience interested in your product near your location.
7. Posts more Video Contents
It’s no longer news that videos generate more traction on social media than other forms of content. Statistics show that 72% of social media users prefer to learn about products through videos.
There are a lot of sites that offer tons of templates for videos of different content. You can make use of these sites to make engaging and eye-catching videos that will enlighten your audience more about your product and services.
8. Track the Result of your Social Media Marketing
If you don’t keep track of your social media marketing you won’t know whether social media is helping your business or not. Keep track of your metrics to make adjustments based on performance. Some social media metrics to keep your eye on include:
- Likes, comments, and shares
- Post impression and reach
- Followers growth
- Use of your brand hashtags
- Frequency of brand mentions
- Number of DMs and referrals
- Number of pins on Pinterest
- Number of retweets
- Frequency of positive reviews.
An increase in these metrics indicates your marketing strategies are effective while the opposite of that means you’ve to employ new tricks to reach your target audience.
Here is a video tutorial on how to effectively market your business on social media.
Frequently Asked Questions About Effective Social Media Marketing Strategies For Small Businesses
Question 1: What Social Media Platforms Should I be Using?
Answer: With numerous social media platforms available with the emergence on new platform like Masterdon, Truth and Threads, choosing the right one can be a daunting task. We can’t say which is better, it all depends on your business and your target audience. It’s important you know that any social media platform you choose requires time, energy, and dedication to effectively help in expanding your business. For a start, choose one or two platforms that are more in alignment with your business and where your target audience is most active.
Question 2: What are the Common Mistakes in Social Media Marketing Plans?
Answer: Failure to curate content specifically for each platform is one of the common mistakes small businesses make in social media marketing. While it’s important to cross-post on Facebook and Instagram, you must optimize your post description for each platform. Improper use of hashtags is another common mistake. As said earlier, small businesses should leverage the use of niche hashtags more than general hashtags.
Question 3: Can Social Media Marketing Help My Business?
Answer: There are no two ways about this! Social media marketing can help your business. Statistics by Constant Contract have shown that 73% of businesses have already started using social media and have seen positive results.
Question 4: Can Youtube Help in Marketing Small Businesses
Answer: Videos are among the best ways to pass information to audiences of all age groups. YouTube gets billions of views per day. Let your audience have a peek at your brand through short yet engaging videos.
The key to effective social media marketing for small businesses is posting engaging content consistently. This can be achieved by scheduling your posts ahead of time. You must find a pattern that works for you and your audience to keep engagingly provided in value. Engaging your audience is also important. Reply to messages, set polls, and go live.
An effective social media marketing strategy plays a crucial role in the long-term success of small businesses. Whether it’s a B2B or a small catering brand, if you have a solid strategy you’ll be able to give your brand recognition on social media.