8 Amazing Ways to Use Social Media for Small Business

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8 Amazing Ways to Use Social Media to Market Your Business

Ask any marketing expert and they will tell you that focing your attention on social media has the potential to exponentially increase your success. Social media allows business owners to target their audience at low, and often no cost! To help you take advantage of the power that social media offers, we have compiled 8 amazing ways to use social media to market your business.

Hi my name is Ben, I have been helping small business owners create and grow their businesses for over 10 years and I am excited to help you learn why and how to maximize Social Media to market your small business. Lets get started!

Choose Social Media Platforms Wisely

First stop should be researching statistics to see what platform(s) your target market is using. For instance, if you are selling baby goods, your target market are going to be mostly women of child-rearing age. Doing some research to see what platforms are most used by this demographic will help you decide where to focus your time and energy. Choose one or two to establish a strong profile and following. When you focus and build with intensity, you will see results quicker and without spreading your time, energy, or money too thin. You can use targeted ads to increase your presence in a specific market. Once you have a grip on the one or two platforms you have built, then you can add additonal platforms if you have the resources and choose to.

  • The two most popular social media platforms across the board are Twitter and Facebook. Starting with these two platforms is a baseline effort to social media engagement.
  • Once you get your profiles established, start by following at least 20 people per day, the idea is that you follow them, and they in-turn follow you. This will help jump start your small business community.

Establish Market Credibility

When clients and potential clients see that you are active on social media, it does a few things:

  1. It brings your business into their daily lives. They will see your posts regularly, reminding them of what you provide and that you are there for their needs.
  2. When they see your dynamic online presence they will know that you care about the community and are there for more than just the bottom dollar, they will begin to identify you as a trusted and reliable source, increasing the chances that they will turn to you when the need arises.
  3. You make it very easy for people to refer their friends to your business by tagging or sharing your business profile or post. It also makes it easy for the potential customers to check you out and begin building trust that will ultimately convert them in to partons.
  • ALWAYS respond to comments or when people reach out to you in a timely and professional manner.
  • For positive comments, respond with gratitude. If the comment is negative or rude, respond with kindness…. if it is a complaint, offer a discount upon their next visit. Social Media is a great public place to display your committment to customer service, which is ultimately how you will gain and maintain customers.

Post Daily & Strategically


In order to leverage the power of SM you must post and communicate DAILY. Make it apart of your day and dedicate 30 mins to scheduling your posts.
Different platforms have different uses and ultimately different norms for how often to post. Keep up with the latest trends on the particular platforms and find the right balance to ensure that you are capturing as many eyeballs as possible, while not annoying people.

Avoid spam, your audience isn’t on the platform to be “sold" they are there to learn about what is going on in the world. They are also there to recreate – if your posts get in the way of that, they will unfollow you and you will have lost them as a customer. It would be best to research optimal posting times for each platform and adapt to your target time zones to have the most reach with your audience.

As an example, regarding our baby goods business: for most parents nap-time might be a good time to catch up on what is happening on social media… which would be a good time for this business to post every day. And instead of posting sales or products every day, post parenting tips or heart-felt news stories about parenting or kids. Work to build a community and you will do more than land a sale, you will create human connections and brand loyalty which are more likely to convert monetarily.

  • Finding the right balance between posting too much and not enough can be tricky and it may take some time to “get it right". My advice is to make it a part of your daily schedule, maybe first thing in the morning, devote the first 30 mins of the day to scheduling your posts for the day or managing your posts for the week.
  • Start with 1-2s post per day and each platform. I would do this for several weeks in order to gather some data on your interactions. Every platform has analytics for user engagements that will help you keep track of what kind of posts are interesting to your target audience.
  • Lastly, especially in the beginning don’t focus on whether or not you are making more money from your social media marketing, focus on how many followers you are gaining and how many of them are interacting with your post. Your goal should be interactions so ask questions, comment on their posts…. I know it sounds crazy, but BE SOCIAL… if your business is quality… the interactions will convert to money.

Establish a Brand "Voice" to Attract Customers

Establish your voice and attract the type of customers you want to work with: The more you personalize the voice of your brand in your posts, the more likely it is that you will attract and build a loyal following of the type of customers you are targeting and want to work with.

Social media allows you to share your brand personality and culture in a way that makes it easy for customers to connect with you. Use language, conversation and campaigns that help to build a rapport, you will gain greater loyalty and engagement.

For instance if you are in the busniess of selling skateboards vs. bookkeeping, the lingo, slang and over all approach to your customers in your posts will be vastly different. Use the language of your target audience to establish credibility and trust.

  • This is a subtlety that can be lost on many business owners. By necessity the owner can be heads-down on the business, paying bills, running payroll, bookkeeping, running reports, etc. that they loose touch with their customers, the trends in their marketplace and sadly get left behind. Here are some tips for creating and maintaining a “brand voice"
  • Dedicate at least an hour a month to market research. Are there new technologies in your field? Study competitors, do you need to adapt to a new need or trend? Are there recalls or important information you need to convey? Once you educate yourself on the latest, make plans to adjust or your business to stay competitive.
  • Stay hip – involve yourself in the community you are serving. If you are in baby goods and your own children are now in highschool…. get around new moms, start a moms group that meets at your boutique…. offer your sage wisdom. You will learn so much from the new mothers that will help you stay relevant in that demographic

Create Original and Engaging Content

Again, not every post needs to be a sales pitch or “look what cool thing I’m doing” post. Post community or industry relevant news that your audience will find valuable. Post humorous (but tasteful) posts that increase your likeability. If you are using more graphics-focused platforms (like Instagram), put care into making your content visually appealing. Stay away from controversial subjects (unless that is your business.) Be informative, helpful and offer value at every turn – put yourself in your customers shoes, what kind of content is worth your time? If you aren’t sure, be it never hurts to ask….

Think about running a brief survey to get a better read on your targeted audiences needs. When you are client-focused rather than sales focused, it is very apparent, so make a rule for every one “sales” post…. post 2 community posts.

  • One often over looked avenue to customer engagement is simply asking them questions. People love to give you their opinion, all you have to do is ask!
  • Consider making one of your weekly posts an open-ended question that may or may not be relevant to your business. “What holidays are most important to your family and why?" “How often does your family eat at home in a given week?" “What are your favorite parenting resources?" “Who is going to win the world series?"
  • Remember, focus on engagement, not selling!

Create Engaging Campaigns

Create focused and well planned campaigns rather than posting randomly. Some ideas:

  • Host a challenge or a contest month that makes sense with your brand. Post regularly in regards to this special time for your business. If you are giving something of value away and are creating an opportunity to win, your audience will be more receptive to a slightly higher volume of content.
  • Run a contest that includes your audience tagging friends and also answering a question that is helpful to you in learning about your audience. When they do so, they will be entered to win in a drawing that you will follow through on with choosing a winner(s). This spreads the word as warm referrals to the friends and family that they tag or the friends that see the post. It boosts credibility and trust while attracting new followers. It is also an opportunity to learn more about your target audience.
  • Use seasons and holidays to your advantage to add variety to your posts. Consider doing an annual giveaway to help build routines and anticipation.
  • Offer exclusive content, coupons, or promos only to your followers. It creates some exclusivity and helps retain followers.
  • Campaigns are only as good as the pay off. If you are going to run a giveaway or drawing, make sure that the prize is relevant and worth their engagement and effort.
  • Once you have a “winner" Post about it! Ask the winners permission to post thier name and maybe even tag them on the post with a picture of them recieving their goods. People will see that they are real people, real prizes…. and it could be them!

Use an All-inclusive Scheduler

Auto-Schedulers are powerful tools that allow you to create your content ahead of time and set it up for an auto-post at your targeted times. You can also comment and respond to others through programs like these (Hootsuite is one example of a well rounded tool.) Use a calendar to spread your content out appropriately and if you are concerned with having enough content for all of your platforms, it is okay to post the same type of thing on different platforms. You will likely have a different audience on different social media accounts, so you are less likely to be redundant.

  • Scheduling tools are enormously helpful if you are running several different platforms.
  • Often I encourage people to set aside a few hours weekly to plan the whole week or even month out, this will help you get a game plan for social media engagement and will allow you to space out your time devoted to building a following.
  • Again, ALWAYS respond to comments or interactions – don’t just schedule…. stay active!

Study Competitors and Partner Strategically

Study how your competitors are engaging your target market. Is there a strategy they are using that may also be beneficial to you? Also, follow others who are influential or related to your product or industry. Can you both benefit from a relationship with each other? Do you have an intersection in your target markets that you can use to add value to customers and each other? Again, back to the baby goods example, often caregivers need to be pampered, perhaps you partner with a local day spa with a giveaway? Special holidays like Mother’s or Father’s day might also be a good day to partner.

  • When utilizing campaigns or giveaways, partnering with another local or small business can have great cross-over effect.
  • If you sell babygoods, maybe you can find a local baby clothes company to help promote them to your audience and vise versa? Or a local childrens event that has thousands of partcipants… maybe you can sponsor the advent?
  • Get creative

What Are You Waiting For?!

With these 8 amazing strategies to market your business with social media, you will bring awareness to your brand and build a loyal community all at little to no cost by reaching out directly to your target audience. In this day and age, you can’t afford to NOT use social media as a go-to marketing strategy.

  • Have you tried any of these strategies out? How did it go? Leave a comment below, share your ideas… what worked, what didn’t?
  • Feel free to reach out, and Good luck! I’m rooting for you!

 

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July 30, 2019

Mary Elizabeth Dean is an educator with over 10 years’ experience as a teacher and writer. Her educational background includes doctoral studies, a Master’s in Business (MBA), and two undergraduate degrees in science. 

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