Social Media for Small Business : Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. Businesses of all sizes and shapes are starting to take advantage of the available media. Today we’re going to try out anatomy tips on social media for small businesses. There are many small businesses who are eyeing social media to promote their business/services.
However, most of these small businesses fail or are unable to optimally utilize social media for business growth. There are many theories and strategies on how to effectively use social media for established brands, but the topic of social media for small businesses is rarely discussed. According to Digital eMarketing India 2017 from Octane Research states:
60% of small businesses promote their business on social media. 50% focus on SEO and 35% use multichannel marketing channels.
70% of small businesses consider content strategy to be their primary marketing activity.
52% of business owners use social media to efficiently handle customer engagement.
Over 20% of business owners say they make 50% plus profit using social media.
The main reasons for the low participation are the uncertainty of the application of social media, the calculation of return on investment, and persuasion of employees/stakeholders to take advantage of social media. Therefore, it is important to discuss elephants indoors and analyze how useful social media is for small businesses.
Social media for small businesses is a great way for new businesses to generate leads and build a reputation. If updated regularly, social media can provide more results than traditional media. Social media for small businesses gives brands control over the content they want to post.
Also, because social media is a two-way dialogue process, it helps businesses to quickly identify what is in their favor. Social media for small businesses also helps generate Word of Mouth, which is one of the best tools for new businesses.
Social Media for small business | 10 Tips for using Social Media effectively
Define Your Target Audience
The first and foremost important part that small businesses should focus on is defining their target audience. It helps small businesses to set their social media strategy accordingly. The target audience should be determined based on the age group, gender, location, online behavior of the users, their likes, interests and preferences.
For custom products, business owners can even target users based on their birthdays, anniversaries and important milestones. Audience targeting plays a very important role in the results. For example: a local store that sells footwear may not target users who are interested in entertainment. The shop will definitely not get the desired result.
Set achievable goals
Overnight success is a myth. Small businesses should understand this basic fact. Generally, when a new business starts selling on social media, there is a clear excitement to achieving more than targeted sales. Businesses need to set up and down goals.
To achieve such a big goal, small businesses have started updating their social feeds with several shorter duration updates. This causes user disinterest in the product/service. The goals set must align with the brand’s core capabilities and expertise. For example: if a business sells shoes, they should not set a goal of maximizing shoe repair in their area.
Choose the right media
Now everyone knows, social media is free. Even paid campaigns can be done at a relatively low cost compared to traditional media. In this scenario, we often see small businesses jump over the bandwagon and create profiles across all available platforms.
Creating a social profile doesn’t hinder a brand’s image, but aggressively promoting a brand on the wrong platforms can cause the brand to lose potential customers. Therefore, SMEs should first identify the right platform to maximize their business. For example: If a shoe brand tries to sell aggressively on LinkedIn, they will not get a reasonable response compared to promotions on Facebook/Instagram.
Promote your core product/service
As every business rides the wave of social media, it is important for them to promote their core products/services. Today, we see many businesses promoting their services as well as promoting peripheral products/services, which revolve around their core products/services. Oftentimes, these SMEs do not have the ability to meet the requirements, which can lead to bad word of mouth for their businesses on social media platforms. Let’s return to our example; if shoe sellers try to aggressively promote socks instead of shoes, it will not benefit the business in the long run.
Create quality content
Now that we’ve covered the topic of identifying the target audience, setting achievable goals, choosing the right media, and promoting the right products/services, let’s now take a look at the types of content businesses should promote on their social pages. A business should always focus on creating good quality content rather than poor quantity content.
Even if a business updates their page once a day as long as it’s relevant to their business, advocates about their core product are sending a clear message that it counts as good quality content. Antagonistically, if a business posts some updates that are not even relevant to the business’s products and services, users will think the business is fake/spam. Also, new businesses should try and refrain from promoting other businesses on their social platforms first.
Create a content calendar
Making a small business successful on social platforms is no small task. It takes a lot of effort for businesses to maintain their conversion rates. One such effort is to create a content calendar. Small businesses should anticipate important events and create content calendars accordingly. Ideally, a content calendar should be planned a month in advance, but a weekly content calendar is highly recommended. This helps businesses to avoid last-minute hassles, strategize more effectively, and also helps create curiosity among their loyal fans/customers.
Test and retest
Social media is very unpredictable. Content that businesses post today, may not work for tomorrow. Therefore, small businesses should always test their content before publishing it on their pages. Content testing also applies to platforms that small businesses choose to promote. Small business owners should always wear the consumer hat before posting about any product features, updates, schemes or offerings. Consumer perspective is key when testing content to be uploaded.
Looking for inspirations
Small businesses should always seek inspiration from successful competitors in the same category. Copying competitors’ ideas or content is not the answer. Small businesses should look for the type of content prepared by their competitors and then come up with their own strategy. Inspirational content/stories always make a business strive to create its own content that is appreciated by everyone. It helps in increasing brand consideration, brand visibility thereby increasing conversions for business.
Even a small promotional budget cannot be justified if there is no mechanism for calculating the return on investment. This is more important in the case of small businesses. It is very important for small businesses to keep an eye on the budget allocated to each promotion and the subsequent ROI associated with it. If a particular promotion isn’t going well or the business isn’t getting the desired results, brand custodians can always look for other platforms to generate quality conversions.
Analysis and Re-Strategy
There are cases where certain campaigns/promotions may not be successful for the business. It doesn’t mean that the promotion is wrong or that the product/service is not good. Conducting campaign analysis is as important as setting goals. It helps businesses to formulate their upcoming strategies in a more effective way. At the end of each campaign, brands should note the lessons learned from the campaign and identify whether the content/ideas are appreciated by their fans or not. This helps businesses to miss future communication updates that don’t work.
Social media for small businesses is definitely useful and beneficial. If followed properly, small businesses can benefit greatly from the promotional power of social media.