Social media marketing for small businesses has taken off over the past few years as more than 3.6 billion people are using social media. That number is projected to continue to climb.
That’s a lot of people considering the global population is somewhere between 7 and 8 billion.
In fact, you probably use social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, or one of the countless others for your personal use. If you do, you’re continuously exposed to social media marketing (SMM).
Do you “like” your favorite music artist? Have you shared the news that your favorite show is coming out with another season? If so, you’re experiencing their SMM campaign. Get likes, share content, creating buzz around their brand. Rinse. Repeat.
You can see where we’re going with this. There are a lot of eyes in social media and companies want those eyes to turn into sales. While SMM may seem like any other marketing such as developing an elegant website or SEO targeting your customers, it is altogether different.
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing is a marketing technique which leverages social media networks to sell your business’s products or services. This of course is the most basic way to explain it.
In essence, social media platforms have massive user bases. Millions – in some cases billions – of people. How do you get even some of those people to buy your product?
You can engage in SMM by posting content, interacting with customers, and ultimately lure them deeper into your sales funnel.
Of course it’s more complicated than simply posting and the sales start flowing in.
There are numerous factors involved when determining to employ social media marketing for your small business. Who is your customer? Which social media network do you want to use? Do you want to run ads simultaneously? How often do you want to post? These are just some questions to get you thinking about the direction you want to go when developing a SMM campaign.
Can social media marketing help my business?
Social media marketing, if done right, can help any small business. Keep in mind that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to SMM.
Different business types have to approach SMM differently. For example, the social media networks have different types of users and display different types of content. Facebook is typically an older crowd with an average age of 40 in the United States. That might not be your ideal customer’s demographic.
SMM is great for getting your brand noticed and in front of thousands of people. Brand recognition can go a long way in
Once your brand is recognized and known and you have a following of some potential customers, you can start interacting with them. Whether that is through posts of your previous projects or asking them questions using polls, you can start a dialog with your follwers.
Over time some of your followers may share your posts or tell their friends about your page and they like it. Now you’re interacting with them and your followers continue to grow.
So what do you do with all of these followers? Periodically throw some sales or deals into your posts. Don’t over do this because you don’t want to spam them. With some time you may turn these followers which were once potential customers into paying customers buying your products or services.
Tips and tricks for getting the most out of SMM
You’re now convinced that SMM is for you, let’s talk about some ways you can make the most of social media marketing for your small business.
Ever come across a Facebook page that has not posted anything new in months? You start to wonder if they’re still even open for business. You don’t want that look.
To gain some traction with SMM you need to post regularly and post consistently. Going back to what we mentioned earlier about spamming, followers don’t want to feel spammed; however, regular content once daily or every couple days or so is a decent schedule. There is definitely a balance between spamming your followers (resulting in them unfollowing you) and engaging your followers.
With each post try to include a relevant and intriguing image of some sort. Whether it is a photo of your product or an interesting infographic, a picture says 1,000 words. If you have a video, that is even better! Studies show that images get more views and clicks than plain text and video does even better than images.
While you’re at it, and assuming the intellectual property is yours to use, slap your logo on the image or video. This helps in brand awareness, shows everyone who came up with that brilliant post, and when your followers share the post your branding will go along with it.
Before you close out the post make sure you throw some identifiable hashtags on it. Whether it is your business’s hashtag (i.e. #ArborGreenDesign but keep in mind you down own a hashtag so anyone can use it), or other hashtags to link your post with themes (#SmallBusiness), others will be able to find your posts more easily.
Now that you’re posting regularly, gaining some traction with some new likes and followers, keep engaging your customers. When a customer comments on your post or sends you a message, respond to it politely and quickly. Others will see how you treat your followers and your business will be judged accordingly. Even if you have a nasty follower comment, take the time to respond with tact.
There is definitely a lot to unpack when it comes to social media marketing for small businesses. There is no overnight success with it, just like SEO, but with time and consistency you’ll build a following and have a nice pool of interested customers.
Dedication is key to continue to come up with new content ideas, keep posting images and videos, keep following up with comments, but it’s okay. You’re not alone.
We’re here to help with your SMM! Everything from setting up your profile to make it look great and professional, to developing new content, to responding to comments – we do it all.