Why social media is important for small business

Despite the popularity of social media channels many businesses remain without a social media presence. For some this may be a purposeful decision and for others it may be a lost opportunity. Social media channels provide a unique and often low-cost way to connect with existing customers and reach out to new customer networks. It isn’t just about a constant stream of sales and special giveaways but an opportunity to communicate your expertise and interact with your clients in a meaningful way. 

Here are our top 5 social media tips to help your small business successfully engage on social media.

  • Create strategy and goals

Get beyond the thinking that you just need to be on social media because everyone else is. Assess what your business goals are and how social media can help you achieve them. Are you trying to achieve sales, enquiries or both? To know if it’s working you must track your results via your social media platform. 

Strategize how you will stand out on social media. What does your brand look like and how are you different from your competitors? What style of engagement will you use to define your brand? Review what works for your competitors and assess if it will also work for you. 

  • Build your authority and engagement

Social media allows you to talk directly to your customers and potential customers. Research company Global Web Index reports that more than 40% of digital customers use social media networks to research new brands and products. Using social media to build engagement with clients can help to build trust in your business and products and demonstrate your authority in the industry. Generating online creditability will not only lead to more sales but also present opportunities for collaboration and growth in your business.

  • Dominate and perfect your target platform

Identify where your clients and potential clients spend their time online. Then decide which social media platforms will be the right fit for your business. Look at the array of data available on the internet and do your own research. A Pew Research survey in 2019 has shown that 84% of millennials say they use Facebook even though it is assumed by most people that they prefer channels like Instagram and Snapchat. Start off using one platform and have that perform before branching out onto other platforms. It doesn’t have to be a one size fits all approach. Different platforms can be used for different purposes but make sure you get it right and make it targeted.

  • Create a calendar

Creating a social media calendar will help you to target different times during the year with different messaging. It will also help with you message consistency. Posting on a consistent basis will help to maintain engagement with clients and produce better results than an ad hoc approach.

Hootsuite, a social media management platform, advises that you should apply the 80-20 rule, whereby 80% of your content should be to inform, educate or entertain your audience and 20% should be to promote or sell your products.

  • Quality content

Social media algorithms reward engagement and posts that have interaction, therefore you must produce quality content that speaks to your audience. Encourage your customers to interact by asking questions and respond to any engagement received. If you don’t have the capacity to produce quality content then delegate to someone who can help. Most social channels are based on strong visual content and this especially appeals to the younger generations.

Most social media channels are easy to use however always start off with a plan before diving straight in. You don’t want to deter potential customers at the start while you think it through. Engage professional help, if needed, to get you started and always assess results to ensure your social media strategy is converting to more profit and not just wasting your time.

Jo Coveney is a passionate photographer and online marketing content creator. She loves following the latest developments in technology and design trends across the globe.