Social media for small businesses: how to master an essential marketing tool

Social media for small businesses: how to master an essential marketing tool

Over the last few years, social media for small businesses has become an essential part of marketing. It has recently been announced that five million businesses are now actively advertising on Facebook, with SMEs accounting for the majority of them.

Facebook’s Olly Sewell has said “Facebook is a community of people and business, connecting for more than 13 years. We want to help build and empower business, we’ve invested in simple solutions to help small businesses grow.”

It’s not just Facebook that is responsible for this growth. Small businesses are advertising across all channels, including Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. The number of Instagram advertisers has grown from 500,000 in September 2016 to now over a million, with eight million companies now using business profiles.

Social media can have a huge impact on how you grow your customer base whilst also allowing you to create a more personal relationship with your customers. The average Twitter user is said to follow five or more businesses and over a third of twitter users will buy from a brand that they follow. Here’s our tips on mastering social media for small businesses.

Why should small businesses use social media?

Creating a basic page on most social media platforms is free, and as social media for small businesses is now an essential marketing practice, you’re missing a trick if you haven’t already set up a company page. Not only can it be a cost-effective way to communicate with your customers, you can also grow your customer base through advertising and social sharing. Remember that advertising doesn’t have to be out of your budget, you can generate business leads at a very low cost per click if you get your targeting right.

Social media gives you the chance to engage with your audience on a more personal level rather than just providing them with a sales pitch. Make your brand more human and relatable by adapting your tone of voice. The one in seven rule is a good way to balance social interactions whereby only every seventh post is about actually promoting what you sell, and the other six are focused on engaging your audience by sharing content they’ll find useful, interesting and relevant.

Which platforms should my business use?

When it comes to selecting which social media channels to use it is essential that you consider your target market. Each social media platform has a different demographic so if you are wanting to target a specific market you must carefully research your audience and find out which platforms they are more likely to engage with.

The industry that you’re in can help determine which channel will work best for you. More visually driven industries such as fashion, catering and beauty will work best on Instagram and Pinterest, as they are much more visual channels. Software and marketing companies may get better results using LinkedIn and Twitter to drive traffic to a company website.

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