7 Key Ways A Small Business Can Dominate Social Media
I’ve worked with many small business owners over the years and witnessed the transformation in how these businesses market and sell their products and services. One of the most quickly evolving technologies available to small businesses is social media. As a small business owner you're either active on social media, tinker with it every once in awhile, are thinking about being on social media or have been forced into it. Whatever the case, social media marketing is now another essential tool in your arsenal of sales tools. Even though many view it as pervasive, many small business owners still haven’t realized how useful it is for growing their businesses. If used properly, your social media accounts can dramatically grow your base of followers, increase leads, improve your product or service and help your business expand.
1. Be Consistent.
When it comes to marketing and social media marketing, consistency is one of the hardest things for a small business owner to maintain. I don’t mean consistency only in terms of quality but consistency in deliverability as well. It’s critical for a small business to execute a reasonable posting schedule that allows them to maintain that schedule but also provide value for the followers when they expect it. Remember: Sales aren’t built in a day and neither should your postings fluctuate in frequency when YOU want to sell something. Get to know your customers instead of trying to win them over when you want. Consistency in your posting frequency and the type of material you post will help you attract the right customers. Which brings us to the second strategy:
2. Be Authentic.
Social media has busted the doors open on people and businesses that once carefully curated their information and posted only what they wanted people to see. With millions now managing their own social media accounts, you have the opportunity to be a bit more transparent and let those people in and to allow them to see the real, authentic, you. Otherwise, they will discover and/or position your small business in a way you're not too happy with. Besides, being authentic on social media is beneficial because it forces you to elevate your product or brand to deliver the best.
3. Research and Test.
As a small business owner, you know the it’s important to be flexible and to try a variety of different approaches until you find the best solutions that work for your target buyer. This not only means trying different social platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., but also different mediums of posting. Now, this doesn't mean just blindly trying to post different content, commentary, etc. It means researching your ideal buyers behavior and discovering that’s interesting and relevant to them. After you find what appeals to them, mix up your content and delivery and see what people respond to the most.
4. Be Consistent.
One of the greatest benefits of creating Content Marketing is the exponential benefits of creating more content over time. This means that if you want to appear improve your Google organic ranking in search results, you need to consistently post quality articles. In order to leverage this opportunity further, you must share your content across multiple platforms. Another way to efficiently leverage your existing content is to republish them in new formats specifically tailored for different platforms. For example, a Facebook audience is not the same as a LinkedIn audience as one is more about “social” engagement while the latter is more geared towards business interests.
5. Focus on the Long-term.
As a small business owner you know that the successful entrepreneur is in it for the long-haul. Do not expect people pounding down at your virtual door. Instead, focus on long-term credibility and building relationship. Remember that credibility and reputation are built over time. This means setting up long-term goals and expectations of your social media marketing initiatives. Also use social media a s a way to get feedback from your buyers or potential customers asa way to improve your product or service.
6. Don't Hard Sell.
Everyone hates the cliche ad that is in your face and unwelcomed. Social media is not an avenue to post ads. Remember the key word in social media is SOCIAL. This doesn't mean you shouldn’t promote your product or services. It just means that your business has an opportunity to be a person, a brand and not just a sales machine. Sales are critical to your business but you need to find the right balance.
7. Post At The Right Times.
This goes back to research and test and depends on your ideal buyers social media digestion schedule. Another factor to consider is your internal operating schedule and your ability to respond to social-media accounts, potential phone calls or emails. Remember, social media marketing is about building relationships and although maybe right now it may not be too active, it will pick-up if you maintain consistency. One of the cardinal rules of business is “timing is everything”, and this old adage must be applied to your social-media efforts.