How Small Businesses Can Make the Most of Social Media
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the most popular social media platforms. Ordinary people use them to communicate, share funny pictures, upload their pretty selfies, discuss issues and events, and have fun in every possible way. But small business owners have their own professional aims: they use these websites to engage with their audiences directly.
Social media platforms are essential for successful marketing. However, there is a myth that using them for marketing purposes is simple and fast. Well, good things take time and effort, and so does an effective social media strategy. How to make the process faster and which platform to choose? In this article, we will make a small review of the most widely-used social media websites and share some ideas about how to apply them to your growing business.
Why should online businesses use social media?
Well-done social media marketing brings:
- Yes, you can gain traffic from creating the right content and making the right people sharing it within their environment.
- Better sales. When people talk more and more about you and your product, the sales will grow, too.
- Brand awareness. Believe it or not, brand awareness can bring your product in front of people’s eyes when they need your services. And social networks can help you with this.
Gaining followers and keeping in touch with them ensures you getting the most of your social media account. You need to reach those potential customers you never hope to achieve before. And the more followers you get, the more chances you have to grow this much. Remember one easy formula: more followers bring more followers.
Which one to choose?
When choosing the most suitable platform for your business purposes, you have to be picky. There are several factors to consider and we have gathered some useful information in this post to help you choose one and use it properly.
Let’s start with some core elements you have to keep in mind. They are:
- Location and age of your audience
- Competitor’s activity
- Your aims
- The amount of time you can afford
In fact, sometimes it may be the best idea not to be on particular social networks because you may have a lack of time, financial resources, or just because your customers don’t fit with a certain network.
Facebook can attract new potential customers to your website and therefore – promote your business. However, there is one crucial challenge you have to fight: the buzz in your followers’ news feed. However, there are some methods to stick out:
- Profile picture.
It should be unique and recognizable. Use a small picture of your brand’s logo to let your users recognize, find, and Like you.
- Fill out the “About” section.
Make sure to include relevant information about your company in the “About” section. This is the first place people will look at when visiting your page! Never leave it blank!
- Match the basic marketing features.
They include a cover photo, pinned post, and CTAs to promote your campaigns. These things can maximize the engagement with followers and make your marketing message clear. As a good example of page appearance and amazing user experience, visit Threadless on Facebook.
- Tailor organic posts.
Facebook has one great feature – you can segment your posts by gender, age, education, etc. Use it to present the right content to the right audience.
- Use compelling visual content.
Remember, multimedia posts generate up to 95% more views. Include visual elements into your Facebook campaign.
Twitter is a microblogging tool to post short messages, links, status updates, etc. So the first thing that distinguishes Twitter is that you have to be laconic and informative. Let’s see how you can attract more customers to your service using this platform:
- Tweet on a regular basis.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter is less noisy and patchwork. When you post too much on Facebook, your users can become annoyed and unsubscribe. However, it is opposite with Twitter – when you stop posting every day, your users will forget you.
- Interact with right people.
Find experts and influential persons in your target area and follow them. Retweet their tweets, place your Likes and maybe someday they will give you feedback. Attention from an influential persona in the industry is attractive! Twitter search will also help you find competitors, like-minded prospects, and even customers.
- Benefit from “Twitter love”.
It’s okay to ask your subscribers for Likes and Shares. The more Shares they make, the more people can see your brand. This is a good thing since it lets you reach people you could never reach on your own. Just do your best to generate interesting and useful tweets!
- Don’t forget about “Follow us on Twitter” button.
Make sure you have a link to your Twitter account on the main page of your website. For instance, StudentShare has a Twitter bird logo at the bottom of the main page in their block “follow us”. This helps users find more information about the service and stay updated.
Instagram is all about photos and visuals, so you have to build a recognizable brand identity. Not every small business needs to have an Instagram account. However, any service connected with aesthetics somehow, let it be beauty industry (barbershop or manicure), clothes, arts, etc. needs to demonstrate itself with the help of visual appeal.
- Your brand’s style and visual representation.
Instagram has a range of filters you can apply to your photos. The task is to choose one filter or a couple of them and use them for most of your photos. Use the same set of filters and you will create a recognizable style. For instance, check 33 Acres Brewing Company’s Instagram. They use white color pallets and white borders for most of their photos. When scrolling a News Feed, users recognize the brand by their photos and associate similar images with Acres Brewing Company.
- Follow people.
As well as Twitter, Instagram account will become popular if you will follow targeted persons. Comment on their photos, push the “Like” button, take part in discussions and you will be surprised how quickly you’ll get more subscribers.
- Use relevant hashtags for your posts.
Using right industry-related hashtags will help your potential customers find you.
- Organize contests.
Many users follow brand’s pages on Instagram specifically to take part in contests. So don’t be shy to ask them for comments, shares, and hashtags. Try out something like this and use the analytics to find out whether it helps you promote your brand.
If you are a small business owner, you don’t have to push yourself and try to become a king of all social media platforms at once. Step back, consider the special features of your business and think how a certain network can help your business show the best sides. Check your audience, study analytics, and don’t be afraid to experiment. If you have any ideas about using other networks for business, come and share your thoughts in the comments.