Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses(SMBs)

Updated: Jan 12

If you own a small business, the word social media marketing may sound challenging and intimidating, but it is worth the time and practicality required in 2020. But where do you start if you are completely new to this form of marketing? Sure, you can start by sharing the link to your website, but you’re going to need to do more to keep your audience interested in your product/service. Don’t worry, we’re going to run you through some of the basics to get you to your destination.

What is Social media marketing?

Social Media Marketing is a process of using social media platforms in order to promote your brand or product, build your audience, generate leads and increase sales and website traffic.

While it’s easy to assume that Social media marketing consists of only creating content for the platforms to reach your audience, it’s much more than that. Successful Social media marketing campaigns and strategies involve active and consistently engaging with the target audience. We’ll show you exactly how it’s done.

Here are 10 great tips for social media marketing for small businesses!

  1. Identify your goals

  2. Get inspired by your industry

  3. Analyze your competition

  4. Create “business” social media accounts/pages

  5. Find and know your audience

  6. Create captivating content

  7. Create a social calendar to stay ahead

  8. Post regularly

  9. Engage and respond to your followers

  10. Monitor your performance

1. Identify your goals

Before you dive into social media marketing it’s important to do your research to determine what you are actually looking to achieve using social media. If your goal is to make your brand presence on social media known, great. If you are keen on getting more website traffic, fine. Define your goals and the strategy will make the further process easy and organized.

Once you’re ready with your primary goals for your social media marketing strategy, there’ll certainly be steps that you’ll have to take irrespective of your goal, having a plan will help you stay organized with your ultimate goals and help you to know the correct steps in achieving it.

2.Get inspired by your industry

To get an idea of how your industries are on social networks, it’s important to cast a wide net when doing market research. For example, do hashtag research on Instagram and twitter with industry-specific keywords to see what you can add or come up with. This allows you to take a look at a variety of posts that are being posted/published and identify the big players and potential influencers, both of which can be very helpful.

For Facebook, try joining a group discussing in your industry and view the discussion and posts in those groups. This will give you an idea of what kind of content is shared among your audience. If you can identify a trend or an industry topic that is important to your target audience, your social posts can cater to it to more attention and engagement.

If you notice a subject about your industry that isn’t being discussed often, consider it a goldmine and an opportunity to establish yourself as the expert and start that conversation yourself. Get the attention by using industry-specific hashtags so your audience and influencers will take notice, and hopefully, join in the conversation. Sometimes in content marketing getting inspired by your industry if finding discussions about what’s not being spoken about.

3. Analyze your competition

If you’re new to social media marketing for your business, your competition will be one of the most valuable resources that are more established in the space than yourself. Use them as a catalyst for the brainstorm strategies you’d like to take on your own brand, see what type of posts they are using on different networks and also make a note on the number of posts posted/published by them per day.

This type of research is not an excuse to rip off your competition and clone their entire social media marketing strategy –it’s to get an overview of how others within your industry are making social media platforms work for them.

4. Create “business” social media accounts/pages

If you haven’t done so, you should create or convert your existing social media accounts into business accounts. Doing so will open more features for businesses.

Some nice additions to have business social media accounts is that many offer built-in analytics for your social posts as well as the ability to use paid promotions for the posts. This is an excellent opportunity to help build your brand awareness.

Some popular platforms offering business/brand social media accounts:

  1. Facebook for business

  2. Twitter for business

  3. Linkedin for business

  4. Instagram for business

  5. Tiktok for business

5. Find and know your audience

By doing your own research, you’ll likely have found your audience and how they interact with social networks. You may also find that your specific target audience seems to be more active on LinkedIn, but also present on Instagram and Facebook. Whatever your findings show, be sure your strategies in social media backs it up. If your audience is more active on LinkedIn, you can put more effort into it versus a social network they’re not as active on. It’s also important to have some sort of presence on all major social networks.

If you need more data to find your audience. There are several studies that can help you get a better idea of where your audience spends their time from their demographics.

6. Create captivating content

This is the time where you put your industry knowledge together with the research you have conducted to create the content. Whether it’s an engaging meme that only your audience can enjoy or simply a link to your latest blog article sharing new developments in your business sector, your posts need to be both relevant and interesting to them,

You don’t have to do all the work! If there’s any latest industry-related news, don’t hesitate to share it through your social channels, even if you’re not the direct source for the news. This will tell your audience that you’re a reliable source of information on these topics.

Creating great content is a reliable way to get the attention of your audience, but it’s not an easy task. Take your time crafting your posts and don’t forget that you can share your posts across social networks!

There’s a lot more you need to know when it comes to creating content. From the exact image sizes for each social media network to free online social media tools are available to you, there’s a lot to learn.

There’s another way to ensure that you’re keeping your content fresh and relevant is keeping up with social media best practices. We at granddAD communications work continuously on the content that is more relevant which will make our client social media marketing more engaging with the audience they target.

7. Create a social calendar to stay ahead

One doesn’t become a social media marketing genius overnight, or even in a few months. It’s going to take time for you to see what will work and what doesn’t and since you’ll be posting a lot of content, you want to be organized about it. This is where a social media calendar will come in handy.

A social media calendar will allow you to see what posts are published on what network/media at what time. It’s best to try to schedule the content out at least a month at a time, but this isn’t going to be reasonable in every instance. Just keep in mind, it’s better to have more content than you need than not enough.

For some, a simple Excel sheet will keep track of your social media posts going out. If you’re looking for a something more, there are some great tools available to help you scheduling and more:

  1. Hootsuite

  2. Buffer

  3. Later

8. Post regularly

Now you’re getting the hang of things doesn’t mean you should be publishing/posting 15 Facebook posts a day. In fact, overposting will make people unfollow you, as you’ll look spammy. Instead, concentrate on quality over quantity with your posts.

So, how much you should be posting on social networks:

9. Engage and respond to your followers

Now after creating, scheduling and publishing the content you may think you’re done, well you have to think again on that. You also want to make sure you’re engaging with your audience in any way you can. Engaging with your audience is helpful for a number of ways.

  1. It’ll establish trust between your brand and your audience

  2. It invites additional engagement from others

  3. It shows that your brand is active and responds to social media.

  4. It will be a fantastic source of data, feature requests, and additional feedback – all for free!

Social media is also a great place to provide customer support and maintain your Online Reputation Management (ORM). Whether they’re reaching out to you directly or not, they’re talking about you, and it is not always for the best. You can use this social listening to reach your customers, rectify issues and surprise them with social media-coupons, and more!

10. Monitor your performance

Social media marketing is something where you can’t be an expert overnight. It can be a trial and error process, but by monitoring the success of your posts across social media, you’ll get to know what type of content works best for your brand and what doesn’t. Luckily it’s easy to look at the performance of your posts with the built-in analytics that many social networks provide for business accounts.

By viewing the analytics of your social media posts, you’ll understand which content resonates with your audience and make your social media marketing organized and also an easy task. Using the stats from the previous posts, you can begin to reshape your social media strategy with more content that has, by the numbers, proved to be more successful for you. It’s adaptability like this that will help you continuously evolve with your social media marketing efforts.

By Srinath Reddy Polu

Founder & CEO at granddAD communications