A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Growing on Social Media

Navigating the world of social media can be challenging in today’s times given all the competition small businesses will face on popular social platforms. However, with the vast connectivity between consumers and businesses, social media may be the perfect place for your business to gain a following and, in return, maximize profits. But the real question is: what are the best ways to tackle the beast we call social media? Is there a particular method or strategy that produces the best results? Well, unfortunately, the short answer is no. However, with a few tips to guide you in the right direction, you’ll be able to formulate your own unique strategy that is optimized specifically for your business. Trying these quick tips can drive success in the ever-changing world of social media.

Identify Your Audience

One of the largest contributors to failed marketing and business growth on social media is the misidentification of your business’s target audience. Understanding who will purchase your product or service is essential to marketing to the target customer on and off social media. In some cases, your target audience in your regular business efforts may be different than on social media. For example, a store like Justice, which sells clothing and accessories for tween girls, has a different target audience in-store, online, and across each individual social media platform.

In the above examples, you can see that Justice’s Facebook content is much more sales-focused.

They are sharing content about current deals, promotions, and discounts. This is because their target audience on Facebook is mainly adult parents who are purchasing for their teens.

On the business’ Instagram account however, the company uses more experience-based content and language given that this platform is likely viewed and interacted with by the tweens themselves. Visitors can interact with their Instagram stories and take advantage of the “Justice World Experience” that the page is showcasing.

On Pinterest, Justice adjusted its content to serve the type of audience that uses the platform. Typically when on the app, consumers are looking for interesting ideas, tips, projects, and advice that is visually appealing. As you can see from the above pictures, Justice puts much more emphasis on visually interesting tips and advice that doesn’t directly correlate with their products.

Identifying who your audience is on each social media platform is key to producing successful marketing efforts and growth in your small business.

Create and Schedule a Content Calendar

When running a small business on social media, you must be business-minded with the content you post as well. Posting every now and then when your audience seems like they are active won’t produce the results you are looking for. Instead, practice consistency on each platform by creating a regular schedule of relevant content for your users.

Many entrepreneurs focusing on Instagram content, for example, utilize a scheduling app like Later to organize all of their posts in one place. With the app, you can pre-schedule your content and ideas and set them up for auto-publishing weeks in advance. It’s also perfect for creating a consistent brand image on your Instagram account. You can arrange pre-scheduled content to ensure your page represents your brand the best for each visitor.

Engage with Customers

Customer engagement is especially important when representing a small business on social media. Your reputation is what will build your brand to be successful and the best way to develop one is through your customer interaction and engagement. Responding to comments, tags, and direct messages will assure your customers that their voices and opinions matter and that you are willing to consider those opinions in your business effort.

Not only will engagement be effective for building customer relationships, but it can actually drive traffic to your content. For example, if customers are commenting on your account’s posts and your reply, you are driving further engagement to your post. This, in return, provides a greater likelihood of your post being seen by the commenter’s friends and followers, giving you some exposure to potential new customers. If you’re an artist or a producer, you can generate plays with a SoundCloud play bot to increase your overall social proof.

Evaluate Conversion Rates

Lastly, and most importantly, be sure that you are consistently evaluating how many of your followers across your social media platforms are converting into profit for your company. While this is not the only factor that can make your social media efforts successful, it is, of course, the overarching goal.

A great way to analyze this is through the use of a platform like Google Analytics. If you are running an eCommerce business, include a link to your site on any of your social media platforms. Then, Google Analytics can track how many users are clicking the link and from what social media platform that link is attributed. From there, the software can follow that URL thread throughout your site to determine how many users made a purchase after accessing the link through your business’s social media page.

However, profit is not every business’s goal when creating a social media strategy. You may be more interested in brand awareness or a post’s likes and activity. Every business will have a different goal, but in any case, be sure that your efforts are converting successfully to reach whatever goal you put in place.

Social media for small business can be an incredibly successful asset and can help you and your team to reach more goals than ever before. Be sure to keep these tips in mind when developing your accounts and continue to do research to develop the most effective strategy for your business goals.

About the author

Marie Johnson is a tech writer for the technology magazine Enlightened Digital. She also works as a UX designer for a major tech company based out of New York. With her passion for writing and years of experience in the field of technology, she now enjoys combining the two worlds and sharing her knowledge and tips with the online tech community.

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