The big wide world of social media doesn’t need to be as daunting as it seems. You don’t need millions of followers or spend tens of thousands of Dollars to make it work for your small business. There are so many budget-friendly tools and strategies that can take your small business to an audience ready and willing to connect with your brand. Here are our 8 top tips for using social media to drive brand awareness and sales for your small business:
Start with a plan
You didn’t start your business without a plan, right? Well, your social media strategy is no different. Even though free organic posts are tempting, remember that without a plan, it is likely it will amount to nothing. So consider key questions like what are your goals? Who is your competition? And what social media activity are they doing? Audit your social media activity to date and find inspiration to spark fresh ideas.
Which platform is which?
Make sure understand your platform options. Don’t assume where your audience spends its time. Research the various channels and then compare those demographics to your customer profile. You need to be where your customer is. So make it your business to understand what they are consuming and where. It is also very important that you focus on the customers you want, not necessarily the ones you have.
According to a recent report from Twitter and Research Now, 93% of people who follow small businesses, want to buy from them. That’s pretty powerful stuff. The reason is that social media is a unique marketing channel which allows direct interaction with your customers. Think of your social strategy as a long term relationship. Instead of pushing for a sale upfront, rather use the platform to court your customer, get to know them, offer them value in the form of content. This will lead to sales, brand awareness and most importantly, loyalty in the long term.
Make your time and money work for you
When it comes to running a small business, time is money. The challenge with social media is that its addictive and grabs time. So when you’re online, remind yourself why you are there. Don’t go on to post about your business but then allow yourself to get distracted by the latest ‘cute cats’ video. This really comes down to being accountable. You do this every day in your business, and the same rule applies here.
Social media is all about community. Find like-minded communities that you can get involved in. Either through advertising on their pages or by starting a Facebook group of your own. Bear in mind the latter requires a lot of management but if you get it right, you will have a connected, engaged community right at your fingertips.
Connect with like-minded professionals
We know what you’re thinking: I don’t have time to network online. The good news is that if you’re clever about it, it shouldn’t take up too much time. Carve out 30-45 minutes once a week to plan content for the week. Then all you need to do is schedule it and set aside a daily 15 minutes in the morning and evening to respond to queries.
Drive traffic to your website/blog
Your website is the mothership of all your marketing activity. It’s where your customers will be reading up on you and following up on the information you’ve posted across the various channels. It is ultimately the place where they decide if they want to do business with you. So make sure your website is up to date, slick and easy to navigate.
Use your tools
There are so many online tools that unpack social media strategies for you. Make sure you use them. They can help you get organized and create a method in all the madness. Best of all they will save you time, money and endless frustration. Check out some of these great online tools:
The bottom line
At the end of the day, all this social admin simply requires small strategic steps. If your efforts are researched, strategic and managed, you will see results, without breaking the bank. So get out there and start socializing.
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