Social media marketing debunked: A guide for small businesses

In the UK alone, there are more than 45 million social media users. Smaller organisations can reap the rewards from being active on social media as it provides the opportunity to engage with prospective customers. If social media marketing is done right, it can make sales skyrocket.

The best platforms available for small businesses

Every business will have unique ideas of what they want to achieve through their social media marketing, but the three ‘must have’ platforms for small businesses are Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Facebook originated as a small campus community platform but has snowballed into a social media colossus with 2.41 billion daily active users. Almost anybody can locate their target audience on Facebook and its paid advertising is the best around. There’s also Messenger, the instant messaging part of the platform, where you can communicate with customers in real time (which is a necessity these days).

Many argue that Instagram is now more popular than Facebook. The organic reach on Instagram is better, making it great for smaller businesses. It’s a visual platform where enticing images and strong video content rule supreme. If done right and you get your message across, it can work fantastically; people remember 80% of what they see, whilst that figure is significantly lower when reading text.

Twitter is so powerful when it comes to engaging new potential customers through the use of hashtags as users search a hashtag to find posts from other consumers and businesses. If you get your hashtagging right, you can pinpoint customers who may be searching for exactly what you are offering.

Social media marketing debunked

5 key tips to ensure your next social media campaign is successful

  1. Set out your goals – What’s your strategy? Do you want to generate leads, boost sales or improve brand awareness? It’s important to have clear goals when planning. 
  2. Choose your battle ground – Depending on who you want to interact with, focus your attention on one platform for a particular campaign rather than replicating across several.
  3. Make it a conversation – Respond to those who interact with your campaign and build meaningful relationships – timely responses are rewarded. 71% of consumers who have had a positive experience on social media will recommend that brand to others. 
  4. Be authentic – It’s hard to stand out in such extensive social media noise – be yourself, be real. Consumers are increasingly only engaging with brands they trust.
  5. Measure and track – Always review your results. Regardless of whether you reached your goals, measuring and tracking what does and doesn’t work is important to help sculpt your next campaign.

Some social media management tools to help you on your way…

To sign off, here are a few useful tools to make your social media marketing slicker:

  • Sprout Social – Schedule your posts and easily track their performance.
  • Best-hashtags.com – Discover new and related hashtags to increase your reach.
  • Snapseed – Easy-to-use photo-editing application that makes your imagery look more professional.
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