It’s no longer a secret that small businesses need an active online presence to be successful. 74% of all purchasing choices by consumers are directly influenced by social networks. And it’s predicted that 3.1 billion people will be using social networks in 2021. This data, compiled by ODM Group, makes it clear that now is the time to implement a streamlined social strategy. For a small business, return on investment (ROI) is important. With the right marketing mix, you can build trust in your brand while driving new consumers to purchase your goods and services. Here are three social media marketing strategies that any small business can apply.
1. Hire someone to handle your social media.
Before discussing specific strategies, it’s important to emphasize that you need someone dedicated to working on your company’s social network accounts. 78% of businesses have dedicated social media teams. That’s because content creation and planning, community management, and running social marketing campaigns is a full-time job. You need high-quality content that is consistently shared and pushed to the right audience. Investing in a team that really knows what they’re doing online is something you must do to improve your social strategy.
2. Partner with micro-influencers.
Although the total number of people online is vast and most social networks are set up with a global reach, many users care more about what’s happening locally when they log into a social platform. This means that while you could follow people anywhere in the world, consumer behavior tends to take recommendations from local influencers. 49% of online users rely on influencer recommendations.
Instead of paying for influencer campaigns with larger companies, focus on conducting targeted campaigns with local influencers. They can be from where your business is based or where you have seen the largest amount of sales for your product.
Engage with influencers on the platform where you have the strongest social presence and start building an organic relationship with them. You can begin by just commenting on and liking their posts. After the relationship has had time to grow, send direct messages and invite them into your physical business or offer them a discount on your product. You can also send some of your products and ask (if they love them) if they would consider sharing their experience with their followers. You will find that some micro-influencers will share for free and that if they do require payment, you’ll reach a much better deal because you took the time to build a relationship.
3. Do paid social marketing the right way.
A lot of the bigger social networks have specific websites for creating business ads. The Zenith media agency predicts that 13% of all ad spend in 2019 will come from social media ads. This is the first time that social media ad revenue will surpass that of print ads.
These are exciting times for social media platforms, but as a small business owner, you need to make sure you’re creating targeted ads for your ideal consumer base. It’s easy to set up ads and use a quick creation template. But for paid marketing to be effective, you need to create a unique audience that is willing to listen to you.
Facebook Business Manager allows you to set up campaigns targeting people who have engaged with your Instagram account over a certain period of time. Your first ad should focus on awareness. This will build a custom audience of people who’ve connected with you, which you can then try to convert to customers. It’s very important that you build an audience and that you don’t sell to them right away.
Snapchat is another great platform for paid social marketing, and consumers under 25 spend more time on this platform than on any other social network. Snapchat has also successfully integrated shop and search features into the app, helping to drive e-commerce.
Pinterest gives small businesses the opportunity to create an online catalog. You can even create specific pins showcasing your product or service that link to an external website. Because Pinterest ads are relatively new, the platform offers lower CPMs and CPCs. And if your target demographic is female, this is an advertising space you need to be using. 80% of U.S. mothers and 42% of U.S. women use Pinterest.
We live in an attention economy, and it’s important to make sure your small business is represented in the best possible light. By executing smart social strategies, you can drive sales and build long-lasting relationships.