Category Archives: Social Media

Why Small Businesses Have the Social Media Marketing Advantage

As a small business owner, you’re constantly looking for new ways to get your company’s brand on the radar of potential customers. If you don’t already, using social media in business is a great way to engage with current customers as well as attract new ones.

Small business social media marketing strategies actually have an advantage over big companies. Why? Social media effectiveness boils down to engagement. If a business doesn’t engage with its customers, chances are it won’t have success in social media marketing.

Small Business Social Media

Interacting with consumers on social media is an important marketing strategy for small businesses. Using social media helps you build brand awareness, increase your customer base, and connect with current customers.

In fact, one study revealed a whopping 90% of marketers say social media is important to their business. Eighty-two percent of survey participants worked in businesses with less than 100 employees.

Why Small Businesses Have the Social Media Marketing Advantage

Marketing through social media is easy for small business owners as long as you actively post on social media pages. Some common social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. To effectively use social media for your business, set a schedule to regularly engage with your followers.

Why small businesses have the social media marketing advantage

Social media success does not depend on how many followers a business has. Instead, it depends on customer engagement.

Here are some reasons why small businesses can actually have more success on social media than big companies:

1. Small businesses are community and individual focused

There are quite a few differences between big and small businesses, like legal structure, the number of employees, and revenue. But, the nitty-gritty aspects of a business aren’t the only distinctions between big and small businesses.

Small businesses tend to be more community and individual focused. Many small businesses choose to be heavily involved in their communities, which leads to a connection with customers. They also enjoy the benefits of joining the chamber of commerce in their community by connecting and sometimes partnering on marketing campaigns with other local businesses.

When using social media, small businesses can connect with their customers online. Small businesses are more likely to respond to their customers than large businesses. As a small business, you can easily handle the influx of comments from customers, so make sure you reply quickly.

Social media is a great way for people to talk about products or services. To increase customer engagement, ask customers to post pictures on social media with the company’s product. And, welcome reviews, questions, comments, and concerns from consumers.

As a small business owner, you can easily foster connections with individuals on social media. Current and potential customers will have more respect and appreciation for a business who provides timely responses.

2. Less expensive advertising

Though you can pay for some advertising features, like on Facebook, social media is free. You can target those advertisements to reach people within a certain radius of your business. That means you don’t end up paying for advertising outside of your local customer base.

To start advertising on Facebook, set a budget and choose your audience. Instead of coughing up thousands of dollars on social media marketing to reach across the nation, small businesses only have to focus on their locality.

Social media is a great advertising tool without paying for the extra features. You can update your followers on promotions, sales, new products, or even just industry-related information. Posting photos also help customers see what you offer.

With social media, you advertise to your current customers. But, you also can advertise to potential customers by getting your brand out there. Your current customers are great brand ambassadors, as well.

Small business owners typically know their customers personally, making it more natural for customers to share their experiences on social media. Current customers can post about your products or services, bringing your brand on the radar of their network and attracting new people to your business.

3. Joint social media marketing efforts

Multiple small businesses can collaborate on social media marketing strategies. As a small business owner, you can work with neighboring small businesses (not competitors) that target people within your niche.

For example, you can post on your Twitter that customers can get a 20% coupon to another small business if they buy from you and vice versa. Or, team up with a neighboring company for a social media giveaway or contest. Winners can get a prize that includes products from both businesses. You could even showcase your neighboring business’s promotions on your social media sites to show camaraderie.

By teaming up, you and the other small business can build brand awareness. You can get on the radar of potential customers and encourage individuals to buy from both businesses.

4. Personalized attention

Small businesses are all about personalization. For some, shopping at small businesses is part of having a good buying experience. One survey found that 53% of consumers want to shop at small businesses because they like the personal service they receive.

Why Small Businesses Have the Social Media Marketing Advantage

When customers are in your business, you can take the time to connect with individuals. You can answer where your products come from, how long your business has been around, and where you got the inspiration to start your business.

Personalized attention isn’t just applicable to consumers who are at your physical business location. On social media, small businesses can give more than scripted responses to customers.

A big corporation that sells across the nation doesn’t have time to give a personalized response to each customer. A small business, on the other hand, can write a genuine response directly addressing the customer’s situation. This direct connection between consumers and brands gives small businesses the social media marketing advantage.

5. Small businesses can piggyback on big advertising

Some large organizations hold events that small businesses can leverage in their social media marketing strategies.

Small Business Saturday (SBS), a day established in 2010 by American Express, promotes small businesses across the nation. If you’re not familiar with SBS, it’s a shopping holiday meant to encourage consumers to shop small. SBS takes place on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

With Small Business Saturday, businesses can piggyback on nationwide social media marketing courtesy of American Express. American Express makes huge strides to advertise the day and get people to buy from small businesses.

Because of this, consumers know about SBS. In 2016, 112 million consumers shopped on Small Business Saturday. Since consumers recognize the nationwide event, it’s easier for small businesses to use social media to their advantage.

Big businesses might be able to dole out huge amounts of cash for advertising. With Small Business Saturday, you can reap the benefits of mass advertising just by posting that your business will participate.

Source: https://www.ducttapemarketing.com/small-businesses-social-media-marketing/

Social media can make a big difference for small businesses at a low marketing cost. According to Social Media Examiner’s seventh annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 92 percent of marketers working with small businesses (between two and 10 employees) agree or strongly agree that social media is crucial to their marketing efforts.

Within two years, more than 50 percent of small businesses agree social media helps them increase sales; within five years, 70 percent of small businesses see ROI from a social media presence.

Rhett Rowe, President of Capital for Merchants, a small-business lender, says small businesses fail when they try to beat big companies at their own game. Most small companies can’t match the sheer volume of content corporations can create with their seemingly unlimited resources or the glitz of campaigns created by the world’s top marketing agencies. “Small companies don’t have that kind of money, time, or stamina,” he says. “Instead, they should focus on expanding brand awareness, increasing website traffic, and building a community of loyal followers.”

Spreading the News About Your Business

Brand awareness social media posts are like virtual flyers or the online equivalent of newspaper ads. They build name recognition and help your small business start to form a brand identity.

Get the most from social media by tracking metrics within your social media accounts dashboards. Rowe says to use these performance indicators to see whether your posts are boosting your brand:

  • Impressions and reach. An impression is a view of your post or the number of times it showed up in someone’s feed. Reach measures how many people saw your posts; the same post can show up multiple times in someone’s feed.
  • Mentions. Track how often your small business is mentioned on social media.
  • Follower growth. Track the number of followers on your networks and how much followers grow over time. If you notice one particular post or promotion attracts a lot of followers, create more of those posts or offers.
  • Sentiment. Track sentiment by searching for your company name or username followed by words like “love,” “best,” “sucks,” or “fail.”
  • Location. Gathering followers from a particular part of the city, state or country could open your eyes to expansion opportunities.

Increasing Traffic to Your Website

Making people aware of your small business is good. Enticing them to visit your website is even better. Share blog posts, promote your in-store and online sales and share important news about your products. When you share links on social networks, Rowe suggests sharing either specific website pages or dedicated landing pages. Directing visitors to your homepage isn’t as effective as sending them to pages optimized for conversion.

Start tracking which social network posts drew people to click your URL and which, if any, posts led directly to lead generation or purchasing.

  • URL clicks. Within your social network dashboard, track which URLs attracted the most clicks and which posts drew the most attention to those URLs.
  • Conversions. Use Google Analytics to set up Goals to track visitors from different social networks. Goals might include clicking URLs in a social post, filling out a contact form, or subscribing to a blog. To focus your efforts, analyze how factors such as network, content shared, and time of day affect your conversion goals.

Forming a Community

Forming community creates a network of brand evangelists and potential repeat customers. Rowe suggests asking followers to fill out surveys, answer questions, or share photos or videos of themselves using your products. He also suggests hosting a Twitter Q&A, if you have enough followers, so people can ask questions about your company or products.

Loren Taylor, CEO of Soothing Walls added “Encourage customers to reach out to social networks if they have a customer service question. Set up email or text message alerts for your team so they can respond immediately to customer concerns. If a customer question would benefit your community, turn your answer into a blog post, and invite other customers to share their experiences. When social media makes them feel like part of your small-business family, customers will return again and again.”

Additionally, encourage customers to reach out to social networks if they have a customer service question. Set up email or text message alerts for your team so they can respond immediately to customer concerns. If a customer question would benefit your community, turn your answer into a blog post, and invite other customers to share their experiences. When social media makes them feel like part of your small-business family, customers will return again and again.

Don’t Try to Beat the Big Guys

Rowe advises monitoring other small businesses and competitors to see how they’re engaging on social media. Note how they’re meeting their goals, and adapt their approaches to your business. Let the big guys do their own thing.

 

Source: Forbes -” Social Media For Small Business: How It’s Different From How Big Brands Do It”

According to a company blog post, Facebook started developing Safety Check after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan as a way for people to “check on loved ones and get updates.” October 2014 was when the latest version of the tool was launched in a form of a notification system after natural disasters.

In response to the Paris terror attacks that killed 129 people and injured 352, Facebook turned on Safety Check which is the first time it has been used in response to a crisis caused by human activity.

Facebook however, drew sharp criticism in the aftermath as to why didn’t activate its Safety Check feature where two suicide bombers killed 43 people and wounded hundreds of others in Beirut, Lebanon.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook was quick to respond to these criticisms in a comment added to a status update:

“Many people have rightfully asked why we turned on Safety Check for Paris but not for bombings in Beirut and other places. Until yesterday, our policy was only to activate Safety Check for natural disasters. We just changed this and now plan to activate Safety Check for more human disasters going forward as well. Here’s more detail on Safety Check and our policy for deploying it from the Facebook Safety page:

https://www.facebook.com/fbsafety/posts/930229667014872

Thank you to everyone who has reached out with questions and concerns about this. You are right that there are many other important conflicts in the world. We care about all people equally, and we will work hard to help people suffering in as many of these situations as we can.”

Facebook’s vice president of growth, Alex Schultz, said that the company will activate Safety Check for “serious and tragic incidents in the future.”

Facebook considers the scale, scope and impact of a natural disaster when it decides whether to activate Safety Check and this is what Schultz wrote. After earthquakes in Nepal, Afghanistan and Chile, as well in the aftermath of Typhoon Ruby in the Philippines and Tropical Cyclone Pam in the South Pacific are 5 incidents in 2015 in which Facebook has activated the tool.

He further stressed that the tool, “has helped many people stay in touch with their friends and family during difficult times. We’re going to continue working to make it better and more useful.”

Schultz adds, “We create products that we think will help people and we work hard to perfect the solution over time.”

Social media metrics can be a very good determining factor on how successful your website is to the online community. However, this number alone is something websites owners should not be focusing of as this can be quite deceiving. Be careful of the ways those metrics can deceive you.

Your brand is something your friend and followers might not care about

It might look good on paper to have a considerable amount of followers on Twitter however, these followers are can be useless if half of them are spam accounts while the other half aren’t interested in your brand at all. This is quite true especially since anyone can click a “like” or a “follow” button. It is best to establish genuine relationship and engagement with your followers with regards to your brand.

Social traffic many not result to brand engagement

For website owners, traffic isn’t everything. Of course traffic is important but this number alone is not enough to produce satisfying results. Be certain to analyze that traffic to determine its actual value.

It is possible to receive social shares from bots

More shares lead to a good thing and this is considered to be a general rule. With that being said, not all shares are equal. Don’t go assuming directly that a human is totally invested in your brand with him sharing your content to their followers and fans. This is indeed quite true with the existence of bots and they can mess up the figures easily.

Links are more valuable than shares

Links greatly outweigh shares due to the fact that they pass more authority to your site and your chance of generate referral traffic over a longer period of time is becomes relatively higher. This is why aside from looking at your shares you also need to pay close attention to the number of links that you are getting.

Your reputation can be harmed with brand mentions and shares

Content getting share does not necessarily that those who did all the sharing are intended to favor your brand. Criticizing your content or mentioning your name in an attempt to slander you is also a possibility and you should be wary about it as it can result to a negative publicity.

 

Impressions does not instantly result to you getting seen

Metric to track how many newsfeeds your content and posts have shown up for can be found through “impressions” which most social media platforms offer today. With that being said, this is not the actual number of times your post was seen but the number of opportunities for your post to be seen.