Social media is our go-to space for recommendations, be it where to eat, how to dress, what to do, or which movie to watch next, it is also one of the best ways to connect with people who haven’t heard of your brand or who already love your brand.
Getting started with social doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. With these 5 simple social media marketing tips, businesses of any size can reach new markets, build brand awareness, and drive sales.
1. Start with a plan
Social media tools are easy to use and you can get started with organic posts for free, which might make it tempting to dive in and just start posting, but like every good business strategy, using social media for small business needs to start with a good plan.
a) Set social media goals and objectives. – Create goals that are specific, attainable, and timely. For example, aim to acquire customers or raise your sales, rather than simply racking up likes.
b) Research the competition. – How are your competitors using social media?. A competitive analysis can help you learn what’s working and what’s not for other businesses like yours.
c) Conduct a social media audit.- If you’re already using social media, now’s the time to take a step back and evaluate your existing efforts.
d) Find inspiration. – You’ve looked at what your competitors are doing online, but what about other businesses? Take inspiration from other brands doing well online, check their case studies, you can also ask existing customers what they want to see more of, then give them exactly what they ask for.
2. Decide which platforms are right for you
Don’t make assumptions about where your audience spends their time online. Your instinct might tell you that if you’re targeting millennials, you should skip Facebook and focus on Instagram, but the data shows that 84% of millennials still use Facebook.
To make sure you’re using social media for business effectively, you’ll need to conduct some research of your own to help you to understand where your specific audience spends their time online. Remember you can use different social channels to reach different audiences or to meet different business goals.
On the surface, the posts look identical. But they use different types of social media marketing eCommerce strategies. While the Facebook post links to a campaign page, the Instagram post uses Instagram shopping to allow people to purchase the featured bag with just a couple of clicks.
3. Know your audience
One reason using social media for business is so effective is that you can micro-target your audience. Start by compiling data on your current customers, then use social media analytics to dig deeper. You’ll start to develop a clear idea of who’s buying from and interacting with you online.
4. Build relationships
The unique benefit of social media marketing for small businesses is that it allows you to talk directly to customers and followers. You can build relationships over time, rather than asking for a sale upfront. A lot of digital consumers use social media to research new brands or products and part of that discovery is getting to know who you are as a brand and what you stand for.
When people engage with your content, it’s a great idea to engage back, this helps build trust and a loyal following which can develop into sales over time. For example, (Sunwoven) has a dedicated fan base of 121k on Instagram, she is very interactive with her followers, responds to their questions in a timely manner, and posts very engaging content.
5. Share compelling visuals whenever you can
People have come to expect social posts to include a visual component. More than half of the customers said their most recent buys were based on images they saw on social media. Let’s face it, if your content doesn’t look good, no one will stop scrolling to read what you have to say.
For service businesses, in particular, great imagery can be a bit of a challenge, maybe you can showcase your company culture with photos or videos from inside your office or highlight photos of your customers, another option is to use stock photos. There are plenty of free, high-resolution photos online that you can use in your posts, if you’re looking for GIFs, check out Giphy.