Social media can be your business’s most profitable marketing channel. It’s a great way to increase brand recognition and connect with current customers.
In the social media era, you are missing a lot if you are not using it for marketing your small business.
Why Is Social Media An Essential Platform For Marketing Small Businesses?
The top advantages of using social media platforms include:
Increase brand awareness: Social media helps you raise brand recognition among your target audience and can help your brand become top-of-mind when these consumers are ready to purchase.
Also Read: Best social media tools for business
Boost your SEO: Sharing your content on social media is a great way to drive more traffic to your website.
Generate lead: This is one of the most important benefits of using social media. Platforms are designed the way to generate more leads.
Connect with customers: Social media allows you to build meaningful connections with your customers. Which will give you repeat and loyal clients in the future.
Grow Your Mailing List: Over time, you can use website traffic to grow your email list and generate even more profit from your email campaigns.
Advertise at a lower cost: Social media has endless opportunities. It allows you have an excellent campaign at a low price.
Get direct user feedback: This is what helps businesses grow and develop.
Sell products online: This allows you not to have an office or store. You only need a website and social media pages to sell your products.
Collaborate with influencers: Collaborations became a trendy way of promoting products on social media.
Social media allows you have direct contact with your users. You can engage with your potential and current customers and get their feedback. You can get insights from your target audiences, which helps you create a successful social media marketing plan.
This chart by the Digital School of Marketing comprehensively compiles all such benefits one can reap from using social media for marketing.
So, there are no limits when we talk about social media. It gives you endless opportunities to be creative. You can create online events, reach an international audience, and even extend your business hours.
Are There Any Disadvantages To Using Social Media For Businesses?
Although we see social media as one of the effective strategies for marketing, it can also have disadvantages.
The disadvantages don’t always mean that the method is ineffective; it can be an obstacle that may likely hold up the process. These are the things business owners should consider when starting their social media journey.
Negative Feedback and Comments
While everything is public on social media, everyone can leave negative reviews or comments. Things get more challenging when an influencer or public figure leaves a bad review.
It may cause losing potential and even existing customers.
Vulnerability to Competitors
One of the disadvantages of social media for business is that your page is visible to your competitors, and they can copy your marketing strategy.
Even when you try hard to give the best responses to users, some of them are not interested in the products and services you offer, but they follow you to troll you. As a business, you should learn how to deal with them.
Remember that people can spread negative things about your business.
Slow Investment Returns
It needs much effort to grow your social media channels and is a long-term investment.
These disadvantages do not mean business owners should avoid social media marketing but should be aware of what can ruin their business when using social media.
Things to consider when selecting social media platforms for marketing small businesses
➤ Identify your audience
The first step is identifying who your audience is. Define your ideal client by age, gender, language, job, and marital status, and you need to be as specific as possible.
➤ Consider client demographics
Start by researching this. When you dig deeper into the demographics, you’ll be able to define the best platform for your business.
➤ Consider the nature of your business
Is your company business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C)? For B2C companies, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok help gain visibility, visually engage, and interact with customers. For B2B, LinkedIn helps build meaningful connections.
➤ Research your competitors
Check all your top competitors. Which platforms do they use? What content do they share? It will give you an idea of the best markets for your business.
➤ You don’t need to be on every social media platform
Small businesses’ common mistake is that they try to be on every platform. Just because you can be on LinkedIn doesn’t mean you should. It’s better to focus on the platforms that give you the most benefits. You are more likely to succeed when you put all your efforts into the specific platform.
➤ Come up with a consistent social media strategy
Maximizing reach with minimal effort is critical for small businesses. A consistent social media strategy and scheduling content for all leading platforms are essential.
The chart below breakdowns the specifics of a smart social media strategy that can act as an initial template for you.
There are many free scheduling tools available that make this easier. For example, you can use Creator Studio to schedule content on Instagram and Facebook.
Now that we’ve discussed things to consider before choosing the right platform, let’s talk about the top social media platforms that can help you grow your business. The real question is, which platforms are best for small businesses?
7 Best Social Media Platforms For Marketing a Small Business
Facebook is the best social media platform if you are looking for a platform with the most active users. Almost everyone in your customer base has a Facebook account. So it’s no surprise that it is one of the best ways to find your target audience and promote your products.
It’s also a great place to interact with your clients. Many companies create private groups on the platform where customers can join, interact, ask questions, and have a personalized experience with the brand.
If you try ads, Facebook is a good option, as organic reach has been limited lately. Facebook’s ads help you build a more targeted audience for you. However, you can share reels on Facebook, which gives you more chances to go viral organically.
If you want to get some notice, Instagram is the place to be. Instagram gives you a chance to show what you are selling. Using Instagram shop, your customers can purchase your products, which means it’s fully set up for eCommerce.
Even if you have no budget for ads, you can still build an audience using different tactics. If you start an Instagram account, you need high-quality video and photo content as this is a visual app.
In fact, about 50% are more interested in a brand when they see an ad for it on Instagram.
To grow your page organically, you need to think of an engagement strategy, hashtag strategy, influencer marketing, and content strategy. A lot of small brands are doing influencer marketing. Story and post shoutouts most cases, work better than the ads.
Another excellent reason for using social media for brands is UGC (user-generated content). Not only is this cheaper than having hired an entire production team for photoshoots and editing, but people also trust this content more, as it feels like a more authentic experience.
TikTok gained popularity over the past few years and became one of the most popular video-based platforms. If your target audience is on TikTok, think no more about starting your channel. The top advantage TikTok gives you is broad organic reach. It’s easier to go viral on TikTok compared to other platforms.
Influencer campaigns and user-generated content are other ways to level up your social media marketing on TikTok. The more unique and playful you are on TikTok, the higher your chances are to go viral.
Companies like Duolingo have garnered an even huge following since they started using Tiktok in their marketing campaigns to cater to it’s audience.
There are many ways to tell your story, with no limits to the amount of organic content you can post. Experiment with different ways to tell your brand’s story, and remember to check the analytics to define which content works best to recreate.
LinkedIn became a networking platform exclusively for professionals and has changed how we seek, find, and get hired for jobs. It’s also a pretty good resource for sharing content. It’s the best platform for B2B types of companies.
People don’t typically go to LinkedIn to shop; they use it to learn, read articles, and network with like-minded people.
If you’re selling a product or service that would be interesting for professionals, LinkedIn is the place to reach your ideal customers.
That means you can create more business-oriented campaigns that your LinkedIn network would find more valuable.
One such unique social media marketing campaign on LinkedIn is that of the venue manager at the Stones Corner Hotel, Julian D’Souza, who posted the following to his LinkedIn page and within a couple of days garnered around 8000 comments from enthusiastic users making the campaign a complete hit.
Depending on your company, Pinterest is one of the top social media platforms for small businesses. It can be a great way to drive traffic to your website.
Some of the most popular topics on Pinterest are travel, fashion, home decor and accessories, and cooking recipes. Almost all businesses can come up with something interesting to attract their target audience on Pinterest.
Like Instagram, Pinterest is a visual app, so you need quality content to succeed on this platform.
That being said, almost every business can use Pinterest to boost sales. It just needs a little more creativity compared to other platforms. Once you create content, you can go to Pinterest and schedule pins. Don’t forget to choose the right title to make it searchable.
Youtube is one of the best video-based platforms. With YouTube, you can create a video channel and connect with your users differently than other social media platforms. You can talk about your products, explain how your business works, and share customer experience.
Although, it needs more effort to create content for YouTube. It is a great platform to build a reputation. Also, you can share questions and polls and engage with your customers on the community tab.
Another great thing about YouTube is that you can easily embed videos across your website.
Twitter can be a powerful tool for building brand awareness and connecting directly with customers. Keep in mind that Twitter needs a different marketing strategy, and you’ll need to plan for multiple tweets per day.
You can use the following leads to come up with your brand’s Twitter marketing strategy. Just keep in mind to stay consistent with the steps.
As you know, Twitter has a character limit. This means a tweet should be short, engaging, and informative, which is not easy. But if done properly, people will retweet what you wrote, thus reaching a wider audience.
If you want to increase brand awareness, Twitter is one of the best social media platforms, as it is one of the most accessible networks in the world.
And that’s it! These are the top 7 social media platforms for small businesses.
These platforms are full of great opportunities to grow your business. With the power of social media on your side, your business can reach its goals.
And remember, when it comes to the best social media platform for business, there is no magic formula that works for everyone.
You need to listen to your business and go where your customers are.
Social media is where people spend a lot of their time.