Tips for Small Business Owners

Social Media Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

How Can Social Media Help Grow Your Business

Love it or hate it, social media is now universal in every facet of our lives. For small business owners, a solid social media strategy can have countless benefits, including building brand awareness, driving revenue and delivering exceptional customer service. Over 96% of small businesses use social media in some capacity. Want to level up your social media approach? Here are some practical ways to produce positive results for your business.

Select the ideal social media platforms

Different platforms can serve different purposes while also targeting different audiences. As the oldest and most established social platform, Facebook is the best place to establish a business page, share posts and encourage engagement from your audience. Some small businesses forgo a website altogether and simply use their Facebook page to establish a digital presence. Facebook has many users in the 55+ age range, so keep that in mind when creating posts. Instagram is centered around visuals, so it’s a great platform to share high-quality images and videos along with supporting text. Instagram’s audience skews on the younger end – think Millennials and Gen Z. LinkedIn is business-oriented, ideal for recruiting new talent or networking, while Twitter is perfect for authentic customer service interactions and quick-hit messaging (note the word count limit in your Tweets.) There are countless other platforms out there to explore, depending on your target audience and your business goals.

Define your brand voice

With an authentic brand story, you’ll be able to stand out from your competitors and build trust with your customers – creating loyalty and potentially benefiting your bottom line. This brand voice can serve as the consistent underpinning of your messaging across every social media platform. To refine your brand message, consider your company’s mission and what problem you set out to solve in the earliest days of your business. Think through how you solved it, and then show the impact that your business has had on happy customers. We’re big fans of the StoryBrand framework to hone your brand message.

Develop a content calendar

While some of the best content can be created on the fly, it’s typically best to plan ahead with a social media content calendar. Whether you have a dedicated employee decked against social media, or it’s just you running the show, take time to sit down and plan. It will simplify your life and ensure that you’re posting consistently and on-brand. With a content calendar, you can be more intentional with what you’re sharing. Impactful content ideas range from promotional posts, re-sharing industry news or commentary from thought leaders and customer success stories. Use something as simple as a spreadsheet to track your planned content or leverage one of the many social media management tools, like HootSuite or Buffer.

Post consistently and stay engaged

By sharing original content regularly, you’ll stay in front of your existing customers and hopefully gain new prospective customers. Allow for two-way conversations by prompting your customers to comment on posts, and always respond to reviews, questions and comments (regardless of whether they’re negative or positive.) Take note of which type of posts get the most engagement and adjust your strategy as needed. Many platforms offer an opportunity to amplify your content through paid advertising and boosted content posts – both of which will cost you money.

Set goals and measure success

You can manage what you can measure. Tracking success on social media will help inform your future social media strategy. Some potential KPIs to measure are engagement and comments, new followers, visits to your website from your social platforms, new leads, conversions (those who actually took action on the prompt you were encouraging), etc. Most social media platforms have robust data insights allowing you to track your goals and determine if you’re hitting them. If you’re not, try new content types while testing and learning along the way.

In today’s world, having a presence on social media is almost non-negotiable. Set your small business up for success by developing a long-term social media strategy. Remember that consistency and engagement, as well as measuring what works, are key factors in driving brand awareness and hopefully boosting revenue for your business.

Attribution: Article by Live Oak Bank.

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