Social Media for Small Businesses – An Insider Perspective
Social media is an integral part of life in the 21 st Century.
The reach and power of social media is currently so strong that it influences every age group of every part of the society and has consequently become the most widely used medium for promotion. Just the other day, I set up a Facebook account for my grandma, who is in her seventies! The social media fever is on and boy is the world caught up in it.
Naturally, small businesses are no exception to the widely growing demand for social media in marketing.
The reason why social media is so popular is that it inspires people right at the root level. It helps bring the people throughout the world closer to each other. It conveys every little detail of our lives and every new, emerging idea to even the remotest corner of the earth.
Social media has widespread market reach and is known for setting trends in the market. This is extremely useful for a small business which needs to reach out to its niche audience. In today’s world of networking, solopreneurs can leverage the various marketing techniques to substantially increase their clientele.
It doesn’t stop there though. Not only can social media be used for marketing but for various other purposes like creating brand awareness, increasing customer engagement, facilitating content distribution, advanced customer support, improved lead generation and a lot more.
Let’s check out some of the most common ways in which social media can be used for small businesses.
How Can Social Media Be Used for Small Businesses?
Here are some of the best ways in which social media can help small businesses and startups.
1. Creating Brand Awareness
Social media is the best place to grab people’s attention. According to a survey, an average person spends around 2 hours daily on social media. Marketing your brand on social media boosts brand awareness among the public.
Along with that, the social media activity tracking can give the home entrepreneur a fair estimate of how popular the brand is. Social media analytics based on the reports of followers counts and shares on social media is a fair metric of how well is your audience receiving your various marketing campaigns.
2. Building a Community
Bringing together the entire audience of the business and converting it to a connected community is instrumental in the growth of a solopreneur. As the number of people working in your company is less, or sometimes you are the only one handling all operational tasks, networking takes a back seat. On the other hand, getting new leads is a must if you want to see your business grow.
Social media can be of great help here, especially if you have dedicated people managing your social platforms. An online presence helps the small enterprise build a social community of loyal customers, which in turn boosts the awareness of the brand.
3. Improving Customer Service
You might have heard the term, ‘customer is king’. This is especially relevant for small businesses, as customer service is held to the highest standards for small-scale industries. Social media can be effectively used to provide flawless customer service in small businesses. Discussion forums, online help desks, and an overall online presence can be set up with the help of social media making the business more customer-friendly. Entrepreneurs can stay connected to their audience at all times, making them feel privileged and addressing their queries on the fly.
4. Generating Revenue
This might seem obvious, but revenue generation is the ultimate aim of social media, and it does that beautifully. Provided you do it right, small businesses and home entrepreneurs can successfully use social media to convert their audiences into paying customers. Apart from the actual leads, social media is also useful in long term lead generation through blog subscribers, consistent followers, and increased market exposure.
There are several advantages of using social media for small business, especially when an intelligent marketing strategy is used.
However, managing social media for small businesses is not an easy task. Let’s discuss what exactly does social media marketing involve.
Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses
A lot of solopreneurs believe that occasional posts or a blog or two can help them get the market reach they desire, but that is far from the truth. Every business needs to have a dedicated social media marketing strategy in place to achieve concrete results.
Some of the elements of successful social media marketing include:
1. Identifying Your Audience
Successful digital marketing for small businesses depends a lot on how well the business reads its audience. The entrepreneur should completely understand the mentality of the audience, its likes and dislikes before starting with social media marketing. Once the business has complete information about the niche it wants to target, creating a strategy becomes a lot easier.
2. Choosing the Appropriate Social Media Platforms
The business should identify which social media platforms are ideal for promotion of the brand. Generally, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter lead the charts. WhatsApp, YouTube, and LinkedIn have also started emerging as strong options for marketing. However, small businesses should study where there is maximum audience for their brand and plan their strategy accordingly.
3. Creating a Social Media Strategy
The social media strategy is the heart of all the marketing efforts of the business and should be set up carefully. It should include a clear mention of goals and objectives which are to be achieved by using social media.
The existing social media accounts should be reviewed and new ones created if necessary. Engaging social media posts should be posted regularly. Blogs, other written content, video updates, and more should also be scheduled in the social media calendar. All these strategies should be constantly tested and evaluated to get the best results.
4. Post Monitoring and Activity Tracking
Social media posts need to be monitored continuously in order to understand the reactions of the customers and iterate the social media strategy accordingly. This helps to maximise the awareness and increase the attraction of the customers towards the brand. Scheduling content, incorporating images, videos, using the right listening tools, and other measure must also be taken care of to ensure that the business flourishes on social media.
Social Media for Small Businesses – The Current Scenario
Social media marketing has become rapidly popular in start-ups and home entrepreneurs over the past decade. Jewellery and clothing merchants have started using various social media strategies to target their local markets. Artists, freelancers, and other solopreneurs are also stepping into the picture.
As the demand for digital marketing is growing, so are the tools for it. Dedicated brand management for creating a social media presence is now commonly seen.
Small businesses have great scope for growth with the help of social media. The extent of social media marketing is greater than ever before and is set to increase still.
What are your thoughts on how social media is useful for small businesses? Let us know in the
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