how to use social media for small business

Social Media Marketing For Small Business: An Introduction

With one in three people world wide being on a social media platform, using social media marketing is vital for your business to be successful in this new online market. However, finding your place in social media can be difficult. You need to consider buyer persona, content strategy, which platforms are best for your business, how to social listen and monitor, and the list goes on. After reading this article you will have a strong basic idea on how to be successful in your social media endeavor.

Developing a Social Media Strategy

It is important to develop a strategy for social media because your content is seen by a wide audience, and social media allows you to brand content directly to the target audience.

The first step is developing a buyer persona: their interests, your target age demographic, where they spend time online e.g. their favorite social media platforms.

After you’ve established a buyer persona, you can create content that is targeted towards your audience based on the background of your prospective audience. This content will help you extend your reach, build more loyalty, as well as drive up sales.

An important thing to keep in mind is that people use social media to be informed, entertained, and connected. So, your content should be 80% entertaining or engaging content for your audience and 20% posts related to your business and/or products.

It’s also important to have a brand voice and tone. Voice refers to a distinct and steady personality of your brand – a consistent style. Tone refers to moods and attitudes depending on what platform you’re on, the context of the situation, and the specific content posted. After that, you need to pay attention to how this content is received.

Social Listening and Monitoring

social media marketing small business
Photo by Adam Jang on Unsplash

A large part of being successful with your social media marketing efforts is listening and monitoring. This is essentially keeping track of how your content is received by your audience and what they’re talking about, as well as keeping an eye on your competition.

This can consist of checking in on hashtags involved with your branding, responding to comments or messages from your audience, and watching your vanity metrics (e.g. likes, follower count, comments) which can actually help improve your social media strategy.

By listening to your audience and keeping track of which posts do well, you can alter your content to better suit your target demographic and keep a leg up on your competitors. By knowing what content your audience engages with and tailoring to those opinions, it will increase loyalty, sales, and word of mouth.

Potential buyers are more responsive to customer recommendations than they are from what company has to say about itself. If you keep your audience happy, they’ll spread the word, which extends your reach on social media. 

Extending Your Reach on Social Media

Extending your reach on social media is a way to widen your audience and grow your follower count. You can do this by social listening as mentioned above, but there are other routes such as giveaways or other promotional content which asks for your audience to tag a friend in the comments, or share the post for some sort of reward from your company.

This exposes your content and brand to a larger number of people. Another route you can take is partnering with influencers that coincide with your brand such as celebrities that support your mission, a social media influencer that holds the same values or likes your products, etc. Influencers further increase the number of people exposed to your audience, and people who follow or appreciate that influencer are more likely to take their opinions into consideration and look into your company.

However, influencers can be very expensive or hard to contact especially if you are a smaller business, which is where micro-influencers can come in handy. They have essentially the same effect, just on a smaller scale because they have less of a following than a more famous influencer.

Analytics are also a great way to extend your reach. Most business profiles on social media platforms have some sort of analytics that allow you to see which content has the most engagement or reach, as well as what time during the day your audience is most active. Once you know that, you can shift your posting schedule accordingly in order to expose your content to the largest audience possible. 

Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash

These are the three main components to being successful on a social media platform. As you go deeper into your commitment on social media marketing, you will see it is complex and there are many layers to it. However, this article should help get you started down the road to success in the online world and guide you in how to keep your business rising up.

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