6 ways we use social media marketing for small businesses
Frequently Asked Questions
This was a question that many small business owners had for us. They knew they needed to get involved with online marketing, but were afraid their budgets were holding them back. However, there are low or no cost social media tactics that a company can get started with, as long as they do their research and know where to ask for advice. Normally we don’t recommend doing this on your own, but instead seeking the help of a professional to identify which social outlets are the best for you and to develop a thorough marketing strategy. We emphasized that while it may seem easy to set up a Facebook or Twitter profile, it’s important to first understand the differences between these social networks and their users.
This is the MOST commonly asked question. Many businesses think that they don’t really need this new media. After all they are just doing fine without it so far. But then I ask them: aren't you worried that you might miss on some new lead generation methods? You might miss on some very valuable customer connection and engagement opportunity? When brands worldwide – right from Fortune 500 to the small cafes around the corner are benefiting from it, aren't you willing to give it a thought that there might be some merit in it?
Getting involved in social media allows you to be more engaged with your current and potential clients. The word “transparency” was probably most cliché word used to describe social media some 3-4 years ago, but it’s very true. Social media allows companies to have a voice and to show the public that your company is willing to listen and gather unsolicited feedback. Social media also allows your brand to provide that extra customer service option outside of the traditional email and phone media.
So while you need to definitely look into if your target audience is on social media or not, you should not reject is outright without giving it a thought.
What would you answer if you are asked “Is T-Shirt more appropriate or a formal shirt?” Well, you would say “depends on the occasion” right? Now apply the same principle. Whether Facebook is better or Twitter clearly depends on your objective, purpose, your target market and your user group. Both the platforms have their own merits, purpose, usage guidelines and benefits. You need to understand your marketing and communication objective and then choose an appropriate platform. You need to also consider that people’s behavior on Twitter is different than on Facebook. Twitter timeline moves faster than Facebook so you really need to post almost like real-time updates on Twitter. It provides the kind of immediacy. Whereas; on Facebook, you have better opportunity to have more in-depth conversation around a topic. Picture sharing is more appreciated on Facebook than Twitter. So I would say that if at all you have to choose, apply a simple test: Choose a platform where your audience spends more time
I would not recommend this. LinkedIn as a platform is for connecting with individuals, getting in touch with professionals and experts and interacting with them. Mostly I have observed people using LinkedIn groups to promote their business. This is strict NO. Discussion Groups, as the name itself says, are for discussions. Use them to discuss interesting topics, share point of views and learn. Don’t dilute the purpose by commenting with product promotions. Do it ONLY IF you truly believe that your product offers the value in line with the discussion which is going on.
Absolutely - Just that you need to use it in a different way. With B2B, use social media to build thought leadership, gather reviews and opinions and educate people. Don’t make the mistake of using social media as any other marketing campaign. Focus on two-way dialogue with your audience rather than one-way messaging. Be patient and you are sure to go long way with this.
You will find numerous articles describing how to increase your fans and followers. But the first thing you need to remember with social media is that it is better to have 10 engaged followers than 100 non-engaged ones. Yes, numbers do matter to create an impact, but do not compromise on quality for the sake of quantity.
Having said that, you can achieve numbers as well as quality with well thought out strategy and plan. Sharing useful and insightful content, initiating meaningful dialogues, making it easy to find you on social media and offering exclusive content on social media are some of the ways which can help you get more engaged fans and followers. In case of Facebook, you can run Facebook ads to drive audience to your page. Do remember to have a concrete execution plan in place to keep the audience engaged. Otherwise, you are sure to lose them in no time.
If I say social media does not cost of anything, I will be lying. Although most of the platforms are free, you do need to spend quality time for using those platforms effectively. So there is investment of time – which is not free :). There are paid options available like pay-per-click ads, promoted tweets etc, but you can very effectively use the platforms without spending money on those – just with your creativity. Make sure to keep your audience interested in being connected with you, value their connection and offer them something worth their attachment with you, get them involved in your brand – emotionally as well as through some gestures like discounts, exclusive offers etc.
Definitely yes! Don’t believe those who tell you that you cannot measure ROI on social media – they don’t know how to measure it. The ROI with social media can be both qualitative as well as quantitative. Here is one of my past articles on how to measure ROI with social media.