Tips On How To Handle Social Media For Your Small Business

Optimizing social media for small business will enable you to connect with your audience in real-time.

7 out of 10 American adults are active on social media. Therefore, it’s crucial for businesses to create strategies to better engage with their target audience on social platforms.

We’ve put together a list of social media marketing tips that will surely help you reach out to your target audience, increase engagement, and heighten brand awareness.

10 Best Social Media Tips For Successful Business

Tip#1: Make A marketing plan

planning

Social media tools are easy to use and even may tempt you to just wing it and start posting content endlessly to get organic traffic. However, if you truly want to leverage social media, you need to have an incredible marketing plan for your small business.

When you don’t have a clear marketing plan, you won’t be able to achieve anything. Therefore, take your time in developing a marketing plan that ensures your efforts come to fruition.

If you don’t know where to start, here are some of the bonus tips that might help,

·        Set SMART Goals

Your goals should follow the SMART methodology. That means the goals you set must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based. So, whether you want to increase brand awareness or conversions, this method helps you stay on the right track. That, in turn, will help you achieve your goals in the most effective manner.

·        Analyze Your Competitors

Analyzing your competitors and observing their approach is the most effective way to sustain and thrive in any competitive industry. When you research your competitors, look for their weaknesses, and see where they are lacking. Leverage their weakness and turn it into your strength.

·        Evaluate Your Social Media Performance

When you have a social media presence, you need to evaluate the performance and look for any opportunities and anomalies. Make changes to improve your social media and also look for imposter accounts. Sometimes, your competitors create fake social media accounts to tarnish your reputation.

Tip#2: Use Data to determine Your Platforms

When you’re about to make a strategic decision of choosing a platform, always prefer data over your instincts or hearsay.

For instance, you might hear that Facebook isn’t the right platform to target millennials. However, when you look at the data, it shows the complete opposite.

According to the Pew Research Center, 84% of millennials are active users of Facebook. So, you know how social media marketing for small business can positively impact your brand’s social presence.

Although many published research may certainly help decide the right platform. However, it doesn’t seem necessary that you shouldn’t conduct any research on your own.

When you conduct your own research, you will find more detailed and comprehensive information about your audience you want to target.

That brings us to the next tip.

Tip#3: Understand Your Audience

For the successful execution of the social media strategy, it all comes down to how well you know your target audience.

Again, you want data to get to know more about your existing and potential customers. You should also use social media analytics tools to have a deeper insight into who your audience is and how they interact with your business.

For instance, Imperfect Foods leveraged Pinterest to gain prominence in selling produce boxes for fruits and vegetables. When they put their content on Pinterest, they used generic but relevant keywords related to their business nature. Such as “fresh,” “healthy,” and so forth. But when they did a deeper analysis, they found that their target audience was also interested in finance. So, they changed their approach and include the financial benefits of reducing food waste and the benefits for the environment.

Tip#4: Develop Lasting Relationships

One of the biggest perks of using social media for business is that it helps you develop lasting relationships with your customers.

According to Global Web Index, over 40% of online customers leverage social media to look for new products or services.

So, when your target audience interacts and engages with your content, you should also engage back. It will give rise to a loyal fanbase where your content keeps growing with more impressions and engagement. As a result, your engagement will turn into sales in due time.

Tip#5: Post Visually Appealing Content

content

Visual elements are the prime factor of content that generates buzz.

According to eMarketer, the majority of millennials and Gen Z claim that their buying decision of fashion was based on the image they viewed on social media.

All major social media platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat are known for their visual elements. If you want to gain traction with your content, ensure to add aesthetically appealing visuals.

Also, learn how to create a comprehensive small business website.

Tip#6: Never Compromise On Quality

It may seem quite overwhelming to stand your content out with a sea of content on social media. However, it doesn’t mean you should also post content endlessly.

On the contrary, you need to put out your best marketing efforts to create quality content on a specific platform to have a strong and lasting social media presence.

Most importantly, refrain from direct selling on social media. It will push even your loyal followers away.

Keep in mind, social media is a platform where you build relationships. So, when posting content, ensure to include a personal touch, fun, and engaging element, and offer credible information.

Credibility is the key to having a strong social media presence.

According to Stackla, 86% of consumers claim that credibility is the prime factor of their preference for brands.

It’s difficult to dive into every social media platform. So, it’s better to start with one channel where you can easily reach out to your target audience. And once you’ve got the hang of it, you can utilize the same strategic skills on other platforms and expand.

Tip#7: Utilize The Right Tools

You need to have the right set of tools to stay on top of your social media. These tools help you streamline your work and improves productivity. Once you have mastered these tools, you can run a social media account by yourself without the need for a dedicated team.

These dynamic tools include,

·        Engagement Management

The social media engagement management tool helps you gather all the social engagements under one dashboard. So, you can respond easily without the need to log into your social media account each time.

·        Analytics

Analytics tools help in providing an in-depth report of your social media performance. You can find how many impressions or engagements you receive on a given post.

·        Graphics

There are various graphics tools that can help you make visually appealing content on your social media platforms. Some of the prominent tools include Canva and Piktochart. These tools make personalized visual content that is crucial for Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook marketing.

·        Content Curation

It’s quite challenging to develop unique and engaging content for your social media on a regular basis. However, with content curation, you can share quality posts of others. Even though you have to give credit to the curators, but still, help add value and build a strong social media presence.

Tip#8: Actively Involve in Social Listening

You already know why you should engage with your target audience on social media. But it doesn’t have to be limited to social media.

There are other platforms where you need to listen, respond, and engage with your target audience more humanely.

For instance, if you’re running a coffee shop. Customers love having coffee at your shop, but they aren’t fond of your bagels. Some customers say they’re always stale, some say batter isn’t freshly made, and some offer another opinion. Now, you have all the feedback to make your bagel better.

You made preparation for the batter based on the daily sales of bagels. So your batter will not be staled, and the bagel will be fresh when it’s served to the customers.

Thus, the power of social listening has helped you deliver what the customer wants.

Tip#9: Set Up A Content Calendar

When you’re regularly posting content on your social media, it’s better to set up a content calendar. The content calendar provides an efficient way to post content.

For instance, with the content calendar, you’d be able to schedule your content and dedicate a day to create content in advance.

So, once you have created content for the week or month, you can put out your resources on other social media activities.

Here’s a video of how to set up a content calendar for your social media.

Tip#10: Track, Monitor, And Finetune Your Performance

Once you have formulated and implemented your social media strategy, it’s now time to track, monitor, and finetune your overall performance.

Social media analytics will help you gather all the data to provide an overview of marketing activities. You can also apply the A/B testing method to find out which activities work and which needs improvement.

Have a look at this video to learn more about tracking your social media performance,

Final Words

When you follow these social media tips, you will be better able to leverage social media to increase brand awareness, engagement, and find new and loyal followers.

The best approach is to start small, gradually expand, and reach out to the wider audience.

Incredible Marketing Plan Steps – How It Actually Works

Creating a marketing plan steps is a critical exercise that needs to repeat every year in order to ensure that you are following a certain, well-defined path to meet your long term brand recognition and growth goals.

Without a marketing plan in place, your brand teams will be left rudderless and this will result in a lot of wastage of precious time and financial resources without much to show in return.

But what makes most teams flounder here is that they don’t know how exactly to put a marketing plan together.

While there can be variation in the kind of specific marketing plan you require for your own niche, there are some elements that stay uniform in all marketing plans. This guide will tell you all about them and allow you to hit the ground running when you are about to create your very first marketing plan.

What is a Marketing Plan?

A marketing plan can be considered off as a comprehensive report that contains all the activities and strategies that you plan to undertake in your marketing domain for the upcoming year.

It essentially lays out all the company’s marketing efforts to communicate and promote their product or service in order to gain potential or retain existing customers.

Every marketing initiative mentioned in the marketing plan has to be in line with the company’s overall marketing strategy. That ensures everyone in the company is on the same page, leading to maximizing return on investments and achieving the company’s overall marketing objectives.

How to Create Marketing Plan Steps?

An effective marketing plan template has the following aspects,

  • Executive Summary
  • Marketing Goals and KPIs
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Target Market and Buyers’ Personas
  • Marketing Channels
  • Growth Strategy
  • The Marketing Budget

Executive Summary

A marketing plan outline doesn’t need to be hundreds of pages long. Therefore, marketers must summarize their entire plan and highlight all the important facets of it in the outline.

In the executive summary, you need to flesh out all the main objectives of your marketing plan to your stakeholders.

If you want to understand this in a bit more detail, have a look at this two-minute video by HubSpot that focuses on the essentials of making an executive summary.

Marketing Goals and KPIs

It’s critical for your company to have marketing goals and a defined way on how to measure them.

This way, you’d be able to see their progress, how much you’ve achieved, and how much further you still need to go. These are your key performance indicators (KPIs).

To get through this, you need to ask yourself the following questions,

  • What and how would I achieve my marketing goals?
  • How many sales are required to achieve those goals?
  • What are KPIs crucial for achieving goals?

SWOT Analysis

Marketing Plan Steps SWOT Analysis

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis is a structured framework for assessing the company’s position in the market. In SWOT analysis, you analyze your product or service’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Strengths

It includes all the strengths of the company. So you need to figure out

  • How could you have the competitive edge you have over your rivals?
  • What are your unique selling points?
  • What are the unique process, capabilities, or resources you have that sets you apart?

Weaknesses

You should need to work on the shortcomings of your product or service which is coming to a barrier in achieving your marketing goals, and ask yourself,

  • Where and how do your competitors have a competitive edge over you?
  • What are the potential flaws of your product or service?

Opportunities

Sometimes dynamic changes in the market could be game-changer. You need to work on

  • How can you take advantage of the latest advancements in the industry?

It could be in the form of the latest government policies related to your business, population dynamics, social media trends, and so on.

You need to work on how you can leverage these changes to benefit your product or service and include them in your marketing plan.

Threats

It includes all the threats that could adversely affect your business. It could in the form of a new competitor or any changes in the government policies that could hurt your business. You need to work on:

  • How can you stay ahead of the curve and avoid threats to negatively impact your marketing plan steps?

Target Market and Buyers’ Personas

Marketing Plan Target Market

The target market is the section of the audience you want to target.

In analyzing the target market, you make efforts to identify your potential customers. You research their demographics, age group, financial status, etc. Determine the type of audience you want to focus on and why they would be interested in your product or service.

Buyers’ personas are a more detailed version of the target market. Marketers give more distinction to the attributes of their ideal customers.

The buyers’ attributes contribute immensely to achieving the overall marketing plan. Those attributes include

  • Status – The age group, title, industry, and designation.
  • Perspective – What do they think about your brand? What do they need to know?
  • Emotional connection – Why would they care for your brand? What are their problems?
  • Their Limitations – What are the barriers? What are their fears?
  • Their Need – When would they need it? The desired call-to-action that makes them buy.

Identify Your Marketing Channels

Online marketing channels have contributed immensely in helping brands achieve their marketing objectives, so creating a strategy for them has become an integral part of any marketing plan.

Here are various online marketing channels which you need to include in your marketing plan:

Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the impactful online marketing channels.

According to eMarketer, 60% of marketers work on at least one content piece on a daily basis.

Aberdeen reports that content marketing leaders enjoy 7.8% higher year-over-year growth.

Content marketing boosts traffic and generates leads; however, content always works on a long-term strategy. Therefore, if you adopt a content marketing strategy, you need to consistently produce unique and exceptional content for better and long-lasting results.

Social Media

Social media is another online marketing channel with tons of potential to attract your target audience.

You can leverage this marketing channel to visually present your product or service.

Oberlo reports the daily usage of social media, where90.4% are Millennials, 77.5% are Generation X, and 48.2% are Baby Boomers.

By posting videos and images of your product/service on social media, you can create brand awareness and other marketing opportunities.

Moreover, adding value to your overall social media efforts will definitely help generate leads.

Email Marketing

If you think email marketing is a thing of the past, you couldn’t be more wrong.

According to DMA, every dollar you spend on email marketing generates a $42 return on investment.

That’s why 87% of marketers leverage email marketing campaigns to reach out to their target audience, as per the Content Marketing Institute.

You should include an email marketing channel to send weekly emails and newsletters to your potential customers. For instance, you can set up automated welcome and signup emails or thank you emails when customers make the purchase.

Run Online Ads

Online advertising is one of the most crucial elements of your overall marketing strategy template. There are numerous ways you can leverage online ads as a marketing channel.

  • Google Ads. When running your ads on the Google search engine, you can reach your target audience whenever they query your specific keywords. Google ads allow you to set your budget for the month and filter options to search for the right audience. You can place your ads based on the location, demographics, among others.
  • Social Media Ads. You can also post your ads on social media platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Quora, and Pinterest. According to Statista, social media ads’ impressions increase by 20% every year. That’s a gold mine for marketers to leverage social media to generate leads.

Utilizing Offline Media In Your Growth Strategy

Marketing Plans Growth Strategy

Once you’ve aligned your marketing goals, pricing strategy, and KPIs, you need to plan your marketing budget for the next year.

Determine what marketing channels you need to focus on, based on the ROI and profit margins. In modern times, most marketers utilize digital marketing channels, and that’s okay. However, you should never underestimate the power of offline media in your marketing plan.

Sometimes the use of ads on magazines and brochures can be quite effective in the modern world. There are numerous ways you can leverage offline media in your marketing plan including,

  • Brochures and leaflets.
  • Direct mail marketing
  • Loyalty programs
  • Sponsoring an event or venue
  • Billboard ads

We highly recommend trying at least once to measure their outcomes. Always ensure to align all the marketing activities with the overall marketing plan.

The Marketing Budget

marketing budget

A marketing budget of your product/service can highly impact your overall marketing plan.

Here are some of the factors that you need to work on:

Business Lifecycle

The marketing budget of your product or service is highly dependent on the business lifecycle stage. Whether you’re a startup or an established name in the market is the decisive factor in budget planning.

Startups have a hard time making a name for their brands; they mostly choose penetration strategy to establish their place in the competitive market. They earn lower returns on investments in order to attract buyers, while well-reputed brands would work on customer retention by delivering their brands as per their standards.

Spending Limit

The outcome of your spending isn’t static. Don’t keep your hopes up to get the same outcome spending on different marketing channels.

For instance, if you invested $10,000 to generate 500 leads on social media, t doesn’t mean that it will happen on other channels.

You need to set up a budget for different marketing channels based on their return on investments and profit share.

Conclusion

There can be no perfect, one size fits all approach to creating marketing plan steps. Every niche is different so the details contained in each marketing plan have to be aligned with the brand operating in that niche and its goals.

The best marketing plans are those that mention exactly what you want to achieve and how will you achieve that. If the process towards achieving your final marketing goals is laid out in detail in your marketing plan steps, then the only thing you need to do to ensure success is to keep yourself and you’re aligned with the plan throughout the year.

The best brands in the world all have highly detailed marketing plan steps and it’s high time that you too create one for your business so that it can reach its growth targets in due time.