Effectiveness Of Social Media For Small Business & How To Leverage It

It’s no secret that social media has created the largest shift in marketing the world has ever seen. Being able to have direct, instant, connections between businesses and consumers have been more of a game changer than anyone could have imagined. Small businesses, that were once priced out of the advertising game, can now run similar campaigns to those big brands and get tons of traffic, leads, and sales both organically and with affordable paid ads.

If you are a small business owner who knows you need to up your social media game but are at a loss as to how to best leverage digital marketing for your business, then here are some great tips that will help jump start your social reputation.

Instagram For Small Businesses:

Instagram is the fastest growing social network, especially for millennials. If your market hits anywhere in the teen to thirties age range you’re going to find a large percentage of your audience on Instagram. Instagram works best if you have a solid and narrowed down niche and can come up with vivid, pretty or useful images. Posting amazing looking content is only the beginning though. Here are some additional ways to leverage social media using Instagram:

  1. Have an amazing bio. Your bio, although short, needs to contain the right mix of keywords and humanization to attract followers. You can also use emojis in your bio.

  2. Write compelling captions with good keywords and a strong call to action. Your caption can be longer than one sentence, you can even tell a whole story, ask questions and provide valuable information.

  3. Use the right mix (and the right number) of hashtags. Hashtags help Instagram categorize content. You want a mix of high, mid and low ranking hashtags to reach the widest audience. Also, just because you are allowed to add up to 30 hashtags per post, doesn’t make it a good idea. 10 to 15 solidly researched hashtags should be used.

  4. Use Instagram Stories. Consumers are addicted to the short video and photo content they can flip or swipe through at the top of their Instagram feed. You can add a link to your business after you have 10,000 followers. If you sell a physical product you can also set up product tagging to attach links to your posts no matter how many followers you have. Product tagging requires a little setup and technical know-how but the reward is worth the work.

  5. Use carousel posts to tell a story or teach something. A carousel post is where you post several images or videos or a combination of the two in one post. Followers can swipe through the photos which keep them on your account longer and leads to more engagement.

  6. Instagram advertising is easy to set up and comparatively cheap to other ad platforms. You can boost a post directly from the Instagram app or set up a full campaign from within your Facebook business manager (ever since Facebook bought Instagram and linked the two).  

Twitter Uses For Small Business:

Twitter allows for back and forth communication between your business and the consumers. You can share information, promotions, photos, thought-provoking ideas and more. Twitter users also skew younger and millennials and Gen Xers alike are pretty savvy with Twitter. You can use Twitter to grow your brand awareness and traffic using the following tips:

  1. Use Twitter to listen to your target audience. Position yourself as a solution to some of their problems.

  2. Watch your competition for ideas, trends and to learn who to follow.

  3. Organize Twitter with the “lists” feature. You can put locals on one list, you can put competition on their own list, and so on. This helps cut out the clutter and “virtual noise” found on Twitter.

  4. Keep Tweets short, use URL shorteners and only one or two hashtags per tweet.

  5. Use ads and promoted posts to get your content seen. All social media accounts have now adopted the “pay to play” mentality where they will give a business less reach unless they are spending money on ads. It doesn’t take much however as digital ads cost less in general.

How Pinterest Can Help You Increase Traffic, Sales and Improve Your SEO:

Pinterest started off as a social bookmarking site that slowly morphed into a search engine bookmarking site. The fact that people search for content on Pinterest using keywords in a search bar makes it easier for smaller or newer accounts to get recognized. In fact, if you have recently done any searches on Google you might have noticed that your search turned up a good number of Pinterest pins and boards. This is because Google absolutely loves Pinterest content. So using Pinterest as part of your marketing strategy can also help you rank on Google. A few quick tips to help you master Pinterest for small business:

  1. Make sure that your bio, your boards, and each individual pin have unique keyword-rich text. The title of a board is just the start, you need to edit the board and add a nice full explanation of what this board is about. Each pin gives you significant space to add a keyword-rich description and even add a few hashtags as well.

  2. Pinterest favors a different image size than other social media platforms. On Instagram, you are going for a square shape but on Pinterest, you need a vertical rectangle (like a bookmark) shape.

  3. Pinterest favors clear beautiful images with text overlays and red seems to be a preferred color.

  4. Make sure to spread your pins out, doing a little each day. You can schedule pins in advance with automation tools like Tailwind but you still should manually get on the account and use it sometimes as well.

  5. Don’t forget to repin! Repinning content makes your boards fuller and makes you the go-to source for information on a specific topic. You can mix in your sales pins with the curated content you find. Ideally, you want to share 80% of the time and sell 20% of the time.

Harness the Power of Facebook For Your Business:

Facebook is the oldest and by far the largest social media platform in existence right now. Facebook’s specialty is data mining. They know so much about consumers that it’s a bit scary, to be honest. This helps you run laser-focused ads that target your exact customer base. This makes Facebook the ideal place to spend your ad dollars. Here are some extra ways you can leverage Facebook beyond the typical ad campaigns.

  1. Make a Facebook Business Page. Facebook is so powerful and so far-reaching that some businesses don’t even have a website at all and have a Facebook profile-only model. You really do still need some type of website or landing page but having a Facebook business page is still very important.

  2. Your Facebook business page can also have a store if you sell physical products (digital products are not allowed at this time). You can connect your Facebook store to your Instagram account to enable product tagging. How cool is that?

  3. Does your niche have a cult-like following? You might want to start a free Facebook Group where fans of your product or services can meet virtually and share ideas. You can also interact and offer tutorials, tips, and other useful information.

As you can see, there are many ways to leverage social media to obtain traffic and leads for your business. One of the great things about social media is there is space for every interest. Your business might do better on specific platforms and if that is the case, don’t feel like you have to be prolific on all the platforms at once. Take the time to research and find out where your customers hang out the most and spend your time there. You’re going to see huge results in no time following these tips.

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