The Importance of Social Media for Small Business Success: 7 Groundbreaking Tips

by Liz Rodriguez, May 8, 2017

The Importance of Social Media for Small Business Success:
7 Groundbreaking Tips

Social Media for Small Business Success: 7 Groundbreaking Tips

 

Pencil Dreams

Caroline Weaver’s parents looked at her like she had gone off the deep end when she announced her plans to open up a pencil shop on one of the busiest strips in New York City.

Yes, you read that right… a pencil shop.

After graduating college, she risked personal funds of over $80,000 in hopes to build a pencil empire — loading up on inventory, building a website, paying advance rent and by the look of her Instagram…. purchasing a fantastic camera.

Do you want to know something crazy?

She succeeded. C.W. Pencil Enterprises has been featured in The New York Times, Bloomberg and Freakonomics. It receives massive amounts of traffic both instore and online, with her top customers spending upwards of $4,000 every single year.

That’s a lot of pencils.

Her success can be heavily attributed to her exquisite social media talents and massive Instagram following of over 100,000, which can be admired here.

You see, Caroline Weaver understands the importance of social media for small business; and by the end of this blog post, you will too.

1. Where Are Your Customers Hanging Out? Go Hang Out with Them

Social media platforms were not created equal. They have differing styles, content focuses and most importantly… users. For example, let’s say your small business specifically targets men, it may not be a good idea to build your brand on Pinterest; being that 81% of their users are female.

Make sure your social media platform aligns well with the customer you are targeting. A great billboard is useless if the wrong people are seeing it. The same can be said for social media.

2.Choose a Social media & Stick With it

We just discussed how important it is when implementing social media for small business to find the right platform. So, why not just use every social media platform?

Great question. The age old saying, never put all your eggs in one basket, does not hold true when it comes to social media. A lack of social presence causes customers to question your legitimacy and credibility.

Having seven different social media sites with next to no followers on each is not brand building. It’s brand killing.

No social media site is better than a bad social media site — remember this.

Choose one social media platform and do it exceptionally well. We are talking out of the park homerun. When it comes to social media, put all of your eggs in one basket.

3. Push A Lot of Content Very Quickly When Starting Out

Okay, so you have chosen the right platform where your audience is hanging out and you are sticking to it. Now what?

Your next step is to push content and a lot of it.

When you are first starting out in the game of social media for small business, you are at a bit of a disadvantage — you are the new kid on the block looking for friends.

This can be mitigated by actively pushing content. Users who visit a social media profile that is completely barren save for a few rolling tumbleweeds is bound to bounce right off the page. This is why it is so important to get content on your page so visitors will stick around for a bit.

While it is very important to create content that aligns well with your brand when starting out it is more important to just get strong material out there.

Post first, ask questions later.

4. Social Media for Business is About Engaging Not marketing

When you walk through the mall, do you enjoy getting chased down by a kiosk worker to try a new perfume or magical hand scrub? No.
Why not? Because nobody likes to feel like they are being sold to.
Keep this in mind as you create content. Your number one goal is to engage your audience by teaching them something new, making them laugh or feel inspired. The style of your brand will best dictate the type of engagement you should seek to provide.
For example, SportCenter’s Twitter is filled with highlights of amazing plays in sports because they seek to engage through wowing or aweing their followers. With that said, SportCenter’s content looks much different than a brand like Entrepreneur Magazine who seeks to engage through educating and informing its readers

In both cases though, these brands number one goal is to engage, not market.

Today, engaging is marketing.

5. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

The golden rule of social media for small business is — when in doubt, post a picture.

65% of people are visual learners, meaning they absorb more information by looking at a visual representation like a picture rather than reading text. This statistic alone is ultimately why Instagram has grown at such ferocious rates — consumers would rather look at pictures than read.

The same can be said for the Twittersphere where tweets with pictures receive 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites and 150% more retweets

Spend your time curating beautiful engaging imagery that you can share with your audience.

After all, it’s what they want to see.

6. Invest in a Schedule Tool

Success with social media for small business happens when you are pushing good, strong content frequently. Unfortunately, posting frequently can be difficult when juggling a busy schedule… like running a small business.

Success with social media for small business happens when you are pushing good, strong content frequently. Unfortunately, posting frequently can be difficult when juggling a busy schedule… like running a small business.

Fortunately, there are some fantastic tools that can help you get around this.

Buffer, Everypost, Hootsuite, Sproutsocial, and Socialoomph are all excellent tools for automating your social media posting schedule. With that said, make sure you still keep the human aspect of your content. It is not a good idea to schedule out posts for an entire year, this can begin to feel robotic to your followers.

7. Go Local for Cross-Promotional Opportunities

A great strategy to build your audience is to partner up with other small businesses in your local area.

For example, a food truck might decide to partner up with a coffee shop and local musician to put on a cool event called Afternoon Acoustic. On their own, each of these social media accounts might only have 1,000 followers, but combined they can get their event in front of 3,000+ people. There is power in numbers, especially when it comes to social media for small business.

Small Business. Large Following.

Let’s take a moment and briefly sum up the tips we just discussed.

Tip One: Successful social media for small business starts with finding where your customers hang out and simply showing up to wherever that platform is. Remember, a great billboard is useless if the wrong people are seeing it.

Tip Two: Once you find the right social media for your brand, you must have the discipline to commit. It is better to build a large following on one social media platform than small followings on multiple platforms.

Tip Three: Now, since you are the new kid on the block, you are going to want to make some friend. The way you make friends is by pushing content and a lot of it. Period.

Tip Four: Producing great content is about engaging, not marketing. Seek to teach your followers something new, make them laugh or feel inspired.

Tip Five: Remember that 65% of people are visual learners. So, when in doubt, post a picture.

Tip Six: Implementing a frequent posting schedule doesn’t have to be difficult — there are some really great tools that can help you automate this process.

Tip Seven: There is power in numbers. The easiest way to grow your following and get your brand in front of more eyes is to partner up with local small businesses in your area.

Hopefully, now that you have reached the end of this blog post, you realize the importance of social media for small business. Many people have the misconception that small businesses are at a disadvantage when it comes to social media because they lack the money and resources.
The truth is that small businesses have an edge on large corporations — when done well, social media for small business can feel authentic, genuine and personable.

Remember to let these three qualities shine as you build a social media for your small business. You have all the tools to build a social empire. So, what are you waiting for? Check out a case study for a social media client here.

Sources:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-12/this-25-year-old-is-turning-a-profit-selling-pencils
https://www.omnicoreagency.com/pinterest-statistics/
https://tapsnap.net/blog/5-stats-explaining-the-importance-of-visual-content-on-social-media/

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