For any startup or small business, the most important mission is to find and acquire new customers. Unless a new business with limited budget and resources has a powerful team to develop a great marketing strategy and create the right content, it will be constantly struggling with challenges to remain visible to the potential customers. A business owner might be tempted to work on different marketing strategies and plans each day in an attempt to find the one that best suits his business and brings good results.
Social media marketing can be one of the best options for small businesses. With more and more active users joining social media sites, there is more opportunity for businesses to create brand awareness, engage with the current and potential customers, and serve them better. As we spoke about SEO in our recent blog, though SEO will bring targeted traffic to your website, social media can have the influence on buying decision of the customers.
According to a recent study from Forbes, 81% of respondents said that recommendations and posts impact their buying decisions, and 78% said that social media posts directly from a company influence their buying decisions.
Let’s look at some interesting statistics that show how social media marketing is impacting businesses.
As Social Media Examiner shares, 92 percent of social media marketers said that social media was important to their businesses
Social Media Examiner’s report shares that 84 percent of marketers have integrated their social media strategy with their traditional marketing strategies
90 percent of businesses said that social media has increased the exposure of their business
Over 50 percent of marketers say that social media has directly increased sales
Forbes reports that three out of four consumers say that social media impacts their buying decisions
Here are some of the top ways to use social media to market your small business:
1. Advertising on Social Media
One important benefit of advertising on social media channels is more targeting options. Social networks carry a huge amount of user information like their behaviours, interests, age-groups, demographic or geographic information; which a business can utilize to reach specific audiences by creating relevant advertisements. You can create social media campaigns using the platforms where your target customer is more present and most engaged. There are tools you can use to track the performance of your social media advertising campaigns, how successful were your campaigns and what next strategy would you want to implement.
2. For Branding
For a start-up, branding becomes even more crucial and is not limited to luring customers only but also to become visible to other investors and partners in this ever-increasing competitive market. Begin by choosing the right social media platforms and creating the content that visitors will find interesting, they would want to follow and can give you the opportunity for better customer engagement. A simple activity such as running a quiz or contest with giveaways is a great way to connect with your audience and gain more following.
No other marketing method will give you the opportunity to know your customers at a personal level. At the same time, interactive posts with your brand logo will help you create an identity of your business among the audience.
3. For Building Community
Why startups should care about building community. According to David Spinks, CEO, and co-founder of Feast, community building can wield power even at the earliest stages of growth for startups and he shares examples of many startups who have invested a great deal of time and resources into building community. It is important to understand why a startup with so many things to figure out should focus on building community on social media. As David Spinks says; the simplest and most valuable thing you’ll get from a community is highly engaged customers or users.
Social media community is more than receiving a huge number of likes and comments on your posts. A true social media community is the one where followers interact with each other. They will react to other follower’s response, share their thoughts, ask questions, and seek advice and so on. They feel important and included as part of one group. They develop strong emotions for a brand and build relationships with other members.
4. Track Your Results
As you start gaining experience in social media, you can use tools and software that provides data about your social media platforms. Social Media Analytics can really help to track and measure results of your social media strategies leading to more information-driven business decisions and increased customer centrality for brands and businesses. You’re analyzing your own efforts on social media, but what about your competitors? Remember another challenge for startups is competitors and it is vital for them like for an established business to compare their social media presence with other similar companies. They can learn a lot by analyzing social media profiles of their competitors, what kind of content they are posting, the mistakes they are making, and their social media practices. This information can be used to create a competitive advantage over them.
Having a social media profile does not mean you need to be on every platform and connect with everyone. Choose a platform that is relevant to your business, connect and interact with the right audience, find creative ways to engage with them, monitor your strategies, don’t be afraid to experiment and implement what works best for you!!
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