Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., today, social media are omnipresent in our daily lives, in the private sphere as in the professional sphere.
Many SMEs have developed and are now enjoying success thanks to social networks. Indeed, it is an affordable way to make your brand and products known, increase sales, and acquire new customers, sometimes even well beyond the borders of the country of establishment.
However, to be successful on the web, knowing how to use these tools effectively is essential and small businesses sometimes struggle in this area. Indeed, they do not necessarily have the knowledge or the necessary resources. They do not have the time to learn everything about paid advertising, organic reach (or natural reach ), publication of content relevant to the audience concerned, or not using the right platforms.
SME or TPE, social media are an excellent tool to promote the growth of your activity. However, to be successful, you need to know how to use them correctly and implement an effective strategy.
Today, any company, whatever its size, must put in place a digital strategy to develop its presence on the Internet and, in particular, on social networks. Several reasons for this:
Unlike traditional marketing tools with which you plan your campaign hoping that it will be seen and make a certain number of people react, social networks offer a significant advantage: the possibility of interacting directly with your customers.
Here are few tips to help you build an effective and successful social media strategy.
Innovative businesses keep finding new ways to use social media that benefit small businesses. But for now, let’s go over the main channels to help you decide where to start.
Facebook is an excellent platform for building a community through storytelling and advertising. Having a business page allows you to share news and multimedia content, answer questions, and make connections based on customer interests.
Twitter is a high-speed networking site to share news, multimedia content, and promotions in short form. The microformat of a Tweet is very effective in directing visitors to business sites.
INSTAGRAM AND SNAPCHAT
These photo and video sharing sites allow users to create visual stories, add captions, and follow trends. Filtering tools will enable the addition of visual effects to make multimedia messages more animated.
LinkedIn is a professional site coupled with a recruitment platform through which to meet professionals in your sector. You can post articles there and host or join groups to discuss relevant topics. LinkedIn is ideal for building your reputation as an expert and for promoting B2B services.
Pinterest enables its users to create and share themed image galleries. You can create visual boards to exchange ideas, promote products, and increase your online sales.
As a small business, the best way to use your resources wisely is by targeting a local audience. Users easily get annoyed with posts and advertisements that are irrelevant to them. Or worse yet, they ignore you completely because you don’t offer them valuable anything.
So how do you reach potential customers based on the commonality of geographic factors? Geotargeting allows you to display your ads and content to users based on their location. You can target your customers from your city or county instead of targeting the entire country.
All major social media platforms allow filtering and offer metrics, including Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, & Twitter. The more you use filtering options, the more you can narrow down your audience and find qualified leads. You most certainly have an idea of who your customers are, but accurate data can tell you more.
Start with known demographics, such as family status, location, and income. Then use the encrypted data to identify secondary audiences that you might not know existed. For example, you might mistakenly think that parents are the most interested in your vacation packages. Looking at the data, you may well see many subscribers among parents whose children have left home or are young singles.
Social proof is a valuable bargaining chip to build trust with customers, especially for small businesses. Consumers turn to recommendations from people they trust. That’s why location sharing advertises you and gives you instant influence. The buying process is often quick for customers looking for local businesses. The sight of a complimentary review accompanied by a locator tag offers consumers a reason to act soon.
The best possible way to get results is to ask customers what they want. Encourage your customers to share the location of your business when they make a purchase. People always carry smartphones with them and can easily take them out to take a photo.
Consider offering a discount or digital coupons on their next purchase to customers who post a photo by adding their position on Facebook or Instagram. If a customer has thousands of friends on their social media account, imagine how many people will see those photos in their feed. You can even offer a thank-you discount to customers who share your location multiple times a month or get many likes on one of these posts.
Social media applications have great metrics for tracking impressions and engagement. You decide which metrics are essential before you start a campaign. Getting a large number of impressions is useless if none of the clicks turn into a conversion.
Try to identify the engagement forms that lead to conversions. For example, customers in your geographic area who have “Like” a post that indicates your location might be more likely to visit you. Determine what motivates your customers and continually adjust your posts to encourage them to repeat those actions.
Don’t stalk thousands of brands online just for fun. The campaigns that work should serve as examples for your content. Marketing is a science, and those who learn to follow proven formulas gain influence relentlessly. Learn to ask constructive questions such as:
Are my customers more engaged with text or visuals?
Do my headlines or posts include a call-to-action?
Do my advertising texts go straight to the point?
Is the content I create and share relevant to my target audience?
With these considerations in mind, consider which posts are particularly eye-catching. Study how brands in your industry go about creating short, eye-catching texts that get to the heart of a problem or question. Think about the exciting aspects that make a photo or video hard to ignore. Then experiment with similar posts by changing the text, colors, or pictures slightly. Testing is a fantastic way to know if you’re getting the most conversions possible.
If you want your expertise to reach many people, join popular forums and Q&A sites. Quora and groups on LinkedIn are great platforms for answering questions and gaining visibility over time. On both of these sites, it’s easy for readers to follow a link to your bio or career history. When you provide helpful information about your brand on these sites, customers will automatically start seeing you as a reliable & trustworthy brand.
Pay attention to the most asked questions listed on each page. You can increase your online presence by contributing to groups of relevant pages. You could even be quoted on a blog, in an article, or on Twitter from time to time.
Running out of topic ideas? Pay attention to what is being said on your social media pages. Whether you know it or not, followers provide plenty of topic ideas in their comments. Comment writers ask questions or mention topics they want you to elaborate on.
Set aside a few days a month to explore the comments section of your blog, YouTube videos, and social media posts. You can take it a step further and run monthly or weekly polls to give users the option of choosing their favorite topics. Whatever you decide to do, this investment of time will help you produce content that is likely to be well received.
Learning to leverage existing content can help you post more frequently. When most of your social media marketing efforts are made in-house, it’s often hard to find the time. When researching solid topics, have a plan in place to leverage them across different platforms.
Say you are planning to write a blog post about choosing a business name. Why not illustrate the main steps of the process with the help of an infographic? Use these images to make a short video for Facebook or Instagram? You could then set up a series of numbered Tweets highlighting mistakes to avoid when choosing a name. You can even create picture quotes for Pinterest or write an e-book covering the topic in more depth. And of course, you could also run an email newsletter to keep your customers up to date with all this exciting content.
The possibilities are endless. Most importantly, you can deliver your content to all of your powerful platforms without getting too thin.
Just being present on social networks is not enough to have an impact. It would help if you had a clear vision and a good understanding of your customers’ needs. In contrast, there is a lot to learn from big brands, focus on showcasing what makes your small business unique. Customers who buy “from the little ones” expect a personality that big brands struggle to show.
Social networks offer real growth opportunities for SMEs. The only condition: learn to use them correctly.
Unlike more traditional marketing tools and marketing automation, social networks allow you to interact more with your customers and prospects. Use social network platforms to meet and interact with your fans rather than as a platform to promote your business.
For your presence to be effective and not to go unnoticed, build a strong network of fans. Attract them and retain them by creating exciting and compelling content. And don’t forget that every social media interaction should be geared towards achieving the goals you set for yourself.
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