All hail leveraging the power of personal connection!
Understanding the importance of social media is crucial in today’s small business environment. These platforms have become essential tools for any digital marketing plan.
A savvy social media strategy for small businesses can help you increase brand awareness, boost inbound traffic, and improve SEO. Staying active and responsive increases brand loyalty and builds trust, enabling your business to become relational and connected to its audience.
Why Small Businesses Need Social Media
Having an active presence on relevant platforms has become a non-negotiable for most small businesses today.
The reasons for this are many and continue to increase as its marketing tools develop. Here are some of the benefits:
- Raises brand awareness
- Boosts inbound traffic
- Enhances SEO
- Increases brand loyalty
- Facilitates connection with your audience
- Create leads
- Allow customers to easily find and contact you
The Proof is in the Percentages
Recent statistics reveal even more reasons to make this a marketing focus:
- 55% of consumers first hear about a brand through social media, including 78% of Gen Z and 61% of Millenials
- 68% of consumers say these platforms enable them to interact with a business
- A whopping 78% of customers are willing to buy from a company after engaging with them in this way
- 80% of executives agree it’s essential to business, which means your competition is likely leveraging these platforms already
Create an effective strategy
With some initial planning, you’ll get the exposure you need to make your audience aware of your brand and launch a crucial component of your marketing plan!
Read more about creating a plan in our guide on incorporating Pinterest into your marketing strategies.
Pick the right platforms
Social media accounts for your business provide a great doorway to your website by embedding links into your posts and profiles, many times seamlessly through the platform itself. This can happen on almost any platform, but focusing your efforts in the right place is important.
First, do some research and find out where your target demographic is spending their time, whether it’s on LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok, or another social space. You don’t need to be active on every platform out there, just the ones that matter most to your customer base.
If your clientele isn’t on Twitter…Ignore it! If they never use Linked-in, then there is no reason for you to be super active there either. The key is, identify your target market, find where they spend their time, and focus efforts there.
Be intentional with your engagement
Remaining active and responding quickly to comments and customer inquiries is just as important as posting new content regularly. Having clear calls to action and stellar content in a post invites potential customers to explore further and purchase your product.
Be diligent with your strategy
Take advantage of the demographic and data tools inherent to Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., and monitor new developments closely. Evaluate and re-evaluate your strategy’s effectiveness on a regular basis.
Understand the latest updates and trends on your chosen platforms. Things change rapidly in the digital arena, and what works one month may need to be adjusted the next. Keep your fingers on the pulse of your platform and your audience!
Gaining paid followers
Exposure can happen organically through consistency and informed strategy, but you can speed things up with paid advertising on many platforms as well. Consider allocating a bit of your marketing budget to gain additional exposure that organic activity simply can’t get you today. The response and data you get from your efforts is also really valuable to your marketing plan.
These platforms are ideal for creating user-generated content as social proof for your brand. Customers may comment or share their opinions without your direct involvement, but you can also solicit reviews in a post or story and use their feedback in more deliberate marketing campaigns.
To encourage users to be engaged, consider these kinds of concepts:
- Ensure your social profiles are easy to find…business cards, websites, cross-social media links, mailers, pamphlets, invoices, etc.
- Offer a reward if a client subscribes, likes, follows, or posts to your accounts
- Run contests or promotions that are strictly done over social platforms
Utilizing these kinds of ideas can help gain additional engagement and when done correctly, will yield the social proof consumers are looking for when making buying decisions.
The Power of Personality
One of the most powerful aspects of social media is the potential for relatability and the personal loyalty your customers can develop for your brand.
These spaces began as ways to connect with friends and coworkers, and while they still do this, businesses, products, and services are now woven into fabric of social media connection that feels more personal.
There’s a sense that whatever lands in front of your audience’s eyes, it was invited and welcome. So if your company is friended or followed, it becomes a personal connection they can rely on, and not just a provider of products and services.
This makes it easier to create trust and brand loyalty than through other forms of marketing. Social media can create a unique psychological connection with a worldwide reach.
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