If you’re like many small businesses, you may be jumping on the social media bandwagon in an attempt to increase your visibility and reach customers. But, like many small businesses, you probably aren’t sure how to create a social media marketing strategy for your businesses. You might have heard that “social media is a great way to get more customers” but don’t know how much time or effort it will take to actually see results.
How to start social media marketing for small businesses
Social media marketing is a great way to reach out and connect with your customers. It’s also an excellent way to promote your products or services, especially if you have a small business.
Since social media is so popular today, it would be impossible for any company—no matter how big or small—to ignore it. If done correctly, social media marketing can help you build brand awareness and increase sales in your industry!
So how do you start? We’ve compiled some tips for getting started and managing your social media presence.
Start with your business goals
Before you can tackle any kind of marketing, you must answer some important questions. What are your business goals? How does your brand fit into the larger picture of the industry in which it operates? Who is your target market and what do they want from their products and services?
If you don’t have these answers, or if they aren’t clear to you yet, now is the time to start asking. The more data and information that you have going into each step of the process will help ensure that everything goes smoothly later on.
This is because it’s important to remember that success looks different for every business. You don’t want to compare yourself to others’ successes or failures, but instead focus on what is best for your company and its specific needs.
Audit your current social media strategy.
Before you can put together a plan to improve your social media marketing for your small businesses, you need to assess what’s going on with your current strategy. In order to do this, ask yourself the following questions:
- What are our marketing goals?
- What are our strengths and weaknesses?
- How can we use social media as part of our overall marketing strategy?
- What is our competition doing on social media (and what is working for them)?
- What are customers saying about us on forums or blogs, Facebook or Twitter—or anywhere else where people might be talking about us!
Write a clear, specific social media marketing plan.
A social media marketing plan is an essential part of your overall digital marketing strategy. It should be a document that outlines your goals, what you’re trying to achieve, and how you will measure success.
The best way to create this document is by starting with the end in mind: what do you want people coming away from their experience with your brand feeling? How will they feel about themselves after interacting with your page? Then, once you’ve determined the feelings that are most important for the user experience on each platform, it’s time to think about how those feelings relate back to the business objectives of each channel (contacting customers, selling products). From there, consider how those business objectives can be achieved through social media activities (for example: posting content on Facebook).
Once all of these elements have been mapped out and prioritise. Determine whether or not something should appear on social media —things like timing and frequency—in order for them not only work together but also complement one another as much as possible without compromising quality or consistency in terms of messaging or tone.
Build and nurture relationships.
To be successful with social media marketing in your small businesses, you need to build and nurture relationships. Social media is not a place to advertise your products or services. It’s a place where people go to interact with other people.
You can connect with your audience in many ways:
- Post content that is relevant to them and share it often
- Respond quickly if someone comments on something you posted
- Encourage engagement by asking questions or commenting on others’ posts
- Use hashtags (e.g., #smallbiz) so that people in the same industry can find each other
Social media marketing can be an effective way for small businesses to build relationships with current and potential customers. The key is consistency. You need to post regularly on social media or else your audience will forget about you. When you use these tips, you’ll find that social media is a great way to connect and build relationships. It’s also an opportunity for you to show off your expertise.
Optimise for mobile.
This is a big one. If you’re not optimising your site and social media profiles for mobile, you’re missing out a portion of your audience. If people are going to spend time on your content, it needs to be easy to read and navigate from a phone screen. The same goes for ads: make sure they’re optimised for mobile so that people can easily click on them!. Remember that many businesses are still catering primarily to desktop users (and may not even know what “optimise” means). This is an area where small businesses have an advantage over larger ones.
Optimise for analytics and tracking.
It’s important to optimise for analytics and tracking. You need to know how your audience is interacting with your content, whether it’s a blog post or social media update. You also need to know how they’re interacting with your website and social media accounts. This information can help you determine which channels are most useful for reaching the right people, as well as what types of posts resonate best with your target market.
And remember: analytics aren’t just about understanding the past; they’re an essential part of planning for the future as well! The more data you have on who’s consuming what content when and how often, the better equipped you’ll be at creating more effective strategies in the future (and preventing mistakes).
Analytics is also useful for measuring against competitors. You can see how many times they’re posting per month and on what platforms, which ones get more engagement than others, etc. This will give you an idea of what works best so you can optimise your strategy accordingly.
Promote your content on social media.
Promoting your content on social media is an essential part of your overall strategy. Use the right tools to do this, such as:
- Hashtags. It’s important to use hashtags on Twitter and Instagram so people who search those terms will find you. The same goes for Facebook posts—use a few relevant hashtags so the users can find your post more easily.
- Social media ads. If you have the budget for social media advertising, it’s a great way to reach a large audience. You can promote something specific like an event or sale price on one of your products or services. You can also target specific demographics using age ranges, gender preferences and location filters in ad platforms like Facebook Ads Manager or Google AdWords. Express if you want even more precision when choosing who sees what pieces of content from which brands!
- Social media influencers/influencer marketing campaigns (SEMI) are another way of reaching targeted audiences through word-of-mouth advertising.”
Experiment with new ideas and test what works.
It’s important to experiment with different ideas and see what works. It’s not only about what you’re trying to do, but also the platform you’re using. A video or image that works on Facebook might not work on Twitter. You can also test different types of content, such as live videos or text-based posts vs photos or GIFs. When it comes to advertising your business, there are a lot of options:
- Ads on social media sites
- Banner ads on websites (paid search)
- Sponsored content like blog posts or tweets that appear in someone else’s feed (organic search)
- Promoted accounts and pages (Facebook) and more!
In general, the more you can get your ad to stand out from other advertisers’ ads (paid search) and content creators’ content (organic search), the better it will perform. You want people who come across your content on social media sites to recognize immediately that this is something useful or entertaining—not just another piece of filler.
Use the right tools to manage your social media accounts.
Social media management tools can help you keep track of your accounts, post content and schedule posts. You should also use a social media marketing tool to measure how many likes and shares each post gets, so that you know which posts perform best.
Social media management tools will help you to manage multiple social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These tools can also be used for other tasks such as scheduling posts or managing customer service.
There are many tools available to help with social media marketing, including Hootsuite and Hubspot. We recommend using a tool that allows you to schedule posts ahead of time, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to post content on certain days.
To summarise, social media marketing is a great way to reach new customers and grow your business. If done correctly, it can be an effective means of promoting your products or services. However, like any other form of marketing, you must plan carefully before starting your campaign.
Social Media marketing tools
- Social Media Management Tools – (Later or Hootsuite or Co-Schedule). These tools allow you to manage multiple social media accounts, schedule posts and respond to comments.
- Social Media Analytics Tools – ( TapInfluence or Hubspot). These tools give statistics on your posts and how they perform on social media. They includie number of shares and likes, reach, engagement rate and more.
- Social Media Engagement Tools – (Sprout social or Statusbrew). These tools let you find influencers in your niche who can promote or endorse your products or services on their channels by using hashtags such as #ad or #sponsored. The more followers an influencer has, the more likely they are to get attention from others who follow them too!
- Social Media Advertising Tools. The goal of these advertising platforms is to generate leads via ads targeted at specific audiences based on demographics like location or gender; interest categories such as travel enthusiasts looking for deals; keyword searches related to buying patterns, etc. They also allow brands with limited budgets to look into “boosting” certain posts at no cost! The goal of these advertising platforms is to generate leads via ads targeted at specific audiences based on demographics like location or gender; interest categories such as travel enthusiasts looking for deals; keyword searches related to buying patterns etcetera. They also allow brands with limited budgets to look into “boosting” certain posts at no cost!
You can often find one tool that does all or a lot of these – or find a few that you enjoy for different aspects! Be sure to check out different platforms to see which would best serve your company and suit your needs.
Develop a clear, effective strategy that aligns with your business goals.
For you to see success from social media marketing, you need to develop a clear, effective strategy that aligns with your business goals.
To do this, ask yourself these questions:
- What are my goals for social media? Do I want more traffic to my website or more followers on Facebook? Do I want more customer engagement with my brand or better sales results for specific products/services? Are there any specific goals listed in the company’s strategic plan that can be accomplished through social media marketing? Are there external factors (such as competitors) that have an impact on what success looks like in the world of social media marketing and how they affect it?
- Who is my audience and how can I reach them where they live online – via email newsletters, search engine optimization (SEO), paid advertising (PPC), etc.? How much money do I want to spend on this project so far ($0-$5k)? Do we have access to those resources within our organisation already or do we need outside help from consultants/freelancers who may charge per hour or project basis cost?
The answers to these questions will help guide you in the process of finding the most effective strategy for your organisation.
Social media marketing is a powerful tool for small businesses to use. It offers the chance to connect with your customers in a meaningful way, build brand loyalty and trust, and increase sales. But it’s not easy. You need to start with your goals and create a clear plan that will help you achieve them—and then stick with that plan! Don’t be afraid of experimenting with new ideas, but always keep track of what works well so you can repeat it over time.