At the end of 2020, there were over 30 million small businesses in the U.S. This number has continued to increase in 2021. Despite this boom in entrepreneurship, 50% of small businesses struggle to make it past their first year, largely because they don’t know how to promote themselves. One key ingredient missing in many of these business plans is strategically utilizing social media to reach and convert customers. Here are several ways you can launch and keep your business thriving by using social media.
Select Your Best Social Media Channels
Not all channels work for all small businesses. Your perfect channel depends on who your target audience is and what product or service you are offering. For instance, if you focus on professional services such as legal advice for big businesses, Facebook and Instagram may not be your best options. Instead, look at LinkedIn, where more of your professional audience will be spending their time. On the other hand, if you sell clothing or jewelry, platforms like Facebook and Instagram would be an ideal fit. Here, your audience is looking to shop; options like Facebook Marketplace and shoppable images enable you to meet that need. You should also consider other popular social media platforms like TikTok, YouTube, and Twitter. Depending on who your audience is and what your business goals are, these channels could also be great places to invest your time in.
Create Quality Content
No matter which channel you choose to support your small business, high-quality content is essential. Your social channels should include a variety of pieces that support your overall business goal, and also align with your brand identity and voice. Examples of these include:
- Products or services
- User-generated content
The content possibilities are endless. Develop a plan of what you’d like to post on each of your selected channels and create content that follows that structure. Make sure that your captions are clear and your photos and videos are crisp. Although social media seems like just a place for people to hang out, it’s also where many small businesses make their first impression. That’s why it’s crucial to always present yourself in the best light possible by putting out high-quality content.
Engage with Clients
Social media is not a one-way street. Increase engagement on your social media by interacting with your clients and prospects on a daily basis. Start conversations through comments on your posts, direct messages, or even by hosting Q & A sessions live on your page. This helps establish a community for the people who are interested in your brand. It also gives clients and prospects a place to voice their opinions, ask questions, and understand what your business truly represents. You can even help change someone’s negative opinion by directly responding to their reviews. Building a community that encourages open dialog will help you better understand how to meet the needs of your audience and create loyal customers.
Analyze Your Results
In order to be successful in promoting your small business, you need to determine what’s working and what’s not. Even if you’ve selected your ideal channel and started posting, it’s important that you consistently track your accounts’ performance. You may come to realize that your initial social media choice is not actually a great fit for your business goals. Or you may discover that a platform you never considered is actually the main hangout spot for your core audience. Some metrics to look at when analyzing your social media performance are:
- Engagement on posts
- Number of followers
- Conversions from ads
- Traffic to your website
You also want to look at what people are doing once they click on a link in your social media post. If you are sending them to a blog on your website, you’ll want to see how long they are staying on the site and if they end up filling out a form or making a purchase. If you’re selling products right on your social channel, looking at the number of purchases made per month is also a good indication of whether this channel is right for your business and product.
Small businesses achieve success by reaching the right people. Social media is a great way to help you connect with people most interested in your business and turn them into long-term customers. To make this success happen, it’s important to create a marketing strategy that works to achieve those goals.
64% of small businesses use a social media marketing strategy.
Do you need to start marketing your company on social media, but aren’t sure how to get started? Or maybe you’ve been posting content, but can’t seem to get the results you want.
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