Let’s talk socials. The world of social media can be a daunting place for a beginner from a personal perspective, never mind a small business. More than half of the world are active on social media today, with Facebook, YouTube and Whatsapp being the most popular platforms. But it doesn’t have to be scary. Social media can do great things for small businesses, you just need to know what’s right for your brand.
If you’re a little confused and don’t know where to start, or maybe you have your platforms up and running but don’t know how to push forward, this blog will help you get the basics right, set a solid foundation for sustainable growth and make your brand an account to remember.
1. Choose your platforms wisely
A common mistake made by many businesses is wasting time communicating with customers on platforms where your messaging won’t reach them…because they’re not there to hear it.
Do your research. Find out where your customers are and how they communicate best. Do they prefer Facebook to Instagram? Video content or pictures? What is the best way for you to promote your business so that your customer will receive the information and be encouraged to purchase from you?
As a small business, your time is valuable. So don’t waste your efforts where it’s not needed. If you receive most of your engagement through Facebook and Instagram but don’t seem to achieve much on Twitter, don’t waste your time tweeting. Know your customer and put your efforts where it counts.
Contradictory to this, times change, people change and so does the way in which they communicate. Therefore, it is recommended to retrieve an account on all platforms. Social media handles can be hard to keep consistent across all platforms and it’s good to have them, just in case communication patterns change and you may need to start using another platform.
2. Adapt your message accordingly
In this scenario, imagine you are a baker. Your niche is that you create artistic and unique celebration cakes for a variety of occasions. If you’re trying to promote your work and sell birthday cakes on LinkedIn, chances are you would get less engagement on there as opposed to platforms like Instagram, Facebook or TikTok.
Now, this doesn’t mean that because you make birthday cakes that LinkedIn is not for you. Adapting your messaging depending on the platform is important and you cannot use a one size fits all approach, because your audience will differ. Instagram, Facebook and TikTok may allow you to connect directly with customers, promote your work and make sales. Promoting your work on LinkedIn could give you the opportunity to network with potential investors, touch base with suppliers and encourage collaboration among the like-minded in the baking community. Know who you’re talking to and what they want to hear from you.
3. Invest in good content
Content marketing is key. Having good product imagery which represent your brand truthfully is extremely important when connecting with your customer. This is not only an investment for your social media platforms, but for website content and marketing collateral too, should you need it.
You may think, “why should I spend money on brand visuals and products images when I’m a small business with a tight budget?”. Just remember, you don’t get a second first impression and your competitor is waiting in the wings to convince your potential customer that their products are better than yours.
Brands must be recognisable and memorable too. Whenever you see that specific shade of purple, most people instantly associate it with Cadbury’s. The bitten apple will most likely always be associated with Apple and a can of Coca-Cola is hardly unrecognisable. Good imagery and content can make you stand out of the ever-growing crowd on social media platforms.
4. Don’t leave your followers hanging, be consistent
Maintaining a consistent voice through all communication channels is very important to your brand image. For instance, if you were to have an Instagram account and you hadn’t published any posts in six months, chances are your followers are going to move on to the next account without a second thought. A lack of impactful, relevant, and up to date content can give a bad impression to followers. They may question your reliability, professionalism and even wonder whether you’re still trading all together. Keep it consistent, whether it’s posting every day or twice a week, but make sure you show your followers you’re active and ready to interact.
5. Engage with your people
Speaking of interaction, posting good images of your products online and promoting your services is a great start, but the work doesn’t stop there. You must be prepared to engage with your customers to really get the most out of your social media efforts. Whether it may be liking their comments, responding professionally to the negative feedback, or engaging in a conversation with customers about products, it’s all about building meaningful and lasting relationships and giving a good impression to potential customers who are yet to convert.
Engaging with customers online will also give you the opportunity to learn from them. Find out what they like, what they don’t like and what you could be doing better to improve their customer experience. You may be able to unlock free and invaluable feedback from your customers which could help you evolve and drive your brand forward.
The main take away from this blog is to be social regularly on socials, with the right messaging to the right audience and you’ll be on track to building a sustainable social media following. Remember, it doesn’t happen overnight, so be patient!
If you find yourself struggling to get to grips with the basics and feel like you could do with an extra pair of hands with social media marketing, BIC Innovation can help you. We have an experienced and motivated marketing team who are passionate about all things socials and could help you on your way to building an online presence. If you’re interested in our services, get in touch.