8 Ways to Use Social Media to Grow Your Small Business

instagram shop example

Improve Search Engine Ranking

This theory was supported by the same Social Media Examiner report I mentioned above with 78% of small businesses saying they use social media to increase their website traffic.

If you don’t have a strong presence on social media, you’re losing out on organically generated traffic. This means that your traffic is generated from the same limited number of people currently following you.

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Additionally, you can add a Click to Tweet feature on an interesting statistic, quote, or other information to make it more shareable. Now it’s just a click away for readers to share your content.

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Decide what kind of social media presence fits your brand

If you’re having trouble getting inspired, Rachel recommends looking at accounts from other industries or even logging off to do creative research. “I get a lot of inspiration from looking at old advertisements or old campaigns or going on a hike and just getting out in the world and getting off of social media,” she says.

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The brand posts reels that demonstrate how to cook with its meal starters, and uses its own branding design as a through-line. Followers can enjoy the making of mouthwatering dishes like a lemongrass chicken bánh mì or spicy mushroom fried rice. Or they can chuckle at relatable Reels like “When you’re mad but they ask you if you want to eat” or “POV: The friend who can’t cook is talking about what’s ‘missing’ from a dish.”

One way to do this is by assigning roles to the different social media platforms that you use. Maybe on TikTok you share recipe reels, Instagram is for photos of the finished meal, and Twitter marketing is for real-time business updates. That’s what clothing shop TrashQueen does: its creative content lives on channels like Instagram and TikTok, but its business-oriented news stays on Twitter.

As you develop what you’ll share, consider whether you’re putting out content that you’d like or share yourself. For Rachel, the posts where the answer to that question is “yes” always outperform everything else.

“Shareability, more than ever on social media, is so important,” she says. “Whether it’s leaning into humor or useful reels that are recipes or just something that has added value that makes somebody say, ‘I’m going to add this to my story, I’m going to send this to a friend.’ Those types of cues from an algorithm perspective are so important right now.”

How to create a social media marketing strategy

A good strategy will help your brand find the right customers in this growing space. It will also help you determine which social media platforms you should focus on. Whether you’re new to social media or revisiting your strategy for 2022, follow these steps to create your strategy.

Set goals that are relevant to your business

Everything you post or do should be tied back to one of your goals as a business owner. To start, write your goals down and think about how you’ll measure the success of your efforts.

Social media marketing requires a lot of testing and trying things out. You can’t improve any particular aspect of it without knowing what signals to pay attention to. You can even use these signals to define targets for your social media marketing plan to help you stay motivated and on track.

Beyond branding, you need all the social handles. People need to find you. They need to be able to find you on social and your website and have it all be clear and consistent.

John Cascarano, founder of Beast

Drive brand awareness. Reach more people to increase the likelihood of your brand getting seen by the right people. You can measure this using impressions/reach, likes, shares, mentions, or any other signal that shows a real person has seen your post(s).

Create demand for your products. Get people interested in your products with relevant inspiration or education, which you can gauge by clicks to your site, products added to a shopping cart, or comments/messages from interested customers.

Acquire leads and customers. These are paying customers, or at least their emails, which you can nurture into sales. A large amount in of itself, won’t help you drive sales!

Build a loyal following. Grow an engaged audience that wants to hear from you; don’t inflate your follower count with fake or bought followers. You want to build an authentic community of people who are interested in your products and who will promote your content or products to others. You can measure this by followers you’ve added or lost in a certain time frame, or your engagement rate (total engagement divided by number of followers).

Establish social proof. Source positive testimonials or content generated by customers/influencers that casts your products in a positive light and can potentially be used in other marketing efforts. Sharing testimonials is an incredibly effective social media marketing tactic and can really generate increased awareness and sales.

Provide customer service. A social media presence opens you up to customer questions, complaints, and inquiries. So one of your goals will be to provide this support to customers or direct it to another preferred, private channel. One way to measure this is through your response time for direct messages. (This is displayed as a badge on your Facebook page, for example.)

Become a thought leader in your target market. Social media gives you a voice that you can use to not only participate in conversations, but shift them in the direction you think they should go in and build credibility around your products or services.

Identifying your target audiences

An effective social media marketing strategy starts with understanding your ideal customer. Building rich context on your target audience takes time, but there are steps you can take immediately that will provide lasting value.

Spend some time researching your target audience, looking for demographic and psychographic data or observable patterns that help you form a mental image of who is likely to buy from you. This exercise won’t just inform your initial strategy but also help you develop a voice and tone for your brand that resonates with them.

If your business naturally focuses on a specific niche market (like cat owners, for example), your job will be easier than if you’re trying to appeal to a more general audience (like telecom and airline brands). Check out places your audiences often hang out, such as in subreddits or blogs, to see what they’re interested in.

Facebook, being one of the largest social media platforms and, thus, a database of 2.89 billion monthly active users, is also a great place to do some audience research. Check out your competitors’ pages, clicking through on the profiles of some of their engaged followers to get a better sense of who they are.

You don’t have to fill out every trait, but describe what you can to paint an image of this person as it is relevant to your business. The more effort and detail you put into this section, the more impactful your findings will be for your social media marketing strategy.

personas checklist template

Sources:

https://www.postplanner.com/blog/ways-to-use-social-media-to-grow-your-small-business
https://www.shopify.com/blog/social-media-small-businesses
https://www.shopify.com/blog/social-media-marketing-strategy


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