Being a small business means that the potential to grow is always there and you just need to reach for it. The online environment is an excellent place to promote your products and services and the ever-increasing rise of social media has given a new zing to traditional marketing. Social media has introduced a more organic and natural way of reaching to your audience and extending your list of clients, but some small businesses still struggle to grasp the general lines on how the whole system works. A quick glimpse at the world of social media reveals that you are dealing with an environment that is a continuous change, transforming by the second, meaning the rules of today might simply not apply tomorrow.
1. Choose an audience and know how to reach it
Different people have different preferences and you have to tailor the identity of your small business according to the niche you are targeting. Trying to please everyone will do nothing more than to weaken your forces and waste your resources. Don’t expect to be able to reach your audience with the help of only one social media platform. Depending on age, social background, and geographical location, some social media platforms gain an upper hand in front of the others and you should know which to exploit. For example, if you’re targeting teenagers, you will find them more likely on Vine, YouTube, Tumblr, and Instagram, than on LinkedIn. The best way to start is to ask your team. See who they believe is your target market. Then, have a look and see what platforms suit best.
2. Choose the right content
Social media has become synonymous with redundant information being re-posted over and over again. Your business profile doesn’t need to act in the same way. Depending on your field of work, you should try to promote only information which is relevant to your activities and which can trigger demand for your products or services. Of course, a casual approach of relating to current events and trends can do a lot of good in keeping your audience closer, but insisting too much in that direction might make you look distant from their core needs. New content should be added on a constant basis in order to engage viewers and followers. Research the market and see what is enticing them to engage with your industry as well as competing ones.
3. Develop reciprocity
Social media is all about sharing, creating mutual advantageous relationships, and providing positive feedback. As a small business, don’t expect to go too much outside your box if you adopt a conservative approach on social media. Before “likes” come to you, you have to spread a couple of “likes”. The concept is available everywhere and people act according to it. Don’t be afraid to become close with your competition and acknowledge their success, even if it sounds counterintuitive. Reciprocity developed with the big players can give you a huge push in the right direction.
4. Embrace change and its strange forms
Change is a constant factor in the world of social media platforms and you need to ride the crest of the wave in order not to be left behind. For some small business owners, the amount of change required by their identity in the online environment is sometimes too much to bare, but there is a lot to do to relieve the feeling of helplessness. Following trends and the examples set by others without giving a second thought is often an alternative to consider. The main thing is to be adaptive. We all know a story where a business feels content, decides to stay static, only to fall by their own sword.
5. Be human
In a world of automation, businesses tend to forget one underlying thing…we are human. Don’t just be a sales and marketing wheel posting content after content just to get a conversion. Provide real interaction with your audience, let them into your business and feel part of the brand. Post an image of your staff, community activities they are involved in or simply an image of the office. Being human will provide real authentic value to your social media presence.
Social media has introduced new coordinates for small business to access. Whatever your target of growth might be, social media can be your best ally for achieving large-scale success in the fastest and easiest way imaginable. All you have to do is know the general rules and dig a bit to reveal the small cogs of the mechanism.