5 Ways Small-Businesses Can Use Social Media Marketing To Grow Their Businesses
Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat have revolutionized how we connect with our friends and family. Social media has transformed how we communicate with each other. I think you can agree with me that it has transformed how humanity socializes, especially with the advent of smartphone.
Anyway, away from that, it is arguably one of the most important tool or vessel small businesses can use to grow their presence in the digital media. Nowadays small businesses cannot ignore the importance of establishing a social media presence, as most of your potential customers and clients are spend time on social media platforms on a daily basis.
Our world is now connected to a point that we utilize our friends and family for recommendations when conducting a customer research purchases on the internet superhighway. With this in mind, small businesses can and should capitalize on this and establish an interactive and vibrant presence on these platforms. In fact, social media platforms like Facebook and Pinterest have recently incorporated ecommerce capabilities into their ecosystem to allow users to shop seamlessly within the social media platforms without the need to logout and access an ecommerce website outside these social platforms. Features such as the “Buy” button served within these social media platforms show the future of online shopping.
This changes in consumer purchase habits as influenced by social media platforms provides small businesses especially the ones with an online retail store more opportunities to grow their customer base and ultimately, their revenues.
According to a Statistics & Trends on U.S. Social Commerce carried out in 2014, Facebook led the way with 85-percent of orders coming from this social media platform. Facebook had an average spend of $55, Pinterest $58.95 and Instagram $65. This shows you the trends in ecommerce and generally, the power and potential social media sites can have on your business.
Small businesses don’t need large and significant budgets like large businesses to fully reap the benefits and potential of social media marketing; they just need the right mindset, strategies and support to drive them towards increased revenue. Another key advantage is that since small-businesses are relatively small, agile and nimble, they can easily make decisions on the fly as compared to the large corporations which require consensus and bureaucratic decision-making processes.
Some of the strategies small-businesses can utilize to bolster sales and revenues in 2016 and beyond include:
- Get social on social
The nature of engagement and interaction on social media sites or platforms is personal. What does this mean? I bet you would ask. In essence, social media sites are venues for genuine connections, conversations and dialogues that results in establishing a long-term relationship with a potential client or customers. Moreover, it is a place where you nurture loyalty of such customers or clients. In addition, it is a medium that can be used to promote visual stories through rich media (video, image) to elicit positive emotions, eventually leading to people sharing.
You may also encourage user-generated content in the sense that you allow your customers or clients to hare their content of interest, so long as it remains relevant and within the confines of your industry or field. In doing so, you make your customers or clients feel connected and part of your business or brand which leads to more purchases and new customers.
2. Focus on building a community
Social media marketing is a powerful tool to increase your reach, attract ideal and potential clients or customers for your business and create long-lasting relationships. Experts have shown how social media marketing can help you create a tribe (raving and loyal fans) for your brand and business. However, unlike traditional advertising, social media marketing is all about people. It’s all about conversations. It’s all about mutual exchanges. It’s all about creating value and providing value. Leading with value, not spamming people with your business opportunity, as this wouldn’t work. It is a place for nurture, engagement and relationships. In other words, you’ve to have different mindset when choosing social media sites as an outreach for your business and brand.
To attract your ideal client or customer, you first must engage with them on a constant basis through your content (leading by giving value first) and carry on with consistent conversations. Engage with influencers in your industry or field to grow your fan base and circle of influence. Engaging with the aim of building a community is a sure-way for building a long-term business, so long as you serve and attend to their needs your business will flourish.
3. Quality always trump quantity
Although this might be hard for some of you to implement as far as the balance between quality over quantity is concerned. You should focus more on quality versus quantity. Don’t get me wrong it is equally important to post regularly during the day; however, quality trumps quantity in any day. Remember your customers or clients look for value, with this in mind, it is also important not to choke them up with too much of your content as they are already being bombarded with a million of things; all competing for their attention, so to totally strike out, I would strongly recommend you post a few times a day but focus more on providing high-quality content that delivers on their needs or solves their problem. You would rather post twice a day and your message relayed effectively and absorbed fully as opposed to posting 3–4 times a day and shrinks the attention span of your audience.
4. Place premium focus on providing world-class customer service
Since your business may have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or on all of them, your customer will use your Facebook page or Twitter handle as their core resource for customer service support. It is for this reason that you should always interact well and promptly with your customer, and try to solve whatever query or issues they may have. This is where most small-businesses make a mistake of not investing in providing some sort of customer support, which may result in negative customer experience. If you don’t address such a disgruntled or unhappy customer, you may kiss goodbye your social media reputation as he or she will poison the well with negative “reviews” about your business or company.
Conversely, you can assign someone in your team or outsource this aspect of your business to ensure that your customers are well-taken care of. For instance, Facebook Messenger is now being used as a customer service tool or resource by customers, thus it can be critical tool which small businesses can use to provide personalized customer service to you clients, customers or potential customers.
5. Invest in advertising
Setting aside some money from time to time to support your social media efforts is a smart strategy as you’re putting your money where your mouth is. Advertising is the lifeblood of any thriving business. Coca-Cola is a well-known brand globally, yet they spend millions of dollars annually to promote their brand and beverages. I’m not saying you should have millions of dollars to throw on advertising, other than you can start on a relatively small budget. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even Google AdWords can tolerate small budgets to run successful campaigns that generate a positive ROI for your ad spend. On the other hand, If you don’t have the skills to run a successful social media campaign in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram, you can consider hiring an expert to run a done for you social media campaigns while you focus on your core competency; product creation, coaching, consultancy, or whatever your core competency is.
With these strategies, small businesses can apply to witness an increase on their sales and revenue. If you’re really serious and committed to the success of your business, results are guaranteed. You just have to adapt a different way of doing things that adds value to your internal processes (productivity) and empowering mindset and seek the right support to make your business flourish and thrive.