Social media can be game-changing for small businesses. It’s what will allow you to engage with your potential customers instantly, reduce marketing costs, drive floods of traffic to your website, and develop your brand.
However, the journey to achieving success on the various social platforms can feel a bit overwhelming. Since social media platforms are free to use, the competition is fierce. It leaves small business owners worldwide wondering how to get potential customers to choose them over their competitors.
The answer to this involves simple steps worth implementing in your marketing initiatives. Here are six proven steps for small businesses to stand out on social media.
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Authenticity is magnetic…really. The more authentic you are as a business owner, the more customers you will attract. Trying too hard will only push people away.
Instead, focus on building lasting connections. To be authentic, share content with your audience that is real to life and shows the “human side” of your business. For example: sharing behind the scenes footage, customer experiences, or how your products are made.
Also, avoid getting into the habit of posting just for the sake of vanity metrics, such as views or likes. Make sure, before you post any content on social media, you are asking:
Who does this serve?
If your content does not serve your audience, then it is best that you don’t post it. Being genuine and serving your audience from day one will get you far.
If you are not willing to show up consistently for your business, no one else will. Because social media is so competitive, you need an effective marketing plan and a schedule for when you will post your content and offers. Showing up a few times a month just won’t cut it, especially if you are a small business trying to stand out.
Being consistent also involves engaging with your audience daily and not just posting content and walking away. Reply to those who take the time to comment on your posts. Try leaving thoughtful comments on other users’ content to show you care. This will surely set you apart from your competition.
Video content is one of the best and fastest ways to build the “know, like, and trust" factor. If you are looking to reach a wider audience and get more shares on social media, then you should consider implementing more videos in your content.
Videos on social media generate twelve times more shares than text and images. You can provide videos by live streaming regularly or posting videos on your feed.
There is a misconception that you need to have a huge budget and a production team to create videos, but this is certainly not the case. Instead, focus more on creating high quality videos that provide value. Try adding a touch of humor if it fits the theme of the video, as everyone enjoys a good laugh.
Understanding your audience can make or break your social media marketing success. You can’t market to everyone and expect to be wildly successful. If you don’t understand your audience and what they truly want, the end result will be very little engagement.
Getting clarity on your audience will require some research on your end for things such as:
Identifying your audience enables you to create a better marketing strategy and connect with your ideal customers faster than your competition.
Another way to set yourself apart from your competitors is by building meaningful relationships with your followers. Having a true connection with them will increase brand loyalty. More loyal fans mean more customers wanting to buy from you.
Here are some tips for building relationships with your audience the right way:
The better you become at building relationships, the more your social media presence will grow.
Since social media allows brands to reach a wider audience, it’s important to market products and services consistently. Because there is so much competition, be sure to get creative with your offers.
Running contests and offering promo codes are great ways to get people excited and willing to spread the word about your business. Special deals help build loyalty and an engaged audience.
Overall, social media is powerful when it comes to getting more sales for your business. Once you truly understand what your audience needs, it’s time to present them with special offers. Make sure you have fun and create offers that your potential customers will feel crazy to pass up!
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Kris Bryant is a visibility strategist and social media marketer. She is the founder of Crush It With Kris, and helps entrepreneurs worldwide standout and become more visible online. She’s been featured in Yahoo News and Startup Fortune. She can be contacted at Kb@kristianb.com.