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How Can Social Media Marketing Help Small Businesses

2020 Social Media Trends

If you’re looking to market your business online, one of the most powerful options for reaching your ideal customers is through social media marketing. 

The rise of social media over the last decade has transformed the way businesses connect with their potential customers and target audiences. 

And it’s not just the commercial giants who tap into the power of social media channels in order to leverage the potential of connecting with customers online. 

The prevalence and popularity of social media networks have leveled the playing field in many industries, allowing small businesses, independent creators and solopreneurs to reach new and existing customers more easily, cheaply and quickly than ever before. 

In short, marketing your business through social media can be a game-changing strategy. 

But what exactly is social media marketing? Does your business need a social media strategy? And how can you get started with this powerful and effective modern marketing channel? 

Here are some insights to help you discover the incredible potential of social media marketing strategies, and how they can help small businesses in big ways. 

What Is Social Media Marketing?

In its simplest form, marketing on social media is the practice of connecting with potential customers and/or existing customers using any of the modern social media platforms and channels. 

The variety of social networks is vast, and it grows and changes rapidly. 

Yet the heart of social media marketing is simply a modern twist on the age-old business practice of raising awareness and nurturing relationships over time. 

It’s an opportunity for any business owner or their representatives to tap into the most appropriate social channels in order to share news and offers about their products and services, and through their social media presence, deepen their connections with their audience. 

Why Your Small Business Needs A Social Media Strategy

Few people would argue that social media is a giant in the online space. In today’s increasingly connected world, enormous numbers of ordinary people have access to social networks, many use the daily. 

This represents an extraordinary opportunity for businesses to get in front of their audiences.  

Yet the sheer scale and variety of social media marketing opportunities can make it overwhelming for many small companies to know where to begin. 

For example, would your business benefit from trying social media advertising with Facebook Ads which are notoriously powerful yet increasingly expensive? Or would your particular niche be better suited to the more aesthetic appeal of Instagram and its millions of picture-loving users? 

Or perhaps your audience are more likely to be found on Pinterest, sharing the products and services they love and craving ever more inspiration for new ideas and things to buy? 

With so much potential, it can be daunting to begin any kind of effective marketing via your social media platforms without a clear strategy. 

By taking some time to do some research up front, you give your business the best chances of utilising your social media presence to reach the right audience at the right time. 

Planning a smart social media strategy will ensure that you make the best possible use of your resources, sharing the most effective content with the people who are most likely to be interested in your products and services. 

A carefully-designed strategy will also help you to build strong and lasting connections with your current customers, inspiring the kind of loyalty, repeat business, and referrals that maximise even the smallest marketing budgets. 

How To Start Your Social Media Marketing

There’s no better time than right now for any small business to get started with a social media marketing strategy – your customers are undoubtedly already online and spending substantial amounts of time on their favourite social platforms. 

So here are a few social media tips for how to start your first marketing campaigns or get better results from your next one. 

Understand your audience

The best place to start planning any kind of marketing campaign is with a deep understanding of your social media audience. 

Getting clear on precisely who you want to reach and connect with, and which social channels they are most likely to be using, can make your efforts and resources much more effective than simply following the latest trends in online marketing. 

Do few things but do them well

The online space has enormous potential and social media channels are increasing almost daily. This can make it overwhelming to begin, and if you try to do too much too soon, you risk spreading your efforts too thinly to see any great return. 

If you’re just getting started with social media marketing, a great piece of advice is to start with your favourite strategy and put all your effort into doing that really well. 

This is especially appropriate for small business owners who just don’t have the budgets to run campaigns on all the social networks like many of the commercial giants will do. 

So get clear on where you are likely to share your best content and enjoy connecting with people, and stick to that one channel until you pick up some momentum. 

Start conversations

The heart of social media is its capacity for direct communications and one-to-one interactions, and it thrives with informal, accessible and open conversations. 

One of the best metrics for the success of any social media marketing campaign is engagement, and one great way to engage your audience and potential customers is to start conversations with them about the topics or questions they’re interested in. 

What would your ideal audience love to chat with you about? How can you share your expertise in helpful and inspiring ways? What questions can you ask to help your ideal customer feel that you know exactly what they need? 

These are all great starting points for building connections on your social media channels. They can also spark debates and higher levels of engagement that can signal interest in your posts, and this helps you to benefit from the mysterious algorithms that control who sees what on social media. 

Social Analytics & Reporting For Small Business

It can be tempting to get carried away with the fun and creative aspects of social media marketing, but don’t forget to keep an eye on your analytics. There are plenty of social media management tools that can help you track what you’re doing, as well as help guide improvements.

By spotting trends and potential opportunities, you’ll be able to maximise your results and find ways to improve your social media marketing strategy. 

Start Your Social Media Marketing Now

Every business is different so, while these social media tips will help get you started, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for connecting with potential customers. 

So the best way for small business owners to discover what will be most effective is to get started as soon as possible. While a little research can be beneficial, don’t wait until you have all the answers before you begin. 

The world of social media moves fast, and one of the best ways to tap into its potential is to be actively posting, sharing and connecting on a regular basis. 

You’ll likely make mistakes and take some wrong turns, but trial-and-error will lead to clarity and the best ways for your particular business to tap into the mighty potential of this engaging and powerful modern marketing platform.

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