Some businesses have built their brands solely by using social media – and by understanding how to connect with existing and potential customers to drive new business to the door. Marketing business through social media is a great channel – as long as you know what you want to achieve.
Why does social media matter?
You can pretty much guarantee that your target customers are on social media of one form or another. People across all age groups use social media not just to keep in touch with friends and family but increasingly to research, shop, find reviews and make contact with businesses they want to buy from. That means that you need to be where your customers are – engaging with them, helping them, giving them the opportunity to talk to you and, eventually, converting them to customers.
So, how easy is managing social media for small business owners? Easier than you think, when you stop to plan how you’re going to do it, and when you get help if you need it.
First, you need to know where your customers hang out. Some brands find their customers are more likely to be on Facebook and Twitter; others concentrate on Instagram or LinkedIn. It’s usually the case that you need to be active on at least two channels, if not more, but because those channels are used differently, you’ll need to tailor your messaging and the way you respond accordingly.
Take the time to look at where your customers are most likely to be, and also the times of day that they are most likely to be active. This lets you design and schedule your posts for the best possible views and interactions.
And don’t forget that your social media pages and the way you use them needs to be as professional as possible. Good quality photography, a consistent tone and message and quick response times all make for a better social experience.
Know what you want to achieve
The title of this article starts with: “Find new customers …” and if that’s what you want to do, you need to make sure you plan to succeed. Most social media help for small businesses takes into account that you don’t always have a lot of time – and good social media can take time. But if you make the right offers, and give real value to your followers, you’ll be able to convert them into customers. Ideas for this include:
- Post useful content on your website and link to it from social media – driving traffic to your site.
- Make offers that only your followers can use – this works well on Facebook. Offer a discount or a package offer with a code that lets you track who uses it.
- Offer giveaways to make people feel good about your brand. Ask those people to sign up with you, so that you have their details, and make sure you follow up so that they are getting positive interactions with your brand.
- Reward existing customers to encourage return business, and ask them to tell their friends that they’ll get a reward when they make their first purchase too.
Keep up the messaging
One of the things that happens all too often in small businesses is that the early enthusiasm for social media dies pretty quickly because there’s just not enough time to manage things properly. That’s when you might need to consider outsourcing some tasks to a social media marketing service or a social media marketing virtual assistant. This might just be one of your accounts, or it might be a package that means you know your account is posting good content regularly and responding to customers, but without you having to spend hours doing it yourself. It’s really important not to lose momentum – your customers will quickly get disgruntled and go elsewhere.
Never stop learning
Social media trends change quickly and you need to be on top of things in order to make the most of this marketing channel – for that reason alone, many small businesses have found they’ve wanted a virtual assistant to help out with social media marketing. Someone who is dedicated to keeping things current and who understands the way each channel works could help you to find and convert the new customers you’re looking for.
With or without the support of a virtual social media assistant, learn from the brands you interact with yourself – what are they doing well? How could you adapt that technique for your business? Where could you be more adventurous?
Start marketing business through social media today
If you’ve been putting off this type of marketing, you could be missing out on a lot of potential sales. It’s easier than you think to get started. If you’re short on time and need help with social media marketing or would like to know more about our other virtual business assistant services feel free to call us on 0800 994 9016 or click here to request a free consultation.