• Tor Hampton

Social Media Tips For Small Businesses

Social media is a great way for small businesses to connect with their customers, and potential customers. It's an immediate and affordable way to way to promote your brand and build meaningful relationships: customers remember good social media campaigns. If you can educate your customer, make them laugh, interact with them, inspire them (or, preferably, do all four) via your social media outlets then they will view your brand more favourably.

In brief: If you want to build your brand then social media is no longer optional.

I'm not here to tell you that building a social media presence for your brand is easy, or that anyone can do it (if that were true then I'd be out of a job!) but with clear goals and the right strategies, it is possible to carve out a successful social media presence for your brand. With that in mind, here are my top social media tips for small businesses:

1. What's Your Goal?

The first, and most important, thing you should do when you start any new social media campaign is know what you want to achieve. Just having a social media presence isn't enough: using social media should help you to target at least one of your business objectives. Do you want to increase brand awareness? Drive extra sales? Drive more traffic to your website? Know your objective and make this the focus with every piece of content you share.

Don't give up! It takes the average business between eight months and a year to develop a consistent stream and really get the hang of social media. This isn't a path to overnight success, so don't be discouraged if it takes you a while to get your voice heard.

If you know you want to have a social media presence, but don't know what you want to achieve with it, why not consider working with a social media strategist who can help to put together a comprehensive plan for you?

2. Make Things Personal

Sure, you're a business, but social media is a personal construct, which is why the posts that have the best engagement are generally the ones that have a personal touch. Your social media presence shouldn't just sell your business: it should also sell the people behind your business. Why not use it to share customer reviews, celebrate excellent customer service, or be open with your clients or customers about your business goals and aspirations.

Don't just talk to your customers: listen to them. Your social media presence should be a place where your customers can come to talk about your brand, leave feedback, and make suggestions for areas of improvement. How you listen to your customers is just as important as how you speak to them.

If you can get your social media fan base to believe in you, then it will be much easier to get them to believe in your business.

3. Explore Multiple Channels

When it comes to social media marketing for small businesses, Facebook leads the way. Research shows that Facebook is the most popular social media tool used by small and medium companies, thanks to its ease of use and the easy to understand analytics that Facebook provides as standard. But don't limit yourself to just one option: explore multiple social media channels to broaden the depth and reach of your brand engagement.

Remember that no one can do it all, and it isn't sustainable to try. Choose the brands you are most familiar with to focus your efforts if you are new to social media yourself, or unsure of the direction you want your strategy to take.

Some businesses feel that Facebook is an old-fashioned and outdated social media tool, but 84% of millennials still have Facebook accounts, so it pays to research and understand your audience, and choose the multiple channels that will best reach them. Social media is such an effective marketing tool because you can micro target the audience you by cherry picking the channels that will best suit your audience.

4. Share Compelling Visuals

Whilst the words are incredibly important, it is the visual element of your social media campaigns that will make your audience stop and take the time to read what you have to say. Images drive actions, particularly for fashion brands, where the images should enable to audience to visualise themselves wearing the brand, aspire to own it, and drive the action to click and purchase.

Allow your passion to drive your content. If you're passionate about creating beautiful images, working with quality materials, or any other aspect of what you do then shout it from the rooftops.

When asked, more than half of millennial and Gen Z shoppers said that their last fashion purchase was driven by something they had seen on social media. This is why growing not only their own channel but relationships with influential bloggers and celebrities is so important for fashion brands. Having the right people promoting your brand on social media will instantly make it aspirational and desirable.

Working with third parties in this way can be expensive, so this may form part of a long term strategy rather than an immediate goal. Another experimental aspect that is more affordable to implement on your own terms is video: this is the latest direction for social media, and is fairly simple to explore and introduce. Use your customers as resources to uncover what kind of content, and video content, they'd like to see.

5. Choose Quality Not Quantity

As with all things in life, quality is almost always more important than quantity. If you're worried about having the time to focus on your social media output then that is a poignant and reassuring lesson. You don't need to do it all: you don't need to work on dozens of channels and post everyday. Research your customer base to target the most relevant channels and work out what is manageable for you. If that means that you only have an Instagram and a Facebook account, and you only share content once or twice a week, then as long as the content is appealing and engaging, that can still form the basis of a great social media strategy.

Don't be afraid to repurpose your content to make it feel fresh if you don't have the time to create new content all the time. This can still add as much value to your brand.

Your content should add value. It should motivate people to follow you. It should offer more than just sales pitches or pretty pictures. If you can achieve this, then the frequency of your posts becomes almost irrelevant.

Don't have time to focus on social media right now? Why not hand the project over to a social media specialist that does? From creating your social media tone of voice to crafting your posts, get in touch today to find out how I can help you to market your small business on social media and get results.

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