Does this scenario sound familiar to you?
As a small business owner, you know that social media marketing can help you promote your business. Accordingly, you’ve opened a Facebook page, created a LinkedIn profile and even started to use Instagram . . . BUT NOTHING HAS HAPPENED.
Perhaps, you think, you just need to push your products a bit harder—so you post and tweet about your products and promotions more and more often. But nothing changes.
By now, you’re getting frustrated—so frustrated, in fact, that you stop using social media platforms entirely. You’ve seen it for yourself: social media marketing just isn’t good for businesses, and certainly not for yours.
But what if I were to tell you that social media marketing is good for many businesses and probably could be for yours as well? All you have to do is follow these Social Media Marketing Tips for Small Business Owners:
Ask the right questions, then make a plan
Social media marketing, like any other marketing approach, whether traditional or digital, requires a plan. Ideally, you should develop both a long-term plan and some short-term plans, complete with milestones you want to reach. Yes, doing so will take time, but future time and money savings will more than make up for that. Start by asking the following questions:
- Who are the members of my audience? What are their ages? What do they like? Where can I find them (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat)? After you identify the members of your audience, you can restrict your focus to the platforms where you’ll find them.
- What makes me unique? Why would a prospect want to use my product or service instead of my competitor’s? After you answer this question, start thinking about how you can convey this message to the members of your audience in interesting ways.
- How are my competitors doing? Check your market and see how can you make it better.
- What do I want to achieve by using social media? Sure, you want to grow your business, but how can you achieve this goal? How can you cultivate awareness among the members of your audience? How can you drive more and more traffic to your website? How can you build trust among your prospects? The list could go on.
Don’t use social media to push your products or services
We’re not joking. Social media marketing is great for promoting your business, but if you use it to push your products and services, you’ll lose your audience quickly. Instead, think of ways you can interest your audience members in your posts:
- What added value can you offer your customers by sharing interesting and beneficial information? A travel agency might offer tips helpful to travellers headed for a particular destination; a restaurant owner might share some do-it-yourself recipes or cooking tips.
- Reveal the interesting things that happen behind the scenes at your business. Share humorous and engaging stories about your business that highlight employees and customers alike. People love a good story, and if you give them just that, they’ll enjoy following you.
- Keep people informed about goings-on in your business, whether by celebrating team members’ birthdays, sharing success stories or highlighting employees of the month.
- Use social media to wish your audience well, particularly around holidays.
- Maintain a helpful, informative blog, and highlight choice posts through social media.
Don’t be spontaneous
If you want to save time, think about what activities you have coming up during the next month or two, then create a social media calendar to help schedule your marketing efforts accordingly. Doing this takes time, but once you’ve finished, you won’t have to wonder about what to post or when to post it. And if the creative mood strikes you, you’ll be able to work ahead, then schedule future posts’ publication in advance. But make sure that your schedule serves you, not the other way around—if you won an industry award, you’ll want to share that with your audience regardless even if you didn’t have anything scheduled for that day.
Focus on quality, not quantity
You can apply this tip in two ways:
- Create fresh, high-quality content, and keep it flowing.
- Seek followers who are relevant to your business goals. Your family members and friends might like your posts just fine, but they aren’t your audience. Focus on attracting followers who will lay the foundation for your success. Your family members and friend will thank you for it!
Measure your success
In this age of data, everything you need to keep your business laser-focused on success lies at your fingertips. Use analytics tools such as Facebook Insight or Google Analytics to analyze the results of your campaigns. Make changes based on your findings, then analyze again—and again.
Use paid adverting systems to boost your posts
Even if you have a few hundred fans ion your Facebook page, or 1000 followers on your twitter account – is it really enough? In case you don’t know, Facebook exposes your posts only to 5-10% of your fans, unless of course – your post is extremely interesting (and let’s face it… an ad about how perfect your product is, is not always the first thing Facebook visitors want to see) So if you want to make sure hundreds of people (or even better thousands of people) will be exposed to your posts – use paid advertising systems to boost your posts.
Whatever you do, remember to have fun. You’ve created your business for your own benefit, so make sure it’s working for you first of all—for on that road lies success.