Find out why social media should be a fundamental part of your small business plan, and how to smash it out of the park!
Social media is a component that’s often overlooked by small businesses, but this shouldn’t be the case. Not only does social media act as a form of advertisement for your business, but it allows an open forum for direct communication between yourself and your customers.
Gone are the days of just picking up the phone and speaking to someone, these days everything is done online. Whether someone wants to praise your business or tell you how you can improve, social media gives customers the platform to be able to do so.
There are loads of reasons why your business should be utilising social media; but here are some of the top ones!
Use Social Media to Communicate Directly with Your Customers
Whether you’re planning on bringing out a range of new products, launching a new service, or you’ve got something exciting happening at HQ — social media is the way to shout about it.
Social media offers brands a way to connect with their customers and provides an ideal platform to harvest a loyal fan base and ‘build your tribe’.
Make your customers feel special by giving them access to your products and services before the masses; can offer exclusive deals and discounts or other incentives to followers to keep them engaged.
Social media is also the ideal platform to humanise your brand. Connect and engage with other brands and causes that mean something to you and fit in with your brand values, and make sure you share these values with your customers.
Use Social Media to Build Your Small Business’ Reputation
When you’re a small business looking to sell online, social media can be a fantastic way to show you’re genuine and build up trust. Seeing other customers engaging with you on social media will help to assure new customers that you can be trusted.
Social media also allows you to reach out to your customers and ask for their feedback, as well as address any concerns they may have.
It’s well known that people use social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to complain directly to businesses, but handling these complaints well as part of a savvy customer service plan can actually have a positive impact on your reputation.
Use Social Media to Bring Traffic to Your Website
For a small business, one of the hardest things can be getting noticed, especially if you have a lot of well-established competition in your market.
But, if you do social media well, you’re likely to attract attention and get potential customers talking about what you do. If your social media content is interesting it’s likely that people will be curious to see what else you offer and click through to your site to find out more.
If you’re an e-commerce business, adding a shopping button on Facebook and Instagram allows customers to shop directly from your social media pages, which is a great way to drive sales. You can also use your social channels to get the word out about any promotions you may be running, share discount codes or referral schemes and offers.
Use Social Media to Network with Other Small Business Owners
They say it’s about who you know not what you know, which is definitely applicable in the instance of social media marketing.
Building connections with fellow professionals is a great way to learn new things, get valuable feedback, and potentially bring new customers to your brand.
LinkedIn, in particular, is a great platform for speaking to other business owners to see what they’re doing well and what they’re not so you can create the best version of your business.
Finding the Right Social Media Platform for Your Small Business
Every social media platform has its advantages, but depending on your target audience your choice of social media may vary.
Don’t think you need to be on every platform; it’s much better to have one or two well-utilised social media accounts on the platforms that are most popular with your target customer, than trying to maintain accounts everywhere and failing!
For example, if your target customer is mainly females in the 16-24 age bracket then Instagram is a good platform to target.
Social Media Platform Pros and Cons
Facebook is a great way to connect and share with your customers. As the most popular social network, Facebook has huge potential reach for your business with some of the most sophisticated targeting options available for your content.
However, since the algorithm update back in January 2019, a major drawback of Facebook for businesses is almost zero organic reach and it’s the most competitive network due to its popularity.
Instagram is a visual content platform that has seen incredible growth over the past few years and is particularly popular with users under the age of 35.
It’s a great social network for e-commerce businesses as it provides a fantastic visual platform to showcase your products.
Twitter is a conversational platform. Lots of people use Twitter to contact businesses directly, either to praise them or raise concerns/issues with their products and services.
It’s a super face-paced network, ideal for announcements and product launches and having direct conversations with your customers.
Twitter is also a fantastic networking tool, so if you’re running a B2B business you should definitely be on Twitter!
Whilst we’re talking about networking, LinkedIn is another great platform for B2B businesses.
If you’re looking to grow your professional connections, network with individuals within your industry directly, and share in-depth, long-form content, then LinkedIn is the place to be.
If you want to take a deeper dive into the pros and cons of each social media platform to help you decide which one is best for your business, this article by Vertical Leap is a great place to start!