6 Essential Social Media Tips for Small Businesses

Small businesses often dismiss the power of social media. This is because it can be difficult to get noticed when you only have a few thousand customers. However, one of the best ways to grow your business, generate leads, and create conversions is through social media.

According to research from Pew Research Center, 90 percent of young adults use social media, and 70 percent of the U.S. population has at least one social profile. By 2018, one third of the world population is expected to be on social media. That’s a lot of potential customers, even if your goals aren’t that big yet.   

Despite the obvious potential of marketing on social media, not all businesses are taking part, small businesses in particular. “To many small business owners, social media is scary and it’s uncharted territory for them,” says National Business Capital, a well known source for small business financing. “These business owners have a false sense of cost and productivity that having a social media presence can bring. Not only is it essential to have a website in today’s changing market, but it is also essential to stay up to speed with social media trends as many consumers buy all of their products based on posts or ads from their social media profiles.”

Social media marketing can make a huge impact on the success of any business, but only if they’re willing to put themselves out there and expand their reach.

For small businesses looking to make a ramp up their marketing, here are eight social media essentials.

1. Set Goals

Before you set up your social media marketing campaign, you must first know what you want to achieve. Every business will have different objectives, and you must determine what will benefit your company most.

One common goal is furthering your audience reach. This goal is measurable because it’s based on the number of followers you have. You might also set goals for engagement, conversions, content marketing, or anything else that aligns with your brand.

2. Identify the Target Audience

Hopefully, at this point, you know who your target audience is. Now, you need to find them on social media. This may require going into greater detail about demographics and customer traits, since social media dynamics can change the playing field.

3. Follow Competitors

Build a list of your competitors and research them extensively. Don’t be afraid to follow them on social media so you can see what their customers are interested in seeing. This can also give you a good idea of what customers don’t like to see, which can save you from making similar mistakes.

4. Engage Regularly

Be consistent and engaging with your interactions, rather than posting for the sake of posting. It’s important to stick to a regular schedule to ensure your presence remains consistent, but it’s more important to publish content that adds real value to your customers and their current situations.

Also, be sincere and authentic. Make consumers feel like you genuinely care by using their names, replying to comments, reaching out through messages, and being present on your profiles.

5. Increase Your Content Marketing Strategy

You’re probably already posting content to your social profiles, but that’s not always enough. Work on improving your content marketing strategy so that it can bring more engagement from the audience and create a sense of urgency that drives people to action.

One great way to improve your content is through repurposing content you already have. Think outside the box and create posts that expand on something that was published in the past. You might also turn a video into a blog post or vice versa and market it on your social channel.

6. Build Trust

When your customers trust you, they’re more likely to make return visits and tell their friends about their great experiences. Staying engaged and present on your social media profiles is a great way to build trust, while neglecting your social presence is a great way to lose it.

Social media is good for building trust, simply because it gives your business a voice. It humanizes your interactions and allows customers to see your company personality. People are more likely to trust people than machines.

As you expand your customer reach, deliver authentic content, and nurture current relationships through social media, you’ll see the power of this simple marketing tool, as it opens doors and makes it possible for your business to expand.

Larry Alton (@LarryAlton3) is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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