Social marketing guide for small businesses
Whether your small business has been around for years or just started, finding the most effective social marketing strategies is crucial. This is because small businesses don’t have the same resources as larger businesses. In fact, you may be the founder and CEO who has also taken on the role of marketer.
That’s why Sprout Social in partnership with HubSpot, Animoto and Campaign Monitor has put together the following guide to social marketing for small businesses.
Sprout Social works with thousands of small businesses to help them improve their social marketing strategy while saving time online. In the course of working with so many organizations, she has managed to lead their social strategy.
The value of social media for small businesses
Social is essential for driving your inbound marketing strategy, sharing your videos and increasing leads to email.
But social media is also important on its own.
Social media is valuable to businesses of any size or industry and finding customers on social media has a direct impact on sales and profits.
In fact, those people who follow you on your social channels are 57.5% more likely to buy from you.
But it doesn’t stop there. If you can actually produce a positive social media experience, the number increases up to 71%.
These numbers show that your brand should capitalize on the power of social media for small business marketing.
We’ve broken down the next sections based on where you might find yourself in your social strategy, including information for those just starting out and more advanced tips for those with an established presence.
Getting started with social marketing for small businesses
1. Define your social goals
If you don’t know what you want to accomplish on social media, you’ll never know when you will or won’t. Without this, you will probably struggle to maintain an agile strategy.
Goals can vary a lot from one sector to another. While a retail company may be looking for direct purchases from social media, someone in higher education may be looking at new enrollment rates.
Here are some examples of the main goals encountered in small businesses:
- Raising Brand Awareness: How familiar are social users with your brand
- Increase community engagement: authentic conversations you have with your followers
- Increase web traffic : the number of visitors to the website driven by social channels
- Generate sales / leads: individuals who purchase your goods or services, or those who fill out a web form, from social channels
- Distribute content: share your content on your social channels.
- Increase customer brand advocacy: get customers happy to share their experiences on socials
- Support customers: use social media to respond to customer inquiries and create better customer experiences
- Influencer Marketing Program Growth : Increase the number of influencers discussing your brand on social media. For tips on finding the right influencers for your business read: How to find the right social influencers for your business
2. Define your main metrics
Think of your social goals as a destination and your key metrics as the map that helps you reach them. Here is a list of some key social media marketing metrics to consider:
- Impressions: the number of times a person has seen your message
- Engages The number of times a person has interacted with your message, including:
- Engagement rates: the number of engagements divided by the number of impressions
- Site Visits: The number of times someone has visited your profile page
- Mentions : The number of times your handle or brand was mentioned on social media.
- Followers: the number of people following you on social, usually shown as an increase or decrease over time
- New sales / ROI : new revenue generated by social visitors, traceable with UTM tags and website analytics
3. Choose your audience and your social networks
Social media offers one of the best ways to reach a targeted audience, but first you need to identify it. Consider things like:
Remember the more you get a specific identikit, the better. This will allow you to build a strong social media marketing strategy around these individuals and take a focused approach to reaching the right people at the right time.
Once you know who you want to reach, you’ll need to figure out where they are. HubSpot noted that not all inbound channels work for small business marketing. The same goes for specific social media networks, not all of them make sense for your business. Social networks have various user bases. Don’t invest in one network if your primary audience is on another.
Before choosing a platform, ask yourself things like:
- Which platform best suits your B2B or B2C interactions?
- How often do you post content?
- What is the lifespan of your content?
- Are you using social media for customer service?
- Are you interacting with user-generated content?
- Can you automate parts of your social media?
The answers to these questions will help you identify the most suitable social networks for your business.
4. Find out what to share
To understand what content to post, look at what has worked best in the past. If you’ve already posted on social media, tools like Sprout Social, Twitter, or Facebook Insights can help you understand what’s most resonant. with your audience.
Sort your posts by key metric and you’ll see the top posts for that metric.
5. Create your publication calendar
Once you know what kind of content works, you can create social media posts to automatically post at your preferred times and days. In addition, you can use a social media publication tool such as Sprout Social to view the entire publication calendar, across all social networks and profiles. You can automatically export your calendar as a PDF to share with other key stakeholders across your organization.
6. Reply to incoming messages
Unless you’re selling the world’s most niche product, your customers will likely post about it on social media. Whether they tag directly or use certain keywords and phrases related to your company, it’s your job to respond to their messages to create a better user experience.
Monitor your social channels for conversations or posts that guarantee a response. You can use a social media engagement tool to attract conversations that directly mention you or mention something relevant to your organization.
7. Analyze your results
Once you have established the metrics that matter most to your brand and spend some time dedicated to engaging social postings, you can start monitoring the impact of your efforts.
How often you analyze your social media results will likely depend on your time and how much you use social media. Remember that it is important to monitor metrics to optimize your strategy. You can use a social media analytics tool to automatically run high-level or in-depth reports if your time is limited.
Read also: The most used social networks in Italy and Europe, how they work
Advanced tips for small social enterprises
1. Search social for new opportunities
We’ve established that small business operators must respond to social media posts that label or mention them. For a more advanced tactic, we suggest that you monitor social media for conversations on topics related to your business and then join them.
Here’s an example of how this can work. Let’s say you own a pizza restaurant in Milan that prides itself on its gluten-free offer. Using a social media listening tool, you can track all those who mention “gluten-free pizza” in the Milan area.
These conversations will feed into your inbox in real time so that you can reach out to anyone looking for a recommendation and suggest your restaurant.
2. Run competitive analysis
Keep an eye on your competition’s social media strategy. This will help you understand the industry and how to measure yourself, as well as develop unique ideas to stand out from the crowd.
3. Leverage relevant hashtags
Hashtags help you put your content in front of new audiences on social media. Make sure the hashtags you use make sense for your brand and you won’t force it.
4. Create great images and videos
Here’s what Animoto says about the importance of video:
“Video has become increasingly important on social media, where generates 1200% more share than images and text combined. Video can be incorporated into your social marketing throughout the customer journey to maximize the success of your campaigns. “
5. Socialize your teammates
Social media offers so many opportunities for businesses that it can seem a little overwhelming at times. As a small marketing company, you may be short on resources, but if there is someone in your organization who can help you keep up, invite them to join you.
If your concern is to redouble your efforts or reduce the security of your accounts, never fear. Social media collaboration tools can ensure that they effectively manage your presence as a team.
6. Boost your content with paid ads
If you don’t get the impressions you were hoping for on social media, it might make sense to amplify your opinions by putting paid advertising dollars in your posts until your presence catches on. Each native network has its own paid social features, or you can use a paid social tool to quickly boost your posts.
To speed up times, use an automatic social media tool
A social marketing tool like Sprout Social can save you countless hours by managing your presence. Gone are the days when you should find yourself manually logging in and out of each social profile when it’s time to post a message, reply to customers, or get your social media analytics.