In-Depth Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses
Is your business a startup or a small business? Then you are likely to be wearing many hats, i.e., with limited human resources at hand, you’re doing more than one role in the business.
Some areas, like marketing, seem easy to do, so you’ve probably taken this task on, only to discover a lot more to it. It’s taking up too much of your precious time, mainly when you include social media – which is a job in itself when businesses take it seriously.
Social media is more than something you can get around to using at some stage. If your business is not using it, it’s missing out on customers, advocates, and supporters. In social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube, where you can readily become an influencer, the world’s your oyster so to speak and you can communicate with everyone!
Marketing, & Research
Social media is an excellent tool for marketing, and it’s also ideal for research insofar as it’s a window into how your business is perceived. There are 4.55 billion social media users globally so it’s a marketer’s best friend for creating a community and working out which content resonates with users.
On all the leading social media sites, you can ask questions and get feedback. A trending post or video can make or break a brand. It’s safe to say every company striving for success wants to know whether their customers and followers like the products, services, and brand! A small caveat emptor here – we recommend using your good judgment when assessing feedback and comments. Not all will be true.
However, for startups particularly, feedback is welcomed in any form, as it can drive the business forward in the same or a different direction. It makes you wonder, though, with the power of social media, who control businesses – consumers or owners! 🙂
Let’s get into the strategy. This article will cover what you need to do to have a strategic plan that aligns with your business objectives.
Social Media Strategy
You’ll want to set goals for your social media strategy to get started. Ask questions like:
- Which industry are you in? – B2B or B2C? Are you in a service-based industry?
- What are competitors doing? – Look for inspiration from leaders in your industry.
- What do you want to achieve with social media? – Drive new customers or more sales? Increase brand awareness?
Social Media plan
Create a strategic social media plan that includes the following:
- Investment – your time and money
- Content Strategy – what content you will create, where it will reside and how to share it
- Analysis – Measure activity
- Reward – Give your followers a reason to stay and share
You’re in business to make money, and it needs startup funds and ongoing working capital, which should, as soon as possible, come from the profit made on your sales. However, marketing is often overlooked and, therefore, under-resourced. Whether it’s your time or money, it costs your business, so you’ll want a healthy return on investment. The good news is it’s measurable, so you can change tact as required to get a great result.
Once you’re familiar with the best platforms for your business, set aside time to regularly view their analytics to find out how often customers use social media and other channels to refer friends or family to your business.
Set up tracking on your website on your online products’ URLs and website pages and posts so you can track all inbound activity. Measurement is everything. It empowers you to understand your website visitors and what brings them to your site. It also informs you which type of content is of interest to them. Then all you need to do is more of it.
Content has never been so important. SEO practitioners dedicate many resources to improving their client’s DA (domain authority) and PA (page authority).
Regularly create, and publish unique content on your website, ideally in a blog. Then share it on social media so you’re actively engaging with your audience in a meaningful way. By sharing links to content, you’re also giving your followers a reason to like, share and add a comment, so their followers and yours can engage further.
Also, commit to content publishing on other reputable websites. This will help grow your reach, i.e., their visitors can learn about you and your business. This is called content marketing, a strategy that’s now generating $$billions in advertising and SEO services revenue.
Small businesses can act on feedback from engagement faster than big box companies or retailers. You can easily tune into what your customers tell you and immediately change your services. Processes etc., to suit them. Therefore engagement is hugely valuable to startups and SMEs. If a small business isn’t engaging with its customers on social media, chances are success will be harder to achieve. For example, 29% of people are more likely to visit a competing business if they’re ignored on social media.
There is a time to reward your loyal followers. Acknowledging their worth to you is smart. Set up a competition that rewards the winner/s with a discount or gives away or maybe a donation to a charity of their choosing. We all like to know we’re appreciated.
Guide For Getting Started On Social Media
Get started with this guide, and you’re on your way to improving your small business social media presence.