Social media marketing is a powerful way for businesses of all sizes to reach their prospects and customers.
Your customers are already interacting with other brands through social media, and if you’re not speaking directly to your audience on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. you’re missing out.
Great marketing on social media can bring remarkable success to your business, create devoted brand advocates, and even drive leads and sales.
With about 59% of the world’s population being online users, your business will be able to reach its maximum number of potential buyers online.
Before we dive deeper and talk about actionable marketing tips you can use, let’s understand what social media marketing really is.
What is Social Media Marketing?
…in one sentence?
“Marketing through social media.”
It’s the use of social media channels and networks to find your ideal prospects, create awareness for your products or services, and eventually get them to buy from you.
Alongside emails, phone calls, direct mails, and pay-per-click advertising, social media marketing can be one of the most powerful channels of sales and customer acquisition.
Regardless of the size (Fortune 500 companies or small businesses), social media marketing can help you engage with existing customers and also reach new ones.
Nowadays, businesses go about social media marketing in a lot of different ways.
- A business that is concerned about what people are saying about its brand would monitor social media conversations and respond to relevant mentions. (This is the social media listening and engagement aspect of social media marketing).
- A business that wants to understand how it is performing on social media would analyze its reach, impressions, engagement, and interactions on social media – either using a separate analytics tool or the in-platform analytics tracker. (This aspect of social media marketing is concerned with social media analytics).
- A business that wants to reach a specific set of audiences at scale would run highly targeted social media adverts. (This is the advertising aspect of social media marketing).
Why Is Social Media Marketing Important For Small Businesses?
Social media marketing isn’t for big brands alone, it also provides an opportunity for small businesses to grow and engage with both future and present customers.
Social media is one of the most efficient and cost-effective methods of constantly being in touch with your customers (both new and old).
It unites all demographics and offers free access to a vast audience of potential customers for any product or service.
Here are a few statistics to show how important social media marketing is for your business.
In addition to these statistics, here are a few reasons why social media marketing is important for small businesses.
Increases brand awareness
Brand awareness simply refers to “the extent to which someone can recall or recognize a brand”.
60% of consumers discover products and services through social media.
Social media is one of the key factors in creating brand awareness. This is because with the ever-increasing number of people “going online”, social media provides businesses the opportunity to be found by new leads.
Develops customer relationships
With social media, businesses can connect, communicate and build meaningful relationships with their current and future customers.
The more connected you are with your customers, the more responsive they will be to your brand and business.
Promotes review sharing
Through social media, potential customers have access to your business and how it is reviewed by existing customers.
Study shows that 61% of people will check for reviews before making a purchase.
With social media, reviews can be collected in different ways (as messages, videos, or even polls) and set up in strategic positions (such as; social media feed, website, or landing pages) to enhance buying decisions of future customers
Drives web traffic
Think of your social media pages as extensions of your website.
With thousands of people active on social media platforms, your social media page is simply another way for users to find your business.
An effective social media marketing strategy can drive a steady stream of visitors to your website.
By creating posts with hyperlinks to pages back to the original web page, you can increase your interactions on your social media accounts – and your readers can click the hyperlink so they visit your website as well.
It allows for sales directly
This may be one of the most important advantages of social media marketing to small businesses.
Even without a website, businesses can still close deals on social media.
With elements like DM (for direct messaging), or links, businesses can attend to prospects and close sales right in the most suitable and convenient ways.
Social Media Platforms For Your Business
Right now, some of the major social media platforms (at the moment) are;
Sounds overwhelming, but the good news is you don’t have to be on all 8 platforms.
The key factor in determining which social media platform(s) your business should begin marketing on is “understanding your audience”.
When you create a detailed profile of your ideal customer, it becomes easy to figure out where they’re most likely to hang out on social media. And that’s exactly where you should be too.
If you’re just getting started with marketing, it is recommended to focus on that one platform, get the most out of it, and then expand into other platforms (once you have the bandwidth, of course).
At Dubb, one of our biggest focuses from the start has been YouTube.
Although we have been able to create a presence on multiple social media platforms, we got our start on YouTube and over time we branched out into LinkedIn, Facebook, and other platforms as well.
So, in case you’re wondering “which one should I be on?”, the answer is probably all of them.
But first, you must understand your target audience to be able to make that decision and know where to start.
Tips To Get Started With Social Media Marketing
In the beginning, getting started with social media marketing can seem like such a huge and daunting task, but like everything else, the most important thing is that you just start.
Here are a few tips to help you kick things off with social media marketing for your business;
Determine your goals
When setting your goals, it’s recommended you start with small bite-sized goals that can be monitored and measured.
By creating small bite-sized goals, you’re can actually accomplish things, put one foot in front of the other, and eventually, you’ll be able to establish a presence on the most suitable platform(s).
One of the easiest ways to set trackable and measurable goals is by using the SMART framework.
S – specific
M – measurable
A – attainable
R – relevant
T – time-bound.
An example of a smart goal could look like this;
“I want to increase my customer inventory by 30 new customers in the next 3 months”.
This goal is;
Specific – Increase customer inventory
Measurable – 30 new customers
Attainable – Yes
Relevant – Yes, because an increase in customers equals an increase in revenue.
Time-bound – 3 months.
Using the SMART framework to set your goals allows you to be able to see your goals in the bigger picture, and also set out actionable steps to achieve them.
Another way you can determine and set your goals is by asking yourself crucial questions such as
- Why are you doing it?
- Who are you doing it for?
- How can you do it?
Your answer to these questions will greatly determine how you get started with social media marketing for your business
Know your target audience
Target audience refers to the specific group you want to reach.
They are the people who are most likely to be interested in your content, product, or service.
One reason why social media is so effective for business is that you can find the people interested in your business, but you first need to understand who your audience is before you can find them.
Developing a clear understanding of your target audience may be the most important thing when it comes to social media marketing.
Your target audience informs all elements of your social media presence, as it gives you a guide on
- What platform(s) to be on
- Your competition
- What type of content to create
Once you’ve defined and known who your audience is, you will understand where you should be, and the best ways to speak to your audience.
Research and know the competition
In this case, your competitors refer to businesses in the same category as yours.
While you don’t want to copy them, learning from what other (i.e. the competitors) are doing, and have done is a great way to reduce your learning curve.
Researching and knowing your competition can help you learn what’s working and what’s not working, as well as how you can add a different touch to yours.
4. Have a system for your content
After putting in place your audience, platforms, and competitors, the next thing is your content.
One of the best systems to put in place with regards to your content is set up and having a content calendar.
A content calendar helps you stay on track and hold yourself accountable for your marketing efforts. Think of it as a tool that ensures consistency and serves as a guide for being “active” on social media.
When creating your content calendar – based on whatever platform is suitable for your business – ensure to;
- Put in the dates for when you will be posting on your social media channel(s).
- Include the type of content you would be posting on certain dates, days, and times.
5. Take full advantage of your social media platform
It’s not enough to just “be” on the social media platforms, you have to be a part of it – think of social media as free advertising for your products or service.
Join groups, become part of communities, and aim to master whatever social media platform(s) your business is on.
This will help you create an audience that you can communicate with regularly, and in turn, increase brand awareness and discovery.
6. Create your content
If you are wondering “what do I create?”, a great way of getting content ideas is to take a look at your competition to see what they’re producing.
Do not aim to “copy” them, but rather see how you can create something similar but different that works with your business.
With content, be sure to focus on quality over quantity.
Your content can include;
- Reviews, etc.
There’s a lot of options to pick from.
At Dubb, one thing we believe in is the power of video. Video has been shown to get better responses, higher engagement, build trust, and ultimately create more customers.
However, video creation doesn’t come easy to some.
One of the objections most businesses have with creating video content is the amount of time that goes into filming, editing, and even sharing this video.
But with Dubb — a video communication platform that enables you to create, edit, customize, and distribute your videos to your audience — video marketing is easy.
To Wrap It Up…
Social media marketing is highly effective and should be a consistent part of every business’s marketing strategy.
The true importance of social media marketing for businesses is a lot, but to mention a few;
With social media marketing, you’re able to;
- Increase digital brand awareness
- Develop an online relationship with customers
- Tell your brand’s unique story
- Elevate and build a multi-channel presence
- Encourage lead generation and sales.
It’s natural if you feel overwhelmed at first, but by following and implementing the right tips, it becomes easy over time.
Take a hint from businesses (your competitors) succeeding in social media, and think about how you can use your channels to best showcase what you have to offer.