Social media marketing for small businesses is a powerful tool that has the potential to set you miles apart from your competitors. There are plenty of tips and tricks to get you noticed on social media, and making the most of each platform is sure to send you on your way to social success. When done right, social media marketing for small businesses will massively increase brand awareness, improve engagement through brand advocacy, and ultimately, send sales soaring. In fact, an alarming number of small businesses don’t even use social media to promote their products or services, which demonstrates a huge area of potential, and the opportunity to take centre stage in your industry.
Mostly, social media marketing for small businesses is designed to generate leads, build brand awareness and engage customers, and a smart strategy can achieve each of these objectives.
Our savvy teams are experts in social media marketing for small businesses, and we want to share our best-kept secrets to help our favourite small businesses all over the UK have the impact they deserve. Now the world is beginning to open up again, making the most of social media marketing for small businesses will remind your target audiences of what you have to offer, and encourage them to come and pay you a visit when they’re ready to step back out into the world.
Here at Mantra, all of our campaigns begin with research, and that’s part of what makes them so successful. Conducting research into your industry means that you’ll be on the cusp of any current and upcoming trends, meaning you can craft your content strategy to tailor your posts to the exact interests of your target audience.
Competitor analysis is also an essential part of research when planning social media marketing for small businesses. Analysing competitor content will spark your own ideas, and developing this analysis will also highlight exactly what not to do within your strategy.
The next part of your research should centre around your audience. Whilst you may think you know your target audience like the back of your hand, there’ll always be something that’ll surprise you, which you can use to guide a successful strategy. You can take a look at the insights and analysis tools of each of the social media channels you use to discover more about your audience and the way they’re engaging with your content. Social media marketing for small businesses means you should also research the demographics of those users who are interested in your industry. Understanding the age, occupations, genders, locations, and interests of your target users will allow you to further your research and delve into the best ways to engage them. Working out what channels they might use, what they’re looking for, and how they are likely to respond means you can really finetune your strategy for success and plan for a fruitful future.
Content plans are the bread and butter of social media marketing for small businesses. Making sure that there’s enough content, and that it’s tailored to your target audience and your objectives is essential, and writing it all down in a clear and succinct plan is the key to strategy success.
When it comes to social media marketing for small businesses, posting once or twice per day is ideal. Less than that and your audience might not see it. Much more and it’ll become tiresome and irrelevant, disengaging your audience. So long as the frequency is kept consistent, your audience will remain engaged and interested in what your brand has to say. Inconsistent posting leads to a drop in both followers and engagement, and the best way to maintain these is to keep on posting.
Your content plan should be based on your objectives and your focus areas. Decide on this first before you even think about writing posts. Pinpointing your objectives means you can really tailor your content towards your goals, making for a strategy that’s miles more meaningful.
Once your objectives have been put in place for each week, month, or quarter, it’s time to start crafting content. This should be varied, interesting, informative, fun, and most of all, should add value to your target audience. Offering value to your users means you’re not simply pitching and selling in every post. They’ll soon get bored of sales content, and so allowing them to better understand your industry and your areas of expertise will keep them engaged and interested in what you have to say. As well as product or service promotions, make sure your content includes contests, sales, industry anecdotes, statistics, new releases, behind-the-scenes insights, staff stories, company wins, milestones, your brand values, your story, and your expertise. That’s what makes social media marketing for small businesses memorable and meaningful.
When it comes to social media marketing for small businesses, incorporating a local element will elevate your reach and your engagement. Whatever your city, there’s usually a location-specific, popular hashtag that many local residents and businesses will follow. In Sheffield for instance #SheffieldIsSuper, #IndependentSheffield, and #SocialSheffield are all examples of popular hashtags used for personal content by customers and social media marketing for small businesses alike. Teaming up with local, relevant businesses through an offer or a competition will increase brand awareness and engagement as you create more recognition among another highly relevant audience. Small businesses are always very community-focused and so ensuring you’re a big part of that community will send you on your way to social media success. This can be done through relationship management with other businesses, but also individuals. User-generated content is a great way to build relationships with individual members of your target audience, such as a shared photograph or a short review. Tagging other users will generate shares, improve reach, and gather much more engagement and brand awareness.
When it comes to social media marketing for small businesses, people often forget that the prime reason their users are on social media is to share their personal lives with their friends and family members. This is why it’s so important that the tone is right, and isn’t too contrasting to the content they’re looking to see on social media. This means that social media marketing for small businesses should be kept casual whilst providing that all-important value. The right tone of voice and use of language allows you to bring some personality to your content, and thus, your brand. Ensuring this is completely authentic is essential to building trust with your audience, and generating meaningful engagement. Ultimately, social media marketing for small businesses is about building relationships, and the best way to do this is authentically. Your audience members know their platforms inside out, and so inauthentic content will be spotted a mile off, and rightfully ignored. An authentic presence means your values are reflected through and through, and when this is done right, your presence will be consistent across all platforms, as well as your emails, your messages, and your website.
Visuals are an essential part of social media marketing for small businesses. Continuing on from authenticity, visuals are an excellent way of extending this feeling. Behind the scenes photography, staff snaps, office photos, and even celebratory clips depicting company milestones all give your brand that all-important authentic personality, and when users can see this, they’re much more likely to engage meaningfully with your content and your business. Video is a great tool for social media marketing for small businesses, though ensuring that these visuals are high quality is essential. Ultimately, low-quality visuals naturally encourage your users to associate this level of quality with the competence of your business, and so ensuring the quality of your content is up to scratch with the quality of your products or services is essential.
Variety is key within visuals too. Being the first thing your users will focus on, they need to be eye-catching, a bit different, and engaging, and a great way to achieve this is through variety. Social media marketing for small businesses should include photography and videos, and also scrollable PDFs, infographics, illustrations, live videos, text-based imagery, and graphics. Including easily digestible information in a visual format will make users much more likely to engage with and absorb the information, particularly when they see something different and bespoke every time.
Engagement is an essential part of social media marketing for small businesses, as we’ve already established that relationships are the building blocks of a successful strategy. The main rule of engagement is to always respond to anyone who interacts with your organic content. This could be replying to a comment, inviting engaged users to like the page, or sending a message to new followers to thank them and welcome them to your channel. Authentic engagement within social media marketing for small businesses builds trust with your users, as well as loyalty, and with these comes increased reach and awareness too. Social media is the place to showcase your exceptional customer service, as when it’s public, everyone else can see it too, and when they can see great relationships, it’ll make them want to get involved. Personalising the attention you give each and every one of your engaged users is another great way to achieve this, as personalisation is more fun, more human, and more likely to strengthen your customer relationships.
Openly supporting other local businesses through your engagement strategy will also boost awareness of your brand, and encourage further business-to-business engagement, which is especially useful if you’re a business-to-business brand. Another great engagement approach as part of social media marketing for small businesses is to encourage your employees to become your brand advocates. Of course, this will come naturally for businesses who truly value their teams, and when employees are engaged, content will be shared through a number of additional networks. You can also collect user-generated content through competitions and branded hashtags, which will give you more authentic content to share, as well as nurture the relationships you have with your clients, contacts, colleagues, and customers.
The trick to efficient social media marketing for small businesses is to make the most out of every single channel. Whilst it’s a good idea to post your content across all channels to ensure all your audiences see your updates, it’s an even better idea to engage in a channel-specific way. This means posting more on Twitter through conversational updates and involving your brand in other site-wide and local threads. Polls can also be used on Twitter as well as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram Stories which are a great way of not only generating engagement, but also gaining an insight into the things your audience want more of, meaning your strategy can be super tailored to your audience’s needs and wants.
Facebook groups and pages are another great way of expanding your audience through social media marketing for small businesses. By posting on groups and pages that are relevant to your products and services, you’re appearing in front of users who already have an interest in what you have to offer, making your content go a lot further, in an incredibly meaningful way. The good news is that this logic can also be applied to LinkedIn and the groups on there.
Interactive tools such as the polls are a failsafe way to generate engagement when it comes to social media marketing for small businesses. As well as polls, live-streamed content on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, instantly engages your audience and encourages them to stay tuned so as not to miss out. Instagram Stories are also the pinnacle of engagement with social media marketing for small businesses, and here, you can make use of polls, as well as questions, music, quizzes, countdowns, and gifs, all of which encourage your audience to get involved with your page and your brand.
Reporting is one of the most important tricks in the book of social media marketing for small businesses. Content, results, and performance should be monitored on a regular basis, so you can keep up with engagement, and you can stay on top of every trend. On a monthly basis, it’s important to delve deeper into these insights, to guide your strategy and pinpoint the content that’s working. Insights and analytics are available on every single platform, and these allow you to monitor your growth, your engagement, and any conversions. Understanding these metrics will mean you can keep track of what’s working best within your content strategy when it comes to topics, visuals, frequency, and even time of posting, ultimately allowing you to continually craft the content strategy that’s right for your small business. These analytics tools allow you to delve deeper into your audience demographics, including their behaviours, which means your social media strategy will always be set up for success.
Social media marketing for small businesses is a fantastic opportunity to improve awareness, reach, and engagement, ultimately meaning more feet through the door and more considered conversions. Whether you’re customer-facing, business-to-business, or a bit of both, social media marketing for small businesses will send your strategy, sales, and success soaring.
Send us a message on any of our social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter) to unlock the potential of social media marketing for small businesses for yourself.
If you enjoyed this blog, take a look at these other social media blog posts:
The Death of Black Hat Social Media Techniques
Instagram TV: Curating Video Content
Social Media Marketing Tactics
Your Social Media PPC Strategy
Social Media Marketing: Driving Traffic and Generating Sales