Posted: Mon 20th Feb 2023
Social media marketing is an essential asset for any business owner. It can raise brand awareness, build powerful connections, enhance your business's branding and eventually grow sales.
However, unlike larger businesses, small businesses don't have the benefit of ubiquity. This makes marketing and reaching potential customers even more important.
With limited money and resources, small business owners have to be savvy about the time they spend on social media marketing. For many, organic marketing is the only option, without deep pockets to fund social media advertising.
Not sure where to start? Here are our top tips for achieving exponential growth on your social media channels.
Consider which platforms are right for your business
So, what's the best social platform for growing your business? The truth is, there's no right answer.
You may be tempted to go with what you know. For instance, if you have a personal Instagram account, that may seem the natural choice.
"The first thing you need to do when defining your strategy is determine the audience and persona. Have a clear picture of who you want to target and build on that, then identify the best channels."
Laura also advises that it's important to start with fewer platforms but do them well – think quality over quantity. Establish your presence on a couple of platforms, then consider expanding your horizons.
Different platforms include, but aren't limited to:
There may be other platforms for a niche audience, depending on your business. For instance, Behance is a social network specifically for creatives. These platforms can help you cut through the noise and deliver more targeted content to a specific audience.
Focus on building engagement
One of the best ways to grow your audience is by getting engagement. Building an engaged audience on your social media platforms helps facilitate new customers, as people are more likely to recommend your social channels to other users.
If customers are more engaged, they're also more likely to continue their customer journey and learn more about your brand. This will result in many going on to invest in your product or service.
You can measure engagement using the following metrics:
Shares and retweets
Create great content with your audience in mind
To produce great content, you need to make sure that you're adding value. By creating content that your audience will enjoy, they will engage with, trust and start a relationship with your brand.
Nurturing customers will also promote customer loyalty. If a customer likes and trusts your brand, they're much more likely to make repeat purchases – rather than a one-off spend.
The following content can provide value:
Industry-specific knowledge: What do you know that your customers may be interested in? Offer your expertise to provide answers to common customer questions.
Offering something unique: Provide something different from your competitors to give your content more value.
Content related to current trends: Take note of what's happening in popular culture and respond appropriately.
Using humour (when appropriate): Consumers love to be entertained on social media – that's why they're there!
Keeping the conversation flowing: It's not only important to share information with your audience, but to interact with them too. This will make your brand seem more human.
"Have a look on Instagram and TikTok and find some social media managers or creators who specialise in sharing content. They're often very generous in sharing inspiration, and this can be a great way to generate new ideas."
Sustain your customers' appetite for content by posting regularly
Posting consistently is vital in allowing customers to see your brand. Planning and scheduling your content in advance is an effective way of making sure you're doing this.
Using a social media scheduler can save you time, as you can write a bulk of content at once rather than constantly dipping in and out.
The time you post is important too. If you post when your audience isn't online, you've missed out on maximum exposure. Play around with timings and you'll begin to see patterns of when your audience is most active.
The importance of visual content
Visual content is becoming increasingly popular. Platforms powered by visual content continue to prove their influence on marketing today. For instance, 79% of marketers are reported to use Instagram, the second most-used platform (with Facebook taking first place).
Both Laura and Lucy also note the recent growth of video marketing. Lucy says "video is massive on Instagram right now", with the platform prioritising Reels over conventional image posts.
Platforms like TikTok are driving users to develop a shorter attention span when it comes to content. As Laura puts it, "people want to consume content quickly".
Consequently, it's important to spend time on making good visual content that lands quickly. There are some effective tools out there that don't rely on users being expert graphic designers.