The internet today is the most powerful medium in the world. Every business, big or small, needs to have a strong online presence in order to succeed. A huge percentage of the world’s population is active on social media, and are spread across different platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Because of this, no matter who your audience is, you can be certain that they are on social media. Social media is also especially beneficial for small businesses because it offers a more affordable and effective way to promote your business. However, because of the intense competition on social media platforms, it’s crucial that you implement the right social media for business strategies to help your brand break the clutter and get noticed by your target audience.
If you are wondering how to use social media for business, here are some of the top social media tips for business to use in your brand’s online marketing strategy.
1. Chart long-term goals for your business
All too often, businesses tend to try a ‘little of everything’ approach to their social media marketing strategy. Doing this will make your social media presence appear incohesive and will fail to generate a strong brand recall among your audience.
The first step you should take is to define your goals from social media. This could be a number of different things depending upon your business.
- If your business offers only offline sales or service, you might want to use social media to increase your offline walk-ins.
- If you have an e-commerce store, it might be to increase sales on your website.
- If you are a new brand, then you might want to gain greater brand awareness in the short-term before you can define your sales targets.
Whatever your goal may be, make sure you clearly define it beforehand so that your entire social media strategy flows from it. This will help you build a strong and cohesive presence when using social media for business.
2. Create incentive-based campaigns
If you have just started on your social media marketing journey, chances are your total page likes and followers are low. This can impact the reach of efficacy of your social media posts. Therefore, before you can move on to building viral campaigns, you first need to increase the number of followers you have. If you are a relatively new brand, one of the best social media ideas for small business is to run contests, quizzes and polls. Interactive content encourages users to engage with your posts rather than scrolling past it. To improve the performance of these campaigns, you can even offer a small incentive to get people to participate. For example, you can offer a 10% discount voucher for users who refer five friends to your brand’s page. This will help you build a large audience base within a short period of time.
3. Keep communicating with your audience
The power of social media lies in the fact that it’s a two-way form of communication. This gives you an opportunity to actively interact with your audience, address their questions and appreciate their praise. If a person has a good experience with your brand, you responding to them and thanking them for their business can encourage them to buy again from your brand.
Social media can even help you deal with the fallout of negative comments. For example, if one of your customers has a bad experience with your brand and posts about this on social media, this can create a lot of damage if left unmonitored. If, however, you address their concerns and request for them to give you another chance, you can do a lot of damage control.
To ensure that you respond proactively to user comments, make sure you keep monitoring mentions of your brand on social media platforms.
4. Carve a niche for yourself
It’s no secret that social media is a saturated platform. There are countless brands that are operating in the same space and competing for the same audience. The secret to standing out when using social media for business is not to play the same game as everyone else, but to create a unique space for yourself. This uniqueness could come from the colour palette of your posts, your tone, marketing approach, etc. For example if other brands in your space have a serious tonality, you could stand out by incorporating humour and wit in your posts. This will immediately capture your audience’s attention, make them believe that you have something unique to offer and help them immediately recall your brand.
5. Tailor your content to suit different platforms
A common pitfall brands make is to reuse the same posts on each of their social media platforms. While convenient and time-saving, this strategy will not give you good results. The reason for this is because people come to different social media platforms for different purposes. They come to Instagram to view visually appealing posts, they go to Facebook to find entertainment and they go to LinkedIn to build their knowledge. Your posts, therefore, have to be tailormade to cater to each of these needs. While you should still keep the same brand tonality and overall campaign idea the same, make sure you tweak the presentation slightly to suit the different platforms.
6. Create a content calendar
One of the most important social media tips for business is to ensure consistency. Your audience is constantly bombarded by posts and ads from competing brands. Unless you engage with them frequently, chances are they will not remain loyal to your brand or even recall it.
To ensure that you have a steady stream of posts going out each month, create a content calendar ahead of time. This calendar should have all the posts lined up for the month and the dates when you will be taking them live. This will help you prepare the posts well in advance. You can also use social media automation tools to help you take the posts live on a given day. This automates the whole process and ensures your social media presence stays active and up-to-date.
7. Consolidate your offline and online presence
If you do have an offline presence, you should ensure that this is in sync with your online presence. While it is necessary to tweak your messaging slightly for these different channels, it’s important that your overall brand personality remains constant. If it isn’t, then you will be creating a dissonance in the minds of your consumers, which will affect their brand loyalty and recall.
If you are wondering how to use social media for business in a way that ties back with your offline presence, then you should circle back to your main brand objective and brand personality. Your social media strategy should flow from the same objectives to ensure that it is cohesive with your overall brand personality.
Social media can be one of the most powerful tools for a small business to increase sales and brand awareness. These social media marketing ideas for small business will help you develop a social media strategy to win over your audience and achieve your business goals.