There aren’t too many things that level the playing field between large, medium, and small companies. But social media is one of those things that can help a small business be a true competitor in its industry against any-sized business.
Small business owners can and should take full advantage of social media platforms to build brand awareness, deepen customer relationships, drive conversions, and grow revenue.
That said, doing well on social media requires much more than just creating a profile and posting about your latest sale when you get a chance. Instead, successful social media marketing requires an intentional strategy, genuine engagement, and a commitment to growing your profiles and influence long-term.
Read on for advice on harnessing the power of social media marketing for your small business.
Create a Detailed Social Media Marketing Strategy
To truly leverage social media to connect with your target audience, get valuable feedback from them, and better your service, you must treat social media as a serious marketing channel for your business. This starts with documenting a well-thought-out social media marketing plan.
Your social media marketing strategy maps out how you will use social media to boost your overarching marketing strategy and accomplish broader business goals. It can also help you identify potential risks and challenges with social media and your plan for working through them.
For example, accounting for technology risks like tech failure, low-quality wifi, or cybersecurity issues is critical for social media marketing success. When you identify these risks beforehand, you can put together a plan for mitigating them should they arise. This makes it so that these risks don’t disrupt your consistency, communication, and content quality on your social media platforms.
Even small details like whether or not you’ll use business cards in your social media strategy are essential. Using digital business cards across your social media platforms and sharing them in your page bios is excellent because they ensure your audience knows how to reach you outside of social media. However, you must plan out how to keep the information on these digital business cards updated, accurate, and personalized for each platform.
Aside from the above, detail the following in your social media marketing strategy:
- Which platforms you’re using
- What kind of content and media types you’ll use
- When and how often you’ll post on each platform
- Overall goals for social media and those specific to each platform
- How social media marketing will help you reach broader business goals
- Metrics and KPIs you’ll use to track progress
- How you’ll cross-promote on your social media pages
- How you’ll consistently engage with your target audience
- Who’s in charge of creating social media content, publishing it, and tracking performance
- How you’ll build relationships with other businesses, influencers, and experts in your industry on social media
- How you’re going to monitor the performance of content, your audience, and each platform
With your social media marketing strategy in place, your next step is to refresh yourself on who your target audience is and spend time understanding them.
Understand Your Target Audience
Your social media marketing won’t be successful if you don’t know your audience and how they live, think, and make decisions. Additionally, you can’t create content that resonates with your target audience when you don’t know and understand them.
Demographic information is just the beginning of what you should know about your target audience. Take your target audience research deeper by learning about their lifestyle behaviors, buying patterns, and what they do on social media.
The following questions can help you understand your target audience in a way that supports your social media marketing:
- What are their favorite media types?
- What does my target audience do on social media?
- How does my target audience like to communicate?
- What are my target audience’s favorite social media platforms?
- What kind of posts get the most engagement from my target audience?
- What kind of content is my target audience most fond of on social media?
- How long does my target audience spend on each social media platform?
- Out of their favorite social media platforms, which do they engage on the most?
- How does my target audience engage with businesses and brands on social media?
Next, take some time to know the social media platforms you’ve chosen for your strategy.
Dive into What Your Chosen Social Media Platforms Have to Offer
Many small business owners make the mistake of doing what they do on their personal social media profiles on their business pages. Of course, you can use what you already know about social media to get you started. However, you must get to know the ins and outs of your social media platforms from a business perspective.
Take time working through all of the functions and features on your chosen social media platforms. Then, explore how other businesses and brands in your industry use their social media profiles. Finally, see how you can do what your competition isn’t doing and use all of what your platforms offer to your advantage.
Once you’re familiar with using your social media platforms for your business’s advantage, start creating content that wows your audience.
Create Content That Wows Your Target Audience
You’ve heard it time and time again: create unique, engaging, valuable content on social media to stand out in the sea of businesses, brands, and individuals on these platforms. This is and will always be accurate, especially for small businesses.
Big and medium-sized businesses typically have more money and resources to throw at content creation than small companies do. They also take advantage of paid ads on social media, something small businesses may not be able to do right now or at all.
Instead of focusing on what you can’t do with content, focus on what you can do. And what you can do is create content that stands out, is unique to your brand, and is tailored to your target audience.
Focus on publishing at least one piece of content per week on each of your social media platforms that will wow your audience and generate massive engagement.
For instance, you could publish interactive content, like polls, quizzes, calculators, animated infographics, or videos that require interaction from viewers. You could also use user-generated content or work with influencers to create original content for your brand.
Also, don’t forget to create a social media content calendar to keep your content organized and consistent.
Don’t Forget a Social Media Content Calendar
You won’t ever harness the power of social media marketing as a small business by being random. Instead, you must post consistently, and a content calendar can help you do that.
Whether digital or physical, your content calendar should detail the following for each day a post is to go out on your platforms:
- Post title and topic
- Media type
- Any links or tags associated with the post
- What social media platform you’re publishing the content on
- When you’re going to check on the post’s performance
- The goal of the post and the CTA you’re using to get to that goal
It’s also important to be active on your social media platforms.
Be Active on Your Social Media Platforms
You must genuinely engage on your social media platforms. It’s that simple. If you aren’t active on your social media platforms, you will have a hard time with the algorithms. You’ll also miss valuable opportunities to connect with your audience, grow your authority, and develop authentic business relationships.
So, always keep your comments enabled. Respond to every comment, direct message, share, or shoutout you receive, whether negative or positive, to ensure you honor each individual’s experience with your brand and develop relationships appropriately.
Small businesses can harness the power of social media marketing so long as they have a solid strategy, understand their target audience, create fantastic content, and are committed to being as active as possible on their platforms.
It’s also crucial to track the performance of your social media content, each of your platforms, and how your audience engages on social media so that you can make productive adjustments to your strategy.
Focus on what you can do versus what you can’t and ensure you’re in it for the long haul to grow your social media presence.