The five most important things small businesses should know about social networks
It’s not just big businesses that use marketing for social media. It is a channel that can be used by a company of any size.
This doesn’t mean, however, that all marketing strategies are universal. For small businesses, especially the ones restricted by resources and the necessity of multitasking, there are a couple of key fundamentals that require attention. We’ve made a list of five key principles for increasing sales and engaging with clients through SMM.
- You have to know precisely what you want.
Any company should set realistic goals for social networking. If you are a small enterprise with limited time and a small customer base, then not having a clear vision of what you want to accomplish will lead to not achieving the expected results.
Before you launch your Facebook campaign or start continuously posting photos on Instagram, ask yourself a question: “what goal am I aiming to achieve?”.
Do you want to tell followers about your new product or service? Do you plan to collect e-mails, phone numbers or increase the number of subscribers you have on your Facebook page? Or do you want to sell as much as you can and are ready to give out discounts?
Take some time to figure out two or three main goals and write them down. They will help you decide on whether your current advertising investment is working properly or a change of course should occur.
- Figure out where your “best” customers are.
It’s a safe assumption that you can easily imagine your perfect customer. They are the one who will visit your store and website again and again. You can determine their age bracket, location and maybe even their level of income.
Now, can you name the social network that you perfect client is likely to use?
Understanding the diversity of demographic layers, geographic areas and meanings of different social networks will help you to decide where to concentrate your efforts. It can be targeting by interest (Facebook allows for some easy tuning in this aspect), by location (Foursquare is particularly good as a navigator), or by product (Instagram easily attracts those who like to take photos of their lunch).
Carve out some time in order to research which social networks your perfect customers spend time on. Nowadays people spend the same samount of time on social networks as they used to in front of the TV, so there can be more than one that you have to keep an eye on.
3. Create interest through word of mouth.
In a previous media world you could just pay for advertising in newspapers or on TV commercials. Now your Facebook page is a type of media upon itself and your readers can launch spread interest through word of mouth with just one click!
Motivate subscribers: make coupons or limited offers available so your subscribers can repost your information. Launch photo and video contests where users can create content and include hashtags, which will spread your message across the network and perhaps other marketing channels.
4. Don’t be afraid of paid promotional tools.
Every social network offers instruments for advertising. Facebook is the one that offers the biggest number of ways to advertise and has comprehensive information about them.
The good news is that promotion on Facebook costs anywhere between $50 and $500 per month, depending on what you want from it. And it will deliver results. Despite your ultimate goal, be sure to measure your results in comprehensive values, such as the Cost Of Customer Acquisition (COCA).
To begin with, it will suffice to use the page promotion to achieve simple goals: ensuring followers ”like” your posts, promoting your posts by targeting friends of subscribers or people with compatible interests, and carefully linking users to your website. Constantly check your targeting parameters, analyse statistics and experiment with text and pictures.
5. Use social networks daily.
The last important principle for small businesses is the most simple in theory, but perhaps the most difficult to translate into practice. We are talking about regularly posting information on your business page on social networks.
You have to create precise plans a month or several weeks ahead. It’s not necessary to fully load your entire week. What is important is to adapt the various tasks around the social topics of that moment (and to do it naturally, of course). It can take 30 minutes a day and another 30 minutes to analyse what has to be done for the following day. Where and when is not as important as a general systematic approach is. If you simply wait for a free moment, you will never get it done on time.
You know, there is nothing worse than an outdated news feed with no updates…