The past few years have seen a proliferation of social media users. It has become inevitable and irreplaceable in everyday life as people use it to keep in touch with friends and family, stay updated about current affairs, for entertainment, and to share photos and videos.
According to The Global Statistics, Canadians spent an average of 1 hour 53 minutes on social media. Small businesses should utilize this increased social media engagement to promote their business and target potential customers. It offers a marketing platform where small businesses can build brand awareness and develop customer relationships cost-effectively.
Social media has become an online market where small businesses can promote their products and services and even directly sell to customers. Social media can also help build a community where small businesses can connect with their customers directly and gain feedback on their products and services.
Social media’s opportunities are immense, but strategic planning to use it effectively will help save time and effort invested in it. The objectives you wish to achieve through social media should be marked by following the S.M.A.R.T framework. S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound, giving a systematic and step-by-step approach to social media marketing.
Small businesses should focus more on how they show their presence on social media platforms than on simply having a presence on them. Here are five social media strategies for small businesses to improve their presence, attract more customers, and increase sales.
1) The Audience
While posting content on social media, knowing what audience you are catering to is very important. Their age, gender, values, habits, education, profession, interests, and preferences make a huge difference in the digital world. This will help you create content that will attract the attention of the audience that will follow your content and use your products and services. Social media for small businesses is all about knowing your clients and posting valuable content about what matters to them.
Tracking customers using data analytics is important as it provides a better understanding of your customers’ online behaviour. This helps in both targeting potential customers and retaining the existing ones. Looking at things from the customer’s perspective and thinking like them is very important while creating and sharing content on social media.
The best way to understand your customers’ perspectives, thoughts, and behavior is simply by listening to them. Social media offers an option to create a connection with your audience through feedback, conversation, and creating content that is relatable to them.
2) The Platform
The Global Statistics reports that the most popular social media platform in Canada for the year 2022 is Facebook, with 76.90% of the internet users (28.37 million) having an account. One reason for its popularity might be its variety of options and formats. Facebook allows its users to share images and videos, stream live, and even conduct polls.
This diversity is what attracts users to social media. There is always room for creativity and experimentation in social media, which is constantly evolving and adding new features daily to adapt to user behaviour changes. This means that what was a trend yesterday may no longer be relevant today, but brands tend to repeatedly implement successful strategies.
Small businesses must clearly understand which age group utilizes which social media platform the most. This facilitates streamlining their social media strategy, creating content that appeals to their customer age demographic and selecting social media platforms where they are most present. Customers have accounts on multiple social media platforms as opposed to a single platform. As each platform is designed differently, the marketing strategy should consider connecting with customers on each platform in a unique way.
3) The Connections
After mapping down your customer demographic and where to find them, start engaging in conversation. Listening to customers’ feedback is crucial as it helps improve and develop the brand. Along with the customer conversation, keeping in touch and collaborating with others in your industry is important. Building relationships and mutual growth helps create a healthy competition that benefits both parties.
Customers like it when their feedback is taken into consideration. It is important to ask them questions and make suggestions to get their opinion through Facebook posts asking for comments, LinkedIn polls, and Twitter threads. It helps with customer retention and new customer acquisitions. Small businesses should make this a practice to create a community that feels like a part of the brand, supporting their growth and success by contributing to the improvement of the business.
When such direct communication is available, small businesses should engage their customers with organic content that helps build their trust. As more people learn what the brand stands for, the audience is guaranteed to respond, thereby increasing web traffic and the social media algorithm.
4) The Quality
Small businesses should ensure that the content they share is of quality to draw the audience’s attention, get them to participate, and facilitate the improvement of the business. Rather than simply persuading the audience to purchase in each social media post, quality content results from being honest, building trust, and cultivating relationships with customers through these posts.
It will be appreciated if small businesses shared posts at regular intervals. However, in the haste to increase the frequency and quantity of shared content, quality should not be compromised. When interacting with social media content, there must be an added value for the brand and the customer.
Consideration should be given to which posts are shared on which platforms. Managing an account on all social media is not affordable for a small business enterprise. Your presence should be prioritized on your target audience’s most frequently utilized social media platform. With the age and preferences of the customer base and the product or service you sell, decide whether Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, or LinkedIn is the best platform for sharing high-quality content in a manageable manner.
5) The Trends
Small businesses should also track popular social media while considering platforms to run their marketing strategies. This includes knowing the trending aspects of the platform. For example, people prefer shorter content these days, be it written text, audio, or video. Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram have taken the steps of TikTok to provide users with short videos. Hence, when small businesses choose a promotion on any social media platforms, they should go for smaller content which can inform the customers crisply and clearly.
While considering this suggestion to follow trends, small businesses should know that not all trends are suitable for all products. A judicious decision and a clear understanding of which trend is suitable for their product or service and their audience should be made at all times. But it is necessary to monitor these changes and shifts in order to remain current with market strategies and trends.
Small businesses should educate themselves on paid promotions, collaborations, social media markets, and small and large social media platforms in order to keep themselves updated and improve their advertising and marketing strategies.
A social media presence is inevitable for small businesses in the changing business scenario. Marketing strategies apply a lot on social media to build a brand name and customer relationships, receive customer feedback and suggestions and create a connection and trust in them. Small businesses should ensure consistent customer engagement by providing quality content at regular intervals.
These connections and engagements are the means by which brands and businesses remain relevant in the face of rising market competition, thereby ensuring their long-term success. Small businesses should participate in these changing trends, monitor the shifting customer behaviour, and implement more effective marketing strategies.
Business and marketing strategies are rapidly changing daily. To learn more about these developments and keep your small businesses updated, subscribe to CanadianSME Small Business Magazine https://lnkd.in/dbqmSKN. For the latest updates, visit our Twitter page at @canadian_sme.