As a small business owner or marketer, you may be wondering if Social Media Marketing would really work for you. It is estimated that 93% of small businesses use social media as a marketing channel, but whether they are doing it effectively and get return on investment is a debatable point. Many spend some time on social media and give up frustrated at the lack of results.
Which Social Media Network to use?
Most Social Media marketers for small businesses try to throw resources at all popular social networks, but do not realize that they have limited time and resources and that to achieve success takes sustained efforts. If you are not clear about which network to use, read the guides to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram below to help you decide where to invest.
Guide to Facebook Marketing for Small Business
With 1.04 billion daily active users, this is the biggest social network by far, and you can be sure that most of your customers hang out here. Even with limited resources you can succeed in Facebook marketing with these tips :
Make your Facebook Page for business tower over the competition : Use the cover photo to showcase your brand, and change it periodically to reflect new products or deals. You can now upload a slide show or video for the cover space.
Use a compelling description in the “our story” section. The about section should be correctly filled, including category, website url, working hours, etc. Add a call-to-action button to entice your customer to do what you want – shop online, call, message, send email, etc.
Use engaging posts to build your brand reputation, inform about events and offers, and videos of product in use or behind the scenes in the company, and how to guides, but do not try to sell.
Review the performance from “Insights” tab of recent posts in terms of reach and engagement. This will tell you what types of posts work best for you on Facebook.
Twitter for Small Business in 2018
Smaller companies are still unsure whether they need Twitter or can manage it. Even larger brands are struggling to make it work effectively as in the past. Twitter has grown large and organic reach of tweets has got limited.
Only a few people will see your tweet. The trick to succeed on Twitter is to engage directly with people and scale up. Monitor conversations about your keywords and tweet a reply those users directly. For example, a person may tweet about agonizing over planning for a holiday. You can reply with a link to your website or app where you offer customized holidays. Their followers too may get to see the conversation. You can use a social media tool to manage your contacts and interactions.
Share interesting videos on Twitter. Over 80% of users watch videos on Twitter and are more than 2 times are likely to engage (replies, retweets, favorite) with videos, as compared to other media.
Given that organic reach of tweets is limited and only a few followers will see it, it is rewarding to tweet each post multiple times over the course of a week or month, so that more followers get to see the post.
Instagram Strategy for Small Business in 2018
Instagram is the fastest growing network now. It has 800 million monthly active users, with 500 million daily active users; 75% of Instagram users are outside the US; and 90 percent of Instagram users are younger than 35.
Instagram is a mobile-first app and is focused on visuals. Small businesses may find it confusing and give up. However it is not difficult for them to compete with the bigger brands on Instagram.
Visuals are the main currency of Instagram. If you are concerned that you do not have something visually compelling to share, think about opportunities to snap photos with your phone and upload directly to your Instagram for business page, such as offices, events, celebrations and customers using your product or service.
Link your Instagram account to other networks like Facebook and Twitter so that your posts on Instagram get pushed to these networks automatically, and your followers get to follow you on Instagram too.
Write a crisp bio in your profile and link to your website. Convert your Instagram account to a business profile and then you can access Insights to see how posts are performing in terms of reach, engagement and demographics.
For your posts to get wider reach on Instagram to connect to people who have not heard of your brand, make it habit to use hashtags. If you use your own made up hashtags, your post will not show up because no one is searching for that term. Instead use trending and popular hashtags related to your business. Your images may be shown up in the Trending Tags section of Instagram. You can use Websta (https://websta.me/hot) to search from a large list of popular hashtags on Instagram and weave it into your posts. A singular feature in Instagram is heavy use of hashtags, up to 30, in a post. Posts with many hashtags get more engagements
You can ramp up your follower list by ‘regramming’ other people’s content. There is no native button on Instagram to share content, but you can bypass this by manually sharing content (by screen shot) or using third party apps. You need to take permission if the original poster is a company.
Read more about Instagram Marketing here.
Advertising on Social Media
Advertising on Facebook and Instagram is affordable. Facebook Advertising account is integrated with Instagram advertising. You need to use images created specifically for each network, since the way they are displayed are different.
You can boost posts that are doing well on Facebook for as low as $20. You should target post for Location, Interests, Age, and Gender to reach your intended audience.
Interact with Fans
You need to run your business and do not have time to be on social networks all the time. Do not post on Facebook or tweet and forget about it. On all social networks, be seen to be social to keep engaged with your customer base. Be prompt in responding to comments, thanking for positive comments and tactfully countering negative ones. It is important to quickly provide answers to questions.
By engaging with your fan base regularly, listening to them and being helpful, you will build a loyal community of users, who will become your advocates.
Try Innovative Tactics
One way to innovate is to execute a social media takeover (inviting someone to take over your account for a period of time) by a celebrity or an influencer (someone who has a sizable following on social media ) in your niche. You will realize multiple benefits :
– Connect with a new audience
– When you generate excitement with the takeover and provide a stream of interesting posts, you will experience increased engagement
– Build your brand
Measure the returns
To get ROI on your social media spend, you need to create goals, set targets to these goals and attach a value to each goal.
Useful goals can be email sign-ups, downloads of report or whitepaper, sales leads, purchases, and trials.
To track conversions set up goals in your web analytics software, like Google Analytics. The Conversions report will show the total number of conversions and the dollar value of conversions that occurred as a result of referrals from each network. You can track conversions from individual campaigns or posts by using UTM parameters for the links to your site using Google’s URL Builder.