Believe it or not, you have the ability to boost your business with your fingertips! In the past decade, social media – and everything associated – has moved from margin to center. According to Statista, an estimated 1.96 billion people – nearly one-fifth of the world’s population – uses social media. The ability to tailor and market your brand on these sites is imperative for your success in the 21st Century, and for many excellent reasons!
While you could always hire someone to run social media for your small business and be on your way, it is still extremely important that you, the business owner, learn exactly how to go about tailoring your business for social media! Here are five great ways to master social media for your small business.
- Navigate and Learn: If you are a beginner, social media can be fairly tricky. While many believe that social media is the hub for millennials, preceding generations are, as a matter of fact, taking over and using media more and more as the years progress! A Pew Research Center report found that nearly 35 percent of older adults (65 and older) used social media in 2015, versus only 2 percent back in 2005! This shows that social media is extremely versatile – that anyone can use it and navigate it. There are multiple ways to learn social media – through websites, For Dummies books and by simple trial and error. When you start you need to pick a social channel (Facebook, Twitter, Google+). Start simple by posting a picture or an event and slowly build your presence in that channel. It’s pretty safe to say that you’ll need a Facebook page, if you are a restaurant owner post a picture of some food items you are selling, if you are a janitorial service post coupons or if you own a landscape service write an informative article on the best flowers to plant in the summer. For a complete beginner’s guide to social media read here.
- Appeal to the senses: The goal with modern-day social media marketing is to create a sense of need in your reader – you want to earn their attention and eventual purchase by appealing not only rhetorically, but to their senses as well. Don’t be afraid to use lush descriptions of your product, mention just how it can benefit the customer, and why they just might even need your product! Find the best pictures to market the product. Doing this on social media, specifically on mediums where the word count is limited (i.e. Twitter), can be difficult to achieve, and even daunting in places. Fear not! The key to social media is to grab your audience’s attention by whatever means you can, and appealing to their senses is likely to draw them in and create buzz around your product! Some examples of companies that do a great job of this are Kitchen Cabinet Kings a construction company in New York where you see stunning design photography and useful articles about kitchen renovations on their Facebook page. If you own a restaurant bar you’ll find Brendan’s Irish Pub and Restaurant is a great example where you get an impression that this place is fun and inviting as soon as you see their social page.
- Stay Active: While building your dreams from the ground up, the sound of being active on social media may not have the most pleasant ring to it. While it can be rather daunting to run a company’s social media, it is important to remember that the majority of American consumers takes up one or more forms of social media. This means that your actions online could generate a whirlwind of feed to your page and products! Being active is simple: check your social media pages often. On some platforms, such as Twitter, you can be notified whenever someone follows you, likes or retweets your post, or mentions you or the company product in one of their tweets so make sure you thank them or like them back. Post one or two links to interesting articles that are in the same ballpark as your product. While the purpose of your social media page is to post about your brand, it is important that your page consists of a plethora of content rather than advertisements alone. This generates more readers, as articles and blog posts often use outside links and references that boost overall readership. Address complaints and concerns through the social media site’s messaging medium and definitely make your presence known with potential consumers and customers alike. A great social media app we’ve found to automate posts is Buffer where it allows you to schedule posts on multiple channels so you can schedule them days in advance and save you time.
- Know who’s scrolling: Being aware of your audience on social media is something you should think about before signing up to market your brand! It is also important to pinpoint websites that are easy to navigate and are known for their easily-accessible marketing tools – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – and just who uses them. According to Pew, 79 percent of adults aged 30-49 use Facebook! So, if your product is more appealing to middle-aged adults than kids, Facebook would be a better choice! If you are using LinkedIn, which allows media ranging from blog posts, news articles, updates and advertisements in a business-related way. As a matter of fact, research shows that LinkedIn is the best way to secure leads and readership, due to the business interests of users! We at ezClocker have kept in mind our audience – small business owners and we have tailored our social media sites to fit their needs. On our Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook pages, we often post articles and share content that has to do with small business, success, and the importance of keeping employees engaged and happy.
- Uphold quality over quantity: This is the most important thing to keep in mind when running a social media page. Find the best content to share on your page while remaining active, but try to find some balance. While it is great to see a page where the administrators are active and wanting to make a better name for their brand, overdoing it is often a problem in social media marketing as well. No reader wants their feed bombarded with your brand, how great the company is, to repeatedly click out of a pop-up advertisement – so it is best to avoid this altogether and remember the golden rule of social media marketing: the 80/20 rule. This helps to maintain the idea of quality over quantity and even keeps you from being a little too overbearing on social media. The 80/20 rule is simple: 80 percent of content on your page should concern your brand and products, not directly advertise! Only 20 percent of your page’s content should consist of direct advertisements or mentioning of your brand. An important aspect of social media is the buzz that surrounds it – posting articles and content that will gain readers’ attentions and get them talking is more valuable to your page, as it will bring in viewers and earn your brand more recognition – and you hardly have to do work to get to this point!
Now that the tips are out there, make sure you feel comfortable using social media before you embark on marketing schemes that will boost your brand name! Get a feel of the sites you’re using, learn to navigate them in a manageable way, and fear not, reader. Appeal to your consumers’ senses, avoid being a ghost page and losing followers, know who is reading your work, and remember the 80/20 rule. Best of luck with your social media marketing!
Author: Christian Jimenez
Christian is a Public Relations student and freelance writer from Dallas, Texas. He has a passion for traveling, coffee, and all things writing (creative, technical, you name it). His works range from newsworthy topics to self-help blog posts for small businesses. He is currently the content creator for ezClocker.