Twitter and Facebook are everywhere. Hashtags appears on your favorite TV shows, in your mailbox, and even on billboards. It’s as if people won’t understand your marketing without a “#”!
With all the social media hype, small businesses must really consider their approach to social media marketing.
While social media marketing works great for national corporations, small businesses may find that their ads posted on social networks—Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin—don’t carry quite as far.
5 Things to Consider When it Comes to Social Media Marketing
Effective advertisements are crafted for specific audiences, which is called targeting.
A key disadvantage to many social media channels is that unless you promote your content, people have to visit your site to see what you’ve written or posted. Even if you promote your content, businesses still have less control over who actually receives the ad. Although, Facebook has improved targeting through “Facebook for Business,” which sends ads to specific geographic areas and demographics.
Unfortunately, no matter how targeted an advertisement is on social media, its reach is always limited to social media users. This is a major problem when businesses serve demographics that aren’t using hashtags.
For example, businesses that serve older populations—like retirement homes or in-home care providers—will likely find other marketing channels more effective because their target audience isn’t online. Social media channels are always limited to reaching its users.
2. Follow the Data
Metrics are important to measuring the success of any social media marketing campaign. If you can’t measure, then there is no way to know if your marketing money is paying off.
Brad Shorr, a contributing writer for Forbes, is skeptical of social media and its game-changing potential for small businesses.
“Many small businesses that have been on social media for a few years have absolutely no idea how well their campaign is working,” he writes in an article 10 Social Media Mistakes That Small Businesses Owners Make. “Obviously, not having a way to evaluate a social media campaign leads to wasted investment and an inability to improve campaign effectiveness.”
There are several metrics small businesses can monitor to know what’s working, such as engagement, likes, and follows. Many social media networks also have built-in metrics centers that show your followers and total engagement for each post.
Tracking the number of visitors referred to your site from a social page can also help your business gauge the success of its current strategy.
Keeping tabs on how many leads are channeled through your social media lets you know what’s working and how to adjust your social media approach in the future.
3. Your Customer is Central
Operating a business social media account is quite different from a personal account. While a personal account is focused on your interests—what’s important to you, such as your new puppy or that great meme your aunt posted—small businesses must remember that their social media accounts exist for the benefit of the customers.
It’s not about what interests you, the owner, but what interests your customer. As a business, your content should teach your potential customer about your product. It should be interesting and surround your products with value.
Before producing any content, however, you should decide on the social media networks your clients are most likely to use. A local fabric shop may connect to more clients on Pinterest, while a car wash might completely avoid this social network.
Before signing up for all social networks, make sure that each network is worth your time. If your customers aren’t on a particular channel (or at least aren’t looking for your business on a certain network), then skip it.
Operating social media accounts takes far too much time and energy, which, of course, is always in short supply.
4. As Customer Support
Small businesses should be prepared to answer clients’ questions and respond to customer concerns. Not every interaction will be positive likes, shares, and congrats. That’s ok! Social media is a great way for customers to directly interact with your business, especially when seeking customer support.
Occasionally, customers will even post the dreaded complaint on Facebook. How your business responds makes all the difference.
Responses should be quick—within 24 hours of a complaint—and should be courteous, personal, and let the customer know how the company is working to resolve an issue.
5. Social Media As Marketing Bonus
Social media offers businesses a way to interact with potential customers, build their brand, and share valuable updates and information. However, for small businesses, social media marketing will most likely work best as a complement to a broader marketing strategy.
Putting energy and resources into advertising in your surrounding community can be more effective and less expensive than overwhelming yourself with social accounts and paid social advertisements.
Building brand recognition through word of mouth is still the strongest way to advertise your local business in your community. While social media can help businesses achieve this, small businesses will likely find that local brand awareness requires a local solution.
Once a business establishes a strong customer base, then social media can be a great way to engage their existing customers and interact with leads at all stages of the conversion pipeline.
Billboards Complements Your Social Media Marketing
Hannon Distribution is a trusted and proven grocery store advertising system that has provided brand exposure for several small businesses. Ads placed in grocery stores build strong brand recognition and are seen by the people most likely to use your service.