When it comes to marketing your small business, few other channels are more effective — in terms of time and money — than social media. According to a Small Business Association (SBA) survey, almost 90% of marketers say their social marketing efforts have increased exposure for their business, and 75% say they’ve increased traffic, yet 80% of small businesses do not invest in content marketing.
Properly using social media for your small business can help build an online presence through the creation and promotion of multiple forms of content. This content can take the shape of blog posts, videos, pictures and updates that are shared with your audience — and that will ideally be “liked” and “shared” further by their extended networks.
Social media should compliment and integrate with the other marketing channels you are using, such as direct mail and print advertising, rather than be used solely as a replacement. Think about where social media can augment those efforts or fill in the gaps. Here are few things to consider:
Define your audience
The key to crafting the right content and messaging for small-business social-media marketing is knowing who you’re marketing to. You want to start defining your target audience by traits like age, gender, geography, profession, and income. More than likely, you’ll have at least two or three key target personas. Each persona will have their own “hot button” issues or topics relating to your business that you’ll want to address with your social-media marketing strategy. Make sure that you understand your customer’s problems, and how you’re actively able to resolve those problems through your product or service.
Choose the right platform
After you’ve defined your target audience and personas, you’ll want to select which social-media platforms to focus your small-business social-media marketing on. You’ll want to base your decision on both your audience, as well as the specific industry you’re in. Facebook and Pinterest, for instance, are much better channels for reaching Baby Boomers than Instagram or Snapchat, which are more popular among Millennials.
- Facebook: This is by far the largest platform, with more than 2 billion monthly active users, 58 percent of whom are Americans between the ages of 25 and 54. Don’t discount seniors though; 56 percent of online seniors aged 65+ are on Facebook. Facebook is good for lead generation, and its advertising platform can be highly customized to target specific audiences. Facebook is also a good platform for building relationships, showing the human side of your business and turning leads into loyal followers and customers. Many content types are appropriate for Facebook, but the key is content that shows a different side of your company. Facebook (and Twitter) are both excellent for reaching large numbers of people, but it’s important to remember there’s also a great deal of competition.
- Instagram: With more than 800 million monthly active users (500 million daily), it’s no doubt that Instagram has great reach. Consider this your go-to platform for visual storytelling (use it to post beautiful images for videos) to a global audience, with 80 percent of Instagram users outside of the U.S. When it comes to age, 59 percent of internet users between the ages of 18 and 29 and 33 percent between the ages of 30 and 49 use Instagram.
Stay tuned: We’ll cover LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat as well developing content in Part 2 of this blog on Friday!
West Press’ talented staff is here to help you each step of the way — from graphic design to printing to mailing services to large format. Contact West Press or your Account Executive at 520-624-4939 today.