Growing your small business’ social media presence is crucial to your success, especially in today’s digital age. While you may think otherwise, lacking a social media presence in today’s online ecosystem is the downfall of most modern businesses, ultimately categorizing your business as irrelevant and non-existent in the eyes of consumers.
Having an active social media presence not only allows you to promote your business, but it also allows you to share your brand story, engage with your customer base, and reach those you wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to reach. In short, having an active social media presence can have a major impact on the growth of your business, the reputation of your business, and ultimately, the bottom line of your financials.
So, how do you begin to grow your social presence? You'll need to employ efficient and effective social media strategies. Luckily, we've compiled several tips and strategies that your small business can implement immediately!
Build Trust Through Influence
Influencer marketing is a popular social strategy used by brands both large and small, in which the brand employs other, non-competing brands, relevant influencers, and PR events to promote a product or service. While influencer marketing is most commonly used as a promotion strategy, there’s a larger benefit that most people overlook, and that’s consumer trust. After all, there’s no denying that people trust people more than they trust brands and businesses.
As a small business, A-list influencers are unlikely to be within your marketing budget. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t implement an influencer marketing strategy. By using micro influencers, local accounts of relevance, and user-generated content, you can begin to build trust through influence.
Finding suitable micro influencers doesn’t have to be difficult either. In fact, there are several resources available within your grasp. Aside from the obvious manual search, which can be effective but time-consuming, there are also social media management platforms available for search. You can learn more about finding local micro influencers by using sites like Social Blade and People Map.
Use Automation Tools to Streamline Your Business
Besides the tools used to search for relevant micro influencers, there are also several automation tools available to be used at your discretion. Not only will these tools allow you to streamline your operation, they will make your marketing strategy much more hands-off so that you can put your time towards growing your business.
Whether you need to automate your social media posting schedule or your digital ad bidding strategy, there are tools that can help. The following is a list of tools to look into:
- Sprout Social: Social Media Management Platform
- Hootsuite: Social Media Management Platform
- HubSpot: All-in-One CRM Tool
- MailChimp: Email Marketing Automation Tool
- AdRoll: Advertising Automation Tool
In any business, big or small, time is money. By saving time on tedious tasks, you save money in the long run, ultimately allowing you to grow your business in real-time.
Humanize Your Business With a “Behind the Brand” Approach
In today’s digital world, consumers see through the noise. In other words, while brands were once able to hide behind their content, consumers now value transparency and relatability more than ever. One way to practice transparency and relatability is to get personal with your audience and share an inside look into your business’ processes, people, and culture. This can be achieved by going live on social, incorporating brand faces into your content, sharing an inside look into the behind the scenes of your operations, and personally engaging with your community.
Building customer trust is key for a business’s success. How you do that is by being transparent, honest, and relatable as possible. Humanize your brand and begin to see your business flourish on social media!
Focus on the People, NOT the Profits
While content is king in the world of social media, too often businesses saturate their content with promotional material and sales tactics. As mentioned in the previous tip, consumers see right through this. Consumers don’t want to be sold something; they want to be a part of something greater.
By shifting your focus away from profits and promotion and towards community engagement and relationship building, you’ll quickly begin to notice that your audience is more likely to invest in your brand, share their positive experiences through reviews and other user-generated content (UGC), and openly share their feedback with you.
This is helpful for several reasons. Not only does it limit the amount of time you need to put towards marketing and promotion, but it also creates a free source of influencer marketing (UGC), builds brand reputation, and ultimately grows the bottom line of your business. By focusing on the people rather than the profits, you’ll ironically begin to see the profits pour in!
The Three C’s: Create Consistent Content
Content is the backbone of most businesses in today’s day and age, especially those of a smaller stature. It’s what allows you to stay relevant, it’s what provides value to your customers, it’s what allows you to share your message, and it’s what allows you to build brand awareness.
While it’s smart to focus your content around your community rather than promotion, it still requires you to develop an effective content marketing strategy. Simply creating content is not enough. You need to create compelling content that your audience consistently engages with, and post during the times they’re most likely to see it. By building out a monthly content plan using a content calendar, repurposing old content, and experimenting with different content ideas, you’ll start dialing in what works and eliminating what doesn’t. Moreover, you’ll be able to remain relevant and continue to provide value, ultimately increasing engagement and and experiencing a greater ROI.
Use Platforms Your Target Audience Uses
It's no secret that social media is an incredible tool for business. However, if you're not active on the same platforms as your target audience, your efforts are largely for nothing. Take Nike for example. Their audience is so vast that all social media channels are relevant. Now consider a small, local automobile shop whose target audience is 45 to 55-year-old males. Sharing content on TikTok, for example, is likely going to be ineffective because, well, how many 45 to 55-year-old males are on TikTok seeking automobile content?! Instead, Facebook is likely the most relevant platform.
Learning who your target audience is and where they spend most of their time online is a surefire way to choose the correct platform(s) to share your content and capitalize on your audience’s attention.
Use Cover Images for Promotion
Your social media pages are highly visible assets for your business. Especially Facebook, because there is only one thing everyone notices first – your cover photo. This is the holy grail of visual real estate on your page, a virtual billboard for your business. Don’t waste this opportunity with just your logo or a lame vision statement. Use the space to promote your business! You can promote sales, special discounts, upcoming events, important news, announcements and more. Before you know it, you'll be converting more of your fans into customers, and can continue to repurpose your cover for future promotions.
The content shared on social media is key, and now more than ever your social media presence plays a role in the success of your small business. By implementing the tips discussed throughout this article, you’ll be able to gain a better understanding of your audience’s behavior, and therefore be able to make better decisions about the content you post!
One last thing you should remember is that social media is fluid and constantly changing, and so should your marketing strategy. Don’t be afraid to experiment along the way!
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-Julie & Jess
Two women on a mission to help you clear the chaos and craft your dream business!
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