Social media is a vital tool used to connect your small business to the world. When the Pew Research Center began tracking social media usage in 2005, only 5% of Americans participated in one of the platforms. In their latest 2019 poll, 72% of the American population reported using social media at least once a day – making it an essential part of the promotion for a business. In addition to connecting with your existing customers, social media is the best way to expand your reach and grow your consumer base.
While diving into the world of social media to promote your small business can seem intimidating, there are many tools and resources to help small business owners get started. Here are some of the best tips for using social media to grow your small business:
Create a Social Media Strategy
While it might be tempting to just create an account and start posting, the best way is to establish a social media strategy unique to your brand. With a plan in place, you can set clear goals and objectives and measure your progress.
Before creating content, research similar businesses and compare their tactics to your objectives in order to determine what you like and dislike. Without copying anyone else, you can use this information to create your own social media marketing plan.
This plan may include:
- Social media goals and objectives: Using specific measurements to track your progress is a great way to determine the impact on your business. The most effective goals follow the SMART framework, which means they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Determine the goals that will help grow your business, for example, focusing on engagement rates instead of the number of likes.
- Social media audit: If you already have accounts created, before looking at ways to improve your social media presence, it is important to evaluate the current situation, both what has been successful and what needs help.
- Social media calendar: A calendar is a great way to organize all of the content that you want to share with your followers, mapping out the right time and the right platform to post on.
Define Your Target Audience and Expand
When using social media, it is often more effective to concentrate your efforts to reach certain audiences as opposed to creating content for the general public. To do this, start by evaluating your current customers. Then, with analytics you can delve deeper into these demographics, trying to figure out common patterns within this customer base. By micro-targeting your audience, you can create content based directly on their ages and interests.
Once you are able to define your target audience, it is time to expand your consumers by finding similar customers. For example, when trying to expand to a new market, you can mirror the traits of your current customers to find new people who will also connect to your brand.
Decide Which Platforms are Best for You
Depending on the age and habits of your target audience, you might want to focus more or less on certain platforms. For example, the average age of users on Facebook is 25-29, while the average age for Instagram users is 18-24. Gender can also play a factor in social media demographics. For example, women outnumber men on platforms like Instagram, with 43% of women using the app compared to only 31% of men. But for YouTube, 78% of men regularly watch videos compared to only 68% of women.
In addition to demographics, the platforms can serve different purposes based on your goals. According to an article from eMarketer, Facebook is a more effective tool for customer acquisition and to increase your overall scale, while Instagram is more successful for e-commerce and purchases.
The Power of Social Media for Your Business
In the early stages of growing your business, be mindful of what strategies are working and what is not working. No matter the scale of your business, social media tools can help you connect and build relationships with your audience, increase your reach, and build a successful brand.
Are you looking to establish a social media strategy or build upon a current one? At Big Customer Network, we have seen impressive results with research and strategy. Contact us today to learn more.