According to a 2017 global report, people now spend over 2 hours each day browsing, using and engaging on Social Media. This has been on a rising trend. In the same study conducted in 2012, the average time people spend on Social Media each day was at 1 hour and 30 minutes.
The more time people spend on Social Media, the more time for you to capture their attention for your small business. But this is not like magic. You can’t just set-up a business page on Facebook and expect customers to come knocking. Nope, that’s not how it works.
Sure, setting up your accounts and pages on Social Media is free, but because it is open to all, competition for attention is very stiff. You don’t just have to compete with big businesses at this point, but you are also competing with other elements in your customer’s feed – whether that be their friends’ posts, memes, funny cat videos and other viral posts.
If you are a small business owner who wants to maximize Social Media use for marketing and promotions, we have put together 5 ways that can help you master this strategy without any additional costs! Let’s start with…
Both Facebook and Twitter might be considered the major players in Social Media, but there are more platforms that your target market could be utilizing as of the moment. Many people also use Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest to share visual content, but some are on LinkedIn and Google Plus to connect better with the business community.
This means that you should explore more Social Media platforms aside from the major ones. However, this does not mean that you should be all over the place. Pick platforms according to your target market and their consumer behaviors.
If millennials are your market, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are great platforms to start with. If your business dwells on arts and crafts however, Pinterest is also a good choice. And if you are running a business to business (B2B) company, LinkedIn and Google Plus are great platforms to be. The key here is to diversify. Don’t stick to just one or two platforms when you can reach a more targeted group through a different one.
2. Be more visual.
Let’s face it, our attention span online is very short – and the same is true for your customers. People will just scroll their feed endlessly, momentarily stopping to give likes or type in comments for friends and other topics of interest.
Being a small business, most of your market still has to KNOW you. Due to unfamiliarity and lack of trust, people are going to be hesitant to trust and click on your brand (or page). But there is a way to capture their attention and interest – and that’s through appealing visuals.
Images and videos are more appealing compared to long descriptions of your product. People are more likely going to scroll past long texts on the Internet – especially if they are not familiar with your business yet. So catch their eye with compelling images, stories and videos to get them hooked!
3. Avoid talking about your products too much.
When it comes to Social Media marketing, it’s not all about you. Sure, you can post details and descriptions about your products once in awhile, but don’t overdo it. People don’t want to hear all about the specs and technical details of your product (or service), what they want is to actually see how your products can transform their lives.
Take GoPro for example. When they first started out, their main marketing channel is YouTube. Their videos did not exactly talk about how their lenses can capture in 4K quality, what their frame rate is, or how handy it could be, etc. Nope, they did not talk about the technical aspect, they only showed how a GoPro can be used.
Their videos cannot be even considered “ads,” because they are more like lifestyle and travel videos that people are actually willing to watch until the end. And take note, they had to go against already established names such as Canon, Nikon and Samsung. Yet even then, they managed to garner a huge following because of how they presented their product.
4. Engage, engage, engage.
Social Media is a two-way communication channel, so there’s no reason why you should not utilize this to answer queries, concerns, messages and other feedback. Social Media pages that are actively posting and engaging with their audience is also given preference in search algorithms, and it actually lends your business more credibility in the perception of your potential customers.
Openly engaging with your market is a sign of transparency, and if your company is transparent, you are deemed to be more trustworthy. Don’t worry if you can’t tend to customer queries on a 24/7 basis, you actually have the option to use automation.
Automated programs can prepare a templated answer to customers even if you have signed off for the day. Just make sure to get back to them once you login on your usual office/working hours. Automation can only assure customers that their queries are already noted and heard, but to actually solve or answer their problems, you need to get personally involved.
5. Get your customers involved.
Aside from engaging and openly communicating with your customers on Social Media, a better way to get them involved is to actually share/retweet/repost their reviews and feedback. This is done by many companies and entrepreneurs online.
In most cases, business owners take screenshots of good feedback and post it on the page. Some also repost photos and videos of customers who are satisfied with the use of the product/service
Again, let’s go back to GoPro. They have done a great job involving their customers in their own Instagram feed. They don’t even have to come up with new content every week, because their own fanbase contribute great photos almost every day!
GoPro’s strategy is not just a good way of engaging customers, but it is also a great way to build up social proof to attract future customers. Social Media is not just purely for marketing and engagement purposes, but it is also all about building up your brand’s credibility.
With enough social proof, public trust for your brand will increase – making you more attractive to potential customers and even among influencers. And speaking of influencers…
5. Partner up with influencers.
Most businesses try to widen their reach by “boosting” a post. While this is effective, it usually comes with a price tag. Platforms can effectively boost your post to reach a wider audience, but you have to pay a certain price with each click for this.
Well, there is an alternative way to reach more audiences at a lower cost, and that is to partner up with a Social Media influencer! Influencers aren’t exactly celebrities, but they are known in the online community because of their huge fanbase (or a huge number of followers).
Most influencers are known to produce reviews, create how-tos and other content that make them relevant for a certain niche. So if your products are featured on their own Social Media pages, that means your brand gets exposed to hundreds and thousands of their own followers too. Aside from reaching out to a huge base of followers, you can also build a solid social proof – especially if the influencer has good things to say about your product.
Your job here is to find an influencer that operates in a similar niche as yours. If your business is about health and wellness, you can partner up with beauty vloggers/bloggers and fitness coaches. If you are selling travel gear for example, you can reach out to travel vloggers/bloggers that can help endorse your products.
Most influencers will actually require a fee, but depending on who you reach out to, there are influencers who are open to negotiations and may accept freebies or samples (instead of monetary compensation) in exchange for an honest review of the product.
Marketing your small business on Social Media does not come at a huge cost (unless you want to frequently boost some posts), but it requires some of your time and effort. Engaging with customers and posting new content are done freely – but remember, you also have to tend to other matters in your business. These matters can range from product development, logistics, manpower and day to day operations. With all these, it could become increasingly harder for you to check-up notifications and emails on your pages. But you don’t have to worry – because that is exactly why we are here!
The Marketing Angel can take care all of your Social Media marketing needs. Just tell us what your goals are, and we’ll make it work for you! We can take care of customer engagements, content planning/scheduling, postings and Social Media partnerships to help you widen your reach and build social proof and credibility in no time! Drop us a call today on 0435 527 930.