The 12 Easiest Ways to Promote Your Small Business on Social Media
If you own a company, you probably spend a lot of time looking for the most recent social media marketing advice. And with good reason.
Nearly twice as many people use social media today as just five years ago: 4.2 billion active users. These people log onto social media daily for an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes.
During those approximately 2.5 hours, businesses have a fantastic opportunity to:
- Increase brand recognition.
- You can create consumer ties and even conduct direct business on social media.
Here’s all the social media marketing advice your business needs for 2021.
Bonus: Get a free template for a social media strategy to make planning your strategies quick and straightforward. Use it to explain the process to your boss, team, and clients and to keep track of how well it’s working.
1. Create a strategy first.
Utilizing social media for commercial purposes is simple to get started. We all use social media daily, so we are all familiar with the different platforms.
Creating a Facebook page for your company, beginning to post on Instagram, or establishing a Twitter presence are all free to do.
But before you go headfirst, remember that any successful business strategy begins with a solid plan. Yes, social media tools are free to use. However, the time and effort invested are still considered investments in your company.
You cannot achieve your objectives without a plan in place. So, there is no way to know if you are getting a good return on your investment.
Prepare ahead of time by developing a social media strategy. This guarantees that all of your social media initiatives serve specified corporate objectives.
From our guide on how to make a social media marketing plan, here are some tips on how to use social media strategically:
- Set objectives and goals for social media.
- Establish objectives that adhere to the SMART framework. They should be timely, pertinent, detailed, measurable, and reachable.
Set goals based on measurements that will actually affect your company. Instead of just collecting likes, you may, for instance, try to increase your conversion rate or gain more clients.
Study the opposition.
What social media strategies do your rivals employ? Learning from what others have done is a terrific way to shorten your learning curve, even though you don’t want to duplicate their efforts.
By conducting a competitive analysis, you may understand what’s working and what’s not for organizations similar to yours.
Evaluate your social media presence.
If you already use social media, this is a great time to take a step back and look at what you’re doing.
You may follow along with our simple-to-use social media audit template.
You’ve examined the online activity of your rivals, but what about other companies? Draw motivation from the achievements of companies across all sectors.
Where can you discover examples of these successes? You can find helpful case studies on the business pages of most social networking platforms.
Due to the numerous examples we frequently provide, our site can also be a fantastic source of inspiration. Just keep an eye on what your preferred brands are doing. What motivates you to click, follow, or make a purchase?
Make a social media schedule.
You can use a social media calendar to post the appropriate content to the proper social networks at the right times. A strategy for your content mix ought to be part of it.
Start by applying the 80-20 rule. Informing, educating, or entertaining your audience should make up 80% of your content. Utilize the remaining 20% to market your business or sell your products.
2. Select the platforms that are best for you.
Don’t assume where your audience is spending their internet time.
Your gut could be telling you to ignore Facebook and concentrate on Instagram and TikTok if you’re marketing to Gen Z. However, the research reveals that about 25% of Facebook users are between 18 and 24.
Social media marketing might not seem a top concern if you’re targeting baby boomers. But it ought to be. The most popular social networks for baby boomers are Facebook and Pinterest. The audience segment on Facebook with the fastest growth rate in those over 65.
You might believe that TikTok marketing is inappropriate for your company. However, even well-known firms with customer bases outside of Generation Z are experimenting with this platform.
Remember that just in December 2020, TikTok recorded 56 million new app downloads.
We have gathered demographic data for each of the major social networks. Use it to determine how much time your audience spends online. However, keep in mind that these demographics are merely a summary.
You must carry out your own study to ensure that you’re using social media for business properly. This will help you learn more about how the Internet is used by the people you want to reach.
There is no need to take an all-or-nothing stance when selecting your platforms. You can use different social media platforms to connect with different groups of people or to reach other business goals.
Because the average internet user has 8.4 social media accounts, you can connect with them differently on different sites.
For example, you could use Twitter to help your customers and Facebook to grow your audience and find new customers.
3. Recognize your target audience.
You can micro-target your audience, which is why using social media for business is so successful. But first, you must identify your target audience.
Gather information about your current clients first. Afterward, use social media analytics to delve deeper. You’ll soon realize who is chatting and making purchases from you online.
You can get insights from Hootsuite With Powered by Brandwatch, such as the top hashtags, reference sites, and even social writers, you can get granular details about your company’s important keywords.
After you’ve identified your target market, you may develop buyer personas to understand better how to communicate with them. To get you started, use our free buyer persona template.
4. Increase your readership
You may review your social media strategy once you have a good understanding of who your target audience is. It’s time to consider how to connect with more individuals who resemble them.
For instance, The Great Courses Plus changed its Facebook advertising strategy to swiftly increase its audience when lockdown measures meant that more people were seeking ways to pass their time at home.
They developed an extended free trial offer and promoted it to a large American audience. Then, to reach new audiences in Canada, the UK, and Australia, they used audiences that were like their best existing clients.
Strategy for The Great Courses’ Facebook advertising
As a result of this strategy for reaching a wider audience, the total number of average monthly members grew by more than ten times.
Social media can be used to increase the number of people who know about your local business. For instance, Hootsuite geo-search streams might assist you in keeping an eye on and responding to neighborhood talk concerning your company. Then, you can connect with prospective clients who are already in your local area.
5. Establish connections
The one special advantage of social media marketing for small businesses is that it enables you to communicate with clients and followers directly. Instead of requesting a sale right away, you can develop relationships over time.
But, as we talk about in Tip 7, you can use social media to make a sale right away.
More than 44% of internet users use social networks to investigate brands. Finding out who you are as a brand and what you stand for is a part of that discovery.
Engaging back when consumers interact with your organic content or advertisements is a good idea. This promotes trust and cultivates a devoted following. You move up in the social algorithms and get new, free exposure when followers share and like your material.
There are typically more than a thousand possible newsfeed posts available at any given time for Facebook members. One of the indicators Facebook uses to determine which of those posts users are most likely to view is engagement. Your followers are more likely to read your content when you build relationships with them.
Building a devoted group through relationship-building can eventually result in ongoing revenues. Although acquiring new customers is excellent, don’t undervalue the importance of customer retention.
In the very different COVID-19 marketing age, 69% of respondents to Hootsuite’s Social Transformation survey stated that social media helped sustain customer relationships. And according to Twitter data, 70% of people believe bands must contribute to the current upsurge in optimism.
- Top 13 Smart Social Media Marketing Tips For 2022: How To Improve Your Strategy
- Marketing Planning Process: 5 Successful Steps You Need To Follow
- Marketing Planning Process: 5 Successful Steps You Need To Follow
So how can you cultivate relationships besides replying to comments left by followers on your posts? Try the following tactics:
Create a Facebook group.
Another excellent technique to foster community and company loyalty is through Facebook Groups.
For instance, “a book club for podcasts” is the New York Times Podcast Club Facebook Group. The organization positions the New York Times as a go-to source for information outside of breaking news with more than 37,000 members.
Also, it encourages subscribers to keep listening to the chosen podcasts every week, which makes it less likely that listeners will stop listening.
Make connections with other business owners and influencers in your industry.
Do you feel your company is too small to collaborate with influencers? Micro-and nano-influencers with as little as 1,000 loyal followers can be helpful in building brand trust.
Plus, they frequently fall well within the price range of more affordable brands.
Lively, a lingerie company, collaborated with influencers to market their bralettes and skincare goods, even if they only had a small, niche following.
The business discovered through analytics-based testing that influencers’ ads that were pushed on their own profiles had a 75% higher conversion rate and a 50% higher return on ad expenditure.
In your articles and stories, mention your followers.
Using contests and branded hashtags to gather user-generated content is a terrific way to find high-quality content for your social media feed. UGC is a potent source of social proof as well.
Even better, connecting with some of your biggest fans is made easier by sharing their material on your social media platforms (and naturally tagging them in it).
You’ll receive a notification in your direct messages whenever a fan tags you in an Instagram Story. Make sure to share again; it’s a simple win-win.
Use the interactive features built into social media platforms.
There are many ways to get your audience to do something specific, like using Twitter polls or interactive stickers in Instagram Stories.
For instance, this summer, Panera Bread started a drive to foster relationships in order to promote its new coffee subscription. They declared they would offer free coffee all summer long if 500,000 users responded in the affirmative to their Twitter poll.
More than 588,000 people responded to the poll.
According to Kelli Nicholson, director of brand marketing at Panera Bread, strong 1:1 relationships with our consumers are the foundation of our brand. She said on Twitter that the campaign was a meaningful way to find out if people would be interested in the coffee subscription program.
6. Keep an eye out for trends.
We’re not advocating that you share every meme that becomes popular. (Avoid jumping on any meme that becomes popular.)
It is a good idea to keep an eye on social media trends to understand what users look for when they log into their social channels. This aids in the production of pertinent material that endures.
A continuing Pinterest campaign by State Farm Insurance offers educational material related to significant life milestones like getting a car or having a child. It’s a natural fit, and it’s helped the insurance giant connect with millennials and Gen X, since these events often affect insurance needs.
Bonus: Get a free template for a social media strategy to make planning your own strategies quick and straightforward. Use it to convey the process to your supervisor, team, and clients, as well as to monitor results.
Now to obtain the template!
Road excursions were a popular topic for online inquiry in the spring of last year as travel evolved from being a global affair to a much more local experience. The company made a collection of pins about road journeys and how State Farm protected its clients during uncertain times.
Currently, these are the top five reasons individuals use social media:
- to keep abreast of news and activities presently taking place.
- to pass the time by finding amusing material.
- Maintain relationships with pals.
- to send pictures or videos to others
- The benefits of using social media in January 2021
Always keep the most recent demands of your audience in mind. It’s possible that what worked last year won’t work now.
With the aid of social listening, you may learn what your audience (and potential audience) might be interested in learning about your business.
Because of this, according to two-thirds of poll participants in the Hootsuite Social Media Trends study, social listening will be more valuable in 2020.
How to use social listening for your business is covered in detail in our comprehensive guide.
Social commerce, or the capacity to sell your goods directly from social networks, is a recent development in social media marketing. And with a global market value of $89.4 billion in 2020, commerce is booming.
18.3% of American adults had done so on Facebook by June 2020, while 11.1% had done so on Instagram.
Adults in the United States who have purchased something on specific social media sites
Even without a website, you may now sell your goods and services using social shopping platforms.
In other pieces, we go into great detail about how to use Instagram Shopping, sell on Facebook Shops, and make the most of Instagram Live Shopping.
7. Vary your format choices.
Make sure to change the formats of your social media posts occasionally. Try a JPG if you typically share GIFs. Try posting a video if you usually just share static photographs.
Utilize all available social network forms, such as live video, reels, and stories.
By doing this, you might find out which formats work best for different content types (more on below) and social networks.
For instance, it is accepted wisdom that posts with graphics perform better than those without. However, a recent trial by Hootsuite showed that plain text Tweets performed better than those with images or GIFs.
A few years ago, this was not the case, and Hootsuite would not have found this information if every Tweet included a picture.
Another argument against becoming stuck in a rut is this: To make sure a person’s newsfeed contains a good variety of information types, the Facebook algorithm utilizes “content type diversity.” Changing up your formats could expand the audience for your material.
Stock picture websites are an excellent source of free, high-quality photos to utilize in your social media posts when you want to use images but don’t have a great photo collection. Don’t utilize arbitrary photographs from the internet. That is most definitely not acceptable and might land you in serious trouble.
Finally, ensure that every post is inclusive and accessible, regardless of the format. Start by giving photos alt text and ensuring that movies have captions. Make sure the visuals you share accurately reflect your audience.
8. “Put quality before quantity.”
You don’t have to use every social media marketing option available to small businesses; it may seem daunting. It’s more important to make high-quality content for a few critical channels than to be on every network.
Make sure your social media updates are valuable above anything else. There is minimal incentive for people to follow you if all you do is pitch and sell. Keep in mind that connections are the foundation of social marketing.
Stay human. Be truthful. Put up quality stuff. There is no way to fake this; it is crucial.
It is pointless to try; you cannot do everything. Identify where your audience is currently spending time online and reach out to them there.
At least to begin with, concentrate on using one or two social media platforms really well. Once you’ve mastered those, you can expand your efforts and build on your learning.
9. Use the proper equipment.
Using technologies that automate or simplify a lot of the effort is the key to using social media efficiently.
There are numerous technologies available to assist in increasing your productivity. In other words, you don’t need a large social media team to start using social media for business.
Some of our favorites are included below.
Social media is a tool to interact with customers and fans; it is not a broadcasting system.
Hootsuite and other social media management solutions can assist you by centralizing all mentions, and communications addressed to your business on a single dashboard. You can reply and participate without having to sign into each of your separate social networking accounts.
You might learn more about your social media activities if you put all of your analytics data in one place.
You can get an excellent overview of how successfully you capture the conversation in your space with Hootsuite Insights powered by Brandwatch. Additionally, you can build thorough reports of your social media performance with Hootsuite Analytics.
If you’re having trouble finding interesting photos for your posts, use tools that will make the process easier.
Among our favorites are VSCO and A Color Story. We provide more photo-editing apps in our article on how to edit Instagram photographs.
10. Curation of content
Finding fresh material to offer each day might be challenging. Curating content may be helpful. It’s an art form of sharing excellent posts written by others (with credit, of course).
It can be a fantastic strategy to benefit your followers and maintain their interest. You can find and organize stuff to share with the aid of tools like BuzzSumo and Pocket. In our beginner’s guide to content curation, you may find more tools for content curation.
11. To increase involvement, use scheduling and automation.
At the beginning of this essay, we discussed planning your social media material.
Once you’ve set up a schedule, you can plan your social media posts ahead of time and use scheduling apps like Hootsuite to automatically post them at the correct times.
This enables you to set aside time to create your social media content each day or week. It’s much more efficient than having social media posts interfere with your daily tasks.
You can reduce the number of hours you spend working on social media marketing by using automation solutions like chatbots.
12. Keep tabs on and improve your performance.
It would be best to track what works and what doesn’t as you implement your social strategy.The results can then be improved by adjusting your efforts.
The analytics mentioned above tools let you get a clear image of your social media activities and can help you keep tabs on the metrics that are most important to you.
It’s time to start searching for methods to improve your plan after you understand how it is performing. You may gradually improve your success with A/B testing.
For example, Newsome Interactive LLC, an advertiser for land development, tested different calls to action and found that “Learn More” was the best one for their Facebook ads that led people to Messenger.
Not because “Learn More” received the most clicks. For Newsome to gather quality leads, it was best to set individuals up to complete a full conversation sequence and contact form.
Facebook messenger A/B testing in the Jasper Highlands
On the other hand, “Chat Now” encouraged users to ask specific inquiries and leave the chat sequence before it was finished.
Regardless of the size of your company, social media platforms may help you interact with your audience more effectively, find new potential clients, and raise brand awareness. If the possibilities seem overwhelming, just start small.
Increase your efforts and audience as you discover what is effective. One of the best things about social media for small businesses is that you can always use the tools in the best way for your company and your budget.