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The Top 10 Strategies to Effectively Market Your Small Business on Social Media

Jock Breitwieser
Jock Breitwieser

Discover the top 10 strategies you can harness to unleash the power of social media marketing and propel your small business into the stratosphere.

In 2020, the average person has an account on more than eight different social media platforms, and spends an average of 2 hours and 29 minutes using social media each day. Compare that with 4.5 accounts in 2014. This growth trend shows no sign of stopping, with digital marketing becoming the most crucial tool for small business success. Anyone can gain followers and attention provided they understand content creation. Read on to discover essential strategies to help you market your small business on social media.

We'll walk you through:

  • How to harness the power of data-driven consumer insights  
  • Why you need to understand content marketing and digital marketing to become an expert at social media
  • Tips on how to use social media to expand your reach and increase revenue

Entrepreneurship is all about resilience and adaptability in a continually shifting and changing marketplace. Technology is helping us understand consumer behavior and make accurate predictions based on hard data. By staying ahead of the curve with regards to social media marketing, you're positioning yourself at the cutting edge of your industry.    

Why market your small business on social media?

The question should be, why wouldn't you use social media to market your small business? Millions of people around the world use social media to interact with friends, family, brands, charities, influencers and entertainers. Connecting directly with consumers through social media channels gives small business owners several unique opportunities. For starters, they can develop meaningful, long-term relationships with their customers and provide useful content to their customer base.

Marketers now fully understand the importance of brands provoking an emotional response in your audience to optimize success. When companies connect with buyers using social media channels, the consumer feels like part of a collective. If your customers feel like part of your brand's community, loyalty and repeat purchases follow. Live video content is the hottest trend right now in social media marketing because it lets the community interact with you and each other in real time.   

Scrape as much data as possible

Of course, you're aware that the first law of marketing is to know your audience. Before talented web developers and data scientists started pulling data for us to read, customer insights were based on guesswork. Tech has come a long way in recent years, with CRMs and other data analysis tools helping entrepreneurs to understand their target audience based on facts.

The first step of any digital, content or social media marketing strategy is to develop a detailed picture of who you're aiming your campaign at. Demographics, web browsing preferences, beliefs, and reasons social media usage are just a few factors that influence how you speak to your target audience.

If you're adept at communicating with your followers in a way that connects with them, you'll instill loyalty and attract more like-minded folk around the world.     

Connect your social media marketing, content marketing, and email marketing strategies

Social media marketing isn't just about posting pretty pictures and fresh videos, although these are two excellent means of communicating. Every item of content you post needs to be carefully considered as part of a broader strategy. You should ask yourself several questions before posting anything, including:

  • What do you hope to achieve by posting content?
  • Who do you want to see your content?
  • Which channels are you planning to post specific content?
  • How is this content useful and actionable to potential customers?

The final question is so important because there's no use in you spending valuable time and money creating content that isn't useful. Besides, salesy and overt marketing tactics tend to be transparent to the modern, switched-on consumer.

In today's market, the most effective way to attract and retain business is by aligning your brand identity with the beliefs of your core customer base. Provide them useful content without attempting a hard sell, interact on a human level, and find creative ways to generate excitement about your product.  

As previously mentioned, the market is more fast-paced, and consumer trends change quicker than ever. Excellent entrepreneurship involves setting aside time every month to analyze trends and ensure that your social media marketing offering is on-point. You don't need to continually update your product or change your business model quite so frequently. Still, you should expect the way you communicate with your target audience to be ever-changing.

The world of big data means that there's software available that leverages information from forums, blogs and social media. This puts primary real-time market research at the fingertips of marketers. Your instincts might be excellent, but there's no need to waste that time and energy compiling reports when there's automated software out there to help you. 

Social media analytics and insights

social media analytics tool sifts through every website you ask it to, discards useless information and provides you with actionable insights. These social media insights show you how many people are engaging and interacting with your brand. It's also an incredible way to get genuine feedback on a mass scale. 

Remember, feedback is one of the most significant assets you have. If gripes or complaints appear more than a few times, you need to address it immediately. Likewise, you can build strategies around complimentary feedback that appears repeatedly. For example, if you release a limited edition product, and the analytics tool reports positive feedback, consider making it a part of your primary offering.

Work with social media influencers

Influencer marketing is an extension of a form of marketing that's been around for years. Affiliate marketing, partner marketing – or anything else you want to call it – is all about making the right business connections. In some cases, you might simply pay someone with a lot of followers in your vertical to advertise your product.

As part of a more comprehensive strategy, you should find people with whom you can develop a mutually beneficial business relationship. For example, if you sell CBD oil, you might partner with a local counselor or life coach who endorses CBD products for wellness. By working together, you provide them access to your client base, and they do the same for you in return.

Be careful, though, fake accounts on the web are rife. Make sure the influencers you work with are genuine, and bots and fake accounts don't populate their follower lists. Remember, the whole point of social media marketing is to connect with real people and to encourage consumer engagement. If you're sending out social media content to fake accounts, you're missing out on valuable insights and growth. 

How to approach influencers

I recommend approaching influencers whom you and your brand have a connection to. Aim high, and send a carefully constructed email, social media message, handwritten letter, and samples of your product to the 20 individuals and business who you'd most like to work with. Even if only one of them gets back to you, your world could change.

Send emails and letters to hundreds of other mid-tier people who you'd be happy to represent your brand in some way. With this type of affiliate, the more, the merrier. Connect on social media and networking events with as many relevant people as possible. There is no such thing in business as having too many connections.    

Host regular live Q&A sessions 

Not only is video the most popular category of content online, but it's also the form of content that consumers trust most with regards to brand identity. The public can be mistrustful of written content, which they're also more likely to notice sales or marketing techniques within. When it comes to video, they're more likely to buy into your brand, because they can see you speaking directly to them. 

Q&A sessions or unique live content on Facebook Live and Instagram Live are two of the most effective ways of engaging with your audience. It allows them to communicate directly with you and chat with other members of your community in the comments. A sense of belonging is one of the most meaningful things to a human, and live video content lets you give this to your client base.  

Suppose you or someone who works in your company is confident in front of a camera – great. If not, you need minimal training and just a little practice. Consumers are turning to social media for live-streaming video content more than ever. 

Speaking to customers one on one is one of the most effective ways of winning customer loyalty. Q&A sessions present the perfect opportunity to develop tight, long-term bonds with your client base.  

Additional guidance on how to market your small business on social media

Social media is one of the most powerful tools available to small businesses right now. It lets you communicate directly to your target audience and allows them to engage with your brand. Please add any questions or comments in the business.com community, or get in touch with SocialSellinator, if you'd like more information about how to use digital, social media, and content marketing to grow your business. 

Jock Breitwieser
Jock Breitwieser,
business.com Writer
See Jock Breitwieser's Profile
I have 20+ years of international communications expertise in agencies and in-house and am an award-winning communicator. I focus on Digital Marketing and Communications. Throughout my career, I worked in agencies and in-house, running global marketing programs that deliver business results. I'm currently based in Silicon Valley, California, and run marketing communications for StorageCraft. Since 2013, I've been very involved in digital marketing and social media marketing. For my clients, I achieved multiple $100k in revenue through social selling. My agency, www.SocialSellinator.com helps businesses and sales teams recognize and leverage the power of social media for business lead generation. In 2017, I was named one of the Top 100 social selling influencers. I'm an adjunct professor at San Jose State University and a lecturer at Berkeley Extension. I hold an M.A. in contemporary history, law and political sciences from the University of Bochum, Germany and studied in Tours/France with a scholarship of the European Union. I enjoy international travel and I compete in Triathlons.