Social media is a great opportunity for SMBs to grow their business. In the past social media has been used mostly by larger companies and big brands. However, in recent years social media has become more accessible to average business owners because social platforms include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok, and many more. Using social media as a way to introduce your company, talk to customers, and create brand awareness can bring many benefits for SMBs.
Social media should be used as a way to get feedback from customers, understand their needs & find ways to improve the product or service that you offer. Social media is also a great way to be more transparent with your customers.
Ultimately social media can help your business prepare for the future. By making social media part of the marketing strategy, it will bring new and old customers back to your business.
Why social media marketing matters
In today's social media-oriented business world, social media has become a necessary marketing component. A strong social media presence is an element that can make or break SMBs' success just as much as the quality of their products and overall customer service.
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are at a social media marketing advantage. Because SMBs typically operate with lower overheads than their larger counterparts, social media enables the same level of social connectivity that large enterprises enjoy at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising.
Social media helps to promote business visibility and connect more effectively with customers and potential consumers.
Although social media requires time and effort, social networking tools are free to use and SMBs can grow their business through social media without a large marketing budget.
As social media becomes a more popular method of communication for consumers, effective social media marketing strategies enable SMBs to better connect with the people who matter most: customers.
Social media is among the most effective tools SMBs have for communicating with their consumers in a more social, interactive way. SMBs can take advantage of social media to establish a social presence, increase awareness and visibility, and drive traffic to their website or physical location.
Brand empathy drives social sharing and engagement that in turn furthers social presence and social media marketing success.
The key social networks SMBs should use for social media marketing are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram. Each social network has its own unique features that can aid SMBs in different social media marketing strategies.
Social media marketing and its benefits for SMBs
Social media benefits are many. SMBs can use social media to spread their business name and brand recognition, gain feedback, make personal connections with customers, attract new customers, advertise promotions and sales, and show social responsibility.
Social media has the power to increase brand awareness. It allows companies to interact with customers and potential consumers on social platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. SMBs can connect with social influencers who also hold influence over people's free-time activities. SMBs need this type of marketing because large enterprises have an advantage over them in the social media space.
SMBs can use social media to engage with current and potential customers. SMBs can provide customer support on social platforms, and social media can also aid customer service efforts in general. The best way for SMBs to engage with customers is through social listening - staying up-to-date with what people say about your products, business, and brand. SMBs can use social listening as a way to ask customers for feedback on their services or products in order to improve what they offer.
One of social media's best benefits is its ability to engage with social influencers who may hold sway over potential customers' decisions on purchases and entertainment choices. SMBs can make social influencers ambassadors for their brand as they gain social followers. SMBs need to remember that social media is a social platform, so social media marketing must be conversational and authentic. SMBs should not use social media solely for advertising purposes; they should also engage with other users in order to build relationships and connections.
Because social media is a social platform, SMBs should talk to their social media followers and customers on social media. Social media can also be used as an excellent marketing tool for new products or business promotions. SMBs can use social media to advertise deals and sales that may interest social influencers or past customers.
Social listening, engagement with social influencers, and social media can help SMBs generate business results. When social media is used as an effective marketing tool, it can lead to increases in revenue, boosts in brand awareness, customer satisfaction, social engagement, business leads, and sales.
Social media marketing challenges for SMBs
The challenges of social media marketing are often underestimated and social media marketing results can be difficult to measure. SMBs face social media marketing challenges that can be difficult to overcome, particularly the social limitations of social media sites including low engagement and unpredictable behavior. Despite social media marketing challenges, social media is still a valuable tool for SMBs to engage with customers and manage a brand online.
Social media limitations for small businesses
SMBs may find social media marketing challenging because social media sites often have fewer features than SMB social networking tools or offer less dedicated support. Social media has global capabilities, but social media sites are often best used and most popular in specific countries, even within regions such as Europe. SMBs who need to reach a global audience may find social media marketing difficult because social media sites don't always offer social network localization or offer language translation tools. Furthermore social networks that do feature social network localization may not be able to reach the SMB social network's entire audience. For social media marketing to be successful SMBs must use social networks that help them appeal to their target audience and gain enough followers or subscribers to make social media marketing worthwhile, but social limitations of social media sites may prevent SMBs from effectively using social media for business.
Success with social media marketing for SMBs
If social media marketing is used correctly social media sites can be an invaluable tool for SMBs. SMB social media success comes from using social network localization, industry social networks, and social network promotion to help gain followers or subscribers who are interested in the business's target audience. Social network localization enables SMBs to create a social presence that targets a specific social network site or even a social network group. SMBs who target social network groups or social networks with similar audiences may be able to gain social media marketing success, even if they don't gain social media followers from their SMB social media efforts. Social networks targeted by social media localization can offer the benefits of increased traffic and conversions gained from social media promotion. SMBs who use social networks to promote their social media presence and social products or services can gain social media traffic through social network promotion. SMBs can also gain social network followers by participating in social networking groups offered by the social network itself as well as industry-specific social networks that offer targeted discussions, shared content of interest, or opportunities to social network.
Social media marketing is a great opportunity for SMBs to grow their business, but the limitations of social networks can make social media marketing challenging for SMBs. Success with social media marketing for SMBs requires choosing social networks that help the business reach their target audience and gain social network followings, using social network localization, social network promotion, and social networking groups. SMBs who do social media marketing the right way stand to gain social media traffic and conversions that may help them compete with large enterprises.
Social media marketing can be expensive
Cost and budget are always issues for any business and especially for SMBs. A social media campaign usually requires the use of social ads, social marketing services providers, etc. But social media can also be used free of charge to reach potential customers and grow a business' revenue.
Small businesses might not have the money to compete with large enterprises and must think outside the box.
Creating social media campaigns that give customers what they want
Instead of advertising a business or product, social media should be used to engage with customers and listen to them. This can help shape the business's social media presence by creating content that follows their interests and needs better than generic advertisements ever could.
People and time resources
Secondly, social media marketing is a challenge for SMBs because it requires time and resources to create engaging social posts, social ads, etc. that will hold the attention of customers.
Time and resources are fixed costs for an SMB. Limited time and resources mean that social media is not necessarily the best allocation of a business's resources, especially if it is going to take away from other marketing channels such as SEO or paid ads.
In general, social media success requires spending dollars on social media advertising so that social posts can reach a broad audience.
One of the biggest challenges for social media marketing in SMBs is not necessarily to create social ads, but rather to distribute them (ex: paid social media advertising). A business should have social profiles on various platforms but it would cost more time and money to manage multiple social media channels. This would be a challenge for SMBs without social media marketing agencies who can manage social accounts like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
SMBs might have social profiles on social media but they may not necessarily post frequently enough to gain a following. If social posts are too infrequent, followers will unfollow because there is nothing new to share and the business's social media presence will not be active or lively.
Brand awareness and social marketing
Another social media challenge for SMBs is that social media takes a long time to build brand awareness compared to traditional advertising channels. Social posts, social ads, etc. should only periodically include promotional offers because social media aims to build relationships with customers first before trying to make a sale.
Brand awareness and social marketing are two social media challenges because SMBs may have to wait longer than they'd like for social media efforts to turn into business results. Social media takes a long time to build brand awareness compared to traditional advertising channels. SMBs should only periodically include promotional offers in social media posts and social ads because social media aims to build relationships with customers first before trying to make a sale.
Another social media challenge for SMBs is customer engagement. If there's no one engaging with your social media profiles, there's no social visibility. If you don't have social visibility, customers won't know what is happening with your business. You could be running a sale, or giving away free stuff, but without social media engagement, people won't notice it. Another problem with SMBs not engaging on social media is that they look less social and can even look unfriendly.
In order to achieve social engagement, SMBs should post things relevant to their customers, not just about the business itself. They should also be happy and social! If it's someone's birthday on social media, send them a shout-out or offer a discount for their next purchase.
Customer engagement through social promotion
It's challenging for SMBs to compete with large enterprises on social networks because many social networks are populated by people who want the biggest discounts possible. These social media users are also unlikely to engage with social posts from SMBs because they care less about building long-term relationships with businesses and more about constantly seeking the best social deal. SMBs should not take social media marketing too seriously when they see that social networks are not working in their favor as it can lead to frustration and disengagement on social media.
Social media marketing agencies can help SMBs to effectively compete on social networks by doing social promotions for their clients. Social promotion helps SMBs gain social visibility, social engagement, and social sales. Social promotions are low-price social ads that are aimed at growing social following and generating social engagement through contests and other special offers from a business social media account.
Competition among social promotions from SMBs is fierce because social media consumers are constantly seeing social posts and social ads from all businesses who want their attention and are looking to make lasting connections through social. In a social promotion, SMBs can engage with social followers by offering a discount or engaging with customers in contests. This helps build social visibility, social engagement and social sales.
In social promotion, SMBs can keep their social advertising costs affordable by splitting social promotions with other businesses who are looking to grow their social presence. A social promotion is a great way for SMBs to compete on social networks because it builds social awareness, helps SMBs generate social sales and engage with followers.
Social promotion might be a social media marketing challenge for SMBs but it can also help them to grow their social presence and social sales. By using social promotions, SMBs can cut their social advertising costs because they can split social promotions with other businesses. Social promotion is an effective way for SMBs to attract social followers and social sales by engaging social followers with social contests.
Social promotion is a social media marketing tactic that SMBs can use to compete against large enterprises on social networks because it creates social awareness and social engagement with social followers. Social promotion helps SMBs connect with their social following and create social sales by offering customers discounts and engaging them in contests.
Many social media marketing tools that are used to gain social engagement are not accessible to SMBs because they cost a lot of money. It is also difficult to get social media engagement without social media management tools. These business barriers can keep SMBs from being competitive with large enterprises.
Business results with social media
Using social media can help SMBs in many ways. For example: social media helps them to create brand awareness, get customer feedback, build their online community and engage with customers on social networks.
Customers are spending more time on social networks than ever before and this gives SMBs the opportunity to market to their customer base even when they're not in the store.
Social media provides SMBs with the ability to socialize their product and service offering; SMBs can socialize information about upcoming releases, gain social feedback, monitor social conversations about their brand or industry, socialize updates on new features or enhancements of existing features . etc. socializing information socializes a company, making it more approachable to potential customers.
Social media is also an effective way for SMBs to reach out and listen to their customers; they can socialize product reviews, monitor social conversations around common customer problems, socialize customer-generated support materials (how-to guides), socialize questions from prospective customers etc. socializing social interactions socializes a company, making it more approachable to potential customers.
Action steps for social media engagement
In order to use social media effectively, SMBs need to implement a few core strategies.
Set social media goals for the business
All social media engagement should tie back to a business objective.
Do you want social media to help improve customer service? Introduce new products and services? Build your brand recognition? Define what social media goals your business wants to achieve before jumping into social networks.
Write social media content that your business's audience will respond to. Make social media content to be "social" and not just promotional. Put social media content that is engaging, informative, relevant, and timely. This will help you build engagement with your followers as social media users are also looking for helpful resources to share with their social circles.
Use social networks to promote products and services
Now that social media has become such an integral part of virtually every aspect of modern life, small businesses are learning to leverage social networks as a great way not just to promote products or services, but also to create brand awareness and engage with customers. It's no wonder social media marketing has become one of the most effective tools in any SMB's arsenal.
Start by creating an account on social media sites that are appropriate for your business, whether it's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or TikTok. Fill out the profile with information about your company and the products and services you offer to prospective customers. Include links to relevant pages of your website where interested parties can learn more.
Engage with your customers and prospects on social media
Sixty-seven percent of social media users have recently bought something they saw on social media, with 23% using social media to research products and services before buying. Social media is also important in building brand awareness; 79% of US social networkers use social networks for personal reasons related to their interests or hobbies – thus providing a platform for companies to discuss their brands and products with social networkers who are already interested in them.
Harness social media listening to catch industry issues as soon as they take off on social media
Sixty percent of social network users have discussed a brand, product, or service with others online, which is why social media listening is important: By monitoring social networks for mentions of your company and its competitors, you can detect new trends early and respond before competitors do. In addition to using social media to monitor what customers are saying about your products – either positive or negative – social media listening can help companies develop strategies around trending topics that will increase the reach of their messages.
Speaking directly with consumers allows businesses to build stronger relationships than traditional advertising methods like television ads or billboard ads alone ever could. Take advantage by providing an easy way for them to get in touch with you on social media.
Create a social presence and attract new customers
In addition to creating social profiles, companies should develop social posts that are customized for each social network they use and create social ads as well. To make the most of these efforts:
Tailor each social profile and post to fit the different demographics, cultures, languages, and behaviors of each individual social network. For example, Pinterest skews females while YouTube's user base is disproportionally male. One study found that 77% of Twitter users never go beyond the first page of search results whereas 95% go past the first page when using Google.
Measure social media results
Small and medium-sized businesses should consider social media marketing a mandatory part of their business strategy because social media is helping them compete with large enterprises. But they need to closely monitor and analyze the progress, results, and spending of their campaigns.
Monitor social media results with social media management tools. With social media marketing, social media management tools help SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises) analyze the social factor of their business. SMBs can also monitor social mentions and sentiment to measure the impact of social campaigns on the business.
Social media management tools provide social media analytics reports, benchmarking social mentions against competitors, and social monitoring. SMEs should monitor their social networking sites regularly to gain insight into their industry's social conversation — including what people are saying about the company and its competitors. These social media management systems also automate social campaign tasks like posting on social networks, scheduling posts in advance across multiple social networks, managing comments on a social network from one inbox, reporting on user-generated content (UGC), sharing UGC across other social channels, and more!
Why social media marketing works for SMBs
SMBs are using social media because it is free, easy, and highly customizable. SMBs can have social accounts and be active in social discussions without spending money on social ads.
This way, SMBs can stay up-to-date with social trends, monitor social influencers, and engage directly with customers for an affordable price compared to social ads.
Do social media marketing to grow your small business' revenue! It's cheaper than spending money on social ads and can be used in many ways like customer engagement or social monitoring.
Social media is definitely a great opportunity to increase brand awareness and get new customers for your SMB.
Your social media accounts should be treated like any other social outlet- such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Keep your social profiles up-to-date with business news, announcements, and specials!
Social media ROI for SMBs
If you're a social media manager, social business consultant, or social entrepreneur this is probably one of your favorite acronyms. SMBs are now using social media to compete against their industry competitors and even outshine them when it comes to social sharing.
A recent study from B2C International shows that social media marketing strategies can produce positive business results for small businesses as well. The survey showed that 96% of marketers who use social media found a return on investment (ROI) in their social efforts, with Facebook being the most successful social network in terms of ad-driven ROI. Social networking sites have become incredibly popular over the last several years and have provided us with a way to connect to our friends near and far very easily and have even generated a social 'hangout' for the younger generations. The social media industry has developed rapidly, with social networking sites growing as more people learn how to use them on a daily basis.
So what does social media marketing provide small businesses? It provides you with an opportunity to grow your business in ways like never before. Social media now plays a major role in search engine optimization (SEO), providing content that is high on social signals such as shares, likes, favorites etc. SMBs can also benefit from social sharing by promoting special offers or discounts via social networks rich with targeted traffic.
Social SEO refers to optimizing your website content so that it ranks higher in Google's search results when certain keywords are searched for. If done correctly, social media can create social signals such as shares, likes, favorites or +1s that help your website rank higher in social search results.
"Increasing social SEO is an important part of building brand authority and reputation," said Carmen Simon. "If people trust you enough to recommend you or speak positively about your brand online then new customers are likely to be drawn to you."
Social media is a great way to reach people in your target market. If you’ve been hesitant about getting started, we can help! Let us create a social media marketing plan for you that will get the word out and have customers lining up at your door. Contact our team today to learn more about how we can partner with you to grow your business through social media marketing. You may be surprised by just how much of an impact it makes on all aspects of running your company when you start using this powerful tool. Social media is an amazing tool that helps companies grow in a variety of ways. It can help with customer acquisition, traffic to your website, increased sales, and more. With social media, there is a huge opportunity to grow your business, and social media marketing is the key.