Step-by-step process to effectively harness social media for your small business marketing success.
With nearly 5 billion users around the world, social networks have become a necessary marketing tool for any successful company. In fact, about 79% of Inc. 500 companies had an active Twitter account as of 2017.
Currently, there are more than 200 social media platforms worldwide. Having an active social media presence on all of them is unrealistic as it would require an almost endless stream of resources. If you’re a small business owner or manager, you have limited money and time, so you need to be smart about where you focus your social media marketing to achieve your business goals.
Following these simple tips can help you reach the largest group of potential customers who may be interested in your products and keep your name at the forefront of people’s minds – expanding on your current word-of-mouth format.
Know your audience
The first thing you should do is determine where your targeted audience members spend their time on the internet. Comparing the demographics of different platforms to the demographics of your target audience can help.
Here’s what the demographics look like for some of the top social media platforms:
- Facebook users are typically between 25 and 34. About 57% of users are male, and 43% are female.
- Instagram users are between 25 and 34. About 52% of users are male, and 48% are female.
- TikTok users are between 10 and 19. About 61% of users are female, and 39% are male.
- Twitter users are between 25 and 34. About 61% of users are male, and 38% are female.
- LinkedIn users are between 25 and 34. About 52% of users are male, and 48% are female.
- Pinterest users are between 50 and 64. About 78% of users are female, and 22% are male.
- Snapchat users are between 15 and 24. About 54% of users are male, and 44% are female.
- YouTube users are between 15 and 35. About 46% of users are female, and 54% are male.
Identify your social media goals
When choosing social media platforms, you need to consider your goals for each platform, as each one has different strengths and purposes.
The following platforms may be useful if you have these objectives:
- Facebook and TikTok are especially useful for building brand loyalty. Conduct market research and choose the one that best matches the target demographics for your brand.
- Twitter is seen as the platform of choice for public relations.
- Pinterest is one of the best platforms for lead generation.
- Instagram is typically seen as one of the best platforms for networking.
Think about your products
Some companies operate in highly visual fields, like fashion or food. Others have the resources to make beautiful visual presentations for products that are not overly visual.
If you’re creative or have a visual product, having a significant presence on sites that focus on photos and videos makes excellent sense for your company.
Engaging content on your business page and selected influencer pages is key to developing brand awareness and bringing in new customers.
Some of the social media channels you may want to consider include:
Scoop out your competition
While most small businesses strive to separate themselves from their competitors, you also need to know what your competition is doing – often referred to as a competitive analysis. Researching and being aware of what is and isn’t working for your top competitors can save you a lot of time and energy when developing your marketing plan.
Ensure you consider the following when scoping out your competition:
- What social media sites they’re using
- The methods and marketing campaigns they use to engage with their audience
- Which social media users they appear to be targeting on each site
- When they’re posting and how often
Create a social media content strategy
You’ll also want to consider which platforms best reflect your company’s voice and if you can adjust your brand voice to better suit your target platforms.
Consider these examples:
- Facebook. This platform is great for businesses that can present themselves as experts in their fields who are prepared to guide their audiences down the right path, which is often tied to the latest industry news. Keep in mind that content that incorporates nostalgia usually does exceptionally well on this platform.
- LinkedIn. This professional network is ideal for marketing and connecting to business professionals and other companies through more formal information and presentations. LinkedIn is a key platform for building personal brands and provides numerous opportunities for sharing information with professionals who may find the content insightful.
- Twitter. This platform’s limited character count lends itself to short, witty comments that others will want to share. To effectively use Twitter, you need to be committed to staying up to speed on the trending news, as Twitter operates on real-time trends and events.
- Instagram. Businesses using this platform need to have fresh visual content to share and be able to connect their company and products to trending hashtags to best reach their potential audiences.
- Regardless of the platforms you choose, you should be consistent across them as you want your audience to recognize your brand regardless of where they encounter it. However, you must also keep in mind that you need to rework your content slightly to ensure you have the right tone and visual appeal for that platform.
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Understand your available resources
It’s better not to be on a particular platform than to do a poor job representing your company there, so you need to be realistic about your current resources.
If you only have a single employee who can do social media marketing for an hour a day, limit your platform choices to 1 or 2. On the other hand, if you have the resources to hire someone to do social media marketing as their full-time job, your company can have a presence on numerous platforms.
Better yet, consider spending those resources on a professional marketing company to help you reach your goals.
Get help from a professional marketing company
There’s no doubt that social media is an effective marketing tool for businesses, allowing them to promote their products to a vast audience quickly and at a low cost.
But the way you implement your social media marketing strategy largely determines its effectiveness. Hiring a social media marketing company can help take your business to another level, saving time and money in the process.
If you need help implementing a social media strategy for your business, contact our team at Brown Bag. We’re a full-service digital marketing agency that is passionate about helping companies achieve their goals and reach that next level of success. Contact us today to see how we can help your business grow.