What's Social Media got to do with it?-A primer for small business owners
Updated: 6 days ago
“We’re living at a time when attention is the new currency. Those who insert themselves into as many channels as possible look set to capture the most value." - Pete Cashmore, Founder of mashable.com
According to zyro.com, there are now over 3.42 billion active social media users across the globe, spending almost two and a half hours per day on various platforms.
So what does that mean to small business owners?
The average response to this is, "Our customers already know us, we don't need social media" or, "We're not selling anything we need to advertise on social media."
Don’t get me wrong: it’s great that you've already established a steady customer base.
However, in this digital age, EVERY GOOD/SERVICE is now being bought/sold online.
Small business owners who don't adopt an effective social media strategy will soon see their core customer base start to dwindle; or worse yet, lose them altogether to a competitor who has.
"But how do I start?" is usually the response when faced with the stark reality.
Fear not - we've got you covered !!!
1. Define your goals
What do you want from social media? Do you want to promote your product/service? Generate leads? Create relationships? Identifying your 'End Game" will determine how you approach your social media strategy- how often you post/what you post. Additionally, you'll need to measure these goals - for example, if you want to promote a product/service, you'll want to measure the number of sales/inquiries that are generated from social media.
2. Do an Audit
Look at your existing social media page(s). How many of your post captions encouraged likes or engaged readers enough to comment? Are you giving value using actionable tools and tips (including freebies) or are you simply selling? Keep in mind that the algorithm on Instagram is constantly changing-these days it's skewed towards creating conversations and content. You need to look at what works- and do more of the same.
3. Who's Your Audience?
In this era of short attention spans - 8 seconds at the last count-you need to zero in on who you're talking to. This includes:
Occupation, and gender
Their online activity – when do they go online (and why)
How and why they use social media
Knowing your target audience, and especially the things that challenge them-their pain points-allows you to speak to their needs and offer solutions - or at least start the conversation.
According to social media usage statistic by age, all people are on social media: 90% of people aged between 18 and 29, 82% of 30- to 49-year-olds, 69% of 50-64, and 32% of people aged above 65+ -Pew Research
4. Post consistently
One of the best ways to capture your targeted audience is by posting regularly. Share updates and improvements in your brand, and encourage customer feedback via questions and comments. Reaching out via Direct Messaging (DM) also encourages potential customers to reach out to you. Customers can follow your posts, engage with you and "know, like and trust your brand" -which results in increased sales.
5. Post quality content
Now that you've captured their attention, how do you keep it? By posting quality content that displays your intended message to potential prospects. Strategies to do this include:
Creating a kick-ass profile -complete with a high-definition headshot or logo
Ensuring that your IG grid is creative/consistent
Planning your posts using a content calendar
Mixing your content between short and long posts
Using video content as much as possible.
Focus on sharing information directly with your clients/customers, engaging them to comment/share their opinions on your products/services- which allows them to build stronger relationships with your brand.
6. Monitor your social media conversations
A major part of creating an effective marketing strategy using social media involves becoming more "Social"
You also need to follow through with conversations with your potential clients/customers and respond to all queries. This creates "social engagement" with your potential audience.- which ultimately results in a customer-centric brand- one that knows their problems. wants and needs and where they can find solutions. Positioning yourself as a "subject-matter expert" in your industry allows you to create a buzz around your product/service.
“Social media will help you build up loyalty of your current customers to the point that they will willingly, and for free, tell others about you.” - Bonnie Sainsbury, Founder and CEO of Social Media Smarter
You should always be focused on creating more traffic for your brand. Therefore you should apply a well-considered strategy that captures all the points discussed above, Despite popular belief, it's really not as intimidating as it seems. Make it fun and allow your personality to shine through. It's just like what your mom told you when she dropped you off at Pre-K all those years ago- play nice, make friends and share your snacks!!
If you liked these tips leave a comment below.