16 Basic Tips on Using Social Media to Market Your Business
Using Social Media as a Profitable Marketing Solution for Your Small Business
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Marketing is necessary to both remind existing customers about your small business and expand the reach to get your business in front of new customers. Promoting your business helps your bottom line, but it also takes time and money. Social media marketing is a cost effective solution to grow your small business.
Find Local Customers
With so many social media platforms out there in can be tricky figuring out which ones your business should be on. It can be tempting to open an account of every platform, but managing platforms takes time. Different users gravitate to different social media platforms, so find the sites your target demographic is more likely to use. This may be one platform or it could be multiple. It may be a better use of your time to choose a few platforms that are a good fit and focus all of your attention and energy into those few. This direct approach will likely yield more substantial results.
Social Media is Always on the Clock
Social Media is accessible and your information is always available once you create a business page. Utilizing social media to promote your brand puts customers into direct contact with your business whenever they choose. Customers can learn about your company outside of your business hours or whenever is convenient for the individual.
A reminder: you can get your free two weeks of graphics and social media marketing instruction by requesting a Sample Kit from our website SmartSocialKits.com/Kits
Cost Effectiveness of Social Media
Setting up business accounts on social media is free on the major platforms, so many people assume this is a great cost savings. Free is definitely good for your budget, but consider the hidden expenses. You will likely spend a lot of time and other resources working on social media. If you hire a professional photographer to get styled photos to promote products in posts, or if you have a graphic designer create memes, infographics or promotional JPGs these are all expenses. Even the time you spend writing, posting and replying to comments and questions should be factored into the overall expense.
Social media is a great opportunity to practice budget marketing, but keep tabs on the true expense and make sure to stick to your budget. A major perk to using social media to promote your local business is how much you can do yourself. You can take photos and shoot video and create graphics using your phone and a variety of free apps. If you decide to step your game up and expand the quality of your posts you can bring in professionals and use the same platforms.
Promoting your business on social media takes time, but you can be creative with your time. Some social media platforms allows users to schedule posts. You can write posts when you have time and schedule them to go live when you think they will have the most impact and be the most relevant for your followers. Scheduling posts is particularly useful if you have a limited team and you cannot afford to spare anyone to keep tabs on social media when you are slammed in your brick and mortar business. Programs, like Hootsuite, make it possible to link your social media accounts and manage them all from one central app or website. You can easily toggle between the different accounts and like, share and reply to comments. You can even schedule posts across various platforms or post to all of your platforms at once.
Drive Local Business
Apps such as Facebook Local make it possible for customers to find your business based on whether they are searching in your area or if they are looking for the type of business you operate. The local element will help drive customers to your business. People who live locally or people who are visiting can easily find you. Customers need to know you exist in order to do business with you, and social media, particularly apps like Facebook Local, make that possible.
Create Quality Content
Creating content that goes viral is a challenge, and sometimes when something goes viral it is more luck than careful planning and coordination. Strive to create quality content that is informative and fun. Most people log into their social media accounts on their phones and tablets, so make sure photos and videos display nicely on smaller screens. Regularly post engaging content to keep your small business front of mind for customers, and to also interact with your customers via likes, shares and comments.
Posting live video is fun and exciting and a great way to generate interest for your business. If you have a sale or a big event coming up post a video of the prep work or a few minutes from the event. The video will stay in your feed, so users can also go back and see it after the fact. You can shoot and post video to your small business social media account using a smartphone, making this an inexpensive way to interact with customers and create interest.
Direct People to Your Website
Use social media to promote your website and the products or services you offer. If you have strong content on your blog that is a great resource let your social media followers know about it. Funneling customers to your site establishes your small business as an authority in your field, builds your ranking and strengthens your brand and online presence. Sending users to your site also puts customers on the path to learn more or make a purchase.
Advertising on Social Media
While setting up an account is free, businesses have the option to advertise on social media platforms for a fee. All of the social media platforms offer some form of advertising and the rates are typically inexpensive. Social media platforms collect data from users, so when you advertise on social media the platform can usually give you some very specific targeting options. This will make sure your ads get in front of the right people. Targeting advertising is extremely useful and increases the odds of seeing a return on your marketing investment.
Cross Promotion on Social Media
Develop a working relationship with other local business owners and promote one another through social media. Depending on the nature of your industry partners can be in the same type of business, like a brewery. Partnerships between non-competing businesses can be more beneficial. For instance, if you own a coffee shop partner with a bakery, or if you own a furniture store partner with a contractor. Find a local business that has a similar demographic or customer base and work with that business to promote both of your businesses.
Double Your Efforts
To cross promote another business you can share their posts, and they return the favor. This will help spread your information and get your posts in front of a wider and local audience. Both businesses can benefit from the network of the other business. Cross promoting another business on social media is free. The only investment is the time is takes to build a relationship with the partner business.
Follow Local Organizations
Find organizations in your area that support local businesses and follow their social media feeds. Develop a rapport and promote other local businesses through sharing posts, liking and commenting. In turn this organization and their followers will see your business as a valuable part of the community and help support your endeavors. Building a viable business is the goal, but helping creating a strong local economy will benefit your small business in the long term.
Decide what you want to achieve by creating a social media presence. Of course the goal is to expand the reach of your brand and increase business, but set realistic and measurable goals that allow you to gauge progress. Goals can include increasing leads or sales, to drive traffic to your website or provide customer service. Having goals will give you a plan to follow and also enable you to review the effectiveness of your plan. It is important to look back and determine if your plan is successful and you should continue on the same path, or if you should change things up and create a new solution to reach your goal.
Continue to Promote Via Other Channels
Social media is a very important marketing channel, but make sure to maintain other forms of outreach. Keep up your website and newsletter list. These are tools that can easily be used along with your social media marketing efforts and help you build a larger network beyond the users of a particular platform.
Get to Work Promoting Your Small Business
As a small business owner you need to be smart about how you manage resources. Marketing is a very significant and necessary part of your business. Manage your marketing wisely and cost effectively using social media. Accounts are free to set up and the biggest investment is your time. When handled properly social media marketing can get the word out about your brand and increase sales.
A reminder: you can get your free two weeks of graphics and social media marketing instruction by requesting a Sample Kit from our webiste SmartSocialKits.com/Kits