If you’re a small business owner or marketer, you know that building a personal connection with your customers drives sales. If you lose loyal customers and see a drop off in sales, that can make or break your small business’s bottom line. With existing and potential customers scattered across the country and around the world, those relationships have to be cultivated digitally, and savvy social media management can grow your brand and convert followers into repeat buyers. These direct connections are more important than ever as we move toward a cookieless future, and developing a robust social media strategy for relevant platforms will position your business for success.
Why is Social Media Important for Small Businesses?
Social media marketing has a number of advantages for small business:
Low Barrier to Entry
Social media platforms are generally free to use as well as easy to set up and start creating content and interacting with customers. Unlike with websites, which require more work on the backend, it’s also simple to post updates or change static information on your social media accounts.
Strategic use of hashtags can draw in potential customers who are looking for the kind of content you’ve created and interested in engaging with it.
Direct Customer Contact
Social media allows your business to interact with customers in real time to provide customer service, answer questions, or just have fun. These interactions personalize your brand for customers in a way that a suggestion page on a website or a virtual help assistant might not. Of course, this is a double-edged sword, because any negative interactions with customers will be visible to others – but your thoughtful, customer-centered responses will be, too.
How Do I Decide Which Social Media Platforms To Use For My Business?
Deciding on which social media platforms to use can be tricky. Different segments of your customer base may use one platform more than the others – and popular platforms and user engagement are changing all the time. While it may be helpful to claim your business’s handle on a number of platforms, it’s OK to focus on just a few as you’re building your brand’s social presence. Ask yourself the following questions:
Who Are My Customers?
Take the time to build customer personas – once you know who your customers are, it will be easier to modify your content so it will resonate with new people who fit the same profile and may be interested in your products or services.
What Content Do My Customers Want?
Consider what kind of content will be most useful and interesting for your customers, whether they’d enjoy demos of your product or a look behind-the-scenes at how your business works and who the people who work there are.
Which Platforms Work Best For My Customers And The Content They Want To Engage With?
Once you know who your customers are and what kind of content they find engaging, you can determine which social media sites they frequent that best curate that kind of content.
What Key Guidelines Should I Keep In Mind As I Outline My Social Media Strategy?
Brainstorm Social Media Content and Create A Content Calendar
Develop a list of potential social media posts and videos to get a sense for the different types of content you’d like to produce and what topics and themes you’d like to cover. From this topline view, you can build a content calendar that is consistent – and manageable! – so your customers hear from you on a regular basis on a variety of topics, in a variety of forms – from polls soliciting customer suggestions to video testimonials about your products.
Post Often, But Not Too Often
Your customers want to hear from you, but they don’t want to be bombarded with posts – especially not promotional ones. Focus on creating smart, meaningful content that targets and engages your high-value customers.
Develop An Authentic Brand Voice
Social media is the perfect place to personalize your brand so your customers connect with it. Transparency, honesty, empathy, openness, and consistency can help build your brand’s authenticity with your customers.
Interact with Customers
If you’re not using social media to engage with your customers, you’re missing out on immediate feedback on what’s working about your business and what isn’t. These interactions can offer important context to your sales figures, click throughs, and other data metrics, so be prepared for customers to reach out with comments, questions, and complaints about your business – and be ready to learn from them.
Leverage Your Business’s Network
Does your business partner with other organizations? Make those connections happen on social media so you and your partners can elevate each other’s content and help expand your audiences.
How Do I Create Compelling Content for Social Media?
Small business owners are often short on time, and most don’t have hours to spend crafting the perfect posts for social media when focus needs to stay on fulfilling orders and keeping existing customers satisfied. But if you’re organized – and you take advantage of existing tools – you can offer a satisfying social media experience for your customers.
Create Content Adaptable to Multiple Platforms
While you should certainly make sure that your content is displayed to its best advantage on individual platforms, it’s useful to maximize your output and minimize your input by crafting posts that can be reused, with a few or no tweaks.
Try Out ChatGPT to Generate Quick Social Posts
If you’ve been following the news on generative AIs like ChatGPT, you’re probably already considering how this powerful new tool can be used to advance your strategy. When given the right guidance – well-defined, precise prompts that outline parameters like topic, length, and tone – ChatGPT can draft social media posts appropriate for different channels, based on its vast analysis of similar content. You can even ask ChatGPT to model its posts on existing content for your brand, helping to ensure a consistent tone.
Get Started with Video
As video content becomes more attractive to customers of various demographics, TikTok has emerged as an important platform. Its enormous user base enjoys how TikTok’s algorithms curate content that matches their interests. Not sure your customers are on TikTok? Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter algorithms now all prioritize video content, and the video you create for TikTok can find new audiences through other platforms, like Instagram’s Reels.
Use a Social Media Management Tool to Schedule Your Posts
You don’t have time to manually post your content across multiple platforms, so find an inexpensive tool that will make your posts for you. By planning and scheduling your posts in advance, you’re making it more likely you’ll stay on top of your content calendar and still have the bandwidth to interact with customers in real time.
Track your Social Media Metrics with Google Analytics 4
GA4 tracks users’ every interaction across platforms, which offers your business an opportunity to get a holistic view of your customers’ journeys and insights into what content and platforms are the most effective at converting browsers to buyers.
Work with NetElixir
Not sure how to get started with social media marketing for your small business? Contact NetElixir today! As a small business owner or marketer, you have many demands on your time. NetElixir is here to help you develop a social media strategy tailored to your business and to your customers. We’ll work with you to decide what platforms are right for your brand and what content will showcase your brand as you seek to reach your target audience.