Richmond Corporate Video | Serving Central Virginia & Tidewater
Richmond Corporate Video | Serving Central Virginia & Tidewater

The Definitive Guide To Using Social Media For Small Businesses

Advances in social media automation have revolutionized marketing efforts for businesses of all sizes and has connected users across the globe. For small businesses in particular, it has allowed them to thrive and operate like they have a full-service marketing agency at the ready and on their side, 24/7.

Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, & Twitter, are now a part of daily life.

So, it’s very easy to convert into a small business marketing focus because the skills are already there.

With “4.2billion of the world’s population now active on social media”1 you can no longer afford to be passive with it.

But what should small businesses be focused on to get the most success from their social media accounts?

The Top 11 Social Media Marketing Tips For Your Small Business

If you’re not actively pursuing a social media marketing strategy for your small business, you’re truly missing the marketing boat.

We’ve put together a quick list of 11+ social media marketing tips to help you gain perspective and stay focused in this fast-growing and emerging marketing strategy.

Social media is here to stay, it’s only getting stronger, and it’s time to get on board.

Social Media Tip #1: Build Your Social Media Marketing Plan

There’s an old adage that says if you build it, they will come, and that’s great! But, what do you do when they get there?

It’s important to set clear goals and have a plan before you tackle more than you can handle. Before you start your social media marketing strategy, establish a clear idea of what you hope to accomplish and when.

Because being active on social media just for the hell of it, while better than doing nothing, is not going to net the results that you want. Leads, revenue, and clients.

You have to make sure that it is part of a bigger plan. Here’s what we suggest for our clients at Connect 365.

Once you have your plan in place set key measurements to track your progress and ensure that you are achieving your goals.

Establish a clear goal and point all of your energy towards hitting that specific goal..

Social Media Tip #2: Determine the Best Platform

Social media has become a complex animal and there are a myriad of choices – all appealing to different audiences and demographics.

But here are some social media stats you need to consider when coming up with your strategy…

“The average Internet user has 8.4 social media accounts.”1

Over 70% of B2B purchase decision-makers use social media to help them decide.

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn contributed to 90% of social traffic to B2B blogs and sites. And the platform was responsible for half of that traffic. – Sproutsocial

As you can see, chances are that your competitors are already using these 3 channels for their marketing. So if you ignore these channels you are not just missing out on an opportunity but you are falling behind your competitors.

So, how do you know which is the right platform to choose?  There are many moving parts and pieces, and you want to make sure you reach everyone, everywhere.

Facebook Still Has Massive Reach

Facebook continues to be the leader with “2.74 billion monthly active users”1 and And an eMarketer study found that US citizens spend 43 minutes per day on Facebook

But don’t discount LinkedIn and Twitter.

LinkedIn is a B2B monster..

  • Over 40% of the 630M+ users login every single day
  • And over 70% of executives login every day
  • 80% of social media B2B leads come from LinkedIn
  • Linkedin is basically the biggest online networking event this world has ever seen. With the most affluent user base of all of the major social media sites.

#3 is Twitter. Which is often overlooked, but the stats don’t lie… 

  • SimilarWeb ranks twitter.com the 7th most visited website in the world.
  • Twitter has 321 million monthly active users as of the end of 2018
  • Twitter is one of THE most effective places to keep your content in front of prospects and keep your business out there, so that you create this impression that you are really “all over the place”.

But, you can’t always use generalized statistics. The key is to use a mix and balance based on industry and target audience.

Social Media Tip #3: Research the Competition  

Look for inspiration from your competition and make sure you’re doing everything better. Social media makes it easier to be aware and stay one step ahead, but just staying ahead is not enough.

Look for ideas and inspiration everywhere and look beyond the competition to other businesses not in your industry. Assess what’s working for them and figure out how to incorporate it into your overall social media marketing strategy.

It can take up to 10 brand touchpoints to become memorable. So your BEST chance to edging out the competition is to have your posts show up more than theirs. Simple as that.

Social Media Tip #4: Expand Your Audience 

There has never been a faster way to gain customers and market share. You can quickly increase your audience through incentives, referrals or special promotions.

Even if your core demo is not on Facebook or Twitter, you can easily offer a sign-up incentive to capture that market and spread the word.

The social media word spreads like wildfire so if you play your cards right you can use it to your advantage and expand your audience quickly and cost-effectively.

Social Media Tip #5: Build a Community

The beauty of social media is that it connects people who love to share their stories and experiences. It creates a forum that sparks interest and gets the conversation started, and the best part is that it’s all free.

Creating a group and building a community allows you to ask for opinions and feedback and creates that special link to help retain existing customers and attract new ones.

The key is to build your group around the interests of your prospects. Not around YOUR industry. For example, if you were a software company that sold to manufacturing companies, you wouldn’t want to create a group for software companies. Instead, build the group about manufacturing. That way you are attracting people you want to actually work with.

This kind of community builds trust with your best prospects and turns you into a peer, rather than a solicitor.

Social Media Tip #6: Not All Content Has To Be Original

One of the bigger mistakes that I see businesses make is neglecting their social media accounts because they don’t feel they have enough of their own original content to share.

Do NOT let this hold you back.

Actively sharing thought leadership content to your social media profiles is not to show that you are the best content creator out there. Instead, it’s to show that you have a pulse on the industries and issues of your prospects.

If you don’t have the time to write your own blogs, create your own videos, etc. then simply share great content from publishers, businesses, and other professionals who don’t compete with you. This shows that you are knowledgeable about the topic.

Social Media Tip #7: Your Content Should Be Relevant to Your Prospects (Not You)

Know this: Your prospects don’t care about you or what you do. They care about themselves and their own success. So if all you are doing is sharing content about how “XYZ feature is so amazing” or “how you can help them solve X problem” then they are going to tune out.

Again, they don’t care about what you do.

If you’re a real estate agent you shouldn’t post all content about the real estate industry. Instead, share content that people who are looking for a change might be interested in. Like “The top 10 things you need to do before listing your home for sale” or “how to winterize your lawn equipment.” Stuff that homeowners would care about. And sure, you can put promotional material on your page, but you want to keep things fresh and keep visitors coming back for more.

Social Media Tip #8: Use Social Media to Tell a Story

Social media marketing allows you to tell a story and connect with your audience. Creating an intriguing story will develop a personality behind your brand and keep customers coming back for more.

A story that existing customers can share will increase followers and add new customers.

Social Media Tip #9: Think Before You Post

Yes, you want to keep customers engaged, but you want to be thoughtful and thought-provoking in your posts.  Don’t just post to post.

Each post should be carefully and strategically thought out so it can make the most impact. It’s important to remember quality over quantity.

Social Media Tip #10: Use Automation Tools

Social media for small businesses is great because it allows you to promote your business when you don’t have a full-service marketing agency at the ready.

The creation of automation tools has simplified the process even more and allows you to reach customers quickly through any platform. There are automation tools out there that allow you to centralize your message and take one post and expand its reach to other platforms quickly and easily.

Tools that automate analytics allow you to see how effective your social media marketing efforts are and identify what’s working and what’s not. Scheduling apps allow you to create posts in advance and create a set it and forget it approach that does the work for you.

See how you can get all of your social media automated with Connect 365 here. 

Social Media Tip #11: Tracking Performance and Data

You can spend hours each day posting and keeping things current and interesting, but if you don’t track results then it is all for nothing.

Data is king! Tracking allows you to break down the details and analyze time, content, reach, response, campaign success and a host of analytics that can help achieve your social media marketing goals.