Are you a small business owner and want to have more of a presence on social media? Perhaps you feel the pressure that you should be doing more but don’t know where to start. Well, don’t worry, we’re here to help guide you through the importance and implementation of social media marketing for small businesses.
Why Social Media?
Something we see over and over again with small businesses is that they don’t see a need for social media. For many, their businesses are thriving and have more work than they can keep up with. For others they’re just starting out and are struggling to convert leads and establish their brand. Whether you relate with one of these camps or are somewhere in between, social media is important for everyone. The truth is that people interact with businesses more and more in an online format. With this said, doing things the way they’ve always been done won’t cut it for your business long term.
In the same way that having a storefront in a visible part of town may have been a necessity in years past, part of today’s equivalent is having a good social media presence. On one hand, there is an equal playing field with social media considering the cost of entry is almost always free. This is especially helpful for new or small organizations because you don’t need to be an established business with a large budget to enter. However, succeeding on social media is full of nuance and takes intentionality and strategy to be successful.
“Succeeding on social media is full of nuance and takes intentionality and strategy to be successful.”
Establish a Clear Strategy
The majority of small businesses don’t have any kind of social media strategy; they just throw out random posts here and there and hope for the best. If you can establish a clear strategy and stick to your game plan, this step alone will set you apart from the majority of your competition. Start by sitting down and thinking about how you can best reach your audience. Consider the following four questions, and create a document to refer back to as a guiding map to create content. Download our free worksheet here to help guide your business through establishing a social media game plan.
1. Who is my target audience?
Start with those who are currently using your product or service. These are the people you have already created a relationship with and trust in you and what you do. This is a great foundation to build upon and expand to other audiences.
2. What platform should I use?
Know what social media platform your audience uses most. This is always changing and contingent on the type of people you’re targeting, but for the most part individuals who are Baby Boomers or Gen X tend to favor Facebook; Millennials gravitate towards Instagram; and Gen Z audiences lean towards Snapchat and emerging platforms such as TikTok. Again these are just generalizations and can change based on who exactly your audience is. When thinking about your target audience, be as specific as possible. It might be helpful to create a survey using your existing clientele to help determine what will be the most effective platform for your audience.
3. How do I want to be seen?
Whether you have an established brand guide or not, we recommend creating a document of stylistic guidelines that you can refer back to when creating content. Consider what colors and fonts you’ll be using, the tone of your messaging, and the style of imagery you’ll use. Once you have a set of principles established, use that as a measurement for everything you do on social media from posting images to the way you interact with your followers. This brings me to my last point—
4. How do I best interact with my audience?
Brainstorm ways to interact with your audience online and give them incentives for sharing your posts. Maybe that’s doing a giveaway for everyone who reshares a post or tags three of their friends in the comments. Another pro tip is to collaborate with other local businesses in your area. You likely have a network of other local businesses that you can reach out to for ways to work together on social media. This is a great way to help out both parties and share each other’s scope of influence.
A similar strategy can be taken with social media influencers. If there are people in your field that have a large social media following, reach out to them about the opportunity to work together and endorse your product. It never hurts to try and can be an affordable way to reach a large targeted audience.
Next Up: How to Take Better Pictures for Social Media
How to Take Better Pictures for Social Media
Whenever possible, help your audience envision how their life could be better by using your product. Show action shots of people using and enjoying your product. Another helpful tip is to take images up close to show off the details of your amazing product. Always show your product or service in its best light.
If you Have the Budget, Hire an Expert
We get that running a small business is a lot of work, and it’s hard to find the time and motivation to learn and practice yet another skill. If running your social media account is cumbersome, you may want to consider hiring someone to take care of social media for you. We offer social media packages that will help your brand reach your audience. If you’re interested in working with us, schedule an appointment today!