Social media marketing for small businesses allows business owners to increase brand awareness, build customer relationships, and complete online sales transactions directly on social platforms. However, learning how to use social media for small businesses is about more than casually posting a few times a month or using the same ten general hashtags under every post. Begin to develop your social media marketing strategy by brainstorming exactly how social media can benefit your small business and how to create content that competes amongst industry trends and attracts potential customers. We'll provide a social media marketing complete guide for small businesses along with its benefits.
Why Social Media Marketing is Important for Local Businesses
Social media has quickly become one of the most popular and vital parts of online marketing. Today, almost every company understands the value of using Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms to connect with potential consumers and partners. Social media websites are free to use, and they should ideally have paid advertising choices designed expressly for individuals who want to reach even more audiences.
However, just because client companies should be on social media doesn't imply that it should be on every web. To avoid spreading yourself too thin, you must select and nurture platforms that perform best for your Local SEO Services. If you want to create a successful plan in this location, you need to understand how each network works, the type of audience you want to attract, and the best ways to use each platform.
The first step is to learn the importance of social media marketing for small businesses. With social media marketing, you are building your brand. Your brand requires a strong foundation to ensure it continues to stand tall, strong, and successful.
Using social media is critical for businesses to build relationships with their audience, not just for the purpose of increasing sales but also for the brand's equity and reputation. There are a lot of benefits of social media marketing. In fact, 90% of marketers say their social media marketing efforts increased the exposure of their brand. 75% say these efforts have increased their traffic. Here are the many benefits of social media marketing that we think you should be aware of.
In order for your company to be successful, you need customers. And you cannot get those customers if they do not know you exist. Seeing as how creating a business profile is free on all major platforms, this is an amazing way to spread the word about your business. One thing you can't overlook here is your goal. Do you want more online sales? Do you want to attract more customers to your shop? Once you figure that out, you can plan your strategy and decide which channels are best for your small business.
Social networking is one of the most convenient and successful online marketing channels for increasing brand visibility. All you have to do now is set up a social media account and start networking with potential clients and partners. You may significantly boost your company's visibility by executing a social media marketing strategy. In fact, over 90% of marketers report that by spending just a few hours per week on social media, their marketing activities have improved both user experience and brand visibility.
When it comes to advertising, one of the most cost-effective methods is social media marketing. Signing up on these platforms is completely free of cost. However, if you decide to use paid advertising on the networks, it's best to start modestly to see what you can expect. Cost-effectiveness is always important since it allows for a higher return on investment and a huge budget for other business expenses. By investing a little money and time, it is possible to increase conversion rates and eventually earn ROI on your initial investment.
Thanks to social media, you can keep tabs on your competitors. You can monitor their social media tactics, the products they're advertising, their campaigns, and the manner of customer interaction. By using this data, you can easily spot what's working for them and see if you should change anything in terms of your approach. Moreover, monitoring your competitors' social accounts can ensure your business marketing is on-brand and stands out.
Social media provides an opportunity for businesses to research their markets and discover new demographics. They can use this data to improve their business strategies, such as building a better website or creating stronger products. Market researchers can keep track of current and emerging trends using social media. One of the most effective methods to do so is by monitoring and searching hashtags that are relevant to the industry, product, or company being researched. Through social media marketing, businesses can gather important information about their target markets and use it to improve their marketing efforts.
With Custom Audiences, you can create extremely targeted ads, allowing you to improve their effectiveness and your conversion rates! Here's a look at some ways that you can put these audiences to work for you:
Target Visitors Who Didn't Convert
A significant percentage of your website visitors won't buy on their first visit –a number will abandon their carts. With a Custom Audience, though, you can reach out and target these visitors, reminding them of a purchase that they may have forgotten or offering incentives for them to revisit your website and complete their purchase.
Retarget People Who Have Visited Your Website
You can also use Custom Audiences to reach visitors to your website or those who take specific actions on your site. This is especially handy since you can target people who visit a certain page or view a specific product and leave. To track website visitors, you'll need to use what's known as a Custom Audience Pixel. You install this Pixel –a snippet of code, on your website and then customize it to track different audience actions. For example, page load, video watched, button clicked, and more.
This is a great chance to experiment with different ads to see which ones convert the best. Consider running ads that outline specific product features, offering a coupon for a discount or free shipping, or simply reminding your audience about the product itself.
Reach Subscribers Who Don't Open Your Emails
If you have an email list, and some of your subscribers aren't opening your emails, you can target them as well. Consider showing them what you have to offer. Choose an image, find a great key message, and then create a Custom Audience using their email addresses to target them with specific ads. Keep in mind that these lists should only include people who have consented to be contacted by you. If they opt out, you should make sure they are no longer included in the lists.
Recover Previous Customers
Have some customers who haven't made a purchase in a while? You can use Custom Audiences to win them back. Consider sharing exciting news about your product or offering a discount coupon.
Tips for Local Businesses
In the decades since the popularization of the Internet, our physical lives and digital lives have become deeply intertwined. This is in large part thanks to the rise of the smartphone; when you're hungry, you can Google "pizza near me" and find the nearest pizzeria. Locally-based businesses can take advantage of how integrated the Web is with our everyday lives to find and keep clients. Social media platforms may have billions of users, but today the focus is on the users who matter to local businesses. This guide will help you find and interact meaningfully with clients in your area by using social media.
When a client uses the check-in feature, your location will be broadcast to their followers and friends. That's great news for you. You're not only getting free advertising for your business; you're getting one of the best kinds of advertising – a recommendation from a trusted source. You want to incentivize this behavior, so opt to offer check-in deals. Own a restaurant? Offer a free coffee or soda with a check-in. Other venues might offer discounts, coupons, or other small tokens of appreciation for check-ins.
Get on Instagram
Instagram is an incredible platform for locally-based businesses. A vast majority of Instagram users follow at least one business account, and most Instagram users say they've made a purchase based on the posts they've seen on the platform. The pictorial nature of the site gives you plenty of opportunities to showcase what makes your business different from other local or national companies. Take videos of your manufacturing process and of the people who work in the company. Take photos of your end products, artisanal work, delicious food, and light fixtures you've installed – whatever your business does, showcase it!
Use Twitter Lists
Twitter lists are a useful tool for learning about the news, events, and movers and shakers relevant to your local concerns. You can make very broad lists, including almost every Twitter user in your city or neighborhood. You can make smaller lists, like "Local Craft Brew Lovers," catered to interests more relevant to your business niche. Using these lists, you can stay on top of what's relevant locally, riffing on what's exciting to people right now to create pertinent social media posts. There are often Twitter lists readily available in any given community that you can join; if there aren't, create your own. The community will thank you for it, and clout isn't a bad thing in the world of social media!
Use Locally Relevant Hashtags
Perfecting the art of the hashtag is an essential piece of the local social media puzzle. You'll be well-served by following a lot of relevant local businesses and using the Twitter lists mentioned above. Look at what hashtags people in your area are using and jump on board. Finding the sweet spot for hashtags can be a bit tricky – you want to use hashtags that are broad enough that people search for them but niche enough that you won't be drowned out in the noise. Fortunately, most platforms give you ample room to use a number of different hashtags, so try things that you think will be relevant to your local niche and use analytics to parse down what's working and what isn't.
Find Out Where Your Clients are Hanging Out
No two people use social media the same way. People join different Facebook groups, follow different Instagram influencers, and watch different Twitter trends. The Twitter lists mentioned above can help you glean this information; there are a few other ways you can do it, too. Ask your customers where they spend time online and who they follow – you can ask in person or through a survey. Conduct a search for groups relevant to your interests. If clients are interested in purchasing your products or services, there's likely some overlap. Have you found that there aren't a lot of local groups catered to your interests? Make one yourself. The best place for your customers to hang out is in a space created by you.
The methods that have been evaluated so far are all close to free or free; buying ads is a totally different way of getting local clients through social media. The big players in the industry all have targeted pay-per-click ads. The targeting means that you can narrow your advertising down to very specific demographics: local people who have already expressed interest in similar products or services to yours, for example. Social media advertising campaigns are best used as part of a holistic advertising strategy, featuring things like multivariate landing page campaigns. Going into that would lead us off topic, but it's something to keep in mind.
The Best Social Media Platforms and How to Use Them
There are lots of social media platforms available to small businesses today, and the ones you use can play a major role in your social media marketing success. Factors like your industry, audience, and brand can all influence the network you use.
Facebook is the most popular social network in the world, with more than two billion users. As a result, you can find just about anyone on Facebook, provided they have access to the Internet. That means almost everyone in your customer base has a Facebook account, which is why it's a top social media site for businesses.
With such a broad appeal, Facebook gives you the chance to turn your customer base into a community. You can share behind-the-scenes looks at your company, new deals on your services, and more by creating a simple Facebook page. It only takes a few minutes to create, and once you upload some photos, you can start reaching out to Facebook users for followers.
Photos, contests, questions, videos, and other short posts work exceptionally well on Facebook. You can also use text updates to keep your followers informed, but they won't perform as well as your photos or videos. And you can always use your Facebook to promote new content that you've created to get visitors to your site.
There are a few unique features that Facebook can offer your business. What makes Facebook one of the best social media platforms for business is its targeted digital advertising platform.
With Facebook ads, you are able to target those who are most likely willing and ready to purchase your products or services. This ensures that your business gets your ad content in front of the right users at the right time. Another reason why Facebook is one of the best social media platforms for business is its social media eCommerce integrations.
Facebook makes it easy for users to purchase from your company through the social media platform. Making a purchase is as easy as clicking one button. Facebook has now allowed brands to interact with customers through Facebook messenger. Through this, you can also provide shipping updates and other order notifications through the Facebook platform as well.
Twitter gives its users a steady stream of information and new content from all over the Internet. It has millions of engaged users every month, and practically every brand in the world has an account to update its customers. This social network for businesses may not have the same broad audience as Facebook, but it's easily one of the most accessible networks on the planet.
However, Twitter famously limits its users to messages of 280 characters or fewer.
That means you have to be concise, interesting, and informative all in one tweet, and that's not easy. But when you do it correctly, people can favor or retweet what you've written so that you can appeal to a broader audience. Basically, when you want to expand brand awareness, Twitter is one of the best social media platforms.
When it comes to Twitter, there are a few valuable features that may help it qualify to be one of the best social media platforms for business. Brands can use Twitter to reach and engage their audience. Hashtags allow you to follow and participate in conversations about trending topics in your industry. You can use hashtags to reach more Twitter followers who might be interested in your content. Your brand can also take advantage of topics that are trending to expand your reach.
Twitter also offers advertising opportunities for companies that want to deliver digital ads to their target customers on the social media platform. They have multiple options for ad formats, depending on your unique digital advertising goals.
You can promote your account, which will show up in the left column, or promote a tweet from your brand, which will appear in the user's Twitter feed. There is also the option to promote a certain trend that your company may be used to start a conversation among target users. It's also worth noting that Twitter is well-known for its search engine. This may also help your demographic find your business while it's searching for specific keywords and content.
Instagram is one of the youngest social networks out there, with a majority of users under 25. That makes it the perfect social network for brands or companies that target young, hip demographics. Photos and short videos with a small amount of text do exceptionally well on Instagram, and it also integrates with your Facebook and Twitter accounts, so you can use the same photos across multiple platforms.
Instagram tends to have a bigger following in urban areas, meaning companies that focus on fashion or digital tech will usually do better than companies focused on agriculture or home-building. Although that's not to say you still can't find success if you're not a young, trendy company — just that you'll have to be a little more creative with the photos you take.
A social media agency can help you with this challenge and help you make the most of this social media site for businesses.
Instagram's unique social media platform can provide some powerful benefits for your business. One of the best benefits of Instagram is that it allows you to tell your brand's story with unique and engaging visual content.
Unlike other social media platforms, Instagram is heavily focused on visuals, both images and video. No matter what industry your company is in, you can use Instagram to showcase your products and tell your brand story in a way that's visually appealing.
One interesting feature that can be useful is Instagram stories. With Instagram stories, you can take live videos and share them with all of your followers. With this feature, you can easily provide behind-the-scenes footage of your business and share important news and updates with your followers.
Like Facebook, Instagram also allows you to message users directly. This can be a great tool for customer service. For instance, if a consumer finds you on Instagram and has a question about your products or services.
They no longer have to navigate to your website or pick up the phone to ask. Instead, they can direct message you through Instagram, which allows you to answer questions and address concerns instantly. If this excites you, Instagram may be your best social media platform for business.
Pinterest is a place to share (or "pin") different visual content so that other people can see it. That can include everything from a scarf to an infographic, which means practically any company can find at least part of their niche on this social network. It's one of the best social media platforms to promote new visual content you create, especially if you regularly maintain boards.
Use some graphic design magic to spruce up some statistics or other interesting, evergreen content that'll continue to get pins and grow your brand awareness over time. This is especially helpful if your company makes a product or offers a service specifically for women — statistically, about 85% of Pinterest's user base is female.
And if you don't, you can still make Pinterest work for you. It has several hundred million users every month, and some of them are bound to be interested in what you have to offer.
In terms of professionalism, no social network can beat LinkedIn. It's a thriving community of workers and business owners who share and connect on a professional level, making it much more formal than other social media platforms. Because of that, its users tend to respond better to B2B content than to B2C.
In general, that means companies that seek businesses as clients will have more success than companies that market directly to consumers. Decision-makers and influencers are all over LinkedIn, and if you can get your brand and message to them, you can get another sale.
One of the best qualities of LinkedIn is that audiences on this social media platform are business-minded.
This means that they are often open to networking opportunities and hearing about ways to improve the way they work or make their job easier. This provides an excellent opportunity for B2B brands that would like to connect with business decision-makers across different industries.
Another feature that makes LinkedIn one of the best social media platforms is its digital advertising opportunities. Though digital ads on LinkedIn may be more expensive than ads on Facebook. This ad opportunity allows B2B brands to reach individuals from the specific industries that they are targeting. Similarly, LinkedIn allows you to deliver ad content to those with the job roles that are involved with making purchasing decisions related to a company's B2B offering.
LinkedIn also has groups that users can join and participate in based on their industry, job function, or career interests. This provides an excellent opportunity for brands to drive real engagement with influencers and decision-makers across different industries. Ultimately, if you serve businesses or professionals, then LinkedIn is for you. It should definitely be in the running as a top contender for social media platforms to choose from your business.
YouTube is kind of a catch-all when it comes to content since so many people use it (it's the second-largest search engine in the world after Google). Comedy and music both do well on YouTube, but that doesn't mean you can't use this social media platform for your business.
In fact, it's just the opposite.
Product reviews, instructional videos, and similar kinds of content do exceptionally well on YouTube, especially when you're educating part of your target market. Plus, once you make a video, it'll start to show up in Google and YouTube search results, and you can promote it on your other social accounts. When your customers want to learn, you simply can't beat YouTube.
How to Build and Implement Social Media Strategy
Each social media site is different in terms of the content its users share. You have to fit in and create content that goes with the overall theme of the network. If you need more advice on how to implement a strategy for social media marketing for small businesses – that's our specialty.
At Universal Creative Solutions, we're constantly up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices when it comes to social media marketing, and we'll strive every day to get you the results that you want to see.
With the power of social media on your side, your business can grow like never before!
Are you ready to get more customers through the best social media platforms for small businesses? Schedule a free consultation call with us today to lay out a strategy that'll work for your business!