According to a recent study, 3.5 billion people are active social media users, which constitutes almost 45% of the world population.
The impact of social media in today's world cannot be ignored. From children to adults to senior citizens there is not a single age group who is not a part of social media.
Considering such massive traffic, it won't be wrong to say that social media is the hub of transmitting information all around the world. The popularity of a particular thing on social media means it has definitely reached to nooks and corners of the world. So, it won't be untrue to say that your business needs a social media presence.
Regardless of the size, nature, popularity, or time in the market, a business presence without its firm grounds on social media platforms does not even exist.
The common lesson in all of the best small business courses of digital marketing is - Social Media Markting is an indepepsible part of every Digital Marketing Strategy.
However, it's not that tough, and you don't need to stay under pressure to remain at the top on social media. It is important to make a start.
As someone famous once sad "A journey of thousand miles begins with a single step," and
that is how we can describe social media marketing in real life too. In this article, we will discuss some simple and innovative social media strategies that can help all businesses, mainly the small ones.
First, let's begin with the background story on Why a Small Business needs social media strategy?
Let's think hypothetically.
You start a new business venture.
The venture (being new) is obscure and is away from the eyes of the prospective customers. In short, Nobody knows about it.
You invested in the venture, assuming that you had better offers and services than your competitors, but no one knows about it.
To most of the people, your business is just another setup around the corner, and they won't even bother trying it because they haven't been influenced by it.
All you need is an affordable yet innovative method of reaching a more broad target audience optimally. Social media provides us with a platform that lets them speak how they feel about a particular brand or business.
If you are right, people can drop favourable words about you, thus alerting more ears and gathering new audiences each day.
Now – imagine, you have a limited budget to run your social media campaigns, which essentially means that you do not have deep pockets to hire a social media marketing agency.
Can you run the campaign yourself?
Well! That is what I am here to help you.
Social media provides you with visibility by targeting your potential customers and letting you reach a broad group of audiences through the power of the internet.
You can even use it for paid marketing strategies that are advised in the initial stages of the business. Social media platforms also help you keep records of your business success, and you can track where your most targeted audience lies, thus making the research process much more effortless as compared to conventional methods.
The purpose of promoting a business on social media is not just to promote your business and services, but to use it as an effective medium of information transfer. You can add all you want to convey about your business to the customers and can answer their queries through it too. Also, when a customer speaks about your company to others - the first reaction is to search on the internet.
A study suggests an average consumer reads about ten reviews before establishing a trust to purchase from a local business (Local Consumer Review Survey 2019, 2019).
One of the significant benefits of social media strategy is it is cost-effective when compared to any other means of social media marketing. Everyone has access to the internet, and you do not need to pay hefty sums of money to establish a presence on social media.
While being cost-effective, social media helps you get a higher return on investment and allow a bigger budget for various marketing and business payments. That is why almost all businesses opt for it, and even small business setups can utilize social media for their benefit.
When you have an active, strong social media presence, customers automatically establish a feeling of trust with your business. By forming a stable connection with your customers on social media, you help them feel a sense of understanding, and they know they can reach out to you in the case of any unforeseen circumstances.
Thus, the chances of customers purchasing from your new business drastically increase. To improve the chances of your strong relationship with customers, 80% of the content you share on the website should be informative while 20% promotional. This generates a sense of understanding (Louisa McGrath, n.d.).
Even though every business understands the importance of a strong social media strategy but not every company can develop it. Why is that so?
According to a study, more than 50 million small businesses use Facebook pages to connect with their customers, but not all of them succeed (KAYLA -, 2019). Well, it's not about what you do but how you do it.
Whether you are an old business or a struggling startup, the primary key is to handle all the marketing like a pro. If you can skillfully manage all your social media activities on all your social media platforms, you can easily win at this game. Here are some simple and essential tips for a successful social media strategy.
Multiple profiles equal more chances of visibility. When people establish a small business, they begin with a common mistake. They use Facebook as the only social media platform for their business. According to statistics, 86% of businesses use Facebook to promote their social media, ignoring the rest of the platforms.
½ of businesses use Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter for social media marketing, 1/3rd use LinkedIn and Snapchat. The first and necessary step is to target audiences on all platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and even Snapchat. However, one crucial step is to find out your target audience and then hit at the most crowded area rather than wasting time on each platform and investing efforts equally.
For example, when it comes to LinkedIn, it is ideal for B2B companies, and almost 80% of business leads are generated through LinkedIn for big companies ( Alex Rynne, 2017).
A clear vision attracts a lot of customers on the way. If your business has a clear goal and follows a series of steps to meet it, the customer will automatically find your brand trustworthy.
You cannot just go blindly on social media without having a reason or background. Meanwhile, lead generation, brand awareness, and customer engagement are all excellent reasons to use social media; it doesn't mean they should be suitable for every business.
Whatever your goals are, no matter how unique, make sure they are identified and stuck to while facing all the challenges on the way.
Nobody likes watering a dead plant. Similarly, if your business pages are all dull dead, there will come a day when customers leave your business behind and move forward with some other better option.
Take it as a simple example. If you visit a social media page for any business today and find a post posted three months ago, your first instinct would be that the company has been dead for three months. Even though it's not true, human minds perceive dull objects as dead to them.
According to statistics, 52% of small businesses post on social media daily (Michael Guta, 2018). They know the importance of social media activity, it's about time you should realize it too!
People are crazy about their favourite celebrity, whether its an actor, a football player, singer or a philanthropist. Over the years, many businesses have used influencing personalities to promote their content through video messages, status, or as a customer review to promote their businesses, and this has been by far one of the most potent ways of social media marketing.
According to statistics, influencer marketing can deliver up to 11 times higher Reverse on Investment (ROI) when compared to traditional brand marketing (THE RISE OF DIGITAL INFLUENCE, n.d.).
One example of social influencer marketing was M&M's 2016 flavour vote. M&M asked Emmy award-winning actor Tony Hale to lead the official campaign for the flavour vote. Besides that, M&M partnered with nine other social influencers to help promote participation in the flavour vote. This campaign resulted in a huge success.
The campaign resulted in tremendous success initiating 269 million public relations/social media/Influencer impressions, 216 influencer partner posts, 14.4 million social engagements, and more than 1 million votes (12 Influencer Marketing Examples That Prove Influencer Marketing is Digital Marketing's Next Big Thing, Now, 2018).
There is not a single methodology that can be considered as the best fit to carry out social media marketing for small businesses. Instead, social media marketing is readily influenced by many factors amongst which customers are number one.
The changing times have changing effects on the minds of users, thus allowing them to chase different trends from time to time. A successful digital marketer is the one who works by keeping in mind and develops a readily flexible social media strategy rather than a rigid one.