Social Media For Small Businesses
Seventy-eight percent of all Americans are on at least one social network, most users sign on every day, and more than half of all social media users follow at least one brand. Social media, like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest, have become a key element in many people's lives and for more than just personal interaction. Many use it as a source for daily news and it is often where people turn when they have a question, comment, or complaint for a business. An influential social media presence can expand brand awareness, promote traffic to your website, and build a community of followers.
If you are wondering if social media would be beneficial for you business, consider these statistics:
- Facebook has 162.9 million users in the U.S.
- 41% of U.S. small businesses are on Facebook.
- There are 128 million LinkedIn users in the United States.
- 65 million Americans are on Twitter.
- 42% learn about products and services via Twitter.
- Over 89 million Americans are on Instagram.
- 176.1 million people in America use YouTube.
Where Small Businesses Can Thrive
When compared to top brands that dominate the social media landscape, it may seem impossible for small businesses to compete with their elaborate campaigns and unlimited budgets. However contrary to many people's beliefs, social media provides an advantage for small companies. SMB's offer unique products and services to smaller groups of customers in local areas. Social media is an outlet for these businesses with limited resources to reach their exact target audience with a personal approach.
Most small businesses can't match the volume of content large corporations are able to create or the manpower, time, and money needed to do so. Instead, small businesses should focus on taking calculated steps toward expanding brand recognition, increasing website traffic, and promoting online referrals. Having a clear strategy for social media efforts will help create the strong personal connection with prospective customers businesses need to expand their reach. A strategy must take into account company goals, target audience, and what the competition is doing. A few of the ways to leverage social media for a brand's success includes:
Choose the Right Networks
Each social media platform have different demographics and engagement options. Once your target audience has been identified, choosing the best social networks will be simple. It's better to have a well-managed presence on one channel than to have neglected profiles on all of them. For example, if your business is image-heavy and skewed toward homeowners, look at Pinterest. Home Depot has earned over 488 thousand followers by posting regularly updated boards on topics like outdoor living and storage and organization.
Post the Perfect Amount
The sweet spot is a little different for each network. Researchers with Social Media Examiner say that you should post between five and seven times a day on Twitter but only one to four times a day on Facebook. By sticking with a number that keeps you in front of fans' eyes without overexposing your brand, you can keep their interest high. When users see your content regularly, it gives you more chances to convince and convert.
Create and Adapt Content For Each Platform
A good portion of a social media community manager's role is creating and adapting content for each specific network. This includes revising content in under 140 characters for Twitter, creating images and graphics to accompany Facebook and Twitter posts, resizing and recreating those same graphics for Instagram, and more.
Post Educational Information
The ultimate goal of any marketing efforts is to get potential customers back to your website. Creating informative content about your industry and products or services that is equally well-written and entertaining will help attract prospects and drive them back to your website.
Involve Your Followers
A&E picked up a Shorty Award for Best Use of Tumblr for their Critics' Choice Awards Fan Art Red Carpet. By inviting amateur artists on the microblogging platform to contribute their interpretations of red carpet photos, they dramatically increased engagement, reaching over four million users. High engagement can significantly increase both your web traffic and can enhance your SEO rankings.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
More people are reaching out to brands on social media when they have a problem to solve. And, they expect results: surveys indicate that a person who posts on social media expects an answer from a brand within an hour. By monitoring social media for mentions of your brand, you can demonstrate publicly that you care about customer satisfaction.
With so many people spending so much time on social networks, if your brand is not part of the conversation, you are missing out. By using these channels wisely, a business can build relationships that lead to long-term sustainability and success. No matter what size of business, maintaining a powerful social media presence takes a surprising amount of time and effort. Social media platforms are not always easy to navigate and have endless options from page customization to paid advertising. An effective social media manager needs to possess skills in copywriting, design, basic photography and videography, creativity, quick decision-making, good judgement, strong communication skills, analysis, and the list continues!
Here at Splash Omnimedia, we have social media strategists that create campaigns that awe and inspire prospective customers. If you are ready to elevate your brand and drive revenue through social media, contact us today!