If you’re an avid social media user, you probably have profiles created on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, all of which you use fairly regularly. What you might not realise is that you also have an account created on Google +, which is the same account that you use when you watch Youtube (if you watch while signed in).
I can’t blame you if you haven’t noticed that you have an account on this platform, as Google have done a very good job at making Google + nearly impossible to use and make sense of. Besides the constant layout changes and updates which add to the complexity of the platform, Google + has always been a very confused social media platform. Unlike other successful platforms that have clear purposes, Google + tries to do a bit of everything, which ends up creating a very muddled and ugly user experience.
However, where there is a problem there is always an opportunity, and while most people are put off by Google +, there are still millions of people actively using the platform as their main source of news and for keeping in touch with their friends, so you’d be silly to ignore Google + completely – especially if you’re a business owner.
As a Small Business owner, it’s a wise decision to leverage the power of Social Media for Marketing to increase Brand Awareness and Build Customer Loyalty.
After years of being a Social Media Marketer, I want to share with you the 4 foundational keys to your long-term success online.
It all starts with a commitment. When you truly make the decision to use Social Media for Marketing your Small Business, make sure you are fully committed to doing whatever it takes to be successful. This means that when you create a Social Media Account, you don’t just post for a week or 2 and then move on to the next one because you don’t see instant results or you lose focus.
Tip: The worst thing you can do for your Brand Awareness is to create multiple accounts and leave them dormant for months on end. This doesn’t give a good first impression nor does it build trust with your target audience.
When you’re out of the office or during downtime, your secretary could be completing SEO tactics that won’t take up too much time. He or she could be maximizing your website in the search engines in between answering your phones or scheduling your appointments.
1. Research and Target Relevant Keywords
Before adding more content or following any of the other suggestions, it’s vital that your secretary is able to find relevant keywords for your industry. The keywords should be more specific than a general one like HVAC, home builder or lawyer. When you choose keywords, they have to be more specific to ensure that you’re moving up in the search engine rankings. It’s not enough to publish a website. If you want to find organic traffic through SEO, you have to find the right keywords. If you’re a personal injury attorney, use keywords like car accident lawyer or slip and fall attorney to gain relevant traffic. You can use Google’s own keyword planner to find the right SEO keywords.
Growing the awareness of a small business on social media is not easy, particularly if you are providing a relatively niche service such as window furnishings. However, that’s not to say it is impossible. When I took over my company’s social media channels, we had just 167 followers on Twitter… just over a year later, we are now on over 2,300 – a number which continues to rise. Similarly, the Facebook likes have gone from 1,200 to over 3,300, completely organically.
Buying followers is never a good idea, and it is easy to spot if a company has done this thanks to the many dead accounts on their Follower page. Nonetheless, if your social media accounts are in need of more followers, one organic way to grow your numbers swiftly is to run a competition. Sponsor a post on Facebook and Twitter, ensuring you hashtag the word “competition” within the post, and offer a prize that is related to what your company does.
For example, we recently ran a competition to coincide with Roald Dahl Day, which gave five people the opportunity to win a cushion in a Roald Dahl fabric of their choice. All they had to do was follow and retweet the post, and with a £20 budget behind the Tweet, we got over 400 new Twitter followers, and the post was retweeted more than 800 times.
Naturally, you will lose a few followers once the competition is over, but thousands of people across social media will have been made aware of your company and what you do.
There’s no doubt social media is one of the most cost effective marketing channels. With almost 2 billion social media users worldwide, it comes as no surprise that millions of businesses are using social networks to build their audience, grow brand awareness, generate website traffic, generate leads and get ahead of competition. For small businesses, there is no end to the growth opportunities effective social media marketing campaigns can bring.
There are 5 main ways small businesses can leverage the power of social media to grow.
Method 1: Putting together a social media strategy
A social media strategic plan is simply the summary of everything you plan to do and achieve for your business using social networks. Your plan should first include the social network or social networks you plan to use. There is no need to join every social network if their audience doesn’t match the one you wish to target. For example, Pinterest attracts mainly women who are into arts and crafts, so if your business targets men from the corporate world, Linkedin might be a better fit. You plan should also include the content you plan to publish, making sure it’s not too one-dimensional. In other words, your content should be a balance between posts about your business and products, posts about your customers and staff to humanize your brand, educational information for your audience, etc…
The recent launch of Facebook’s new Marketplace service has been met with more than a little acclaim in Australia and elsewhere. It’s now possible after all, for individuals to buy and sell items among people in their immediate local communities.
Will Facebook Marketplace eventually kill off the suburban garage sale? Probably. The service, after all, is available directly through Facebook Messenger, an app used by over 450 million people each and every day.
Why Local Businesses need to Start Looking at Marketplace
However, while Facebook Marketplace is being marketed as an easier, more localized alternative to platforms such as Ebay for everyday users, Marketplace has phenomenal potential for local business owners also.
Struggle is a term familiar to most business owners. When starting out, I’m sure at some stage we’ve all experienced a couple of slow weeks or months, and have wished we could stand up high with a megaphone and attract brand new customers from far and wide.
Luckily in 2016, the internet is the largest possible megaphone, and a well planned mobile marketing strategy is key to broadening your customer base and preventing those dreaded, slow weeks.
Advancements in technology have effectively provided small businesses with the lifeline they require to climb and compete against the ‘big players’.
Consider the last time you received a text from your phone provider alerting you of a usage update, could you have called back that number and spoken to an individual?
How about the last time you received an email from your gas or electricity provider — could you reply if you’d wanted to, or did their address contain a ‘no-reply’ warning? Big corporations are typically not in a position to connect with customers through technology in the personalised ways small businesses are able to.
Connecting with your customers or clients through online marketing is the key to conversion in modern times.
Social media presents great opportunities to small and medium-sized businesses – you can be nimble, fun and have plenty of character without having to worry about the layers of approval that larger businesses face when they use social media. I’ve worked on some tips to help you on your way to running great social media channels and thinking about the role it can play in your organization.
- Define your objectives – before you start posting with a scattergun approach, sit down and map out what is important to you. Knowing what results you want will define how you go about using social media. Social media moves swiftly, but that doesn’t mean you should rush into it without a plan! Do you want to:
– get clicks to your website?
– showcase your work?
– talk to your customers?
– take orders/bookings?
– invite people to your events?
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