Social media can be an excellent tool to help small businesses market their products and services. It’s inexpensive compared to many traditional marketing options and has the potential to reach large numbers of potential customers. If you’re interested in learning how to effectively use social media to promote your business, this post can provide you with a few tips.
Social Media Is Popular and Powerful
Numbers vary depending on the source, but some studies show that as of April 2022, there are more than 4.5 billion social media users globally. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2021, roughly seven in ten Americans use social media sites. YouTube and Facebook lead the list of the most popular social media platforms among adults. In 2021, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and Reddit were more widely used by those under 30.
If you’re interested in incorporating social media into your marketing mix, follow these tips for success.
- Know Your Audience
As with any type of marketing, it’s essential to understand your audience to enable you to decide which social media platforms are right for your business. Don’t make assumptions about which platforms your audience favors either.
For example, if you’re targeting Gen Z, you may think that you should skip Facebook and focus on Instagram and TikTok instead. However, the data shows that nearly a quarter of Facebook users are 18 to 24. You may think social media isn’t a top priority if you’re trying to reach baby boomers, but that segment is also active on social media sites, like Facebook and Pinterest. Studies show that adults over 65 are Facebook’s fastest growing audience segment.
To determine which platforms are right for your business, visit websites like https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/social-media/ and https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-statistics-for-social-media-managers/. Another simple way to discover which social media sites your customers use is to ask them. Offer a discount coupon as an incentive to have them complete a quick survey. You’ll get answers and encourage them to buy products or services from you.
- Keep the Sales Talk and Tactics to a Minimum
Social media offers an opportunity to establish real connections and relationships with customers and potential customers. Studies show that consumers find it annoying when businesses posts are limited to sales. Rather than using intrusive, pushy sales rhetoric, developing helpful content that people need and want will entice them to buy your products or services without being too pushy. That builds trust, and when people trust you, they’ll buy from you.
- Consistency and Quality Are Key
The success of social media depends on consistently posting new content so customers and potential customers have a reason to return. Over time, this will help you build a strong audience.
To grab people’s attention, your content needs to be high-quality. Review your content before you post it for typos and grammatical errors. Quality should always be prioritized over quantity. While frequently posting is necessary, it’s better to publish once a week with quality content that’s helpful than to post daily just for the sake of it.
- Be Polite, Even If Others Aren’t (the LATTE Rule)
Because social media encourages engagement, people may comment on your business. Always be polite, even if someone makes a mean comment. Negativity will only reflect poorly on your brand and business. In response to a negative comment, reply with something positive rather than getting into an argument.
Use the LATTE rule: Listen to what they have to say, Apologize by explaining that you’re sorry for their bad experience or issue, Thank them for telling you about it so you can make things better in the future, Take action, and Explain the next steps.
This approach will help to diffuse any troublesome situations and keep things polite. Acknowledging your mistakes can even help you turn detractors into supporters.
- Take Advantage of Events and Special Occasions
Because social media is immediate, you have opportunities to respond to current events as they unfold by posting about them. It’s a great way to engage people interested in what’s going on, and it can also increase traffic to your social media posts.
You can also have fun with special thematic days and celebrations that make sense for your business. For example, a bakery could use National Cookie Day (December 4, 2022) as a reason to post a promotion, or a stationery store could celebrate National Pen Pal Day (June 1, 2022) with a post. There are designated days for almost everything, and you can find them at https://www.thereisadayforthat.com/.
Social media is an accessible and affordable tool to help small businesses grow their customer bases and increase sales. You may feel overwhelmed if you’re just starting, but be patient and take it one step at a time. You may not see results immediately, but having a social media presence will pay off if you stick to your plan.
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