Social media as a growth engine for small businesses

social media management

Social media management has been a foundation of the marketing strategy for small businesses for quite some time now. Low costs, expanded reach, high level of segmentation are just some of the reasons why SMBs cannot survive without an effective digital marketing presence.

We are still feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as companies have a lower budget for advertisement and people at home are spending more time on their computers and mobile devices. This creates a perfect scenario to double down your focus on social networks, thus, it is important to understand what works and what doesn’t.

Sprout Social, a company that provides social media analytics solutions, released a survey in May that shows some interesting data on consumer behavior on the platforms, and what they are seeking from businesses they follow. For 61% of respondents, the most important item they evaluate on the success of a company’s social media marketing strategy is how they engage with their audience.

 

Social media management requires a constant communication line

We are living through different times when compared to last year or even to a couple of months ago. People are concerned about health risks, their financial situation and have been much more cautious about their spending habits. Thus, a clear and detailed information channel is critical to answer all the questions that potential customers may have about your products and/or services.

It is important that you have a team member available to promptly answer the questions on consumers’ minds, whether related to simple things like different hours of operations or availability of delivery or curbside pickup services or more specific inquiries related to their orders or pending payments. According to the survey, 79% of consumers expect an answer for their requests or comments in no longer than 24 hours.

As consumers themselves value social media engagement so much, it is important that your business creates social content that encourages this. Analyze what topics are attractive for your consumer base, so instead of only Likes, you can start a conversation on the comments and increase the number of shares, which expands the reach of your posts and the number of people who will see them.

Create a good balance between promotional posts that will directly lead to sales, with entertaining or informational content to build brand awareness. With consumers spending more time at home, they are looking for content to consume, and this strategy will only add to the perceived value of your business.

 

Increase the number of social media followers

Another interesting finding from the survey is that 75% of people who follow a brand on social networks will increase spending with that company. If potential customers take the time to follow you and enjoy your content and promotions, they will spend more, it is a simple equation.

An interesting and low-cost social media management strategy you can use is studying hashtags related to your segment that are searched by your audience and apply them in your posts. Try not to include too many hashtags at once as it looks “spammy” and could scare some people away. Focus on increasing the number of posts with different hashtags and measuring which are more effective.

Also create a habit to search for local buzz on the social media platforms to see if you can leverage the opportunity to interact with new consumers or look at the competitor landscape and “steal” ideas for new content. Being active and up to date on local trends is critical more than ever for SMB’s.

Influencer marketing is another strategy that can bring great results. Of course, who you choose will depend on your budget, but try to stay local, sometimes an influencer with a lower number of followers but better engagement rates can generate more sales for your business at a lower cost.

 

Diversify the format of you content

With more time on their hands, people are consuming longer content, instead of just swiping quickly through their social media feeds. This creates a great opportunity to experiment with different types of content, such as audio and video. As a matter of fact, 65% of the Sprout Social survey respondents indicated that they would increase the time they spend on video platforms such as YouTube.

If you are new to video, you can start slowly, recording some videos on your cellphone and publish on the Instagram Stories of your business page. Then gradually evolve to publishing on your feed and then, if you don’t have it yet, create a profile on YouTube and start exploring that platform too.

A great way to engage your audience is doing live interviewers with experts in your field or even with local influencers. It is an easy and cheap way to attract new followers and potential consumers.

 

The Number: 61%

The Action: Expand your social media presence with the strategies we mentioned in this post and identify the best actions to communicate with your consumers through your social channels.

 

Check out more tips to grow your small business in our blog.

8 Comments

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