According to one estimate, almost half the world’s population are actively using social media platforms today. A survey found over 3.5 billion users from around the world are active on various social media platforms. For small businesses, this makes it indispensable to create a social media account to represent your interests online.
However, there are over 50 million small businesses on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Standing out from the competition will be a tough challenge.
The following are 8 effective tips you can use to increase your small business’s influence online and expand your reach on social media.
1. Determine Goals
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First and foremost, for you to have a concrete plan, you must have solid goals. What do you wish to get out of social media? Do you want to increase sales for flavored water brands? Make more people aware of your natural preservatives for cosmetics? Are you looking for new employees for your brand? Determining your goal will help lay the foundation for your methods on social media and help create an efficient plan of action.
2. Scope Out Competitors
While you’re on social media, it will be a smart idea to check out the pages of any competitors, especially those within your area. What are they doing that gets a lot of likes and interactions from users? What kind of deals are they offering customers? What are other online users saying about them? The resulting intel will be helpful in improving your business model and making your small business more appealing. Use what you know about your competitors to provide a better alternative to customers who are unsatisfied with their own service.
3. Pick and Appropriate Platform
Not all social media platforms are appropriate for all types of businesses. Some platforms, like Facebook, can cater to a wide variety of businesses. Platforms like Instagram are better for businesses that have products rather than services because their image-based design highlights photos nicely. Identify which type of social media platform will work best with what you’re offering before creating an account.
4. Identify Demographics
All your planning and preparation will be useless if your business doesn’t have the right target in mind. Identifying your target demographics calls for more than just determining their age and gender. You should endeavor to narrow it down as much as possible. Where do they live? What is there educational attainment? Each question answered will help you fine tune your marketing and sales efforts.
5. Post Regularly
If you want people to keep coming to your social media pages, you’ve got to post often and on a regular pattern. Scheduling your posts will help keep users interested and hopefully turn them into customers. Remember that people are more active on social media at different times. When you post during these peak hours, your posts will be more likely to be noticed and interacted with by users.
6. Reply with Dignity and Decorum
Plenty of cruel and childish people are online, and they may target your small business with immature comments, annoying posts and downright lies. The temptation to stoop to their level will be strong, but you must always reply with dignity and decorum. Refute false claims without emotion and report annoying or disruptive users to the social media moderators rather than engaging with them. This will preserve your small business’s professionalism.
7. Don’t Forget to Link
A business social media account isn’t the main avenue for customers to learn about or purchase your products. The real online channel will be your business website. Your social media page is just a means for you to create more awareness and draw more users to your business website. As such, you should never forget to link your site on your social media account regularly. Incorporate it in posts, put in the caption for images and send it to users. This will maintain a steady flow of new visitors to your website.
8. Use Compelling Images
Humans are naturally visual creatures and imagery can mean the life or death of your small business. Compelling photographs and graphics are essential in keeping people interested in what you have to say. A demographic about the benefits of your products and services will be much more interesting than a long, bulleted post. A photograph showcasing the beauty of your products is much more effective at getting point across than just describing it.
Your small business needs to leverage the advantages presented by digital technology so that it flourishes in today’s environment. Leveraging the features of social media will be indispensable in ensuring your enterprise not only survives but thrives even with heavy competition.