How to Leverage Social Media for Your Small Business
As a small business, leveraging social media is a must-have element of your marketing strategy. Building a presence on social media helps you interact with consumers, build brand awareness, and attract your target audience. An active social media presence can also boost sales. A recent survey revealed that customers spend 20-40% more on products or services by companies that engage with them on social media.
Social media is necessary for businesses of all sizes and is especially ideal for companies with small advertising budgets. While you have the option to use paid ads, social media allows you to market your business without spending a dime. To help your business maximize its social media strategy, we’re sharing five best practices below.
1. Know Your Customers
Before you can set up a truly effective social media strategy for your small business, you need to know who you’re targeting. Start by building a persona of your ideal customer. How old are they? What kind of content do they connect with? Where do they hang out? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you determine which platforms to use. It also increases the chance that your audience will engage with your content and drive traffic back to your website.
2. Your Website Should Be Thoughtfully Designed
In addition to creating brand awareness and engagement, one of your social media goals should be to drive traffic to your website. Whether using social media to direct your audience to a blog post or your about page, your website needs to give them a reason to stick around.
Set up your website in a way that encourages visitors to explore and take action. A great way to do that is to use links strategically throughout your site. Each page should have a call to action directing your audience where to go next, and blog posts should include links back to relevant content on your blog or website. Further, every blog post should be thoughtful, well-written, and provide your audience with value; answer a question, offer a solution to a problem or teach them something new.
3. Have Something To Say
To get the most out of social media for your small business, you have something to say. More importantly, what you say needs to align with your brand message and resonate with your audience. Marketing expert Neil Patel notes, “Social media is powerful because it gives you the chance to connect with people in a personal way.”
Small businesses have the advantage because they already have a unique voice. The key is to use social media to amplify your message and build a rapport with your audience. Share stories and news related to your business or industry, give followers a behind-the-scenes peek at what you do, or retweet something inspiring another person has said. Finding ways to add value to your follower’s lives through interesting and helpful content positions you as an industry expert and builds trust with your audience.
4. Focus on Quality Over Quantity
There’s this myth that to be successful on social media, you need to post every single day. While this strategy works for some, it doesn’t work for everyone—and it can be hard to keep up with. Instead of focusing on quantity, focus on quality. In other words, if you’re going to do it, do it well.
A crucial element of your success is ensuring you have the time or budget to hire someone to manage social media. If outsourcing isn’t in your budget yet, make it easy on yourself by focusing on mastering the platform that is most popular with your audience first. Once you’ve developed an effective strategy, you can move on to other channels.
In terms of what you post, make it a point to create content targeted toward your market, and that conveys a message that’s relevant to your audience. And don’t forget to be active; post consistently, answer questions, and reply to comments. Doing so will help you expand your reach and attract more followers.
5. Pay Attention to Your Metrics
One of the most essential strategies for leveraging social media for your small business is to measure the performance of your content. All the big social platforms offer some form of social media metrics or analytics. Make an effort to review your metrics once or twice a month. Look for engagement rates (shares, likes, comments) as well as click-through-rates.
Your analytics can tell you what content your audience engages with the most and brings the most traffic to your site. If there’s one type of content that seems to work better than others, find a way to duplicate it and improve your social media performance.
Mastering social media isn’t going to happen overnight. Finding the right strategies can take some trial and error, so it’s important to be patient. Put these social media strategies for small businesses to good use. Eventually, you’ll start to see your hard work pay off.