Social Media for Small Business
Having a social media presence for your business is important, regardless of the size of your company. Social media is for businesses of all sizes, and there’s no reason that you can’t maximize your effectiveness on sites such as Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. But getting the most out of your social presence means much more than simply posting regularly and responding genuinely, although these are certainly cornerstones of the practice.
It’s about identifying and engaging with your market in a meaningful way.
In this article, we will discuss tips for small businesses to maximize the impact of their social media presence. You don’t have to be a dedicated marketing expert, nor do you even need to allocate too much labor. But to squeeze a little more value out of your efforts, you do need a little perspective.
Know What’s Trending
Understanding what is trending — which celebrity did what, what hashtag game @midnight is playing, etc. — will not only allow you to appear in the feeds of users searching for that trend, it will also signify that your company is “with it” in terms of their grasp of newer technologies. You’ll be able to interact more effectively. A survey done by LinkedIn claimed that 81% of businesses use social media; and they’re doing it in large part by keeping an eye on these trending topics and showcasing, if not the relevance of their products or services, their relevance as a brand with which their end customers can identify and relate.
Know Both your Current and Target Audiences
These can be different, or they can be one and the same. Know your current audience’s demographics and employment — social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter have made this even easier for businesses that use their platform — but keep an eye for what you expect your customer demographics to be in the future. This might translate into retaining an aging market knowing that you will eventually need to appeal to younger audiences. Understanding these audiences is the key to keeping your communications effective for each market you intend to reach, whether it means doing so within the same message and medium or segmenting your communications towards each separately.
Use Multiple Channels
With a variety of social media sites out there, you want to make sure that you’re on as many as you can be, particularly since you want to maximize your reach. Each platform may have slightly different segments of the populations you intend to reach, and each platform has it’s own advantages as far as analytics and integrations are concerned — allowing you to tap into the “big data” these networks have access to while at the same time expanding your reach.
Consider Multiple Websites
As you understand more and more about the audiences you wish to reach, and the networks that give you the best leg up on reaching them, you may find, as we mentioned above, that you have multiple demographics you’re targeting that may not overlap. That’s ok, and in fact, Facebook and Twitter give businesses plenty of options to create smart, targeted communications that appear to the exact people you want to see it. You may also find that establishing additional web properties may have advantages over simply setting up dedicated landing pages on your business website when it comes to reaching out to diverse demographics using social media integrations and marketing communications.
Actively Follow People
On Twitter, you’re able to tailor your “find followers” section to those that are in your area. If you have a Twitter account, you should follow people in your area first; don’t just wait for followers to be attracted to your account. This way, you’re proactive in reaching out to potential viewers. You can even send them a direct message thanking them for the follow and explaining a little bit about your business. That way, they know you acknowledge them and are responsive to any questions they may have. On social media, it is important to be proactive in your outreach. Don’t just wait for the likes and the follows to come, actively engage on behalf of your business.
Explore Potential Partnerships
Consider cross-promotion on social media very carefully. As we said above, being proactive in your engagement can encourage more engagement from your audiences. Likewise, you can find nearby or related businesses that, while not competing with you, may be able to benefit from your audience as much as you might benefit from theirs. Likewise, you may find other kinds of strategic partnerships. It not only increases your social media following, it also allows you to build relationships with other businesses in your community or niche.
Social media is imperative in today’s technological environment. Small businesses are able to interact more effectively with both their local clientele, as well as test their marketability on larger scales typically without much risk or opportunity cost. You don’t have to have a large marketing department or be an expert — you just have to remember that it’s about meaningful engagement and building relationships, not the number of posts you put out in a day.