Social media marketing is a crucial channel for driving traffic and growing revenue. As more people move online, there are more opportunities for small business owners to reach the people looking for their services. Here are a few examples of why small businesses need social media for growth:
- Attracts new customers
- Expands sales
- Creates a loyal customer base for recurrent sales.
- 57% of social media users are more likely to buy from a brand they follow.
- 71% of users are more likely to buy after a positive review or social experience.
- 48% of social media actions prompt consumers to purchase.
How to choose a social media channel for your business
With so many platforms to choose from and only so much time and resources, it is hard to determine where to spend time and resources.
Here are some questions every small business owner should ask themselves before jumping into social media and post content.
- Who is the target audience? (Age, gender, location, hobbies, interests, light content, long posts, podcast, video)
- What are the marketing goals? (brand awareness and top of the funnel initiatives, conversions, 1:1 conversations)
- What are your resources? How much time can you spend on social media, typically 2-3 hours a day (in the beginning) between creating content, engaging, and replying to comments? Creativity is key to creating content with a low budget, an iPhone/Android with a camera is more than enough to start creating eye-catching videos. Once the brand is active and sales are coming, the SBO can hire a social media manager.
- Look at your competition. Knowing what others in your industry are doing and hanging out gives you a sense of where to start.
The Big 5s (As of December 2021)
Small businesses should choose which platforms will work best for their needs and goals and how they are planning to build relationships with potential customers.
Facebook is the largest, most popular, and widely used social media network. It has over 2.7 billion monthly active users as of the second quarter of 2021 and over 620 million groups. Its demographic covers users between the ages of 25 and 34 and have an annual income higher than $75k. Most importantly, 29.4% of adults in the US make purchases via Facebook.
Facebook’s goal is to connect people in meaningful ways through posts on their timeline or groups they are a member of, and because of the system configuration, businesses can promote their products and services with organic content as well as a paid advertisement. For this reason, more and more small businesses and home-based businesses rely on social media.
Has over 15 years in the market, and it is still considered the most popular video-sharing social network in the world. It has 2.29 billion users and 122 million active users
Demographics: 53.9% of users are male, and 46.1% are female.
In the U.S. 63% of internet users access the platform daily, spending 19 minutes a day on average.
The platform’s key topics are music, gaming, sports viewership, and tutorials. The biggest advertising audience is males millennials between 25and 34, then males between 18 and 20.
Originally a photo-sharing app back in 2010, now it is a video-sharing platform to compete with TikTok. Instagram is part of the Facebook ecosystem with over 1.39 billion users. Right now, Instagram has no contender regarding exposure and interaction, it offers a personal experience with the customer, and its goal is to visually represent a brand.
57% of the users are female and the most engaged group are young females between 25 and 34 years of age.
Twitter has 396.5 million users. become popular due to its fun, immediate and compelling format that causes people to interact on a daily basis. People consume content and messages differently on Twitter. The users are conversational in nature despite the fact that Twitter deals with connecting people in short bursts through posts with 280 characters or less, hashtags, and mentions.
Twitter is all about real-time conversations, reactions, and how to keep the buzz going, not about liking or not a tweet. Conversations have a multiplying effect when used with the right hashtags and additional mentions.
TikTok has 1 billion users globally and 78.7 million users in the U.S.
This sharing platform is available in 150 countries and has been downloaded over 200 million times in the U.S. alone. Despite political heat, TikTok has managed to position itself among U.S. youth and young adults. TikTok has about 80 million monthly active users in the United States. 60% are female, 40% are male. 60% are between the ages of 16 and 24. 26% are between the ages of 25-and 44. 80% are between the ages of 16-and 34.
This platform has opened marketing for self-serve ads, meaning, that small businesses will be able to create and schedule ads much like Facebook, without a third-party agency. Content creators will soon sell merchandise within the app, which opens the possibility for shops for other small businesses too, just like an Instagram shop.
Pinterest and LinkedIn got debunked from the Big 5s this January 2022. Both platforms have started promoting video sharing with more intensity to attract advertisers and users.
Pinterest has 459 million users. It is also a visually-driven platform, but the goal of this social network is to work as a “visual discovery engine” or a catalog of ideas and inspiration.
This social media network allows you to include links to re-direct traffic to your website or online store. The greatest value of this social media network is that you can give customers a better idea of how to use your products and services, increasing sales and promoting seasonal bets-sellers encouraging conversions to your newsletters, lead magnets, or other sign-ups.
LinkedIn works differently than the other social media channels, meaning the target audience is not targeted by demographics alone but by job function, position, industry, and company size. The core strategy for LinkedIn is for companies to build awareness within a professional audience and establish themselves as pioneers in their industry.
For entrepreneurs and small businesses, LinkedIn is one of the best social networks to attract loyal customers because the users are already looking to connect and engage with brands, industries, and ideas.
Social Media and Small Businesses
It is easy to get lost in the posting frenzy and obsessed with vanity metrics (followers) but small businesses should focus on five topics to make sure social media works for them:
- Engagement rate
- Lead generation and email list building (sign-ups)
- Sales opportunities (direct messages, discovery calls, conversations to join)
- Customer satisfaction (positive reviews)
- Customer loyalty (shares and engagement)
It doesn’t matter if the following is less than 1K, focusing on sign-ups, sales opportunities and customer satisfaction is a better strategy for expanding sales.
First Impressions Matter
The social media profile is the first impression and a way to drive traffic to a specific website. It is also an opportunity to establish recognition for the brand. That is why the unique value proposition matters. It feeds the bio/profile. The goal is to create a profile the target audience immediately identifies with.
Considering that social networks limit the number of characters in the username, profile, publications, and other sections, try to be consistent in all social networks.
- Facebook Username from 5 to 50 characters. Page description 255 Publication up to 8,000
- YouTube Titles 70 characters. Description 5,000 characters. The best practice is to focus on the first 157 characters.
- Instagram Username 30 characters. Biography 150 Posting 2,200 but only the first 125 are visible in the post.
- Twitter Username 15 characters. Biography 160 Tweet 280
- TikTok Username 80 characters. Caption 150 characters (soon to be 300)
- LinkedIn Name 60 characters Title 150 “About” section 2,000
- Pinterest Name 30 characters. Biography 160 Board 50 Description of the board 500 characters. Pin title 100 characters. Pin description 500 PIN Name 60 Title 150 characters.
Smart business owners know that posting on social media is not enough to reach new customers and have business success. It requires ongoing learning, digital transformation, and a self-starting mindset to bring the desired outcome.
The best way to get top training for free is by going directly to the platforms’ learning centers:
Facebook Business Learning Center Explore courses designed to help you build your digital marketing knowledge and bring your business online. https://www.facebook.com/business/learn/directory
YouTube Creators Everything a small business needs to keep its channel updated https://www.youtube.com/creators
Instagram For Business See how to set up a free business profile, create content and use Instagram to grow your business. https://business.instagram.com/getting-started/
Twitter Flight School Learn about new tools and ad campaigns https://www.twitterflightschool.com/student/catalog
Google Analytics Academy Analytics Academy helps you learn about Google’s measurement tools so that you can grow your business through intelligent data collection and analysis. https://analytics.google.com/analytics/academy/
TikTok Business Learning Center https://ads.tiktok.com/business/learn/course/list
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