Because the modern marketplace is flooded with activity, it is now more important than ever to think about Internet users’ online buying behaviors. The number of transactions performed through online platforms is rapidly increasing and will soon surpass the values for traditional marketing systems. Per the U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce, U.S. retail e-commerce sales for the third quarter of 2014 totaled an estimated $71.9 billion, which is an increase of 16.2 percent (±3.2 percent) from the third quarter of 2013.
This pattern is expected to increase in the coming years as many sellers, businesses and brands are gaining access to a global demographic. The main reason behind this trend is that more and more consumers are purchasing online, which is why social media platforms are becoming a crucial part of small business branding.
According to the latest reports by the Internet Advertising Bureau (UK), 80 percent of consumers are inclined to revisit a brand (or their website) if it has a strong presence on social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
For small businesses, increasing their social media presence can be challenging. There are several competitors to stand up against, and a lack of revenue will only mean that the business will either not be able to grow or will gradually shut down.
Here are six important social media marketing tips for every small business looking to make its mark online.
1. Create a Voice and Volunteers
Generating a fan following is always a huge step. ‘Fans’ are customers and loyal supporters who post on behalf of your brand. This way, marketing seems more authentic and the popularity has a better chance of going viral. The influence of a brand on a certain individual resonates with his or her friends, followers and acquaintances. Gaining more loyal brand supporters, however, is easier said than done. Doing so will require a strong commitment to providing the best product and price, as well as support your customers.
2. Increase Visibility of Your Brand and Team
Social media is about making a connection with your target audience. Customers or potential followers want to know the people who are behind a company. Connecting with them on a personal level will also enhance the influence of your brand. This way, the things that people believe isn’t just a lame Facebook page or a Twitter profile but an actual person who they know or would like to know more about. However, it is also important for a brand to choose its Facebook representatives wisely. Anything unprofessional on your personal profile can deeply affect your brand.
3. Know Your Customers
It is very important to understand your customers when you are trying to build social awareness. It is always better to know which demographic your product applies to and who your end users are. Personally communicating with these people might also enhance your brand’s potential of becoming popular. I always begin my social media plans by creating an imaginary target persona. This is one of the best ways to understand your target audience and create the content they want to see on your social media platforms.
4. Increase Productivity with Automation
Engagement is a very important part of any social media campaign. To ensure active social media engagement, you will need a lot of time and skilled resources; but this is not always feasible for small businesses. However, you can do this job with the help of social media management tools like SocialPilot and BufferApp, which will allow you effectively manage multiple accounts from a single dashboard.
5. Practice Active Listening
Talking should always take a back seat to listening when you are trying to gain the confidence of others. With social media, it’s always a good practice to remain open to queries, feedback, suggestions and even complaints. Handle every attempt at communication carefully and you will be surprised how easily negative issues can be resolved.
6. Be Creative and Give Due Credit
Modern buyers are always driven by unique products and marketing strategies. Create something interesting, however small, and you’ll see a surge in traffic. But being creative can also involve allowing your loyal customers a more prevalent presence in the brand marketing. Also, make sure you give credit where it’s due.
HendoHover is one of the best examples in his category that successfully received a Kickstarter fund of $2,500,000 with its creative idea. HendoHover periodically shares decent videos, products in development, and technical visualizations of these products that are attracting a lot of customers even before its production.
If your product or service is going to improve your customers’ lives, your potential is limitless.
Do you have more tips for small businesses wanting to improve their presence and reputation on social media channels? Let us know in the comments below.