Social Media Marketing. Marketing is a head-to-head battle amongst various brands involved in similar kinds of businesses. The ones that conquer the headspace of their target audience are usually the ones with top-tier businesses. Good marketing aims to make customers associate your brand name for a particular product or service over other competitor brands.
Clearly, it’s not a simple feat. Given the vast number of advertisements, a business’s target audience is already exposed to all the time. Does this mean the small businesses are out of the rat race? Absolutely not. Don’t worry! We have your back and we are ecstatic to present the ultimate guide for Social Media Marketing for small businesses.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is the utilization of social media platforms such as websites, then posting to endorse your business’ goods or services by creating a profile. Social media marketing plays a large part in establishing the primary connections between businesses and their customers. Additionally, it is slowly increasing in its usage this year.
Understandably, small businesses run on limited funds and workforce. Thus, traditional methods of marketing and advertising might be quite harsh on the business treasury. It will be a lot harder to get the recognition they need to make their business flourish. That is why a better alternative is social media marketing. This method is a lot easier on the pocket. It also reaches a larger audience than traditional marketing methods like huge banners and stands posts.
This article is a guide to all the troubles small businesses are facing. We aim to assist in getting your business started with social media marketing. We will also discuss the process and the typical goals your business should have. You will know how to develop realistic and practical strategies to increase productivity and profits.
Additionally, we will help you out with bonus suggestions and sources. This will give you insights into how you create a plan of action and implement your social media marketing tactics.
The Benefits of Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing can aid small businesses in many different ways. It may be in finance, new start-up plans, and in growing & refining startups with their current methodologies.
SMM has several benefits aside from being a cost-effective method of advertisement and less time consuming such as:
It is highly interactive and engages with prospective customers in mutually intelligible ways.
Customers on a social media marketing platform can engage with content posted in many ways. It may be by liking, sharing it and commenting on the post. This is unlike a traditional billboard advertisement or even an advertisement that they might watch on television. There is little to no interaction and no scope to share with others where the customer might know. This limits the audience to view your product or service.
On social media where people can share content, they are actually helping your business grow in terms of recognition. Additionally, your chances are higher of reaching your target audience.
As a small business, it also gives you the chance to interact with your customers. Replying to their comments and replying to their queries in real-time provides a way for direct interaction. This helps a brand’s reputation.
Social Media Marketing (SMM) is associated with Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
This is a highly useful feature of social media marketing. It can track the interests of people online, thus, leading them to companies dealing with those interests. The concept of SEO is to ensure a high ranking in the algorithms of search engines. By doing this, you are ensured that a lot of traffic will be sent your business’ way. Additionally, it will increase backlinks which ultimately move your business higher up on the ranking algorithms.
It helps in ensuring targeted marketing.
One of social media marketing’s unique features includes specificity. A business organization can be as specific as they want. They can control who sees their advertisements, when, and how they can see them. They owe this to the advancing marketing technology that is available today on numerous social media platforms. This allows you to shape your content according to the target audience the business has in mind.
Your business’ content has the potential to go viral!
If your business account posts anything that aligns with the thoughts of a wide range of its audience on social media, the potential to go viral and reach even more people rises significantly. This would help your brand become visible to many potential customers.
Since SMM has many benefits, it is just right for small businesses to find their spot and grow. Small businesses need to be able to determine their goals for social media marketing.
Define business goals
To be successful in marketing, sure, a clear-cut strategy must be laid out. But, before that, a business must also define its goals. They have to know who they want their target audience to be. For this, a business must engage in extensive research. Identify those who are already interacting online and those who haven’t but are interested in your products and services.
Now it’s time to set goals. Do this by developing Key Performance Indicators (KPI). These KPIs have to be specific, relevant, realistic, measurable, and pragmatic. Make sure that they don’t become too wide or too vague. One example of good KPIs is increasing the number of times your business’ link clicks. As well as, raising the number of impressions while reducing the charge per impression. Lastly, increasing a particular type of interaction like the number of shares or comments your posts get.
These together will merge into a broad KPI for the larger good. It will increase your brand awareness and profits. These can take a while to really start reflecting. But in the end, it will yield great results just by how technologically dependent the current generations are.
Creating SMM Strategy
Creating an SMM strategy is the next and most crucial step to achieving your business goals. One method to increase your KPI is to follow a predictable behavior about your advertising frequency. Posting or regularly sharing relevant business content should allow your business to attain a particular KPI.
While creating your marketing goals, you must also keep in mind their budget. While most social media platforms are essentially free of cost, sometimes business organizations might have to shell out a little bit of money. This is to get their content to reach a particular targeted audience. They usually charge according to the number of link clicks and site visits.
Some popular social media marketing platforms for small businesses include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Since your business’s budget will depend on the platform you choose, picking the most effective one is crucial.
Creating business calendar
Creating a calendar for your business’s social media marketing is very important. It is not only to establish your spot in the ranking list but to maintain a higher rank. This is what makes business handling so competitive. Thus, the battle is continuous. If a business stops its advertisement after reaching a certain point, it will inevitably go back to square one. It will start to fade away from the minds of the public.
Understandably, handling regular posting is difficult for small businesses. Because they’ve only just started and had a million other things to focus on. Fortunately, most online marketing platforms have an option to schedule how often they want to post content.
Social Media Marketing Strategies
Many kinds of content can be found on social media marketing platforms. It’s time to put on your thinking caps. Because this is the part of the job that requires loads of creativity to make your content resonate with a wide audience. A few tips and tricks to be kept in mind while drafting your content are:
Fishing out your competitors:
Do a little nitpicking and figure out why your competitors are doing so well. Check out the kind of content they post. Then check the methods they use to market and advertise their goods and services. This will set a benchmark that your business will have to rise to.
Identifying keyword searches:
Select the most commonly used words and phrases that are popular on search engines. You will be able to determine what kind of content your target audience is looking for. As a result, you’ll be able to address satisfy their interests.
Learn from businesses that have good marketing campaigns:
Following established businesses that have mastered the art of online campaigns can provide small businesses with a lot of different ideas. Another tip is to craft content that is theme-based. For example, a festival or an internationally recognized day that many show interest in.
Don’t make it too monotonous:
Most customers don’t like too much information being shoved down their throats. They would most likely prefer advertisements that are short and crisp. More importantly, appealing to the eye.
Identifying the type of content and making it resonate:
A small business must focus on creating a connection to the public. That is usually done by taking up issues that are at peak level or basing your posts around a story. Making the posts attractive is crucial or else most people wouldn’t bother giving it a second glance.
Add pictures, format and highlight text and most importantly, stick with what works best. Though this will take some time and will put you through many rounds of trial and error, it is important to know that your audience will remember the most appealing ones and this is the starting point of the growth of your business.
The different types of content that a small business can use to advertise on social media marketing are:
This kind of content can take many forms such as educational or witty blog posts. It provides the readers with an insight into your business. If a customer has a positive public reaction to the posted content, interact with them publicly to draw even more attention.
- Content Advertising Sales:
Everyone wants a good sale. So posting heads-up content about sales that are on their way can be highly beneficial. This also lets a small business offer product updates, announcements, or promotional deals to your customers. A way to do this is also to add ‘hashtags’ which makes it easier to keep track of your business’s posts. This will ultimately make your content look a lot more discoverable.
Social Media Marketing Metrics
After filtering out your strategies and found out which works, it is important to evaluate your social media marketing success. This can be done by cross-checking and verifying whether the strategy you have finalized is helping your business reach its KPIs. Additionally, this is done by maintaining a track record of the in-depth analysis of your business posts.
There are a few important metrics that are key to determining your success rate. These go over the journey of the buyer. Then it shows their transformation from a viewer of your posts to a customer when they obtain the required number of impressions to patronize your business and help it grow substantially. Some of these important metrics are:
It is essentially the total number of people who have viewed a particular post. These are the ones you posted on social media marketing platforms.
It is the number of times a post that your business shared online was displayed to the audience. It can be on the newsfeed page on your social media marketing platform. Impliedly, the higher the number of impressions, the better.
The best part about gaining impressions is that it is relatively easy to do as it is counted on a per-view base. The algorithms that social media marketing platforms use, determine the behavior of a user. This is based on which generates more impressions for them to view.
Interaction and Engagement
Engaging with your probable customers is when they interact with your business posts by liking them, sharing, or commenting under them. Once a person receives a certain type of impression, another impression of a similar kind will likely be sent their way.
Creating a name and brand recall
Brand recall measures the link that the wide audience or public creates. This is between a category of goods and/or services and the name or brand of your business. This is usually established anywhere between 3-7 days after coming across a given number of impressions, usually 6-7.
This kind of data is usually obtained through surveys on social media marketing platforms. Brand recall is an extremely assuring method of indicating your marketing performance on social media. A good position to be in is a resulting score of 5% of the impressions being linked to a brand recall.
Rate of Conversion
This is essentially a measure of how many people who had successfully recalled your brand name, have upgraded to the position of customers for your business. Anything near 1% means your social media marketing is on the right path and any rate over 3% is great.
Outsourcing Your Social Media Marketing Campaigns
It is also important for businesses, especially smaller businesses, to outsource their marketing on social media. A good consideration can be working with a third-party dealer. They will help you filter through the numerous options laid out. Additionally, they will help implement and manage your strategies for social media marketing.
However, if you choose to work with a third party or a firm for social media marketing, it is crucial to lay down your definite budget. You also need to provide the end goals you seek to achieve for your small business. This will enable them to efficiently determine what kind of assistance they will provide for your business.
If not, small businesses can also try looking up social media marketing platform rankings on websites. Many websites have begun providing rank lists and a comparative study of all the rankings. This should be able to help you decide on what is best for the growth, development, and success of your business.
Most social media marketing firms were charged by the hour. Hence, it is recommended to meet up with different social media marketing partners. This will help you figure out which firm is most likely to work best for your business. It is important to check if the firm’s business values and implementation of methodologies align with your business. More importantly, if they have a well-built record in business marketing.
Advantages of Hiring a Social Media Marketing Agency
This third party or firm should be able to tailor-make a package that is specifically suited to your business. Additionally, under their expertise in the field of social media marketing, they should be able to explicitly tell how practical your end goals and budgeting for achieving the same are.
They will also provide top-notch customer service and be able to assist you in any obstacles that may arise on your business’s way to success. After all, a good portion of ensuring the growth of your small business and its recognition amongst larger and more developed businesses lies in their hands.
Irrespective of whether you plan on working with an external agency or firm or want to work alone, it is highly recommended to use social media marketing management tools for the growth of your small business. These management tools make it easier to achieve your goals by allowing you to comprehensively plan out everything.
It allows you to manage, schedule, and approve or disapprove of posts across multiple social media handles all at once. Additionally, they also provide a thorough in-depth analysis of your small business’s performance regarding social media marketing. They do these by maintaining a track record of the important metrics mentioned previously.
To Sum Up
There are many management tools for social media marketing that are available in the market that will aid in your small business seeing huge profits in the future. A comparison of all the options should be able to tell you which one would work out best in your favor.
Hence, if you are running a small business and want it to see some success or are planning on a startup, social media marketing is the best option that is nearly hassle-free. It is a low-cost strategy and guarantees a more effective means of advertising. It is never too late to start and the best way you can realize that is by putting your content out there and awaiting the results.