As a business owner, you might question if your company can thrive in today’s economic climate. According to data from the US Small Business Administration, roughly 67.6% of new businesses survived after two years between 1994-2018, with survival rates decreasing through time. Moreover, 34.2% of small businesses surveyed through the second week of August 2020 indicated that COVID-19 financially affected their business.
Social media marketing and a well-defined small business social media plan will give you the edge over your competitors and ensure that your business will sustain and grow in today’s economy and tomorrow’s.
Trends & Projections of Social Media Use
It is critical for small businesses to understand the trends and factors that affect whether their company will stay afloat and stand apart. Before we discuss what a social media marketing strategy might include, let’s consider some statistics.
Data from statista.com shows that nearly 50% of the world population uses social media and projects that the numbers will continue to rise. Reports by emarketer.com and other experts claim that the percentage of social media users increases with each new generation, with younger generations turning more to social media when researching what they buy.
There is no better time than now for small business owners to create their small business social media plan. This article will provide some helpful tips and considerations.
The Benefits of Social Media Marketing
As a small business owner, you want others to know about your company, what makes it unique, and why they should choose you over competitors.
You may be one heck of a great company with great ideas or outstanding services or products. Without the right form of marketing, though, it is possible (even likely) that you might struggle to compete in today’s market.
This is where social media marketing fits in.
Social Media Use Does Some Marketing Work for You
Social media networking provides quick and easy access to a great deal of information. With each image, post, comment, suggestion, or blurb, users discover and learn about anything of interest.
Social media allows you to do these things effectively and quickly:
Reach more of the public
Build an audience of online users
Inform others of your company
Develop an online presence
Increase awareness of your small business
Show what makes you unique
Promote your brand quickly
Stand out from competitors
Then, as other social media users share information or suggestions about that interest, awareness, recognition, and recall of related products or services enhances.
With interactivity at its core, social media use does a lot of the marketing legwork for you.
Social Media Gives You Options
Besides Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, small business owners can market on Pinterest, Snapchat, Quora, Reddit, Tumblr, Goodreads, and Flickr. Online networking can also occur through email marketing, discussion forums, consumer review networks, blogging, eBooks, publishing networks, and more.
With the wealth of options and the likelihood that options will increase, small business owners can decide what format best suits their needs.
Brand Recognition & Brand Loyalty Improve
With a thought-out company identity and good branding, your small business becomes easily identifiable. As your company’s online recognition improves, more of the public will discover what sets you apart, what is special about your company, and what changes occur through time with your company’s products, services, and the ideas behind them.
Then, with increased brand recognition, the number of folks who are loyal to your brand broadens.
The reasons to use social media marketing are many. Social media can be fun! And, if done correctly, social media marketing is cost-effective. So, consider the benefits of a social media plan and some considerations when you plan.
Small Business Social Media Plan Benefits & Tips
Do you wonder if you really need to plan? Yes, you do. Here are some good reasons for a social media marketing strategy and thoughts to consider when planning.
If the planning process becomes difficult or overly time-intensive, consider hiring a digital marketing company. Waylay any fears of investments for help if you need it; saving your own time saves your money in the long run.
Do Your Homework
As a small business owner, you know that you have a lot to do already! You are already focusing on business operations, employee needs, and retention, and managing customers or clients, to name a few. Of course, your time is your money. Information is power. So, doing a bit of homework goes a long way.
Invest time to understand how social media marketing works. Research useful social media marketing tactics. Learn the difference between social media marketing and older, more traditional forms of marketing (advertisements, brochures/flyers, mailing information, etc).
Set Clear Goals
When setting any business goal, set the goal first, then work backward to reach it. Once you understand a bit more about how social media marketing works and how to use it, you can set your goals accordingly.
Consider the Nature of Each Networking Site
Each networking site is unique with different target audiences and varied forms of site organization. Consider which sites will reach your target audience the best.
Also, think of the organization of different networking sites. Once you figure out which site or sites help you reach your audience, then think a bit about your online abilities and preferences.
Check into any content formatting styles and/or regulations that are best or required for the sites you choose.
Understand What Makes Good Content
Remember that your own opinions, thoughts, and feelings are irrelevant. Digital marketing has little to do with your perspective. All content should focus on the interests of the public, their online search habits, and the nature of their interactions.
Use a Natural Voice in Your Content
Let the public see why you and your company are special and what makes you different from the rest. People feel a connection with a voice that feels real and human.
Focus on Visual Content
Social media use and online tendencies rely on visuals. Because of this, your online images, your logo, and the website design that represent your company are key.
Know What Your Competitors Are Doing
Know what your competitors are doing and if they are successful. Then, incorporate what is effective with their approach into your own small business social media plan. Track if that works for you with analytics and follow up with any subsequent modifications.
Use Digital Marketing Analytics
Learn how social media marketing tracking works, how to do it, and what is the best method for you. Use analytics to determine whether your social media marketing plan is working. Then adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.
Know When & Where to Turn When You Need Help
If you find that anything becomes overwhelming, know that it is in your best interest, and most cost-effective to get some help.
As a small business owner, you may lack the time to learn and/or the ability to keep up with all your social media marketing needs. Small business owners are busy focusing on business operations, employee needs, and retention if you have employees, and helping customers or clients.
Often, hiring a digital marketing company helps small business owners focus their energy on business operating needs.
If you choose to work with a digital marketing company, choose one that knows how to use technology and social media for your benefit. Also, find a digital marketing company with services that include a sound and informed social media marketing strategy to create your small business social media plan.
Go with a digital marketing company that truly wants to help your small business.
Don’t Delay Your Small Business Social Media Plan
Using social media for marketing and understanding how to create and follow a good social media marketing strategy may not seem to be straightforward. With planning and some diligence, you will get there!
Your company can thrive now and also grow in the future. Digital and social media marketing, along with a clear small business social media plan, might be the very thing that ensures your company’s life and longevity. Start your plan today.