Using Social Media as a marketing tool for a Local Business
Social Media platforms have long since changed the way in which we all communicate and are now a part of everyone’s daily routines. While most if not all social media platforms began as a way to connect friends and family, it’s become the norm for all types of business to have social media presence. All online adults aged between 18-34 are 95% likely to follow at least one brand if not several on social media.
Businesses that have failed to develop on social media are wasting a great free resource that will enable them to connect with their target market, gaining brand awareness and free advertising through shared content. Customers research purchases online and seek recommendations from friends and family so it’s in the best interest of small businesses to have a noticeable and interactive social media presence.
The time is now to get on social media and start building relationships with your potential customers! The return on your investment of time can be huge as long as you make sure you know what your looking to gain and not simply doing it because you have to. It’s important to understand who you’re trying to target and make your content valuable to these people so that they want to follow and engage with you. Below are some tips on using social media for business.
Choose a platform that suits your business
Just because Facebook is the largest and has some of the best engagement doesn’t mean it will definitely work for you. For example, if you run a small niche product based business maybe you produce and sell handmade phone cases then Pinterest and Instagram will likely be more beneficial since they are more visual and attract a younger audience which would prefer your products.
Having Facebook as an addition can’t hurt since it will help to further increase your reach and brand awareness but most small businesses haven’t got the time to manage lots of social platforms which is why it is important to choose ones that will help you.
Quality not quantity
While it is important to post and engage regularly to maintain a meaningful audience, it is more important to post high quality content that a lot of content. The content you post needs to be valuable in some way to your audience, whether this is comical value or informative or something else will depend on your social campaign but quality content gives people a reason to follow you. Remember the people who seek out smaller companies and local businesses over large brands are often looking for a more personal experience and why should that be any different online?
Stand out and grab followers early on with contests or special offers and then let your quality content keep them engaged and coming back to you. This can simply be like or comment to win or it can be something that requires your audience to really engage. For example, one of our clients, who are one of the UK leading Fabric suppliers, offer seasonal sewing competitions which we promote via social media. The result of this is their customers are more engaged with their brand and are actually contributing to their content marketing as well as sharing their brand to all of their friends. Another of our clients are currently running a poster competition which we are promoting through their social media platforms.
Firstly, make sure the imagery on your social media matches that of your brand and website so that people recognise it and start to associate certain aspects of it with your brand. If someone simply saw your profile image potentially where you were commenting on another page’s post then they should be able associate it with your brand.
Secondly, make your content consistent if you regularly post images of products you sell and this seems to generate sufficient engagement then stick with it don’t stop after a few months and instead start posting lots of news posts for example. A sudden change in your content will cause many followers to leave. Once you settle into content that works then try to avoid stopping.
To conclude, choose the correct platform and plan the content to post on it in order to present value to your followers. Once you have settled on regular content that works then stick to it but consider occasional offers or other interesting ways to engage with a large percentage of your followers.
These are just some basic tips for someone starting out however and there is plenty more to learn and consider such as paid social media advertising and monitoring your page analytics.
Written by Curtis Williams
Statistics From:http://www.smartinsights.com/social-media-marketing/social-media-strategy/new-global-social-media-research/ and https://www.dreamgrow.com/21-social-media-marketing-statistics
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