Social Media for Small Businesses

Social media has become an integral part of our day-to-day lives. Businesses of all size and shapes have started making the most of available mediums. Today we will try to anatomize tips on social media for small businesses. There are a plethora of small businesses eyeing social medium to promote their business/services. However, majorly these small businesses are failing or not being able to make optimum use of social media for their business growth. There are many theories and strategies on how to effectively use social media for established brands, but the topic social media for small businesses is seldom addressed. According to Digital state of eMarketing India 2017 Octane Research:

60% small businesses promote their business on social media. 50% focus on SEO and 35% use multichannel marketing funnel.
70% small businesses consider content strategy as their primary marketing activity.
52% business owners are using social media as to efficiently address customer engagement.
More than 20% of business owners said that they are making 50% plus profit using social media.

The primary reasons for the low turnout are uncertainty on an application of social media, calculating return on investment and persuade employees/stakeholders to clinch social media. Hence it is important to address the elephant in the room and analyze how beneficial is Social media for small businesses.

Social media for small businesses is a great way for emerging businesses to generate lead and build a reputation. If regularly updated, social media can deliver more results as compared to traditional mediums. Social media for small businesses gives brands an edge of control over the content that they want to post. Also, since social media is a two-way dialogue process, it helps businesses to instantly identify what is benefitting them. Social media for small businesses also helps generate Word of Mouth, which is one of the best tools for emerging businesses.

Social Media for small businesses | 10 Tips to effectively use Social Media

Define your Target Audience
The first and foremost important part that small businesses should focus on is to define their target audience. This helps small businesses to device their social media strategy accordingly. The target audience should be defined basis age group, sex, location, users’ online behaviors, their likes, interests, and preferences. For niche products, business owners can even target users based on their birthdays, anniversaries and important milestone. Audience targeting plays a very crucial role in the outcome of the results. For e.g.: a local shop selling footwear should not target users with interest in entertainment. The shop definitely won’t get the desired results.

Set achievable goals
Overnight success is a myth. Small businesses must understand this basic fact. Generally, when a new business starts selling on social media, there is palpable excitement is achieving more than set targeted sales. Businesses need to set goals which are upwards and forward. To achieve enormous goals, small businesses start updating social feed with multiple updates in shorter duration. This leads to user’s disinterest in the product/service. The set goals should be in sync with brand’s core capabilities and expertise. For e.g.: if a business is into selling shoes, they shouldn’t set a goal to repair maximum shoes in their area.

Choose the right medium
By now everyone knows, social media is for free. Even paid campaigns can be conducted at a relatively low cost as compared to traditional mediums. It is in this scenario, that we often see small businesses jumping the bandwagon and creating profiles on all the available platforms. Creating social profile doesn’t hamper brand image, but aggressively promoting a brand on wrong platforms can lead to brand losing its potential customers. Hence it is advisable for SME’s to first identify the right platform through which they can maximize their business. For e.g.: If a shoe selling brand tries to aggressively sell on LinkedIn, they won’t get a plausible response as compared to promotions on Facebook/Instagram.

Promote your core product/services
Since each and every business is riding in the social media wave, it is important for a them to promote their core product/services. Nowadays, we see a lot of businesses promoting their services as well as promoting peripheral products/services, which revolves around their core product/services. Majority of the times, this SME’s doesn’t have capabilities to fulfill a requirement, which can lead to a bad word of mouth for their business on social media platforms. Let us go back to our example; if a shoe seller is trying to aggressively promote socks instead of shoes, it is not going to benefit the business in the long run.

Create quality content
Now that we have covered the topics of identifying the target audience, setting achievable goals, choosing the right medium and promoting the right product/services let us now take a look at the type of content a business should promote on their social pages. A business should always focus on creating good quality content rather than not-good quantity content. Even if the business updates their page once in a day as long as it is relevant to their business, advocates about its core products send across a clear message it is considered as a good quality content. Antagonistically, if a business posts multiple updates which aren’t even relevant to the business’s products and services leads to users considering the business as fake/spam. Also, new businesses should try and refrain from promoting other businesses on their social platforms initially.

Create a content calendar
Making a small business successful on social platforms is no small task. It takes a lot of efforts for the businesses to keep up their conversion ratio. One such effort is to create a content calendar. Small businesses must anticipate important events and create a content calendar accordingly. Ideally, a content calendar must be planned a month in advance but an even weekly content calendar is highly recommended. This helps businesses to avoid any last minute hassles, strategize much more effectively and it also helps in creating curiosity amongst its loyal fans/customers.

Test and re-test
Social media is highly unpredictable. The content a business posts today, might not work for tomorrow. Hence, small businesses must always test their content before publishing it on their pages. Testing content also applies to the platform a small business chooses to promote. Small business owners must always don the consumer’s hat before posting about any product feature, updates, schemes or offers. A consumer’s perspective is the key when testing the content that has to be uploaded.

Look for inspiration
Small businesses must always look for inspiration from a competitor who is successful in the same category. Copy pasting competitors idea or content is not the answer. Small businesses must look for the kind of content its competitors are putting up and derive their own strategies subsequently. Inspiring content/stories always make a business to strive to create their own content that is appreciated by one and all. It helps in increasing brand consideration, brand visibility thereby increasing conversions for the business.

Calculate ROI
Even a small promotional budget is not justifiable if there is no mechanism to calculate its return on investment. It is more important in case of small businesses. It is very important for a small business to keep a tab on the budgets allocated to any promotions and the subsequent ROI related to it. If a certain promotion is not doing well or the business is not getting desired results, the brand custodian can always look for other platforms to generate quality conversions.

Analyze and Re-strategize
There can be umpteen instances where a particular campaign/promotion might not work for a business. That doesn’t mean that the promotion is wrong or the product/service is not good. Doing an analysis of the campaign is as important as setting the objective. This helps the business to formulate their upcoming strategies in more effective ways. At the end of every campaign, brands must note down the learning’s from that campaign and identify if the content/idea was appreciated by their fans or not. This helps businesses to skip the non-performing updates from future communications.

Final Thoughts
Social media for small businesses is definitely beneficial and fruitful. If followed correctly, small businesses can benefit tremendously from the power of social media promotions.

7 Facebook For Small Business Barriers To Overcome for Endless Fresh Leads

Utilizing Facebook for small business as an awareness builder and lead generation tool has had lots of barriers. Identifying the specific issues is key to choosing a successful approach that will overcome each of them.

Which of these four initial barriers have prevented you from fully pursuing making a business Facebook page an integral part of your marketing approach?

  1. Too busy – who has the time to figure out how social media for small business can really produce the results you need?
  2. Not sure what is the right content.
  3. Too soft. Can’t measure ROI.
  4. Too expensive to hire a social media expert.

Here’s why it is time Facebook apps for business deserves a second look.

Face the Facts

Did you know?…

There are now over 125 billion total connections on Facebook.

$100 billion near the initial Facebook IPO market valuation.

With this staggering potential and value recognition, it’s time for making a social media for small business part of your wining marketing strategy.

More why a Facebook for small business marketing approach is so compelling:

The average user spends 57 minutes a day.

The coveted demographic group, 18 – 34 year olds, spends more time on Facebook than TV and print, combined.

People are four times more likely to make a purchase on a recommendation from a trusted Facebook friend.

Facebook is nearing 1 billion registered users globally, with 185 million currently in the U.S..

Any organization can get a free Facebook page giving you access to an explosive viral audience.

Avoid Joining Fools Who Rush In

Avoid a common pitfall when designing your Facebook for small business content. Begin by knowing your audience and why they are there to make the right connections.

Where Google attracts knowledge seekers, Facebook attracts those interested in people and fun.

In making a business Facebook page succeed it’s vital to understand how to appropriately engage with your audience.

As a very successful mentor I know says, always remember that social media is just one big party. It’s where you go to meet people and build relationships.

When you go to your neighborhood block party do you ask yourself, I’m going to try to make five sales tonight? I hope not.

Would you dominate a social gathering in your neighborhood by talking endlessly about your work? If you did you would probably be labeled a social moron.

Instead, you go with the attitude of sharing laughs with old friends and making new ones. Social media is the same thing.

One of the best ways to succeed with social media is to think relationships before results.

In the same way making a business Facebook page is a place for relational connections and to not to always lead with work related topics.

The Biggest Challenge and Opportunity

How then do you engage people with Facebook for small business?

First, it’s important to know what NOT to do to when making a business Facebook page. Here are the final 3 barriers to overcome that are primarily inherent with the Facebook platform.

  1. Poor layout – Spacing, color choices, wrong or missing images
  2. Lack of fresh and compelling content
  3. Managing Facebook Funk. With Facebook’s continual programming changes in format and function how can an already stretched owner keep up making a business Facebook page succeed?

Overcoming these seven common barriers is a sure way to start generating more awareness and leads with social media than you ever thought possible. Begin with the biggest social media tool of them all. Succeeding with Facebook for small business has enormous potential for increasing new leads to help your business grow.

Why Have A Lead Generation Website As Part Of Your Internet Marketing For Small Business Strategy

A local business owner in any niche will benefit greatly from having a lead generation website as part of their internet marketing for small business strategies as it is a way to establish and develop relationships with your customers.

Here are some of the ways in which you can benefit from setting up a lead generation website.

Many people today are looking on the internet for the information they need. They are even searching the internet for local businesses in their community. As more and more people get access to smart phones and laptops as well as other internet enabled devices they are using these devices to find the information they seek.

Therefore, if you, as a local business owner, wish to be found by the very customers who need your services – you need to have a website that will tell these customers more about your business and its services. A website can very easily tell your visitors a great deal of what your business can offer them. A printed advertisement is not able to display as much information as a website.

If your website is a lead generating one you will be able to capture all the details of visitors who arrive there. These details will enable you to connect with them via a permission based email marketing system in which you engage and form a relationship with them. This relationship will allow your customers to know you well enough to be able to trust you with a purchase. Research has shown that people do not readily buy from a stranger, and that it takes up to seven points of contact before someone will make a purchase. This means that regular emails to your prospective customers are very important.

Having a website makes it a great deal easier for current customers to recommend you to other prospects, and for you to direct people you meet to it. Once you have a website you can advertise it on your company business card, on infomercials, on letterheads and on a whole host of other advertising methods. When sending out emails it is a good idea to include a brief signature line at the end of it with a link to your website.

You can also promote your business’ special offers or irresistible offers on your website to further attract additional customers to your funnel. Once your website is set up there is no additional cost to advertising with it. You are able to edit and make changes every time you wish. If you advertise through the Yellow Pages your advertisement is fixed for a whole year and costs a great deal more.

As you can see, setting up a lead generation website is an important internet marketing for small business strategy that will enable you to attract more customers at no additional cost.