Small businesses are the lifeblood of any community.
Whether it be a family pizzeria or a local auto dealership, every town has its signature shops. However, to extend beyond the reach of local regulars, small businesses must rely on marketing tactics to spread the word.
Social media can be an intimidating term, especially for anyone who didn’t grow up using it. But social media doesn’t have to be that scary. In fact, it can serve as a quick and easy marketing outlet for any small business looking to boost visibility.
Social media marketing can often fall to the bottom of the priority list for small businesses. Business 2 Community contributor Marc Shaw recognizes that SMBs don’t always have the time to worry about social media strategies, as a smaller enterprise’s day-to-day upkeep is a much more important priority.
The four C’s of social media marketing
However, the benefits of social media marketing make the extra effort well worth an SMB’s time. Their marketing tactics can be used to increase sale conversions and overall visits to a businesses’ web page.
Shaw presented readers with four key goals to keep in mind when approaching social media marketing for SMBs: create, connect, consider, convert.
Create: This is simple. Create relevant content for your target audience.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What kind of content would you want to see?
Use your social media content to engage your consumers.
Connect: SMBs need to find the right social media outlet. Keep your audience in mind. Are you a company that caters to older clients? Does your business attract a younger crowd?
The outlet you choose to connect with your customers will depend upon these answers. Make sure your social media marketing hits the right mark.
Consider: The key here is to consider your brand. What do you want the core message of your business to be? Make sure that in all your marketing this is consistent. Shaw suggested also being mindful of your outlet. Don’t treat Twitter the same way you treat Facebook. Remember, different outlets connect to different consumers. Consider this when mapping out your marketing plan.
Convert: Conversion is the goal of any marketing technique. Whether it be direct mail fliers, email promotions or social media tactics.
Make sure your marketing methods are helping boost sales. If they are not, head back to the drawing board.
Three tips for optimal social media marketing
While Shaw’s tips provide SMBs with key focus areas, the tips themselves are pretty broad. There a few key ways to attract social media attention. Here are three quick tips for optimizing your social media marketing.
1. Be follow-worthy:
Sujan Patel, a contributing writer for Forbes, argued that making your business’ social media sites worth following is key to maximum success. After all, what’s the point of marketing without people to market to? Patel believes three things can guarantee followers: free stuff, fame and being right. Try offering promotional contests. Or give out discounts for the first correct answer to a weekly trivia question. Anything that makes your customers engage with your brand is great for business.
2. Get personal:
Try to reach out to your customers whenever possible, whether by asking for personal experiences at your store, or just responding in a friendly manner to a customer post. Personal connections often create loyal and long-lasting patrons, explained Entrepreneur contributor Jim O’Hara. Produce genuine customer interactions via social media. Online outlets are often the easiest way to engage in conversation with customers next to a face-to-face encounter.
3. Track the trends:
Patel noted that social media marketing is nowhere near as effective as it can be if your business is not making some effort to track the trends. What marketing tactics saw the most activity? Which tweets received the most retweets? Keeping an eye on these patterns allows your company to create the most effective marketing campaigns possible.
Whatever the tactic, social media marketing is a great platform for small businesses. Social media sites are created in a user-friendly manner. This platform takes a lot of the mystery surrounding marketing off the table. With the potential for large audiences and valuable return on marketing efforts, who wouldn’t give the modern-day marketing technique a shot?