How To promote your Business with Social Media
The United States Small Business Administration said in a report that there are close to 30 million registered small businesses across the country. This sector alone accounts for more than 50% of the country’s yearly sales and employs 55% of the total labor force. Likewise, it accounts for almost 70% of the yearly net growth of jobs. No doubt, it contributes a substantial part to the economic development of the nation.
Taking into account these figures, the only thing “small” about the small businesses in America is the slim operational model that they follow. These businesses usually start out as hobbies or part-time commercial endeavors of employed individuals. They expand their operations only after being seasoned over time and by investing cautiously. Considering the budget that they operate in, acquiring the services of a manager dedicated only to marketing would not be among the choices available for most of these types of businesses.
Thankfully, they can make up for their lack of finances with content marketing with a creative flair.
What are the ways that small businesses can maximize content creation and branding that support their development? Here are several business hacks and useful software for a successful marketing strategy that every entrepreneur must consider.
Become Your Own Social Media Guru
Learn a very handy business skill and study how to manage social media effectively, if assigning it to someone in your group is not possible. There are countless online courses to choose from, like Kaplan or Udemy. The fees start anywhere from $10 to more than $100 per lecture or for a whole course. This will allow you to pace your learning at your own speed and know the basic management techniques regarding social media and digital marketing. These courses teach you the things you can share and when to share them, so you can enhance your advantages of online community management professionally.
Useful software such as apps that send alerts thru your mobile device every time anyone makes a comment or likes the content posted on your social media accounts, and apps that allow you to preprogram the posting of your content online are very important to learn. These are the tools which experts use. Train your staff and yourself to react quickly and positively to questions and comments by customers made thru any of the social media platforms especially Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Analytics or metrics is the term used for measuring the interaction between commercial websites or social media accounts and their customers. Information collected from this analytics can immensely benefit small businesses in selling their trade online both locally and internationally. Businesses can learn the general location of customers, which posts attract most, the low and peak times of customer activity and much more. Sprout Social is a favorite choice in social media and web metrics. Its functions include reports on competitiveness, comprehensive scheduling software and much more.
Ride the Digital Waves: Learn Hashtags and Newsjacking
Building a strong awareness for your brand is a slow and tedious process, especially if you’re starting from scratch. It can take quite a lot of time and a huge amount of effort before it blooms and gains a stable following for your business but don’t get discouraged. Things will move a bit faster if you concentrate first locally and build awareness step-by-step for your brand from that point.
There is nothing distasteful in being up-to-date with current events or headlines in your area, commenting on them or liking posts and sharing them. Use them as a means to start establishing contacts with local businesses. It would be wise for small businesses to follow local business chambers, community organizations and local associations and clubs. Take the opportunity to promote your brand to a bigger audience thru maximizing trending hashtags. Always remember to keep your business relevant and in the thick of things locally.
Encourage Customers to Generate Content
When shared thru social media, user-generated content like reviews of products and services provide a big boost for small businesses. Motivating customers to create content and posting those delivers a healthy dose of attention to small businesses that advertise online.
A simple free dinner for the winner, if you run a restaurant, for example, can be your monthly prize as an incentive for the randomly chosen post on Instagram sharing their favorite item on the menu, using a unique hashtag for your restaurant. The hashtag allows the owner to select a winner at random. Definitely, the pictures showcasing the food you serve along with comments coming from happy customers are far more valuable than the monthly prize you offer. This is but one of the many ways that a small business can stimulate user-generated content without being too hard on the budget.
Marketing your Business via Visual-content
Nowadays, you don’t need to be a savvy video editor or professional graphic designer to produce visual multimedia content to post in your social feed. Luckily, there several low-cost or even free mobile device apps that make creative social-friendly posts easy to generate. The only challenge for small business owners is how to find time to learn using these apps.
Make Use of Online Business Review Platforms
Customer conversion for any brand is far from a walk-in-the-park and oftentimes an uphill struggle. Relying on positive comments coming from the businesses themselves will unsurprisingly be viewed as already biased. It is here where a good marketing plan comes into play by giving the right amount of focus on gaining positive reviews from customers. First-time customers of businesses today put a lot of weight in customer reviews of the service or product over and above the claims of the brand itself before purchasing anything.
There are a lot of options online which offer credible business reviews. You can find the type of service that suits you, ranging from the affordable ones to more expensive but user-friendly, with review formats that are high traffic and top notch.
If you are proud of the service that you provide and have a stellar track record, why not package it into a showcase and show it off on your website and social media. As a mark of your credibility, this will put your online reputation on a solid foundation. Find a simple and very user-friendly way for customers to give comments and reviews on your business. You can do this by placing a funnel on your online site. Don’t forget to always answer questions or comments posted on your sites and in a customer-oriented way.
Lastly, focus on distinguishing your brand in the market by allowing its uniqueness and personality to shine and take center stage. Customers also trust businesses more that show their human-interest or the personal side. From a public relations point of view, activities like anniversaries, birthdays, staff appreciation and charitable events are also valuable in building a good brand image.
The uniqueness and personality of small businesses are the reason why customers love to buy from them. Take hold of your passion and let the positive aura glow and watch your business grow.
Jason Banks | Brand Strategist
I specialize in growth marketing for Grolo by optimizing social media, digital advertising, branding, and content creation for small business clients. I would love to hear about your brand or business that would benefit from fun, creative and most importantly effective growth strategy.