For many small business owners, shoring up their social media presence can sometimes feel like an impossible task. Starting from scratch is terrifying for some, and with good reason—it can be hard to know where to start, who to trust and what strategies will actually work for your business.
And that’s not even factoring in the vastness of today’s social media landscape. Almost every niche, no matter how small, has some sort of social media presence these days.
But social media doesn’t have to be a minefield. With a little bit of research and elbow grease, you can easily get your business’s social media presence up to snuff and compete—or even excel—in today’s rough-and-tumble climate.
Here’s everything you need to know about boosting your business’ social media presence, no matter what industry you’re in.
Research Your Competition
Scientists—no matter how famous or accomplished—are acutely aware that their work would be impossible without all the research that came before them. As the saying goes, if they have seen farther than others, it is because they have stood on the shoulders of giants.
Take that same humble approach before diving into social media marketing to learn from the successes (and failures) of those who have come before you.
Your competition can provide some valuable insights on what works (and doesn’t) for your particular niche, what kinds of content get the most engagement, and which social media platforms are most popular with your target audience.
Take a look at their social media accounts. How often are they posting? What kind of content seems to be resonating with their audience? Do they rely on influencers or other forms of marketing?
Save time and resources as you get your social media marketing plan off the ground by learning from the successes and failures of your competition. As you gain more authority in your industry, you can start looking away from your direct competition and learn from businesses in other sectors that have found social media success. Not only does this provide you with a fresh perspective, but it also helps you avoid getting stuck in the same old routines that your competitors are probably already stuck in.
Don’t Dismiss Social Media Presence and Influencers
Social media influencers have been getting a lot of flak lately. And while some of that is certainly deserved, small business owners should not write off social media influencers as a whole.
Not all businesses benefit from working with influencers. Aligning your brand with an influencer who doesn’t draw in your target audience is a waste of time and money.
Think of it this way: social media influencers have built up a following by being interesting and engaging. They know how to capture attention and get people talking. Tap into that, so you can use an influencer’s reach to your advantage.
Ask yourself these questions if you’re not sure whether or not your business would benefit from working with social media influencers.
- Do you have a product or service that people are passionate about?
- Is your target audience engaged with social media?
- Do you have the budget to work with influencers?
If you answered yes to all three of those questions, influencers could be a great way to get your business in front of more people.
Make sure that you target influencers with reach on the platforms your target audience is using.
If your business sells scented candles or horoscope readings, Instagram influencers are probably your best bet. If you’re trying to reach business owners or corporate decision-makers, LinkedIn is going to be more effective.
Influencers are no longer the magic pill they once were, but they can still be a valuable part of your marketing strategy if you use them correctly.
Facebook Still Works and Represents Social Media Presence
The quick pace of social media marketing makes it easy to forget about Facebook. The social media giant has been counted out before, but it always manages to adapt and come back stronger.
Facebook marketing is not as trendy or sexy as some of the newer platforms, but it is still an incredibly effective way to reach your target audience.
Why? Because it has 2.93 billion monthly active users. Whatever else you might say about the platform, that kind of reach is hard to ignore. More than just reach, Facebook users are highly engaged, spending more than 30 minutes per day on it.
It’s no surprise that 31% of U.S. adults rely on the platform for their news, according to the Pew Research Center. As worrisome as this might be from a civic engagement perspective, it’s good news for small businesses looking to reach a wide audience with spending power—Facebook is the main platform for the 35-44 age demographic, which has a median income of $91,300, compared to $13,990 for younger demographics.
One of the biggest pitfalls small business owners face when it comes to social media marketing is wanting results too quickly.
Any good marketing campaign takes time to gestate and grow. The best thing you can do is create a solid plan and stick to it. There are very few sure things in marketing. Putting your business in the best position to succeed is a process, not a one-time event.
It takes time to build relationships with customers and followers. It takes time to create content that people want to see. And it takes time for your audience to grow large enough to have a significant impact on your bottom line.
Don’t lose sight of the long game: a slow and steady social media presence is more effective (and sustainable) than a quick spike followed by a crash and burn.
Boosting your business’ social media presence today takes time, effort, and a bit of creativity. Our tips above are not an exhaustive list, but they should be enough to get you started on the right foot.
For more marketing news with tips and tricks to stay ahead of the curve, be sure to check out our blog. Stay tuned for more helpful content soon!