Social media has evolved as a great medium of reaching and interacting with the customers and target audience. Small business focus on their functioning and ignore most of the methods of marketing and advertising because of their limited funds. There are many reasons to use social media advertising, but I would like to showcase a simple reason that is, social media advertising helps you in winning your customers. Data enhancement has further enhanced the effectiveness of social media advertising.
Most of the small businesses still prefer some of the traditional methods of advertising and reaching their audience, but let me bring this to your notice, that when compared to traditional marketing and advertising, social media marketing increases the chances of saving investment as it is cheaper compared to traditional methods. It also helps companies in understanding their customers and build a long-lasting relationship with them.
According to the reports presented by eMarketer, a U.S. based market research company, 88% of businesses use social media. 96% of the people who talk about your brand online aren’t following you on social media. Another survey showed that spending on global social ads almost doubled from $16 billion in 2014 to $31 billion in 2016 and further increased by 26% in 2017. These studies showcase that social media advertising is constantly rising and playing an important role in the marketing and advertising campaigns.
For small businesses to effectively apply their social media advertising strategies, we have shortlisted some tips, let’s have a look at them.
1. Have a clear plan
Planning a strategy before applying is a symbol of any good business. Social media advertising for small businesses also has the same rule. Creating a strong and clear roadmap is the first step towards finding success. There are numerous reasons behind the failure of a business to get results with social media marketing, but sometimes it is simply because they didn’t know what they were doing.
Every action you take towards building your social media presence and marketing your brand should be carefully planned. It does not matter what kind of business you are in or who your target audience is, as long as you have a plan laid out, you will find it easier to overcome challenges that you may come across.
You can consider the following steps while creating your social media advertising plan,
- Set your social media objectives:
Plan your objectives on measurements that will have a real impact on your business, like acquiring customers or increasing your conversion rate, instead of simply racking up likes.
- Conduct a detailed social media audit:
If you’re already on social media, the time has come to take a step back and evaluate what you’ve done till now. As a part of your audit, you’ll also look for impostor accounts that might be stealing your online thunder.
- Create your social media presence:
If you haven’t started with your social media accounts for your company, it is time for you to create them. However, it is extremely important that you only work with social media networks that will directly empower your business to grow. In simple words, the social media platform that you dedicate your time to should suit the goals of your business.
- Get inspired by the strategies of other brands:
You have examined what your competitors are doing online, but what about other businesses? Take inspiration from the success stories of small businesses in all industries. It’s also a great idea to ask your existing followers what they wish to see more of, then give them exactly what they ask for.
- Develop a social media calendar:
A social media calendar allows you to post the right content to the right social media channels at the right time. It should have a plan for your content mix. Utilize 80 percent of your content to educate, inform, or entertain your audience and only 20 percent to promote your brand and sell your products.
- Conduct competitive analysis
You surely don’t wish to copy your competitors, but learning from what others have done is a great way to reduce your learning curve. Competitive analysis and some social listening strategies can provide you insight into what’s working and what’s not for other businesses like yours.
2. Select the right platform for your business
Don’t guess about the place where your audience might be present, because that is not how things work when it comes to making a campaign successful. Your instincts might tell you that, as you are targeting millennials you should focus more on Instagram and Snapchat instead of Facebook, but according to the data 82% of the millennials still use Facebook. The platform you have selected plays a significant role in the results you get from your social media advertising campaigns. It is important to consider various things such as your target audience, their presence, and other demographics before starting to work with a particular platform.
The 3 social media platforms that are majorly used by businesses are Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, let me give you some information about these platforms,
One of the major reasons why Facebook is considered as an attractive option for social media advertising for small business is because it has two billion monthly active users. This is a huge number and that makes it a huge market to tap into that you may not otherwise be able to reach.
- Facebook users majorly fall into the 25 to 34 age bracket.
- Facebook has 47% of male users and 53% of female users.
- 56% of baby boomers (65+ in age) are found on Facebook.
Gradually Instagram is growing as one of the most important places on the Internet to connect with other people by sharing visual content that actually matters to them. This has forced brands and businesses to consider and use it to increase their sales and also spread awareness.
- Instagram has 51% male users and 49% female users.
- Instagram is dominated by millennials in the United States as 55% of the users fall in the age group of 18 to 29 years.
- 28% of the total users fall in the age group of 30 to 50 years.
LinkedIn is a social network where professionals hang out. It allows professionals of all levels to connect with each other and create more opportunities. Some people consider it as a more professional version of Facebook, with the tools that you need to grow your brand’s reach. There is absolutely no doubt that LinkedIn gives you access to users that you may be unable to identify on other big social media platforms such as Facebook. It is where business happens. It was acquired by Microsoft in 2016.
- LinkedIn has 56% of male users and 44% female users.
- 25% of regular users on LinkedIn fall into the 18 to 29 age group.
- Over 60% of LinkedIn users fall in the age bracket of 30 to 65 years.
3. Identify buyers Personas
To get a better picture of the pain points of your target audience, their requirements, etc.you should know your audience. You also need to know their goals and objectives. When you understand your potential customers and what they are looking for, it becomes easier to connect with them. Your business will be able to generate more numbers and add to the bottom line with every client you connect with.
Buyer persona is one of the most basic things to know and serve your audience, but when you look around more than half of the companies have ignored it, which affects the performance of a business. The better you know about your customer’s typical day and the obstacles they face, the easier it will be for you to live up to your promises and give them worthwhile solutions to their problems.
4. Keep sharing compelling visuals
People have generally expected social media posts to include a visual component. Social media images drive real-world action, too. Over half of millennials have made travel plans or visited a restaurant based on an image or video a friend shared on social media platforms. Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat, specifically, are visual-first networks. If your content is not attractive, no one will stop scrolling to read what you have to say. Even if you’re not selling something beautiful like fruits, it’s important to use great imagery in your social posts to increase engagement. For service businesses in particular, this can be a bit of a challenge. But every business and firm can tell its story through images and videos.
5. Track and refine your performance
As you execute your social media strategy, it becomes important to monitor what works and what doesn’t so you can refine your efforts and improve your results. There are numerous analytics tools that give you a great picture of your social media efforts and can help you track whichever metrics matter you the most. Once you get a baseline picture of how your strategy is working, it’s time to start looking for opportunities to get even better results.
Social Media advertising is growing as a martech power bank. No matter how small your business, social media advertising tools can enable you to better connect with your audience, reach your new potential customers, and increase your brand awareness. If the possibilities seem overwhelming, you can start small.
Just remember, you don’t need to do it all. Take a focused approach, start small with one or two important platforms and build your social media advertising efforts over time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Aashish is currently a Content writer at Martech Cube. He is an enthusiastic and avid writer. His key region of interests include covering different aspects of technology and mixing them up with layman ideologies to pan out an interesting take. His main area of interests range from medical journals to marketing arena.