The age of digital marketing: Social Media for Small Business
Now is the age when small businesses face a tough challenge from the big boys that can go all out with digital marketing. Now is the age of social media that offers the best channel for small businesses to thrive and compete.
If you own and operate a small business then social media could be all you need.
The simple reason is that about 3 billion people across the world are on social media.
LinkedIn has over 290 million users; Twitter has 335 million, YouTube about 1.9 billion, Instagram about 1 billion and Facebook about 2.2 billion.
If you have been ignoring the importance of social media for business marketing, now is the best time to know just how powerful it is and get started with these tips.
Social goes with local
Small businesses are local in nature to start with.
You will be heartened to know that 30% of all mobile searches are local and 76% of people who carried out local searches visit that business and 28% searches resulted in a purchase.
Couple this with the fact that Twitter has 336 million users, YouTube 1.9 billion, Facebook 2.2 billion and Instagram 1 billion. Read Stats Here
You have a powerful platform to push sales, local or even international simply by being active on these social media platforms.
Highlight the local nature of your business, if that is what it is, on your social media pages, create a presence on My Business with Google and list your business in Google Maps.
You create a powerful presence on social media with this and other social media tips that appear below.
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Social media means interactive
Big businesses that have their websites and a full-fledged digital marketing strategy in place still focus on social media. Why? It is interactive.
Customers can and do express everything on social media from an interest in buying, interest in reviews by other users and interest in discounts as well as services after-sales.
Social media is interactive and there is an immediacy about it. For instance, suppose someone responds to your offer on social media, you can give a reply, receive a reply and conclude the matter. It is not just about selling.
You have a platform to build relationships that can develop to a level where have ardent followers who will happily push your company in their circles.
You get free promotion. This happens on Facebook. LinkedIn is another channel with its unique value proposition.
Social media marketing tip: Be interactive. Post something and be sure to invite comments and responses that will lead to conversations.
LinkedIn – the vital links
Facebook is a sort of general purpose channel in which you can mix personal, business, social and hobby with general chitchat.
However, LinkedIn is in a different class-purely professional and one of the best social media for business marketing platforms.
This is where you create your professional profile, list your career achievements and describe your business. This is where you have the opportunity to forge vital links with people engaged in production, sales and marketing.
You could form collaborations and connect with professionals who will assist you to grow your small business. You, in turn, can project an air of authority and have opportunities coming your way.
LinkedIn tip: Create a full profile and try LinkedIn ads. People on LinkedIn will show interest. Respond.
Get them to recommend you and recommend them in turn. As someone said, “It is who you know that matters, not what you know.”
Images and video
TikTok exploded on the social media scene and tops the chart. It is purely video based. There is a lesson here. People like videos and images.
Apart from TikTok, you have Youtube, Pinterest and Instagram for videos and images. Instagram is ideal for images since you can post a variety of images in different categories and, importantly use it for social media marketing by adding product description and price.
Interested visitors may click to buy. Social media is about sharing and if you take the trouble to post interesting images you are likely to build up a large followers group.
The video should be high on your list of must-do social media marketing activities. Create an entire series around your product and post the videos on YouTube and Vimeo.
In addition, post these on your Facebook page as well. Cross link them all.
Important social media tip: Post at least one image and video at least once a week.
Do you feel intimidated by all these different channels? Do you lack the time? Then focus on Facebook, one of the best social media for small business channels.
You can write informative content, create posts, post videos and images, announce discount offers and rewards and invite your customers to post their stories.
It is a happening place and interesting too once you create interactions.
Facebook tip: Whenever you post anything, ask people questions and they will respond. It builds conversations.
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Twitter is certainly a powerful tool that has created viral online storms. Follow people relevant to you, retweet their tweets.
However, do not forget to tweet about yourself, your business and your latest offers. Tweets have a way of being picked up and then they take wing.
The other side of the coin
Social media marketing is a powerful tool provided everything is positive and you stay on your toes to respond.
The other side of the coin is that social media can also be used against you to harm your reputation.
Should you steam ahead with social media for small business then be prepared to invest time to attend to inquiries and complaints promptly.
If you do not a disgruntled individual may post a negative comment and that could be just as well picked up and spread around.
It is a good idea to entrust social media marketing to experts.
However, should you decide to do it on your own, focus on just one or two platforms, follow these social media marketing tips and be assiduous.