Given the relative cost efficiency of social media marketing, it is surprising to know that some small business owners are still reluctant to invest their time and effort in this type of internet marketing. The usual argument would be that it takes too much time, while some are just not sure how to start.
If you are a local business owner who has the same thoughts about social media marketing, consider these hard facts – 58% of consumers find ideas or inspiration on Pinterest, 55% research gifts on Facebook, 60% seek promotions on Facebook, and 48% share their purchases on Facebook. It is apparent that social media has changed the way consumers behave. While many social media platforms began as a way to connect friends and families, it has now evolved as an important tool in influencing their buying decisions, and has even become another venue where they can make purchases. Given these, would you still say no to social media marketing?
Social Media Marketing and Your Target Market
If you want to effectively reach your target market, then social media marketing is your answer. You don’t have to be an SEO expert to be able to implement an effective online marketing strategy on social media. You can start with the basics and make sure that you follow through. In social media, engagement is key to creating strong connections with your potential customers and business partners. By dedicating just a few hours a week, you can achieve a remarkable return on investment when those posts get clicked. Posts that lead to a promotions webpage or an online shop is not only accessible to your followers, as these can easily shared to other people within their circles. Essentially, a single post is not only confined to your number of followers, but this has the potential to be multiplied exponentially once you have built a solid connection with your online audience and they have grown to trust your brand.
Make Each Post Count
You are a local business owner and most of your time should be spent managing your business. While handling your social media campaigns is also very important, this should not eat up most of your hours. Manage your time well and make sure that your social media posts are relevant to your audience. Online presence in social media channels is more about quality, rather than quantity. When your followers notice that you are regularly sharing valuable information on your social media account that addresses their needs, they will grow to trust your brand and become more receptive to offers about your products and services.
Engage with Your Online Community
Social media marketing is a two-way street. If you limit your social media activities to posting about new products and promotions, that is just flyering online. The key to social media marketing success is engagement – connecting with your followers by responding to their tweets, comments, and private messages. This way, you are not only showing your target market who you are as a business and what you can offer, but you are also building a bond with them as you answer their queries and address their concerns. The environment allows for constant engagement which gives you the advantage of converting interested individuals into actual customers and existing customers into raving fans.
Invest in Advertising
If your budget allows, invest some of your marketing funds in Google AdWords to help boost your website ranking to the top of search engine results. For this, you will need to create a list of keywords that represent your business and make sure that these are repeatedly used on your website. You can also intensify your social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to gain more followers and also drive traffic to your website by developing very specific, targeted ads on these social media channels and increasing your visibility to your target audience by promoting posts and sharing offers.
Measure, Analyze, and Repeat
Any type of marketing efforts must result in a return on investment. Otherwise, don’t invest your precious time on it and move on to other strategies that will deliver financial gains for your business. For you to be able to accurately assess the effectiveness of your social media marketing campaigns, go through your metrics, gather statistical data, and analyze. Going back to what social media marketing is all about – engagement – you can pretty much learn from these analyses what makes your audience click and which ones don’t. Once you have the results, repeat the campaigns that worked and scratch out those that didn’t.
Unlike other marketing efforts, social media marketing is unique in that it can boost your business’ visibility to your target market and allow you to engage with existing and potential customers without having to hire a marketing firm and investing so much money. All it takes is just a few hours a week and a genuine interest in connecting with your target audience.
Michelle Rubio is an experienced SEO copywriter and blogger since 2010. She has been working with various businesses, big and small, in the United States, UK, Canada, and Australia. You can see more of her works and experiences in her LinkedIn profile.