Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014: The Year of Small Business Social Media

Social media has been an ever evolving field for the past few years, with many small businesses feeling their way through the social media industry. Over the past year alone, we have seen an increase in social media activity from small businesses. No longer is social media an option for many online marketing plans, but more of a necessity due to the brand aspect and social customer service.

One reason for this increase in social media activity among small business owners is because of the ability to directly interact with consumers, address questions or concerns from your target audience, while also creating branding opportunities and reminder advertising.

In other words, if your small business isn't active on social media, 2014 is your time to shine!

What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing for small businesses is the ability to market or advertise your product or service online to consumers, creating organic SEO, while also building an online brand presence. In other words, creating this online brand awareness helps drive traffic to your website, and for those with an ecommerce site, potentially increases online sales.

Understanding social media marketing

As common as this term is, many small business owners are learning quickly that social media marketing isn't an easy task. There really is an art to what you say on your social media channels, and how you market your brand or product. With the many changes that Facebook has rolled out the past year alone, business fan pages are no longer seeing the reach from their posts that they once did. Facebook marketing is heavily geared to user engagement with fans, which helps increase your organic reach. Of course businesses want their fans to engage with their business page online, but this task is often easier said than done.

Keep in mind that your social media channels shouldn’t be used as a one-sided sales funnel, but rather part of your online marketing and communication plan. Engage with your fans, don’t just market to them.

Why social media marketing is harder than it looks

Having a social media presence is simply not enough anymore. Think of brands like Oreo and KitKat who are not only excelling at their social media marketing, but also engage with fans across many social channels, and during prime social media hours! We come across many business fan pages that seemed to start off as a good idea, but quickly business owners learn that maintaining your social media presence isn’t a 9-5 job and can become quite time consuming. This often results in leaving the fan pages unattended for months at a time.

How to get more out of your social media

If you are finding that your social media efforts aren’t yielding the results you are hoping for, there are several things you can do:

  • Have a social media audit conducted on your social channels. This will give you a better insight into what social media strategies are working for your business, and what aren’t. Remember, if you don’t challenge your social media strategy, you won’t change it.
  • Sign up for social media consulting. This really is a beneficial option for those small business owners who are keep on DIY social media. This allows you to continue to have an active hold on your company’s brand, while receiving weekly or bi-weekly coaching and training session on how to improve your social media activity and overall brand presence online.
  • Outsource your social media. While some businesses feel it’s important to keep their marketing in-house, if you’re not activity maintaining your social media channels, maybe it’s time to consider having a professional take over. 
 Remember, if you don’t challenge your social media strategy, you won’t change it!

You may also like:

Why DIY Social Media Can Mean Risky Business
8 Tips For Branding Your Social Media
How to Get More Twitter Followers  
7 Reasons Why Auto DM’s will Tarnish Your Brand
ROI: Finding The Gold In Your Social Media Plan 

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