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5 Ways to Make #SocialMedia Worth it for Your #SmallBusiness

When it comes to running a small business, time can be the most valuable commodity you have. With fewer staff and smaller profit margins, business owners have to make sure all of their operations are streamlined.

When it comes to marketing, there may be little to no budget, but one easy way of getting your brand in front of an audience is using social. Accounts are generally free and you can set up paid campaigns with small start-up fees.  Most importantly, if you produce relevant content, you’ll be rewarded for it with an engaged audience. All businesses should, by now, be active online, but how can you make sure the time you spend on social media is worth the time you’re spending on it?

Test, test and test again

You may think you have a great piece of content, but what does your audience think?  Look at reactions; are people sharing, liking or commenting on your posts? If not look at why, look at other content that has done well and learn lessons from its successes.
The timing of your posts is important too. Use free tools like Followerwonk to see when your followers are most active and more likely to share. Post at different times of day, one in the morning, afternoon and evening and see which time of day sees the most interaction. Make sure you keep a diary of all your tests too, so you can refer back to it and make adjustments.

Make unique content for your social channels

When you are creating social strategies make sure you incorporate them in to the rest of your marketing activity. Correlate new onsite content with unique social and create content specifically for your social channels. Making the effort to create optimised imagery for different channels will be a great indicator to your audience that you care about engaging with them.
Office supplies retailer Viking UK has done a great job creating unique Facebook images for their social campaigns. The images which feature some humorous job interview answers have been visualised professionally and are perfect for the brand’s target market of office managers. 

Use influencers

Your reach as a small business may be initially small but that doesn’t mean you can’t collaborate with other users to get your content out there in front of relevant people and build your own following. Identify influencers in your industry and see what they’re talking about. Can you use topics they’re talking about for your own content or can you involve them to comment on an issue?
If they’re involved they might like to share your content in their own channels which gets your brand in front of a tailor-made audience. Famous Yorkshire Tearoom, Bettys, has used the popularity of this year’s Great British Bake Off finalist Nadia to great effect, inviting her to events and using images of her all over their social media channels.

Use it to generate content

What better way to engage your users while generating relevant content for your own site than by asking your followers to create content for you! People join social media sites so that they can share and engage with others. If, as a brand, you give them the means to do so then you’re already half way there. UK flooring manufacturer Posh Flooring ran a great campaign last year to find ‘Britain’s Ugliest Carpet’. They invited Twitter users to submit their own images to be in with a chance of winning. The images submitted from entrants were then used as collateral during the competition but also in future posts. By inviting your followers to submit their own content they will feel involved and engaged with your brand. Plus, you’ll have a heap of content to use for yourself.

Follow up with targeted advertising

Social is a great tool in getting your content in front of potential customers, but as a brand it is important that these signals start turning in to real life conversions. A user interacting with a piece of your social content is a good indicator that they are engaging, but is only the first step in leading them towards your service or product. Follow up with successful social campaigns by using targeted ads. All of the major social channels now offer great paid services where you can really dig down to find the perfect demographic. Being specific is important if you want these impressions to count for something though. Create a persona for your target market. How old are they and what are they interested in? Facebook even allows you to target ads based on life events so you could target users with the perfect birthday present, for example.

Social can be a great tool to amplify the voice of small businesses. It’s accessible and you can reap the rewards of an online audience if you give them the content they want. As with any aspect of your business, getting a return on your investment is important, whether that’s your time spent putting together posts or the money spent on targeted advertising, take the time to strategise and make sure you’re not tweeting in to the abyss.

Natalie Richardson

Natalie Richardson works in digital marketing, and is a content writer on behalf of Posh Flooring. She has a keen interest in content marketing, online PR and social media.

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info: TheSMFGroup.com
5 Ways to Make #SocialMedia Worth it for Your #SmallBusiness Reviewed by Unknown on Monday, December 07, 2015 Rating: 5

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