When it comes to marketing for small businesses, almost everyone is asking themselves the same question, “How do I get my audience to see my products or services?”
In the 2018 small business landscape, this has never been easier. The eyes of the world are affixed on social media platforms, which creates opportunities to connect with your ideal audience.
In 2017, 81% of the American population was on some form of social media, and worldwide social media consumption topped 1.96 billion people. That’s expected to rise to 2.5 billion in 2018. Plus, statistics show that social media covers a vast array of demographics, including all ages and income levels.
So, no matter what audience you’re targeting, chances are you’ll be able to find them on social media. But effective social media marketing is an artform. It takes a certain amount of expertise to garner attention in what has become an increasingly crowded medium.
Before you dive in, check out the answers to these five commonly asked questions about marketing your small business on social media.
1. Do I Need To Update My Pages All The Time?
The short answer is yes.
Social media is a living, breathing entity. For better or worse, people want to know what you’re doing and when you’re doing it. Consistency is key. If you’re great at churning out content on a weekly basis and then fall off for a month, you’re going to lose momentum.
Regularly engage your audience and give them a strong sense of who you are and what you do. People go on social media to stay in touch with their friends, family, and the brands they love and get new information about topics they find relevant. By posting well-constructed content, you’re providing a service to your audience beyond what you’re selling. In the process, you’re building brand awareness and loyalty.
In fact, a lack of social media presence in today’s world illustrates a lack of effort or importance.
If someone searches for your business on social media, they either:
- Find nothing – showing that your business isn’t “big enough” to have a social presence.
- Find an outdated page that hasn’t been updated – showing that you seemingly don’t care.
- Or they find consistent, well thought out, and relevant posts – showing that you’re a legitimate company with a strong voice. You’re a business that has something to say.
2. Can Social Media Help My SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is one of the most vital pieces of the digital marketing puzzle. SEO determines where your website shows up in a Google search for various keywords that are relevant to the products or services that you offer. While Google has never said there is a direct link to SEO and social media, there is enough correlation to make a strong case for investing in social media in order to drive SEO results.
For one, having active social media accounts that people visit frequently present another opportunity for those pages to rank on Google. In some local markets, a business’ Facebook page will actually come up on the first page in Google’s search results for relevant keywords. This creates an opportunity for people to see more than just your website. And, if you have a strong call to action and relevant information on your ranking social media page, then you create an additional opportunity for people to get in touch with you.
Even more importantly, social media is a way to build links back to your content. When you write an article for your blog and it’s shared by your followers and other businesses or influencers, this creates backlinks and drives traffic to your site, which helps your SEO.
Bottom line, social media is a key part of digital marketing these days and staying active on it can only help your SEO.
3. How Does Social Media Help Me Get Sales?
As I stated before, social media provides you with a direct channel to your audience. It is, in essence, the world’s largest networking event.
You’re able to:
- Mix and mingle with those who are interested in what you have to offer
- Learn about your audience
- Tell them about your business
- Address any concerns or questions directly
- Establish a meaningful ongoing rapport
Customers like to feel valued. They like to feel heard. By providing them with direct access to you and your business, you’re giving them the opportunity to make a genuine emotional connection with your services. You’re inspiring brand loyalty, and brand loyalty leads to sales.
Social media is also a great way for your clients to give you feedback through comments, messages, and reviews. It creates opportunities for you to regularly and actively engage with your customers, proving your commitment to their satisfaction.
Satisfied customers are referral generating machines. They can also share your content and promotions on their own social pages, exposing you to a whole slew of new prospects.
4. Can Social Media Help Me Generate Business Partnerships?
When I said before that social media is like the world’s largest networking event, that goes beyond prospecting for new leads. Social networking affords you the opportunity to reach out to other business owners and forge alliances that could become mutually beneficial.
This can start simply. Sharing one another’s posts can go a long way to provide cross exposure to a whole new set of eyes. Then, if the partnership proves fruitful, you can team up for promotions, giveaways, and incentive-based contests.
Strong business partnerships can be lead generation gold mines. But all partnerships begin with an initial meeting. That can easily occur through a strong social media presence.
5. Can I Do More To Target My Audience Specifically?
Social media platforms are able to gain a very strong understanding about what their users like by tracking the content users interact with. For example, if someone is regularly engaging with content related to healthy eating, yoga, and meditation, it’s likely this person would be interested in health and wellness accounts and pages.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn allow you to use this valuable information when paying for ads. Their advertising platforms can be highly targeted to specific demographics based on people’s location, age, specific interests, and more. Plus, they offer further customization based on your goals. Do you want to drive traffic to your website? Or do you want to gain more followers and increase engagement on your social platforms? The goals, audience, and results of advertising on social are highly customizable and offer a valuable opportunity for your marketing.
Facebook also allows you to target very specific audiences with “custom audience” ads. For example, you can upload a database of your email subscribers and just target ads to your subscribers. If you’re looking to present targeted ads to a very specific audience based on their demographics and interests, Facebook is one of your very best options.
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