How to Use Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business

Marketing a small business can be tough.

With a limited budget, limited knowledge, and limited time; implementing a robust marketing plan might seem an impossibility. But we’re living in 2013; and in 2013 there is a wealth of opportunity when it comes to promoting your small business. The most cost effective in terms of ROI, is undoubtedly social media marketing.

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Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube; these are just 4 of the social media sites your small business should be making the most of. But if you don’t know your pin from your plus1, this article will teach you some top tips on using social media marketing:

1. Find the right site for you

With so many social media sites around, it can be difficult to really know where to start.

If you’re a B2B company, you will have better luck on certain sites compared to a B2C business and vice versa. For instance, B2C companies will find Facebook marketing success a lot easier to come by than B2B businesses.

Do you have a strong visual element to your company? Then Pinterest and YouTube would be the perfect places for you to showcase your products and services. Make sure you do your research on each site, and check out what works for your competitors. You might be surprised at how well a social media site works as part of your business’s marketing mix.

2. Build your audience

Once you’ve built out your profiles, you need to start building an engaged audience. Start by tapping into your existing client base:

  • Include your social media icons in your email signature
  • Update your website with relevant widgets and plugins to promote your accounts
  • Write a blog post, send out an eshot, or simply ask your customers to follow you

As you slowly build out an audience, you will naturally encourage more followers and fans. Just make sure you’re posting regularly, and upload the kind of content that appeals to your audience.

If you’re struggling to attract fans in this way, there are a number of ways you can help. Facebook sponsored stories and promoted posts are a great way to start. These adverts will target either a specific demographic of your choice, or friends of fans. They work on a CPC (cost-per-click) basis, and can be used to increase page likes, or drive traffic to your website.

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3. Diversify your content

The purpose of your social media marketing efforts is to drive traffic to your site, and convert this traffic into a sale. To do this, you need to be posting a mix of content that appeals to your audience and encourages those all important conversions.

While there are no set rules you need to follow, it is important to diversify the content you do share.

As well as posting links to your blog, product pages, and website; you should post links to other content your readers might find useful. For example, if you sell wedding favours; share links to articles about celebrity weddings, cute videos on YouTube, and more.

Basically, post the kind of content your users are looking for. This will help cement you as an authority in your niche, and gradually drive organic traffic to your website.

Make sure that you’re also sharing a good mix of text based posts, as well as images, videos, polls and more. Your Facebook page needs to be more than just a pool of self-serving links; it needs to be a resource for your audience.

4. Create a community

By diversifying your content in this way, you encourage more than conversions – you encourage conversations. Your social media marketing efforts need to create a community around your brand; a community of people who will buy from you.

Do this by asking questions, and connecting with fellow businesses. This will help you build relationships in the industry, as well as forging relationships with prospects and customers. By building a community, you build trust around your brand.

And if a customer trusts your brand, they’re much more likely to buy from your brand.

5. Integrate your efforts

Many small businesses see their social media sites as separate entities. For example, they forget that cross channel promotion can be a great way of not only boosting your audience, but increasing conversions.

For instance; if you’re running a poll on your Facebook page, share the link with your Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. This will encourage users to connect with you on more than one level. Just make sure you’re posting different content on different sites – this will ensure your audience doesn’t get bored of multiple updates.

Small business social media marketing is extremely effective. By creating a community around your brand and becoming an authority, you will get maximum ROI and increased conversions. So what are you waiting for? Get social today.


2 Responses to “How to Use Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business”

  1. ozio media says:

    Social media is a great place to make your brand known to a wide audience but it has a notoriously low rate of generating direct sales and in order to use it effectively it has to direct customers onto your business’ website. Social media can also be very time consuming which further reduces its cost effectiveness making it important to have a clear plan with clear objectives before you start tweeting. As a means of raising awareness of your brand it can be the most effective tool available but it requires a clear idea of how you intend to use it from the start.

    • Clare Evans says:

      Thanks for your comment ozio media!

      We have found social media to be really powerful in terms of our brands’ lead generation. We’ve had a number of enquiries and secured client contracts through our social presence.

      If you find it time consuming, there are a number of dashboards and automation platforms you can use (such as Tweetdeck) that help you have time.

      I agree that you need a clear plan in place before you just jump in. This can help you create a really robust marketing plan.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Clare

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