Social media is the future of small business marketing. You only have to look at the amount of time the population spends scrolling to understand why (it’s an average of 145 minutes per day, FYI). The exposure and audience-building found on social media are hard to match elsewhere, so let’s take a look at some ways you can boost yours.
Building your brand and having valuable conversations with your customers is easy on social media. So, find out how to grow yours today
1. Always include an image
Humans are visual beings, and our brains can process an image far quicker than scanning a block of text. For this reason, you should always include an image if you want people to care about what you have to say.
The context of the image is important too. A random stock photo attached to a sales pitch won’t cut it - you need to present engaging and authentic images that resonate with your target audience.
Think about it – when browsing social media, what sort of images would you like or share? Apply the same logic to the posts you create!
2. Encourage engagement using participation posts
Audience participation posts such as quizzes, polls and questions are masters of engagement. People like it when the content they consume relates to them and when they get the opportunity to vote and share opinions.
Compared to regular posts, audience participation posts are more likely to:
- Drive engagement such as comments, tags and shares
- Provide valuable audience insight
- Gain better organic traction
3. Give video content a try
Video content gets more exposure and more engagement than other posts – that's why content platforms promote video content more. And users like short-form video content as it’s easier and a more entertaining way of consuming information.
For e-commerce brands it can provide serious uplift as it puts your products in a context that is difficult to achieve with a static image.
4. Engage with your audience
You should see your social media efforts as building an online community. The modern social media user is savvy and knows that businesses see them as potential customers.
In return, users expect recognition. So, remember to:
- Like and reply to comments
- Answer any questions as soon as you can
- Encourage opinion sharing
Remember that social media is a two-way street, and you’ll help build a solid foundation of trust and recognition with your brand.
5. Give people a reason to follow you
Why do people follow brands on social media? Simple. They think you may have something to offer in the future that could be valuable to them. So, provide value to your audience, then you'll see your engagement and follower counts rise!
Vary posts between information sharing, interesting content and question answering. Keep sales posts to a minimum on organic (non-paid) posts.
6. Hold contests and competitions
Contests are a form of audience participation. They are great for driving engagement and can be incentivised with a prize to drive extra reach.
Social media contests come in a few different formats, such as:
- Comment to win
- Best caption wins
- Like and share to enter
- Tag a friend to enter
Experiment to see which ones your audience engages with the most!
7. Use hashtags where relevant
Hashtags help you get found by your target audience because it makes your posts searchable and able to be categorised. People search and follow hashtags related to topics that interest them, so using them increases your chances of being found by your target audience.
Not sure which ones to use? Here are a few top tips:
- Research which hashtags your audience is using
- Use keywords relevant to your business
- Create, use and promote hashtags for events
- Use location hashtags if you’re a local business
8. Give paid social a try
Organic posts are great for showing content in the feeds of those following you and will sometimes be seen by your follower’s audiences, promoting natural growth and awareness over time.
To increase exposure and extend your reach beyond your organic bubble, you could try paid social media. Start experimenting with a small budget and focus on targeting the correct audience. Increase budgets on the ads that do well, and re-work or scrap ones that don’t.
9. Keep a consistent tone of voice
The way a user considers a brand is similar to the way they see a person. They care about how you treat others, what you say and what you know. That’s why it’s crucial to define your brand identity and tone of voice to match – is your brand friendly and casual, or professional and authoritative?
10. Common sense works
Social media is often seen as daunting and intangible but can be easy if you apply common sense. You know how you operate as a consumer and which types of content you will and won’t interact with. So, if you wouldn’t engage, why would you expect someone else to?
Would you engage with a pushy sales post, or would you be more likely to share an interesting fact or image?
11. Keep it real
Keep sales-y talk to an absolute minimum, especially if you are in a B2C business. Most people don’t resonate with posts they don’t understand, mistrust or deem to be false in any way. And it could be anything from the style of language or claims made without any proof that rubs them the wrong way. Once trust is lost, it’s extremely hard to gain it back.
So, remember – keep it real to keep your audience.
12. Support other small businesses
It can be highly beneficial when other businesses with an established platform share your content. Their audience is exposed to yours, and in return, you should share businesses you care about with your audience. This mutual exchange of exposure is a fantastic method to increase post range organically.
Reach out, get social and become a cheerleader for businesses with audience overlap (but are not competitors).
What else can you do to promote your small business?
We know running a small business can be stressful. You're an accountant, a logistics manager, and a marketer all rolled into one. So, here are some other easy ways to promote your business and your social media:
- Make sure your business is easy to find. Google offers a free tool called ‘My Business’ - add your website, opening hours, images and contact information. Keep this up to date with new images and any business information changes.
- Share your social platforms in every marketing message. This could be through using your hashtag or handle on posters or stamping your social media handle on your packaging. Things like this drive customers to your social and are any easy way to help build you audience.
- Develop an email marketing plan to keep existing and potential customers engaged with your business. Make sure you have a call-to-action (CTA) for each email so your audience can take the next step.
- Talk about what you know. You’re an expert in your field, and sharing that expertise lets your audience know they can trust you with their business. Write blogs, post helpful videos and share advice.
Now you know how to create a highly organic social media campaign to boost your business, with some business tips to boot!