Social media is revolutionizing our world, not only in the way we connect with others but also how businesses market. With 74% of internet users using social media, small businesses can’t ignore that a large part of their audience are active on social networking sites. This audience is filled with current customers, potential customers, and even potential brand ambassadors.
So how can your small business utilize social media to build relationships and ultimately generate sales?
You can’t just start by posting on Facebook or sending out a tweet. You need to approach your social media marketing with purpose.
Identify Your Goals
Why does your company want to be on social media?
Think about your business and what makes sense for your customers. If you run an e-commerce site, then maybe your goal is to drive people to the website to purchase goods. If you are a B2B company, maybe your goal is to build brand awareness or thought leadership in your industry.
Here are some ideas when determining your goals:
- Build thought leadership
- Establish brand awareness
- Drive sales
- Create relationships with customers
- Increase website traffic
Once you have your goals identified, write them down. You will want to refer to them as you further develop your social strategy.
Research Your Intended Audience
Each social media platform has a different audience that they cater to. While many individuals and businesses may be on multiple platforms, you need to find where your audience is and engage with them there.
This chart is just a snapshot of the social media platforms available to your business. Continue to do research on what platform(s) is best for your small business.
Gain an Audience
Once you have identified the right social media channels for your business, it’s time to build your social audience. You want to find the right people to engage with your content so that ultimately you can fulfill your goals.
- Invite your customers using email or even giveaways in your brick and mortar store. When we first created our Facebook page, we had giveaways in exchange for likes at a trade show. Get creative.
- Run Facebook advertisements to get your pre-determined audience to “like” your Facebook page. A little money can go a long way when it comes to Facebook advertising.
- Use relevant hashtags on Instagram and Twitter to create buzz about your page and content.
- Use tools like Klout and Follerwonk to determine industry leaders. Follow these users and engage with them on their social platforms. You can also see who follows them, and they might be someone of interest to you too.
- As you begin to engage with others on social media, you will begin to grow your following. Now that you have followers, you can begin to reach your social media goals.
The next post in this series will highlight how to create killer content to fill your social media pages.