Business Case Studies

Marketing Small Businesses Through Social Marketing

Whether you’re the Intertops Casino Red or another small business owner, it can feel overwhelming for a small business to start marketing with social media. The technology, lingo, best practices and strategies of social media marketing are unique.

You don’t need to collect a million followers or create viral content to market effectively through social media sites. Follow a few basic rules and you’ll be on your way to establishing a good social media presence that you can integrate successfully into your overall marketing plan.

Social Media for Business

Social media is one of the best strategies for businesses to connect with potential customers. By creating a presence on the main social media platforms you’ll have a better opportunity to  engage with exactly the people that you want to reach.

There are plenty of people who are interested in what you’re selling.  The trick, when using social media to connect with an audience, is to reel them in slowly so that they have time to get to know you and feel comfortable with you and your product.

It may seem scary or expensive (or both) to move forward using social media but it doesn’t have to be either. There are multiple social media marketing tips that will help you build awareness, reach new markets and drive sales without stress or budget-breaking investments.

Give it a try.

Plan

Plan out your strategy. You’ll waste time and money by throwing funds at a social media campaign without a proper overall strategy. It might be tempting to dive in and start posting but you’ll lose any momentum that you might have had when you proceed in a non-goal-oriented manner.

If you don’t have a plan, you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve so there’s no way to measure success. You won’t know which posts are successful and which are not, which posts bring you engagement and which not and which posts are the best at ensuring that your efforts support specific business goals.

Your goals should be SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. “Likes” don’t do much.  You want to get “shares” and “comments” to get your message out to the wider world. To achieve this

  • Look at what the competition is doing
  • Review other businesses and see which posts are gaining attention

Platforms

Decide on your preferred platform. That will depend, largely, on your audience. Young social media users are on SnapChat and Instagram and users of all ages are on Facebook. You can also use different channels to reach different audiences.

Some basic statistics:

  • Instagram: Instagram has more than 1 billion users worldwide including 71% of Americans aged 18 – 24.
  • Facebook: Facebook is the biggest social media platform in the world. It has more than 1.4 billion daily users and 2.13 billion monthly users. A majority of Americans of all ages user Facebook with 24 – 34 year olds the largest cohort of Facebook users
  • Twitter: Twitter has 330 million users, nearly one in four Americans. In America, 45% of 18 – 24 year olds user twitter.  Twitter is a powerful tool, especially in sharing political information.

Audience

If you don’t know who your audience is, you won’t be able to target them effectively on social media.  It’s true that your organic posts are seen  by everyone but when you put up a “sponsored” post (an ad) you can micro-target it so that it’s seen by the people that you want to see it.

Compile data from your own research and then use social media analytics to discover who is engaging with your posts.  You need to develop a picture of who’s paying attention to you so you can find strategies to reach more people in those same demographics.

Once you have your audience, think about ways to expand.  Do you offer yoga classes? You may want to go after an audience of health and fitness enthusiasts. Are you selling kitchen appliances? Along with cooking and baking aficionados, you might want to explore mother’s groups. Selling travel-related equipment? Consider targeting groups who are exploring their ethnicity.

Relationships

Social media is all about building relationships. Social media allows you to talk directly to customers and followers so you can build relationships over time. Asking for a sale upfront is not going to go over well with the majority of buyers these days…..they want to feel as though they know the business before they pull out their purse.

You want to develop an audience through organic posts…..stories, photos, videos, vignettes  informative posts, etc. You should make sure that every comment on a post gets a response from you.  Slowly, the people seeing your Page and posts will feel a connection to you and you can move on to the sale.

Images and Video Content

According to Twitter, people are three times more likely to engage with a Tweet that includes a visual element…..photo, video, GIF or infographic. Images drive real world action.  If you post a picture of a stunning sunset, you are more likely to find interest from someone looking for a vacation rental than a simple post saying “the sunset was amazing tonight.”

If you content looks good, people are much more likely to scroll down to see what you have to say.

Frequency

It’s not always easy to find something new and fresh to post but you should make the effort, at least several times a week.  You want your audience to keep you in mind, not only for themselves but also for referrals.

Marketing successfully with social media doesn’t come naturally but if you take the time to write out a social media marketing plan, and then stick to it, you will see results.