For small businesses, the world of social media marketing can be a confusing and complex place. But, whether you’re a startup or an established local business, social media marketing can work wonders if you suffer from a lack of time, budget and resources.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 60% of UK businesses and 57% of small businesses use social media.
Why Small Business Need Social Media
As a small business, it’s likely that your marketing department is small. Or perhaps non-existent. The world of social media marketing can be baffling and full of complex jargon. Not only that, but time and staff are usually lacking making it increasingly difficult to establish a presence online as a small business.
Nevertheless, staying up to date in today’s digital world is vital. There has never been a better time to step foot into the world of social media. Last year, We Are Social discovered that there are now more than 4 billion people around the world using the internet, 3 billion of which are using social networks.
In this guide, we outline some of the ways social media marketing can help your small business. Plus, we’ll let you in on a few tips and tricks along the way.
Social Media Marketing Tips for Small Businesses
Before we jump into how social media can help your small business, let’s first take a look at some of Shareable’s top tips when creating a social media marketing strategy.
1. Use engagement to build relationships
According to SproutSocial, customers are 71% more likely to purchase from a brand after a positive experience on social media, so engaging with your audience online is essential!
Customers use social media to reach out for a number of reasons. Whether they are looking for a solution to their needs or are leaving a kind comment, it’s important to respond as much as possible to continue to build these relationships.
In return, prospective customers will see that you’re taking the time to respond to comments and are nurturing your customer’s needs.
You wouldn’t ignore a customer calling the shop or office phone, would you?
2. Create a social content calendar
Social media isn’t a sales pitch. It’s crucial to identify the core themes you want to speak about and turn this into a story.
At the end of every month, take the time to plan out a social calendar for the month ahead. Note any important events, special offers or new product launches so that you can build mini-campaigns around these pillars.
Planning will not only ensure you have enough to talk about, but it also saves you from scrambling to find content to post for the sake of it. This is a problem you don’t want to you run into. Sharing authentic, quality content across social media is key for engaging your audience and attracting new followers.
Keep in mind:
- What content will resonate with your audience?
- How often are you going to post to each network?
- Is what you are posting relevant to them?
Content creation and planning is something we can help you with at Shareable, for more information click here.
3. Post your content at the right time
You know your customers better than anyone, so you’ll be most familiar with their purchasing behaviour. One question we are asked frequently is “what is the best time to post on social media?” so we’ve written an entire blog post on this which you can read here.
There isn’t necessarily an optimum time to post, but social media networks are equipped with a range of powerful data and statistics based on your specific audiences. This is highlighted in our blog too.
The Benefits of Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business
Social Media is Cost Effective
Perhaps the most obvious benefit to social media marketing is that it’s free. You can pay-to-play on social networking sites (more on this later) but all major social channels; Twitter, LinkedIn, SnapChat, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are completely free to join.
As a small business, a marketing budget isn’t often the main priority. In fact, around 50% of small businesses spend less than $300 per month on online marketing.
Now, this is where the money comes in. Social media is a great place to advertise, and by that, we mean paying to have posts seen by more people. Dabbling in paid promotions is a very cost effective tactic.
Cost effective methods are a huge advantage for small businesses, not only can you reach a large number of people at a small cost (sometimes for as little as £10-£20) but you’ll see a greater return on investment and retain a bigger budget for other marketing and business expenses.
If you are looking to use paid advertising on social media, we recommend starting small to see what kind of results you can expect. By spending a small amount of time and money, you are significantly increasing your conversion rates. You will eventually receive ROI on the money you first invested.
In 2018, companies who engaged in social selling saw a 119% better ROI.
Social Media Increase Brand Awareness
Half of the world’s population actively use social media, meaning it’s an organic way to reach new potential customers.
If you think people only connect with brands they already know on social media, then you’re wrong! A recent survey found that 60% of Instagrammers said they discovered a new product from brands they had never heard of before on the platform. Social media marketing provides you with the stage to ‘showcase’ your company’s products/ services while simultaneously communicating your missions and values as a business. Humans have a desire for storytelling, they enjoy hearing about the stories that made your business, and social media is where you should be sharing them.
Great content is what transforms your brand’s social media from a wall of discount codes and promotions to a page where users stay engaged and interact with your content.
Content and social media marketing go hand in hand. Implementing a social media strategy will greatly increase your brand recognition. Simply having people interact with your social posts will increase brand awareness while you build an online reputation.
This won’t happen overnight, and you will have to invest a few hours every week into your content. Whether it’s planning a week’s worth of posts or curating a blog post to share, over 91% of marketers claim that their social media marketing efforts greatly increased their exposure online.
Social Media Increases your Search Engine Rankings
There’s no doubt about it, posting on social media increases traffic to your website, but more effort is required in order to see significant success.
According to Search Engine Land, SEO is “the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.” so ranking highly and organically on a results page is vital.
Over 4 billion people around the world use Google, Bing or Yahoo to find information. But their search usually starts and ends on the first page. Although social media doesn’t directly increase your search engine rankings, Social Media Examiner states that more than 58% of marketers who have used social media for a year or more will see an improved search engine ranking.
Create high-quality social media posts that integrate your keywords, post links to drive traffic to your blogs, infographics and case studies, and the more quality content you post the better your ranking will be.
Social Media Promotes Customer Interaction and Satisfaction
For any small business, establishing a strong, loyal customer base is fundamental to your success. And this is achieved through customer interaction. First and foremost, social media is a networking and communication platform. Providing your businesses with a social media account gives your customers a voice and ‘humanises’ your company.
Sure you have a phone number and email address to communicate with your customers, but with social media, you can give quicker and more personal interactions. Customers greatly appreciate quick responses to what they post on your pages, compared to receiving automated messages.
Here you can speak to both your prospective and established customers directly, whilst establishing a company voice. Answering a user’s comment on your latest post may finalise their decision to purchase from you, rather than a competitor. Enquiries left on social media pages have a better chance of reaching the right people, who can actually answer the question being asked.
As you acknowledge each comment, you are showing your page visitors that you are attentive and considerate of customers needs. Every interaction you have on social media with your audience is an opportunity to demonstrate your compassion and customer focus.
A brand that is devoted to customer service and satisfaction, that also takes the time to reply with personal messages, will rank highest in an audience’s mind. Even if you are responding to a customer complaint.
Social Media Allows You to Promote Content
Promoting your content on social media is a great way to gain exposure for your well-thought-out articles and blog posts. Social media exposes your content to new people who may be looking for a solution to a problem. By providing them with the answers they are looking for, you will in return grow your audience.
Your time is valuable, but so is your customers. If they don’t find what they are looking for quickly, they’ll assume you don’t have what they are looking for and move on. If you are actively promoting your content on social media, you are demonstrating that you have the goods.
Engagement on social media has a snowball effect. When one person interacts with your post, it is notifying the algorithm that your content is valuable. As more and more people engage with the post, promoting its value, the algorithm will deliver it to more and more news feeds and timelines.
So there you have it. Promoting content, improved customer loyalty and increased brand awareness are all huge benefits of using social media for your business, which will ultimately make your business more successful. If you’re looking to become more active on social media but don’t know where to start, call Shareable today to see how we can help, 020 3900 1919.