Learning how to use social media effectively for small business marketing owners whether it’s a new business or one that has been around forever can be scary.
Fear of the unknown can take over your thinking if you let it.
Using social media effectively can be a huge deal for your small business marketing for a multitude of reasons.
With the many ways to advertise your products and services, using social media for small business marketing can be the difference between sinking and swimming (sort of speak).
You don’t have to use every social media outlet but finding the right one or a few for your small business might be necessary to succeed.
Which Social Media Platforms Are You Currently Using?
Many of us are using Facebook and/or Twitter on a daily basis and know how they operate.
The same can be said for the others such as Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google Plus, Snapchat and WhatsApp.
If you have familiarity with the different platforms then you are ahead of the curve.
There’s no need to learn every facet of them but only the parts that will benefit your business.
Decide which social media platform(s) that you want to use for small business marketing before you do anything else.
I’m going to get right into how to use social media effectively for small business marketing from my perspective so enjoy the ride!
The Google Platform Is Essential
I always recommend using the Google platform and the same can be said for their social media unit *Google Plus.
Like many of the other popular sites, Google Plus should be used to share content and to interact within its community.
It’s really as simple as that.
There is a unit of the platform that I believe is underrated called Communities.
It’s their group section which is important so be sure to join relevant groups to learn and interact with the community where you can help your business in many ways such as possibly collaborating with other small business owners, etc.
There are a few components that are offered by Google to pay attention to.
You will get the most effective results from Google Plus when you register your business using Google My Business.
Also implement one of the best ad platforms in the world called Google Adwords to understand how powerful the entire platform can be when used alongside Google Plus.
*UPDATE: Google Plus was shut down on April 2, 2019
Facebook Is A Must
Facebook is a dominant force in the advertising world and should be used for your small business as well.
It’s quite surprising what this company has accomplished over the past decade and will continue to do.
I think it’s a game-changer and should be used by every small business because of the different things that it brings to the table.
Get a Facebook Business Page for Your Business
It is very important that you get a business page for your company.
Be sure to choose the appropriate type of page for your small business especially if you have a local business.
I will explain why that is important when I discuss the Facebook advertising platform below.
Know What and How To Post
Posting on Facebook the proper way is very important because you want to make sure that you’re sending the right message and engaging properly.
Be very helpful more than you are trying to showcase your products and services. Run tests to see what ratio resonates with your audience.
I like to share all of my blog posts from my website and my articles from the Good Men Project.
More importantly, I share other blogs and articles about 95-98% of the time on my Facebook business page.
I’m not saying to copy that ratio but being helpful goes a long way when you have a business page.
It amazes me that Facebook ads are so underutilized by small businesses.
Many business owners believe if they’re business is on FB then that’s all they need when it comes to social media marketing.
Facebook is a huge publicly-traded company and keeps investors happy because of its advertising platform.
I believe that it’s the best in the world. A complete game-changer in the advertising industry because of its capabilities.
- Target customers with precision-it can target any age or gender demographic and zip code (This is one of the reasons why you should select “Local Business or Place” when setting up your business page)
- Allows users to set spending budget-spend $1/day or how much they want
- Make sure that you split test every campaign to see which is performing the best
Facebook ads help a small business owner grow their business if used consistently and properly.
Quick Tip: Make subtle edits to receive optimum results for your ad campaigns or more preferably do A/B testing on all of your ads.
Customer Reviews on Facebook
Now customers can leave reviews on your Facebook business page.
This is the other reason why it is very important to set up your page for “Local Business or Place.”
The other pages will not allow your reviews to be left (at the time of publication).
Get To Know Instagram
If you are a small business that is a brick and mortar, then Instagram is definitely a must use.
Instagram is a mobile photo-sharing company that was bought by Facebook in April 2012 that allows users to share photos and videos.
It is a very popular website that gets tons of interaction and will get results for your small business.
Take a few photos a day and even add a few videos on Instagram regarding your business or even just your staff.
Be consistent in uploading content and be sure to interact with the comments whether they’re positive or negative.
The biggest key in using IG is implementing hashtags when posting content.
Hashtags Are A Must
Go to the search bar on Instagram and look for relevant hashtags for your content.
Use up to 30 hashtags but I would recommend testing 15 to 20 hashtags first and if that doesn’t work then just change your strategy by using more or even less hashtags.
The key here is to be sure they’re relevant to your content.
Always search your hashtags first because users are searching for content via these same hashtags to discover what’s in the IG ether.
Instagram Stories: The Hidden Value
I believe the hidden value of Instagram is their stories feature. Instagram describes this as something that lets you, “share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile.” For a better explanation of this AWESOME feature, go here.
Instagram has an advertising platform that many small businesses are trying out as well.
You can target your audience the exact same way that you can with Facebook and can access it using the Facebook ad platform.
Remember Instagram stories that I was just raving about? You can actually use IG story ads as well and it so cheap because there’s plenty of inventory available.
Don’t Forget Twitter…
Twitter can be confusing to some but I am going to keep it simple on how to use it effectively for your small business.
Share your content but share the content of others more.
It’s ok for 80% of other relevant content and 20% of your own blogs, videos, etc.
Don’t ever follow more people than are following you. Use videos or photos on all of your tweets.
If you are trying to get someone’s attention then make sure that you are following them.
Using @ to mention someone doesn’t mean anything if you are not following them.
Use hashtags in a similar way as I explained in the Instagram section but ONLY use no more than 3 at any time.
It looks spammy when using 5 or more visually.
Hashtags are the gold standard on the Twitter platform but do not overuse them.
Videos Are Very Effective
It’s time for small business owners to recognize how important videos are in conjunction with social media.
If you are using social media then you have likely noticed the influx of videos.
This is the new world that we live so it’s very important that you get on board as a content creator or business owner.
So many platforms to choose from but if you are a brick and mortar small business then I will recommend a few:
I’m very surprised that many small businesses are not taking advantage of YouTube.
The advantages of using it are the exposure on the two largest search engines in the world (YouTube and Google).
If you understand SEO, then you will see the benefits very quickly.
You can videos so easily with a mobile phone. It doesn’t have to be a big production with fancy equipment.
Be sure to enter the keywords (SEO) in the title, description, and tags of all videos. One other important piece is thumbnails and you can go here to learn more.
Also if you are a local small business (brick and mortar too), it’s important to enter NAP in all three as well: Name of Business, Address and Phone Number.
Using videos are Facebook is becoming more popular by the minute.
There are a few ways to accomplishing this: pre-record or go live.
Pre-recording videos are easy to do regardless of what the mission of the video entails.
The cameras on our mobile devices can get the job done very quickly.
We can also record in 1080p high definition and use editing equipment as well.
Upload the video and publish it or schedule it for whatever day that you like.
Facebook Live is a relatively new feature and is self-explanatory.
The cool thing about it is that it notifies your group of fans or followers and the reach is far more than extended as well.
New customers or clients are bound to find you and videos which are great for your products or services.
I would recommend going live at least once a day to spread your message or show support for another page or business (collaborate).
If you go live too much it will turn people off and they will turn their notifications off and even unfollow your page as well.
Twitter Video & Periscope
Twitter video works similarly to Facebook except they implement their other platform as an option to go live that is called Periscope.
Twitter bought it during the testing phase of the application.
It notifies your followers within the app who can engage with you on every broadcast.
What’s cool about Periscope is during a live broadcast the video is simulcasting on your Twitter feed!
Both platforms give a small business owner a nice one-two punch to get exposure for their brand.
One of the most popular video messaging mobile apps is Snapchat.
The goal behind it is to upload cool images and videos that are not accessible after a certain amount of time.
You can also combine a bunch of short videos and photos throughout your day into a “story” about your brand.
It’s also a very popular for messaging and watching live events too.
Effective Social Media Tools To Start
A great way to add content to your social media sites is to automate it.
Simple and easy tools to use that are hassle-free and will make your life as a small business owner a little easier.
I’m not going to go into details about how to use each but you can definitely go to their websites to see how they function.
I recommend doing a Google or YouTube search to find an easy tutorial on each of the three as well.
They will save you so much time that you can focus on other things within your business.
Most Effective Way To Use Social Media?
The most effective way to use social media or the #1 goal should be to generate leads.
My suggestion is to give something away for free to build an email list.
Write an eBook or Whitepaper about something that solves customer problems.
Make a special video only available to potential customers about the origin of a problem but solve it.
The service that I use is called Aweber to build my email list.
It’s affordable and they have tutorials to show you how to set it up.
It’s very cost-effective as well and works so easily with my entire platform.
But I will suggest that you have a website because there is so much you can do with collecting emails and updating your website too.
Creating a blog to get your message out and catering to an audience to build your brand and spread your message with social media is gold.
What Ways Are You Using Social Media Effectively?
One way to get an understanding and find ways to use social media effectively is by checking out my book “Social Media Simple Marketing: How To Guide With Simple Tips and Strategies For Local Small Business Owners.”
It’s a very easy read and hopefully gives some insight about social media marketing for small businesses.
Feel free to comment below or leave a review on Amazon and Thank You!