By Max Patel
February 20, 2017.
When it comes to having a presence on social media, the biggest mistake a local business owner can make is having a social media page just to have one—in other words, because everyone else does.
Social media platforms are only a useful marketing tool when you, as the business owner, understand the importance of technology for small business. Having a profile just to “verify” your business online doesn’t quite cut it.
Consider some points that prove just how important this is:
- One billion people actively use Facebook every month
- 500,000 people use Twitter every month
- 5 million photos are uploaded to Instagram every hour
- 3,600 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every hour
To sum it up, the best thing about social media is you can get an active audience to listen to you in a relaxed way—and it’s usually free. This makes it an extremely effective way to promote your local business.
Below are a few simple social media marketing tips for small businesses.
- Pinpoint your goal in developing a social media page.
Maybe the goal is to interact with local customers at a direct level, build awareness for the business, run local promotions, or orchestrate a strong brand story that will earn a favorable top-of-mind recall with customers. The way you structure your page will need to change depending on your social media goal. So determine your goal before creating a page and be consistent in terms of postings.
- Be consistent and periodic, but never random.
Of course, sometimes you’re wearing so many hats as a small business owner that you don’t have the time to follow a periodic calendar of interactions on social media pages. However, the effort is more than worthwhile when your audience sees that you take the time to interact with them—that you care about them.
To streamline the process, create a calendar of postings to follow on a weekly basis. There are many social automation websites that will help you automate your posts in advance so you don’t ever have to worry about squeezing them into your schedule again.
- Use different strategies for different platforms.
Your social media goal and what kind of business you run will determine the best social media platform for your goals and your customer base.
For example, if you are a business to consumer (B2C) establishment, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp will be your best bets because your audience congregates on those platforms. But, if you are an establishment selling only to businesses (B2B), LinkedIn is a much more effective marketing tool for a business-based target audience.
Each platform has its own rules of engagement and allows you to interact with customers in different ways. Understand that your Facebook page provides a different kind of interaction than your Yelp page, which is all about user reviews. Based on your platform of choice, build your page accordingly and go out there to get some attention.
- Don’t be idle.
Setting up the page isn’t enough—don’t leave the page with only a few basic business details and call it a day. An inactive page is more of a brand killer than a non-existent one. Gather ideas to like and interact with similar pages, share fun and useful content that will click with your potential audience, and try to generate maximum user interaction (called User Generated Content) by holding contests, posting challenges, and asking engaging questions. These strategies ensure that your page is visible to your target audience and that you are building a fun brand for your customers.
- Take this opportunity to be responsive.
One thing you will learn about social media is that this platform gives everyone a license to be cryptic and very, very vocal. Turn this into a good thing by using the platform to improve customer service and offer a bit of customization to this active customer base. Interacting with your audience can teach you a lot about their needs and help you build customer loyalty at a much faster pace.
- Use targeted social media ads.
Once you have your page set up on a social media platform, try experimenting with paid ads. They are cheaper than other advertising campaigns for local businesses. They are also extremely targeted to get those extra sets of eyeballs on your business for a better ROI.
At Welcomemat, we help local businesses understand the potential of new mover marketing and, with the help of patented technology, let them track information and insights about their customers. Write to us with your questions or to arrange for a free consultation with one of our marketing experts.