With many small businesses taking the digital route, social media can prove to be a game-changer. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are huge if you know how to correctly strategize your marketing efforts. Additionally, social media sites roll out new features frequently, making it difficult for small businesses to catch up with such updates.
Worldwide, 47% of internet users between the ages of 16 and 64 spent more time on social media in 2020 than in 2019. And these people are not simply checking out random stuff; they are the driving force behind all online sales. This emphasizes the importance of social media for small businesses.
Let us get into the crux of what social media has in store for small businesses.
Social media marketing for Small Businesses
Social media marketing involves implementing tactics through social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., to pivot business growth through visibility and customer interaction.
You can turn your business into a great local brand as a small business by creating a strong user base on social media platforms. You will need to run marketing campaigns on social sites, interact with the current set of users, and promote a business ethos that creates long-lasting connections with the social media community.
The core pillars of social media marketing are as follows:
- Strategy: It includes establishing the business’ objectives, the social channels to utilize for business communication, and the type of content to post on those channels.
- Analytics and reporting: These are important elements that empower marketers by providing visibility into reach, engagement, and various crucial metrics like clicks, views, etc.
- Listing and engagement: This refers to the process of monitoring engagement, collecting data from users, and determining what they have to say about your brand.
- Advertising: Leverage ads on social media sites such as Facebook that help increase your brand’s reach via sponsored posts aimed at the right demographic to reach relevant audiences.
- Planning and publishing: Creating content and scheduling posts that follow established best practices based on historical data and fresh insights.
Why should small businesses strategize their social media platforms?
Create Better Brand Awareness
This involves getting your name out to the public. Avoid posting promotional messages exclusively to build genuine and enduring brand recognition. Rather than that, prioritize content that reflects your brand’s personality and beliefs.
Drive more sales
Whether that’s online, in-store, or directly via your social networks, followers do not make a purchase decision by fluke. For instance, are you concerned about informing your customers about new products?
Also, what about promoting it for social media users? Integrate your product catalog with your social media accounts and keep your audience informed to increase sales.
Increase your audience base
Expanding your audience will need to identify the most important discussions around your company and sector. Sifting through your social networks is almost difficult without tracking key phrases, hashtags, and user comments.
Keeping an eye on these factors enables you to significantly accelerate the growth of your primary audience and reach more relevant prospective customers to increase your market share.
Keeping it community-driven
According to Sprout Index research, 46% of customers believe firms that invest in building a community are the best ones on social media. Therefore, it is ideal to try new methods to engage your existing followers and drive in more audiences with relevant content that connects.
It requires a degree of experimentation with message and content. For instance, does your brand encourage the adoption of user-generated data and hashtags? Even something as basic as posing a question may boost your engagement rate. If you provide your social media followers with something to act on, you will keep gauging their interest based on their enthusiasm and inputs.
Integrating Google My Business with social media channels
You can create social profiles for local businesses by telling Google about your social media accounts. To do this, you must include Structured Schema Data into the website for your business that is connected to your Google My Business (GMB) listing.
One way to drive relevant traffic on your social media through local Google search is to keep your GMB updated with the correct name, address, and phone number (NAP) of your local business. The same applies to your Facebook page. You need to ensure you’re driving relevant reviews on GMB and Facebook, as 93% of customers read online reviews before buying a product.
They won’t visit your website if the reviews are not impressive. It is always better to ask for a review and share a Google review link to simplify the review process so customers do not need to manually search for your business on Google Maps.
Once you are ready to implement the strategies to target key social media growth, focus on achieving results that matter the most. In this manner, you may prioritize actions that contribute to the success of your social media marketing plan rather than setting too many objectives that become annoying. Choose one or two and build your team around them.
Preparing Your Small Business Social Media for 2022
People usually choose a small, local business over a well-known brand since they appreciate the customized experience and distinctive identity. You need to stay prepared for the changes to come in 2022 and focus on leveraging social media to define your brand persona. Ultimately, it boils down to providing more value to your users and extending your business reach over social media to understand customers better while simultaneously expanding your business.
Check out some of the key ways you can unlock the business growth with the right social media strategies targeting to deliver results
Research your Target Audience
Only 55% of marketers use social data to understand their target audience better. As a result, it leaves a huge opportunity for practitioners and professionals to leverage social media data to identify prospective followers. Much of the information you need to drive your social marketing strategy already exists.
All you need to do is know where to search. One way is to adopt the right set of social intelligence tools, and you would not need professional market analysis or data science expertise.
Remember: different platforms attract different audiences.
Consider the demographics of today’s social media users. These figures indicate the networks your brand should target and the kind of content it should produce. The following are some critical lessons for your social media marketing plan in 2022:
- Facebook and YouTube are both popular advertising platforms, owing to their high-earning user bases.
- Instagram and YouTube are the top social networks for Millennials and Gen Z, indicating the strength of bold, eye-catching content that oozes personality.
- Women make up the vast majority on Pinterest, which is noted to have the highest purchases for social shoppers.
Avoid overstretching yourself and instead pivot efforts on networks where your possible audience is hanging out and driving some engagement.
Identify Social Benchmarks
Creating your social media marketing campaign requires a careful approach as you’d want to avoid overspending and wasting resources. Setting up benchmarks for your social media marketing enables you to identify key areas by evaluating historical data that contextualizes audience behavior instead of playing it by ear and eyeballing for estimates.
As mentioned earlier, you can be in that 55% of social media marketers drive data-backed decisions right from benchmarking to measuring results.
For instance, you can refer to the Page Insights by Facebook that helps you create brand awareness through targeted social media strategies anchored on a data-driven approach. Having clearly defined benchmarks helps improve your marketing efforts, so you have a starting point for your campaign, corresponding milestones to hit, and targets to achieve.
Create a brand personality
Your fans on social media come for your goods and services; they remain for your style and substance. Consider your social media as an extension of your voice, tone, and personality of the brand.
Ensure you emphasize the following while developing your brand persona:
- What is your tone? (Comic, fun, serious, educational, authoritative, etc.)
- Outside of your business, what are your primary interests?
- What are the values that your brand wants to communicate?
- Who are your acquaintances? (Other companies or individuals you support, local businesses, etc.)
Make your brand’s character a part of your social media marketing standards, and let your postings reflect your distinct personality.
The consumption of live video has increased by 55% in 2021 as marketers believe that video is one of the most useful forms of content for accomplishing social objectives. Social video is exploding with apps like TikTok and new feature additions like Instagram Reels.
Due to their high engagement rate, both long-form and short-form video creations remain dominant in the social arena across all channels. 87% of marketers agree that video provides a positive return on investment.
If you are planning to drive social media growth in 2022, the video should be your priority. Doing so will help your audience know better about your business while leveraging platforms for creating a robust brand identity.
Live streams, stories, and podcasts
According to published statistics, 20% of people listened to podcasts every week during 2020, and 32% discovered new podcasts via word-of-mouth or internet research. Getting new listeners and other podcast producers is possible if you strategically promote your podcast on social media, such as by adding to conversations happening in and around your topic.
Moreover, many social media apps offer space to go live — Facebook, Instagram, and even LinkedIn. You can stream live videos and podcasts within clicks. But ultimately, your social media marketing must match your consumer persona and company objectives if you want to get the most out of your social media efforts.
It is just now enough to be present on social media platforms for the sake of it. Drive conversations, create a community, implement strategies that deliver results. Social media for any small company depends a lot on honesty and consistency; therefore, start taking baby steps to get the ball rolling by 2022.
Start with creating a solid set of objectives and follow through on each by implementing the right tools and methods that let you stay ahead of the curve. You now have a fair idea about social media for small businesses — go out and start experimenting with new social media features, tools, and methods to drive conversions.