There are so many reasons social media is great for your business. Ultimately, it gets your name out there, right? It creates brand awareness and credibility which is what we want from social media. So many small businesses owners flock to social media thinking it’s the only marketing channel they need without understanding it’s role.
The issues of social media marketing
When you research marketing channels with the highest return on investment (ROI), rarely does social media come up. It’s super time consuming and relies heavily on ads which can be expensive.
Small business owners often make the mistake of prioritising vanity metrics (likes, views) when it’s rarely an important metric. Misallocating time and resources to build a large following that don’t engage is a common mistake.
Another difficulty associated with social media is their individual algorithms. No one truly understands what the algorithm is doing and how it works and they’re super unpredictable. You could be growing steadily one week following a certain format, and the next week be suppressed for using the same format. It’s important to build owned media (websites, newsletters, blogs.)
One of the major issues small business owners might struggle with is the constant need for engagement on social media. Relationships on social media are built on consistent engagement which also helps most algorithms push your media forward. If you’re wearing all the hats of your small business, you might just not have time to manage your social media as well.
How to use social media marketing for small businesses
- Decide on 1-2 platforms to begin with. Research what social media platform is most popular with your ideal audience and how much time they spend on it. This will give you an indication on the level of engagement you might have. At this point, you should also research the algorithm your chosen platforms use. Some platforms prefer accounts who posts 3x daily and others prefer 3x a week so make sure you check!
- Research your competitors so see what they’re up to. What post formats seem to work for them? Have they been able to build an engaged audience? Why?
- Optimise your social media accounts. Here are a few places to start: Instagram Series: Optimise your Instagram bio! / Instagram Series: Plan an Interesting and Engaging Instagram Feed / How To: Search Engine Optimisation
- Set realistic goals! Going viral and making 6 figures in the first month is a wonderful reality for a select few people. For most small business owners, we recommend setting realistic SMART goals that factors in the idea that slow growth is sustainable growth!
- Use other marketing channels with higher ROI such as email marketing. Think of social media like your modern day shop front, it’s there to attract people and introduce them to your business. If the aim is to make sales, research what marketing channel has the highest conversion rate. If the aim is to create relationships, research which marketing channel creates the most rapport. You see our point… research is key!
Social media is a great way to foster a strong relationship with your audience so be yourself and be patient. It’ll be worth it!