Social media is no longer just some niche experiment, but an essential part of running a successful business. If you’re a small business owner, it’s in your best interest to expand your social media presence before you commit a single dime to more elaborate marketing strategies.
Why Social Media
Social media is a place where billions of people come to share personal stories, connect with friends and stay up to speed on what matters. If you’re a small business owner, social media is a goldmine of consumer information that can help you improve your outreach and build a successful brand.
Social media is also crucial when we consider the psychological aspects of business.
When a consumer is in the market for something, the first place they search is the Internet. If you have a social media channel, chances are excellent that your Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus page will be one of the first hits they see. Here, your potential customers will get to learn more about your brand and see what others are saying about you.
Technology is rapidly changing the way small businesses operate. Automation, financial technology and e-commerce are three crucial areas that are transforming business strategy. Red Door Capital Group is keeping track of these evolving trends to help small business owners stay up to speed. To learn more about emerging technologies, check out the following articles:
- Ten Ways to Automate Your Small Business for Maximum Efficiency
- Fin-Tech Business Series: 5 Reasons Small Business Owners Need to Consider Financial Technology
- Thinking About Starting an Online Business? These 5 Tips Will Help
The Importance of Social Proof
The concept of social proof isn’t unique to social media. It does however take on new significance when applied to social media platforms, given the sheer number of people engaged on these channels.
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions and opinions of others to reflect correct behavior. In practical terms, it is an essential marketing tactic for easing the minds of worried consumers.
Social proof will gain in importance as people become more informed. Today, over 70% of Americans look at product reviews before deciding to make a purchase. Nearly two-thirds of consumers also say they are more likely to make a purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews. Clearly, what others are saying about you is important. Social media is one of the best tools businesses have to generate positive sentiment about their brand.
Marketing on Social Media
Advertising through this channel is a natural choice for small businesses, which can leverage things like tags and advanced targeting options to reach their desired end user. Once you start building a network, developing a steady outreach campaign can help you convert more followers into customers.
Below are four practical ways you can create an effective social media marketing strategy. We borrowed some of these concepts from Matthew Toren’s article on Entrepreneur.com as well as Sonny Ganguly’s material on MarketingLand.com.
1. Determine your most valuable social media platforms.
The very first step in rolling out your social media marketing plan is picking the best platform(s) for your business. This will help you focus your efforts on the channels most likely to generate tangible results for your business.
You should avoid the temptation of trying to use every social media platform available. This will dilute your efforts, and force your brand onto networks that aren’t right for your business. After all, not all social media outlets are relevant to you or your target market.
2. Develop a content strategy and stick to it.
A lot of social media campaigns fizzle out due to a lack of consistency. Businesses may decide to roll out a posting schedule but end up abandoning it a few months later.
Your content strategy needs to be followed religiously. If you decided to post new content every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you must do so consistently. That means every Monday, Wednesday and Friday without exception.
If you’re working in a team, get clear about who will take ownership of your release schedule. You definitely don’t want to inundate your audience, but you also can’t go too long without engaging them, either. Once you’ve decided on a schedule, stick to it. Over time, your consistency will pay off.
3. Take risks and think outside the box.
If you’re fairly new to social media, it doesn’t hurt to mix up the conversation and try new things. This includes changing up your posting style and revealing more about yourself and your business.
People are craving authenticity, so be sure to think outside the box and don’t be afraid to be creative, so long as it’s relevant to your messaging.
4. Use advanced targeting options.
If you’re ready to ratchet up your marketing efforts, you can start tapping into advanced user information. That’s where targeting comes into play. Whether you’re marketing on Facebook, Twitter or some other social media channel, targeting can be valuable outreach strategy.
Targeting essentially allows you to provide a level of personalization that isn’t available on other advertising platforms. You can target users based on interest, behavior, location and other custom metrics.
5. Be responsive.
Social media marketing isn’t just about what you put out, but what you take in as well. You want to develop a reputation of transparency and responsiveness, especially when one of your clients leaves you a less than flattering review.
As your online presence grows, you can expect to do a lot of listening and responding. Whatever feedback, it’s important to respond and rectify any issues as they arise.
Social media marketing is just one way small businesses can grow their company. Business owners who already have a handle on social media and are looking to expand their capacity might want to consider financing to preserve existing capital and boost cash flo. Red Door Capital provides industry-leading small business financing solutions, including cash flow solutions, credit and debit services and specialty financing.
David Chaffey (February 27, 2017). “Global social media research summary 2017.” Smart Insights.
Sonny Ganguly (March 17, 2015). “Why Social Media Advertising Is Set To Explode In The Next 3 Years.” MarketingLand.com.
Kissmetrics Blog. “7 Things You MUST Understand When Leveraging Social Proof in Your Marketing Efforts.
Matthew Toren (December 30, 2014). “A 3-Step Beginner’s Guide to Social-Media Marketing.” Entrepreneur.com.