For small businesses still existing only as a brick-and-mortar store, it’s high time they took their business online and leverage on the tools online marketing has provided.
It’s the desire of any small business is to connect with its target customers in a profound and personal way. One way they can is to make social media marketing the core or integrate it into their marketing strategy.
It is widely accepted that we now live in a convenience economy where customer service and experience is key.
Where business stores are not just stores but also a distribution point for online merchants.
The place of Social media in whether a business will be successful or fail is growing daily.
Social media marketing is the best way a small business can present what they do, reach and interact with their target audience/customer with the available limited resources at their disposal.
Traditional marketing as we know it can be expensive and are usually for a short-term while Social media marketing cost is very low and can be implemented for a long term campaign and also serves as a direct customer service tool.
Do you want to learn how to start, build and master the art social media marketing?
If yes, then these tips are for you.
1. Choose your platform
For a small business just getting started with social media marketing, it is very important that they put a lot of effort into choosing the right social media platform to market their business.
First, start. When starting, start small and focus. Social media marketing is time-consuming. Sharing on all social media platform can be stressful and frustration, many abandon it.
So, the first thing is to determine who and where your target audience is, their demographic and the platform on which they are most active.
2. Set-up your social media profiles
After choosing your platform, what follows next is setting up your profile on the selected platform. This is very important; people will be able to identify you and your business.
Here are some nuts and bolts common to all platforms:
- Photo – For your target customer to connect and trust your online profile, you need to use a real picture of you. For you to be seen as been serious, please don’t use funny avatars, pictures of your pet or something abstract that doesn’t represent you or your business.
- Business information – you need to write fantastic, well-summarised description about you and your business.
- What your social media page is about – People and businesses use social media for different reasons and expects certain outcomes. It can be used as a customer service tool, information page providing help or as an online store. State precisely what your page is about.
- Link your social media pages together and also include that of your website/blog.
- 3. Link social media pages with website/blog
Let me start here. I know a small business might sometimes have too many demands on their lean cash, but I still recommend investing a bit of cash in developing a website or a blog. According to a recent release by We are Social: more than half of the world’s population are now online with 2.80 billion active social media users, so you need to invest a bit if cash and be present online.
When you are done setting up your social media profiles connect them to your website. Make sure you do this well. Different platform provides different guides.
4. Start following.
The aim of following is to get you and your niche out there so that your target customers can find you and ultimately build a community of loyal customers.
Follow the top people in your niche and also follow people that follow them. This will help your social media platform make suggestions to you on who to follow in your niche. Don’t forget to follow back.
Social media is about connecting.
5. Make Daily Plans
You need to have a daily plan or schedule on how you want to post and engage with your community on social media. You need to make a list of the daily activities you’ve planned out.
Some social media platform require that you post at least 3 -5 times daily and consistency is key. After drawing out your plan be committed to it. Have a plan in place and keep working on it. Success on social media isn’t by chance.
6. Post Interesting, Valuable and Relevant contents.
If you want to have an effective social media campaign, the bedrock is posting and sharing content. Content is king on social media.
Posting interesting, valuable and relevant content will increase your impression, interactions, engagements, connections, likes, retweets etc. and will also get you more visitors to your website.
Interesting content often times is a combination of Stories, publications, articles relating to your niche. Research, Infographics, Images, Animations, Videos, Motivation quotes.
You can post as many time as you want on most social media platforms but please do not do it indiscriminately or overdo it. On some platforms posting 1-2 times a day is ok, while on some you can post as many times as you like. Know when your community is mostly active online, then schedule your post to those times.
I believe the best advice to give a small business intending to integrated social media into their marketing strategy is: Social media is a marathon, not a sprint according to Social media examiner.
Before you start, study your target audience/customers then choose the finest social media platform to connect and engage with them to drive a profitable action.