How to Effectively Use Social Media for SMBs
Today, mainstream marketing has hit a point that only sizeable multi-billion dollar corporations can use it. That doesn’t mean that most small and medium businesses are out of options. They can still compete with the people’s tools: social media marketing.
“Social media is about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people, and the people will provide for you.” – Matt Goulart.
Consider that all social media has an active user base of more than 4.6 billion people worldwide.1 With the correct tools and action plan, you can improve your business statistics while building your brand image for the right crowd.
Of course, it is easier to say than do. There are many social media marketing strategies and just as many social media marketers. Each has its take on the market, ranging from proven email campaigns to embracing uncharted technology like VR.
12 Essential Social Media Strategies for Small and Medium Businesses
Social media is vast. Multiple platforms cater to different crowds. However, here is a definitive list of social media tips for small businesses recommended by top industry experts.
1. Draw a Definitive Action Plan
Sure, terms like ‘Blockchain’ and ‘Metaverse’ sound futuristic, yet you must focus on the ultimate goal of any social media campaign. Decide on what your product/service offers and build a target audience.
Lay down your plan with a SMART framework: Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.
It would be best to research your competition. Gloss over the marketing campaigns and observe each response in detail, especially those that failed. Use your creativity to bring in your modifications and make it work.
2. Choose the Appropriate Platforms
Remember how Spiderman defeated Doctor Octopus because he couldn’t keep control of his arms? Your social media initiative need not suffer the same fate. LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok — your business should be present on each one, yet focus the marketing on no more than two.
Most people would only think of LinkedIn as the social media for business owners. Yet, studies show that the target audience of businesses determines the most suitable platform, not the business itself.2 For example, while car buyers may have the biggest audience on Facebook, Instagram caters best to performance car manufacturers.
3. Identify the Correct Audience
Understanding your target demographic takes more than just determining the net income, location, and age group. It would help to analyse their interests and spending behaviour before including them in your campaign.
Contrary to popular belief, SMBs don’t spy on potential audience members. Instead, you can use a few digital instruments to gain the required data. Survey Monkey can assist in getting the required feedback from potential customers. You can also create Facebook groups, and Twitter accounts to address them directly.
4. Help It Grow
Upon publishing a few posts and running a couple of campaigns, analyse the audience response. Once you identify the appropriate audience, it is time to expand on it. Social media marketing for small businesses takes place on a limited budget. You should make the most of every cent.
Brandwatch is a valuable tool you can use for this purpose 3 . It can help you track your brand’s mentions in blogs, forums, newsletters, and other open-source content. It can show you the response for your brand outside the regular circles. In turn, you can grow your audience with relevant information.
5. Keep Up With the Latest Trends
The only consistent thing about social media is its inconsistency. New trends come and go all the time. What seems like a sure-shot win one day can become irrelevant the next. In the wise words of David Beebe:
“Content marketing is like a first date. If you only talk about yourself, there won’t be a second one.”
Thus, it becomes essential to keep up with the latest trends. It may not affect your industry directly, but marketing regarding popular topics can get eyes on your business. What is social media marketing if not addressing the interests of the public?
6. Try Including E-Commerce for the Suitable Products
Sometimes, it is too much effort for customers to go through your services via official websites or social media channels. You can use e-commerce websites to cut the process short.
Use Instagram or Facebook Shop to list the products you can deliver online. You can also approach established retailers such as the Souled Store or Project Orochi to create customised products that promote your brand.
7. Tune the Content to Fit Multiple Formats
Your published content on social media should follow the 80-20 rule (80% information and 20% promotion). Therefore, an ideal post should include useful info without filler. It would be best to keep your content crisp and to the point.
Design your content to port between multiple platforms without too many modifications.
Don’t leave out the platforms where you have a smaller audience. For instance, 93% of Twitter users are happy with a brand joining a conversation, especially when they’re there to help 4 . Surprising when you consider that not many social media tips for small businesses include Twitter as a relevant platform for feedback.
8. Make Use of Automation Tools
There is only so much social media for business owners to do in 24 hours. It is where automation and AI come into play.
You can let intelligent software handle a few tasks to relieve some pressure on your specialists. These can include scheduling posts at odd hours or chatbots that answer common queries for every visitor.
9. Focus on Quality Over Quantity
Posting day-in, day-out at a high frequency is the clear way to let your audience lose interest. You need not put together a post haphazardly to publish it on the same day. Take your time to deliver high-quality content instead of keeping things at lightspeed.
10. Never Let Go of Trusted Methods
Just because there are innovative new ways for small businesses to use social media doesn’t mean you should let go of old ones. Email marketing is still the process with the highest ROI. Moreover, blog posts remain a practical guide for influencing people’s opinions on a specific topic.5
11. Use Hard Data to Track Your Progress
You’re not observant enough if you think marketing specialists waste their office time staring at smartphones. Apps like Buffer and REP can provide you with real-time data to track the social media performance of your business.
If you have active campaigns, you should often check your Facebook Ads Manager or Google Ads account to obtain the data and track their progress.
12. Keep Your Marketing Campaigns Adaptive
Change is the law of nature and social media marketing for SMBs. It would help if you always looked for ways to improve your social media marketing campaigns. Don’t stop them after a small drop or in the middle of the planned tenure. Strive for re-marketing assets to assess what went wrong and modify it for further operations.
And there is all you need on what is social media marketing for small businesses. We hope these valuable strategies help your business prosper. Do you have some suggestions of your own? Let us know through the comments below.