If you are an SME wanting to reach out to audiences within your local communities or those living far away, across borders and continents, you need to build your presence on social media.
Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter all allow you access to diverse audiences and that too for free. Social media platforms are the most effective when it comes to increasing your brand awareness.
So, before we look at how you can use social media for small business, let’s first dig into what value social media brings to small businesses.
Why Social Media Is Great For Small Businesses
One of the challenges that you may be facing as a small business is that of too many tasks at hand, but too little time to achieve business goals. You need to find your target audience, build awareness about your brand, market your brand & products, and turn them into loyal customers. PHEW!!
Social media is the answer to all your brand marketing woes. Let’s look at the social media marketing benefits for small businesses.
1. Gain Access to Larger Audiences
According to statistics, around 3.2 billion people from all over the world use social media and the numbers aren’t showing any signs of stopping.
Social media gives you easy, effortless access to such a large audience base. You have a ready audience to approach and market your brand. Additionally, you can also find a potential and undiscovered audience base for your brand through these platforms.
2. Build a Community of Loyal Followers and Customers
Social media offers you a great opportunity to build a loyal community of followers and customers. Besides allowing you access to a huge audience, social media creates a platform for interacting and engaging in conversations with them.
Such interactions and conversations with the audiences lay the groundwork for building a strong rapport with them. Moreover, it also helps in understanding whether your customers are happy with your brand.
3. Easily Showcase Your Brand and Products
Another great perk of being on social media is that it helps you showcase your brand and products, and in the process, build brand exposure.
Given the multiple formats and features that the different social media platforms offer, showcasing your products and brands on social media is not only easy but also very convenient. You can use social media to highlight the brand and product features, properties, USP and draw attention to new launches.
4. Helps initiate a conversation around your brand
Social media is swarmed with multiple brands and to create an identity it is necessary to initiate a conversation around your brand. With the help of social media, the audience will interact with your posts and you will be able to gauge how your brand is being perceived by the users.
5. Social media helps convey your brand or business story
Every brand and business has its own set of ideologies and stories. With the help of social media, you can convey the same to the users. This will also bring like-minded users together who believe in your values and want to associate with your brand.
So, now that you know how valuable your presence on social media can be, let’s start working towards developing a social media strategy for your small business.
Here’s how you can use social media for your small business effectively-
Set Clear Business Goals
Before getting started on social media, you need to have clarity on what business goals you seek to achieve by building your social presence. Being clear about your business goals will help you develop a sense of direction as to how you may want to approach social media marketing.
You can use your audience’s sales journey to know what you need to do to convert them to customers. For instance, if you want to build a fresh new audience base for your brand, you may want to first look at enhancing brand exposure.
On the other hand, if you already have a ready base of customers on social media, you may want to look at expanding your customer base and retaining existing customers. In such a context, your goal should ideally be to focus on generating more engagement amongst your audiences.
So, depending upon where your audience currently is in their sales journey, you can frame a business goal (s). It is this social media goal that will direct your social media strategy.
Identify Your Target Audience
A very important step towards building a social media strategy for your small business is to clearly identify your target audience. Just like your business goals, your target audience helps direct your social media strategy.
If you are just starting out, you may have a very vague idea about your target audience. Depending upon the nature of your brand and the products your brand offers, you can create an audience persona.
On the other hand, if you already have a social media presence, you can rely on audience insights derived using a good social media tool. This data can help you understand which segments of the audience do you need to focus more on.
Select Social Platforms to Focus on
Depending upon your target audience and the nature of your business, you need to identify the right platform (s) to market your brand on.
For a B2B brand, LinkedIn is one of the best platforms to capitalize on. Presence on other social platforms can help enhance brand exposure too.
Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are great for B2C customers. All these platforms have highly active audiences you can reach out to and build a connection with.
You can be active on all platforms, but it is vital that you leverage channels where most of your target audience is and reach out to them.
The social media platform you select will also influence your social media marketing strategy planning. This is because every platform differs in terms of features and audience behaviour.
Engage Your Audience
In order to lead your audience further along the sales journey, you need to work towards building a rapport with them. Building and forging a deep connection with your audience calls for generating engagement amongst audiences.
Create content that compels your audience to engage with your brand. This will help expand the reach and exposure for your brand. In the process, it will help you build a loyal audience base. Once you have your audience hooked and engaged, it is much easier to convert them into loyal customers.
Apart from using your content to generate audience engagement, you also need to actively interact with your audience. Respond to all comments, and thank them for compliments. Make sure to reply to messages in your inbox. All this will also help you build a deeper connection with your audience and make it easier for you to bring them on-board as customers.
Put Out Great Quality Content
We can’t help but emphasize the fact that content is king and can make or break your social media game. Putting out quality content is important for you to get your audience interested in your brand. If you offer half-baked or poor quality content, your audience will lose interest.
Create high-quality content that stands out and draws the attention of your audience. Video content is known to be one of the most engaging content formats. Try to inculcate video as a part of your content.
It can be overwhelming to constantly brainstorm ideas for your content, especially for a small-sized enterprise. But there can be a lot about your brand that you can showcase on social media. Showcase your brand story, take your audiences through your organization, or highlight your products and their features and USP.
Make use of the right set of tools to enhance video content and photo content, so that your content captures attention and makes audiences want to know more.
Post Consistently During Audience Peak Activity
Quantity may not be as important as the quality of your social media content, but being consistent is crucial for ensuring that audience interest remains intact. Make sure that you are posting content consistently.
To get maximum impressions and engagement, post content when your audience is most active on the said platform (s). Find what the best time to post is, on every social media platform and build a social media content calendar for your brand accordingly. This will help you go a long way in building momentum on social media and build an interested and intrigued audience.
Unbox Social’s social media analytics solution will help you detect when is the best time to post for your brand.
Run Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Influencer marketing can help you get much-needed brand exposure and engagement. Influencers offer access to a larger target audience, have niche expertise, and come with skills in creating engaging content.
For a small business, you can work with micro and nano-Influencers if collaborations with macro-Influencers do not work for your budget.
If you want to find the right set of Influencers for your brand, you can use the Influencer marketing platform that Unbox Social offers. With the help of this platform, not only can you find Influencers for your brand, but you can also send out campaign briefs and measure Influencer campaign performance.
Attaching your brand to a social media Influencer enhances brand visibility on platforms and helps establish your position as a reliable brand.
Social Media Contests, Coupons and Giveaways
No matter what platform you are on, the audience loves rewards. Run exciting contests and giveaways for your audience.
Contests and giveaways come with a reward and therefore encourage audiences to participate. This helps generate engagement and increases brand exposure. Here’s an example for your reference-
Share User-generated Content
Just like Influencer marketing content has the power to impact audiences, user-generated content also helps in creating a positive word of mouth for your brand.
When normal customers/users feature your brand and products in their content, it establishes your position as a reliable brand. Peer recommendations through user-generated content can help expand exposure and generate engagement for your brand.
The best thing about UGC is that you can generate this powerful, authentic content for free and effortlessly. You can run hashtag campaigns or take permission to use others’ content that features your brand or products.
Listen to Audience Conversations
For your small business, it is crucial to know what your audience is saying about your brand and/or products. Use a good social listening tool to listen to audience conversations around your brand or keywords that are associated with your brand. Social listening can help you take your brand to the next level.
A social listening tool such as that of Unbox Social helps you capture audience sentiment. With access to all audience conversations about your brand, you can identify audience passion points and sensitivities. You can use this information to take cues about your social media performance as well as your products. As a result, you can create an enhanced experience for your audience.
Measure Relevant Social Media KPIs
If you want to perform your best on social media, you need to be well aware of how your performance has been so far. Use a reliable social media analytics tool to measure relevant social media KPIs.
Unbox Social offers the social media analytics feature to help you uncover important insights about your social media handles. With the help of Unbox Social, you can dig deeper into important social media metrics such as engagement, reach, impressions, and audience insights for your social accounts as well as individual posts.
Track Your Competitors
You do not exist in isolation on social media. There are various other brands and businesses on social media with whom you are competing for reach and engagement. It can, in fact, be quite a difficult task to capture audience attention in the face of ripe competition on social platforms.
The best way to face competition is by tracking your competitors’ activity across social platforms. The competition tracker by Unbox Social helps you with just that. This tool helps benchmark your performance against that of your competitors. It helps you understand where you are standing against your competitors and what’s working for them.
Further, the tool allows you to capture your share of voice against your competitors in the industry.
SUMMING IT UP
Social media is a great platform for your small business. Here’s a quick round up on how you can approach social media for your small business-
- Set out clear goals for your business
- Identify who your target audience is
- Focus on specific social media platforms that align with your brand and audiences
- Engage and interact with your audience to get them hooked on to your brand
- Post good quality content on social platforms
- Post social media content consistently, while keeping audience peak activity in mind
- Collaborate with Influencers to run fruitful brand campaigns
- Run social media contests, giveaways and offer rewards in return for a particular action
- Post user-generated content on social media to establish your authenticity
- Use social listening to capture audience conversations
- Get social media analytics tools to track relevant social media KPIs
- Track your competitors across social platforms
Before we leave you with these tips, here are a few brands that made it big on social media through smart marketing campaigns.
Best Examples of Social Media Marketing Campaigns
From posting user-generated content to coming up with engaging captions, Airbnb enjoys a great fan following on social media because of its content.
2. MAC Cosmetics
During the lockdown phase, MAC made it a point to come up with informative content on its social media feed. The makeup tutorials attracted loads of followers and the brand enjoyed a great increase in the sales.
3. The Face Shop India
While most brands are struggling to come up with video content, The Face Shop India is attracting the attention of the users with the help of its perfectly clicked images.
TiffanyandCo needs no introduction and the brand follows a minimalist approach on its Instagram account. With mind-blowing images focused on their creations and an informative description, the brand manages to capture the attention of the audience.
5. The Body Shop India
The Body Shop India leaves no strategy when it comes to social media. From teaming up with celebrities to videos, the brand does it all for keeping its users engaged.
Let’s take a brief look at Unbox Social’s social media analytics solution that will keep you well-equipped with your campaign performance data.
Unbox Social- Social Media Analytics
1. Audience insights and sentiment analysis
The Unbox Social tool will help you understand how your audience is perceiving and consuming your brand content. This will tell you whether your strategies are the right fit for your target audience. Moreover, the sentiment analysis feature of the tool will tell you whether the audience reaction on your brand content is positive, negative or neutral.
2. Post and Story analytics
The Unbox Social tool also gives in-depth insights on Instagram Stories. Moreover, you can check the post performance for content on all major social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
3. Social media reports
The data from the Unbox Social tool will help you create detailed reports for your campaigns. These reports will come handy when framing future social media marketing strategies.
We hope this brief guide will help you carve out an effective social media strategy.
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