Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. The rise of platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and LinkedIn has created an opportunity for small businesses to reach new audiences and connect with customers in a more personal way. We will explore the benefits of using social media for small businesses and provide some tips to help you get started.
The Impact of Social Media on Small Businesses
Every growing business needs to harness the power of social media to validate its brand and attract new customers. Your presence on social networks is critical to supporting your overall marketing efforts. Research shows that customers use social networks to test and verify a brand’s claims and reveal the “truth” about a company.
But social media can be mutually beneficial. While a customer uses it to validate a brand, you and your business can utilize it to put your business’ best image out there and assist in customer service and engagement to build a strong customer base.
Here are 5 ways social media can positively impact your small business.
Build Brand Awareness
Social media platforms have a large user base, providing small businesses with an opportunity to reach a wider audience. By building brand awareness on social media, small businesses can attract new customers who may not have heard of them otherwise.
Instagram users say they discover new brands while using the platform
Engage with Customers
Social media provides a platform for small businesses to interact with their customers in real-time. This helps to build relationships, gain feedback, and improve customer service. When customers feel connected to a brand, they are more likely to become repeat customers, which means more sales for your business.
The best ways to engage with your customers are to respond to comments, like and share their content, and participate in conversations. This will help to build relationships and establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry.
Those helped via social customer service return as a customer in the future
Would rather contact a company through social media than by telephone
Aid in Research
Social media can aid in research by providing valuable insights into customer opinions, demonstrating good customer service, highlighting product features, and enabling product comparisons. By utilizing these tools, small businesses can make informed decisions about their products and services and improve the customer experience.
Showcase Customer Testimonials
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people look to the actions and opinions of others to guide their own behavior. In the context of marketing and branding, social proof refers to the idea that consumers are more likely to trust a brand or product if they see that others are already using or endorsing it.
You can influence someone’s social proof by showcasing customer testimonials on your social media platforms. Whether static or in the form of video, when consumers see that others are already using or recommending a product, they are more likely to trust it and consider making a purchase themselves.
Demonstrate Good Customer Service
If you’re engaging with customers through comments or messages, it’s evident that you value your customers and provide excellent customer service. Potential customers can purchase your products or services knowing that they are going to be taken care of should anything happen.
Highlight Product Features & Comparisons
Social media provides a platform for small businesses to showcase their products and highlight their unique features. By posting high-quality photos and videos, you can give customers a better understanding of your products and how they can benefit from them.
Social media also provides an opportunity for you to compare your products with those of your competitors. By analyzing the features and benefits of competing products, small businesses can identify the unique selling points and position themselves as the best option for customers.
Close the Deal
Quite simply, social media can help you make sales. Use social media to offer promotions and discounts to your followers, promote special events and ticket sales, or suggest complimentary products that will help alleviate a customer’s pain point.
Understand Your Audience
Social media insights can be incredibly valuable in helping small businesses understand their target audience. There are several insights that social media platforms offer, like demographic details, engagement metrics, and competitive activity.
You can deeply understand your audience and create more effective marketing and branding strategies, allowing you to impact your social media audience even more.
Defining Your Target Audience
While it is true that a business increasing its number of customers is the route to growth; the reality is that not everyone is an ideal customer for your business. That’s why it’s important to define your target audience. We outline the best way to do that in this blog.
How To: Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses
To be effective, you’ll need to break down your social media content into two categories: social media management and social media advertising.
Social Media Management (Organic)
Organic social media is simply any social media activity without a paid promotion. It is the use of free social media tools to build and engage with an online following. However, while it is free, it takes a lot of time and experience to develop a successful organic social media strategy.
An organic social media strategy nurtures your relationship with your existing customers. It also helps establish and grow your brand awareness which leads to converting new customers by showing them what sets your business apart.
Social Media Advertising (Paid)
Paid social media refers to sponsored advertisements displayed to social media users based on their profiles. The cost is dependent on what the ad is optimized for, such as CPC.
Social media ads are becoming a staple in marketing strategies across small and large businesses. Ultimately, paid social media helps with targeting audiences and driving sales just as organic social media does. The advantage of paying for this type of value is the speed to market, campaign sustainability, and message frequency.
Social Media Post Ideas
As a small business, it’s hard to dedicate time to posting on social media. We find that the hardest part of this process is figuring out social media ideas for posts. A variety of posts is important to ensure followers are learning more about your products and services, but also to maintain engagement so you can learn more about your audience and cater your posts in the future to them.
Our team has created a list of 30 social media content ideas for small businesses. Our content calendar is full of push and pull posts to give your social media account the range your account needs! Download 30 days of social media posts below – note: we don’t use your email address aside from sending you the calendar.
Small Business Social Media Ideas
Have A Happier & Healthier Social Calendar With Our Free Download
Utilizing Social Media Ads
With organic reach being increasingly difficult, it’s important for brands to invest in social media advertising to reach customers in a timely manner. Ads are targeted based on multiple factors, including but not limited to demographics, geography, and behaviors.
Depending on the goal of your campaign, we may suggest a mix of ads. The 3 main types of social media ads can be found below:
Image Ads consist of a single image that is used to promote a product, service, or brand. They are helpful for promoting sales, special offers, and driving engagement.
Video ads are great for demonstrations of products, features, and testimonials. As many videos on social media are played without audio, it’s important to include text overlays and to keep the message concise (about 15-30 seconds long).
Carousel ads allow businesses to display multiple images or videos within a single ad unit, allowing for a more immersive and interactive experience for the user.
Social Media Frequently Asked Questions
Which social media platforms should my business be utilizing?
Regardless of the industry, there is no question that your business should be on social media. You first need to establish who your target audience is to ensure that you are reaching them on the right social media platform(s). The type of product or service that you are offering can also influence where it makes the most sense to promote your business. (source)
Overall, what is the most popular social media platform?
Facebook is still the top social media network in the U.S. It was the first social network to surpass one billion registered accounts and currently sits at 2.85 billion active users. The company currently also owns four of the biggest social media platforms: Facebook, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram. (source)
How often should my business post on social media?
At a minimum, you should post to each active social media platform two to three times per week. There is no one size fits all, but it is key that you consistently post quality content. Monitoring when your audience is online will help determine when you should post. (source)
What is a common mistake that my business should avoid?
Steer clear of having multiple profiles on each social media platform and not interacting at all with your audience. Such actions can cause brand confusion, while others will result in your audience unfollowing your business. Again, it is key to focus on what platforms make the most sense for your industry and audience, then establish a marketing strategy for each. (source)
How effective is video on social media?
Your business’ social media strategy should absolutely include video since it is a very powerful sales tool. Video content typically performs best with most social media algorithms. It captures a viewer’s attention longer than a static image. Consumers expect brands to deliver engaging, entertaining content on social media, and video is one of the most effective ways to do so. (source)
Why is paid social media advertising worth the investment?
Social media ads are becoming a staple in marketing strategies across small and large businesses. Ultimately, paid social media helps with targeting audiences and driving sales just as organic social media does. The advantage of paying for this type of value is the speed to market, campaign sustainability and message frequency. (source)
How much should I be spending on social media advertising?
It’s difficult to put an exact number on what your social media marketing budget should be, but there are some limitations with certain platforms, such as a minimum daily spend. Of course, a higher spend usually leads to greater results, but a little can go a long way with social media. (source)
How can I increase my social media followers?
When your business’ social media platforms are properly managed, you will see growth through targeted ads, shareable content with eye-catching creative and best practices being applied for each network. (source)
Can I delete negative comments or reviews on social media?
You have the ability to delete or hide most unwanted social media comments, but reviews are difficult to remove. If you receive negative feedback, we believe it is best to respond with a solution, such as asking the reviewer to contact you directly to resolve the situation. This shows the public that your business is proactive and values customer satisfaction. Need examples? We’ve compiled a list of 26 effective examples of responding to negative reviews.
Social media is a powerful tool for small businesses. By embracing this technology and following best practices, small businesses can increase visibility, build brand recognition, and connect with customers in a more personal way. Start today and see the results for yourself!
Want to utilize social media but not sure you have the time? You might want to consider a social media marketing agency or a full-service marketing firm, like Rogers Advertising. Let us know a little bit about your business and we will see how we can help!