Small and medium businesses used to have to build their customer relations and develop their brand via mediums such as door-to-door or face-to-face interactions. They often missed out on the broad-scale advertising available to larger businesses. Yet, the growing world of social media marketing has made the world infinitely smaller.
The entirety of the globe has been shrunk to something that fits within the confines of a compact hand-held mobile device. It is neat, measured in metrics, algorithms, and calculated content…
It enables us to play the role of creator and curator – We are the architects and the architecture.
Social media allows for the near instant development of relationships with current and potential customers -without huge financial outlay or an excessive time investment. Therefore it now stands as one of the most vital tools in any small/medium business’ armoury.
For instance, research conducted in 2013 in collaboration with 3,000 marketing managers, demonstrated that 97% use social media marketing for their businesses with 86% agreeing that it was effective for growing their business .
Social media enables business organisations to directly connect with customers and consumers just at the right time with low cost and greater efficiency in comparison to other more traditional forms of communication.
Social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram, for example, enable users to ask questions, follow their favourite brands and feel as though they have some form of direct link to the business, and therefore a greater sense of, that all important, trust.
Consequently, not only does social media enable small and medium size businesses to be creators, yet also the created as consumers can contribute to business growth by sharing, tweeting, liking, following, etc.
Loyal consumers and customers may help generate online marketing through a virtual form of world-of-mouth – which is especially pivotal for small businesses.
Now, even though social media now offers smaller businesses the advertising and brand development opportunities once only available to larger businesses, it also means that these businesses are now in more direct competition with larger budget brands and therefore it is paramount that small to medium businesses market themselves more effectively – after all, the size of the business and expansiveness of the budget is inconsequential in the face of exceptional marketing.
So how do you compete? Read on…
Top Five Tips to Marketing Your Business on Social Media
1) Be a Chameleon –
In the vibrant and ever-changing virtual world of social media it’s key to be a chameleon and adapt and change with trends and shifting business environments. While consistency is advisable for brand building, you need a measure of change within consistency. In practice, this could look like scheduling a post every Monday at 09:00 (consistency), but changing the medium or content each week (change – e.g., infographic one week, podcast the next, etc.)
2) Engage with Your Audience –
No one enjoys a one-way conversation. While this method of engagement can be moderately effective in the beginning, to grow your business, audience engagement is paramount – as is knowing your audience. Attempt to monitor and respond to social media conversations with clients and consumers in a timely manner – we now live in an instant, quick-fix society so most expect a response within at least 24 hours . Meet and exceed customer expectations to show that you appreciate and value your audience.
3) Measure and Monitor –
There is the adage that what gets measured get managed, and social media is no exception. After all, if what is measured is managed, then what is managed is malleable. That is, if you determine what types of posts, etc. work best you can adapt and tailor your advertising and marketing more effectively without investing time (and money) into less successful avenues and help you optimise your content within your industry.
4) Strategize –
Planning is crucial for ensuring you get the most out of your social media marketing. To be successful you need to identify what it is that you want to achieve. Conduct your research, identify your target audience (e.g. age demographic, gender, locality, etc) – do they use Facebook, or are they more interested in images on Twitter? Do they prefer listening to short-snappy podcasts or watching short videos?
5) Outsource –
It is important to know your remit and limitations. Outsourcing to specialists in social media management and marketing can enable you to build your brand, client base, and market your business effectively and efficiently without stress and commonly encountered teething pains.
For instance, companies such as ourselves are ethically minded and focus primarily on small to medium businesses. We offer an (affordable) variety of services – from complete social media management/ social media management and marketing training, website design, brand marketing, graphic design, printed media to photo & video. Lentil can truly help your company lift off, without leaving you reeling when the gravity of financial outlay hits.
So, now you know WHY social media marketing is vital for small to medium sized business, click here for five further tips on HOW to market your business by Lentil Marketing.
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Thanks for reading.
- Hassan, S et al (2015), ‘Strategic Use of Social Media for Small Business Based on the AIDA Model’, Procedia: Social and Behavioural Sciences, 172, pp. 262-269. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.01.363
- Oxborrow, N (2012), ‘Social Media Helps Small Businesses’, University Libraries, pp.1 – 41.
- Shabbir, S et al (2016), ‘Impact of Social Media Applications on Small Businesses’, Management and Economics Research, 6(3), pp. 1-4. doi: 10.4172/2223-5833.1000203