According to the 2015 State of Small Businesses Report small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners are planning to spend less than 3% of their revenue on marketing activities. 61% of businesses see social media as the top marketing tool. In addition, SMBs are spending less and less on traditional advertising switching to online marketing to promote their products and services. However, with Coca-Cola, Starbucks and other companies topping the list of big brands on social media; it might be intimidating for smaller companies to join the social media club. But no worries, we listed 6 secrets small businesses can use to win on social media.
1. Do Your Homework
Before deciding which social media channel to be active on, create a clear plan while keeping your target audience in mind. Before connecting to that audience, you need to know where your audience is and how you can engage and connect with them.
This guideline will help you find the right platforms and the amount of active users worldwide as of August 2015.
2. Customize Your Profile
Make sure your brand pages are consistent on all social media channels. The following tips will help you customize your profiles to make them as effective as possible.
- Try to have consistent usernames throughout all your social media platforms
- Use clean, engaging and relevant pictures on cover photos
- Find a way to use your voice in the description but keep it short and relevant.
- Add your business address, phone numbers and a website URL, so customers can find you.
3. Leverage Facebook Local Awareness Ads
With Facebook now supporting local businesses through their Local Awareness Ads it’s no better time to hop on the social media bandwagon. Local Awareness Ads make it easy for small local businesses to target customers who are located near their selected area whether they are within walking distance or a just few kilometres away. Through the Local Awareness Ads you can reach your audience who are near your business location.
Through the Local Awareness Ads you can add a strong Call-to-action such as “Get Directions”, “Call Now”, “Send Message” or “Learn More”. Another way to reach your target audience is by creating ads for special events and promotions. Facebook created its Local Awareness Ads for small businesses to reach new local customers and increase their local brand awareness.
4. Focus on Customer Service
One of the biggest advantages small businesses have over larger counterparts is the relationships and trust they can build with their audience using social media. When customers ask questions about your business or tweet complaints, businesses should try to respond within 12 hours or less to prevent negative posts floating around on social media. Twitter is a great social media platform to provide customer service. For example, Dutch Airline KLM uses social media to connect with customers and provide 24-7 customer support. Their Twitter cover photo displays a live wait line for a Twitter reply, which is updated every 5 minutes.
5. Use #Hashtags
In the last few years hashtags (#) have become a part of social media marketing. Introduced in 2007 to organize conversations on Twitter, hashtags are now widely used by online users on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and other social media platforms. It is essential to know the importance of the # sign.
Hashtags can be used in multiple ways. One way you can use hashtags is to join a trending topic. Make sure you research the topic of the trending hashtag before using it in your posts. You can also create your own Hashtag and create a buzz around it. The following are the top 6 ways brands are using hashtags:
- Trending hashtags
- Twitter chats
- Industry hashtags and event hashtags
6. Add an E-Commerce Tab on Facebook
There’s nothing more effective than to allow your customers to shop your products without having to leave Facebook. Business Pages can integrate an e-commerce storefront by installing an app and sell products directly on Facebook. For example, a new Facebook feature announced recently will allow Shopify users, an e-commerce platform, to sell their products through Facebook Pages. You can also sell products through your e-commerce website and promote your products on the Facebook Page using Promoted Posts or Multi-Product/Carousel Ads. Create a smooth and easy shopping experience for customers and drive sales online!
Over the years social media platforms have provided SMBs with tools and features to make it easier to reach their target audiences and engage with customers. With these six secrets your business can effectively integrate social media campaigns and build relationships with loyal costumers.
iRISEmedia.com is a Toronto digital media agency and SEO company, specializing in Social Media and online marketing. Our team helps clients increase their reach and profitability by developing and implementing customized and targeted online and social media marketing strategies. We service clients in Toronto, Ontario, the GTA and throughout Canada as well as globally.