For most small businesses, you are likely to spend a lot of time trying to research and learn the latest social media marketing tips. There are now over 4 billion social media users, almost twice as many as there were five years ago and on average those users spend 2 and a half hours a day on social channels. Those hours offer the opportunity for every business to develop customer relationships, build brand awareness and make sales directly using social media platforms.
Businesses need to be on social media as it’s now the main way you can speak directly to your audience. However you need to plan and determine which channels will work best for you and where you will reach your target market. Social media can be an effective tool for small businesses owners to connect with customers and prospects and if done right, can make your sales skyrocket. Throughout this blog, we will outline and discuss 10 tips on using social media that small businesses need to use to market themselves in this digital age.
Tip 1 – Social Media Plan
It’s simple to get started on social media as many people use it personally in their day to day lives and doesn’t cost anything to create a social media business page for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. But before setting your page up remember that every successful business starts with a good plan. Social media channels are free but it is still an investment for your business and without a clear aim and objectives you won’t know if you are getting a return on investment (ROI).
Take some time to construct a social media plan that ensures it’s in line with your overall business goals. Your goals should be measurable, relevant and timely. Your goals shouldn’t be to get a certain amount of likes, it should be around acquiring more followers/customers or raising your conversion rate. Conducting a competitor analysis on social media is important and learn from them, what worked and what doesn’t. The competitor analysis can also help you with inspiration, this might come directly from your competitors or even businesses in a different industry. Another tip for planning your social media content is to create a social calendar, this helps you post the right content to the right social channels at the time you want. This way you can plan your content for the week ahead or the month ahead.
Tip 2 – Deciding What Social Media Platforms Are Best For You
Don’t make assumptions about your target audience and what social channel they speed most of their time on. Instinct could tell you that Gen Z would spend more time on Instagram and TikTok but data shows that 25% of Facebook users are aged 18-24. If you are targeting adults over the age of 50, Facebook is the fastest-growing channel for this audience segment.
There are many ways to compile demographic information around social media users, through platforms such as Hootsuite, Social Sprout and Digital Marketing agencies like ourselves – Jam Digital. But remember that every business is different and demographic data is just an overview. To make sure you are using social media for your business correctly, conduct some research of your own.
Many businesses choose different platforms to use and approach them differently. For example, you could use Facebook to build your audience and generate leads but use Instagram to build brand awareness and followers. If you are starting a business Instagram page, read our recent blog which outlines 5 ways for businesses to succeed on Instagram.
Tip 3 – Understand Your Social Media Audience
When you start on social media you can dig deep into your social media analytics and understand who are interacting more with your brand. From your Google analytics, you will be able to tell which platform is driving more traffic to the site, what their demographics are and even which campaign is increasing conversions. Once you have defined an audience that works best for your business you can create a buyer persona and when creating paid ads target those audiences that fit the persona.
Once you have a clear understanding of your audience, it’s time to look for people who are similar to that audience. If you are conducting paid ads on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc. You can create lookalike audiences from the target audience you already have. This lookalike audience is a way to reach new people who are more likely to be interested in your brand because they are simial to your existing customer base.
Tip 4 -Building Relationships
The benefit of social media for small businesses is that it allows them to talk directly to followers and potential customers – This can help build relationships. More than 44% of social media users, use the platforms to research brands. The users can discovery and get a feel for the brand. This happens a lot for hospitality brands as people won’t search on Google anymore to look at restaurants or hotels, they will search their social media channels first to get a feel for the place.
So how do we build relationships through social media? Firstly you could mention followers in your posts or stories, this could be through a competition or user-generated content (UGC) – Which is a great social proof source. Remember if you are sharing a followers post to tag them or re-share, as this helps establish a relationship with some of your fans.
Another great way to build a relationship on social media is connecting with influencers that have a large following. If you feel your business is too small for influencers that have 100K + followers then use micro-influencers who can still be effective as they have dedicated followers. By using influencers they will share and promote your products/services on their page with their followers. Research has shown that when influencers promote a product it can achieve up to a 75% higher conversion rate than promoting the product yourself on your own page.
Tip 5 – Use Social Commerce
The evolution of social media marketing means you can now sell products on social platforms – social commerce. This is great for small businesses as it means you can sell your products without having a website. Users can learn more about your products through the social catalogue and purchase directly on the app or click through to your e-commerce site to finish the transaction. Think of social commerce as a landing page where users can discover all the products. Also for Instagram, you can use shopping tags in your posts so users can click through to learn more or purchase directly.
Shopping on social media platforms is growing in popularity and there’s no better time to start and find out how much it can benefit your business as part of your overall social media strategy.
Tip 6 – Pay Attention To Trends
It’s important to pay attention to trends on social media, this will give you an understanding of what people are looking for and helps you create appropriate content. Some of the top reasons why people use social media now is to stay up to date, entertaining content, share photos/videos of stuff they like and to fill up spare time. What might work for you on social media this year might not work next year therefore keeping your audience current wants and needs in mind is crucial. Social listening is a valuable tool for gathering this information. Read our recent blog which explores social listening in more detail and explains how and why you should use it.
Tip 7 – Quality Over Quantity
The amount of social media options for small businesses is huge however you don’t need to do it all. Also, stick with the moto – Quality over quantity. Choose a couple of key social media channels instead of them all and be sure that the posts you are sending out offer value. Your posts shouldn’t be centred around trying to sell to followers all the time, bring a sense of honesty and humanize the brand within your posts, this is important so followers can build trust and a relationship with the brand. Focus on using one or two social media channels really well at the start then once mastered build and expand your efforts.
Tip 8 – Change Up Your Post formats
When posting on your social media channels, switch up your post formats every now and then. If you usually go for a static image try a video or gifs to see if that drives more engagement. Also, take advantage of the different formats each platform offer for example stories or Reels. Different formats work for different brands, it’s one of those things you need to test and analyse. Hootsuite ran an experiment recently which showed that plain text tweets on Twitter perform before that tweets with an image or Gif.
Tip 9 – Don’t Just Promote Yourself
You will lose customer engagement quickly if your brand constantly posts about your product/s. You should still post about it but make sure it’s interspersed with quality content. Use social media to promote your content and create content that your audience will want to see too. See below a list of content that isn’t self-promotion:
- User-Generated Content (UGC)
- Behind the scenes videos or photos
- Blog posts
- Polls to get your audience’s opinion on a topic
- National Days
Tip 10 – Track And Refine Your Performance
When implementing your social media strategy, it’s very important to keep track of what worked and what didn’t – as this can help you refine your strategy going forward. Once you have your strategy working, look to improve it using A/B testing. By conducting A/B testing you can make small changes that can boost your success rate over time. It can be said that A/B testing is a form of free-market research, that allows marketers to test variations of advertising on their target audience, whilst still generating results.
By using A/B testing on social media you can find out helpful information to make your strategy more effective going forward. For example testing whether a video performs better on Instagram compared to a static image, showing each to a random set of your target audience. If the video performs better than you can go forward and test variations of the video itself by having a long version and maybe one that’s only 30secs.
A/B testing on social media is one of the best methods out there to be able to create a data-driven strategy to take your brand to the next level. The same social media post can achieve a different response based on the description, CTA or image. By continually testing you are able to fully optimise your social media strategy and find out the best target audience for your campaigns.
Social media is so important for any business but it can especially help small businesses steer to success, you just need to have a strategic approach. If you follow these 10 tips you’ll be able to develop an effective social media presence and attract the right people to your small business.
If you aren’t social media savvy and want some help or advice – contact us today! By outsourcing your social media, it gives you an option to invest in some of the most diverse packages, but at a fraction of the cost if you do so in-house. Our marketers here at Jam digital, live and breathe social media therefore you will be in the best hands.
If you need support or advice with your social media strategy, Jam Digital can help. Partnering with Jam can offer your business the opportunity to optimise your time and budget through our team of experts, focussing on generating the best results for your business.
For more information and advice on Digital Marketing contact Jam Digital Marketing today on 0330 094 7323, email: firstname.lastname@example.org