Want to know how to use social media to promote products, build your brand or connect with customers? Let's get down to business!
There was once a time when social media was used simply for fun and connecting with new people. But, nowadays, most corporations, brands and small businesses rely on social media to promote their products, build their brand and communicate with their customers.
An effective social media marketing strategy is crucial for small businesses, allowing you to level the playing field with large competitors and providing an easy, affordable way to reach new people.
Ready to find out how to use social media to promote your small business? Let’s jump in!
With close to 4 billion active users globally, social media platforms can be leveraged to boost your business, improve visibility and attract potential clients. Making people aware of your brand or business is the best way to acquire new customers, and social media is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get your brand out there.
Social media works primarily by connecting people with similar interests, so once you’ve found a handful of satisfied customers or engaged followers who are willing to share your content, your audience will begin to grow.
Here are just a few of the many benefits that a strong social media presence can provide for your small business.
In addition to growing your customer base, social media enables you to develop your brand by showcasing its personality and what you have to offer. While it’s easy to conform to the traditional way of doing business, developing a unique brand will help you stand out, and make customers feel more connected to your business.
Whether you’re trying to drive traffic to your blog, website, or eCommerce site, there’s no denying that it can be tough to attract customers organically.
Thankfully, social media makes it easier to convert customers and attract new audiences, which can then be directed to your website, Instagram or other social media platforms.
While acquiring new customers, developing your brand, and directing traffic to your website are hugely important aspects of growing a small business, building client relationships and generating customer feedback is just as crucial.
Social media is a great way to connect with your audience to encourage reviews, testimonial and user-generated content. The more that you interact with your followers, the more opportunity you’ll have to collect feedback and expand your business. Big brands like Sprite, McDonald’s, and Adidas all use social media to build relationships with customers – particularly via Instagram and TikTok. Creating an interactive website or feedback form can also help you generate reviews from your customers or users.
To stay ahead of the curve, it’s important to keep an eye on your competitors and be willing to adapt to new ideas or ways of doing things. You can even use competitor analytics tools to figure out how they use their social media platforms to improve your own social media marketing strategy.
If you want to grow your small business and expand your customer base, you need to make sure you’re getting the most out of your social media channels. Here are 5 great ways to use social media to promote your small business…
The first step for promoting your business online is to build an irresistible brand.
When creating social media content, make sure to convey your brand’s personality, including the values you stand for, your tone of voice, your mission, as well as your products or services.
For instance, you might opt to be formal but friendly, or casual and funny. Whichever you decide, it should align with what your brand stands for – not what you think your brand should be.
The great thing about social media is that, unlike other traditional media platforms like radio, TV, newspapers, or magazines, posting content and sharing information is quick and free. Additionally, you can post countless images and videos to drive interest and conversation about your brand. Videos are popular on social media because they’re easy to digest and can present information quickly and effectively.
For example, Chipotle regularly posts casual, humorous content to define their brand and connect with their customers. Memes factor highly into their social media marketing strategy, helping their customers associate the brand with fun and humor.
Since users have different preferences when it comes to which social media channels they use, it’s vital to use all avenues to share content about your brand. Customize your content for each platform, and ensure you’re using the right formats as well as correct photo and video dimensions. Chipotle went as far as using in-app text to test their memes on TikTok to make them look more native.
Once you determine your values and how to communicate them, the next step is to maintain consistency across platforms. Create a style guide for your content that will ensure that it’s recognizable and memorable. However, when it comes to branding, the most important thing is to be unique. Many businesses have a presence on social media today, and if your branding blends in with the rest, it will be much more difficult to draw in an audience.
Building a social media community is crucial for creating engagement, fostering trust and loyalty, and attracting more followers. There are various ways to grow an authentic community.
Most social media platforms use hashtags to draw attention to particular topics or trending issues, and you should capitalize on this to increase your followers organically.
People searching for these hashtags are usually genuinely interested in the subject, so if they encounter your content while they’re scrolling, it is more likely they will end up following you.
You should invite your friends, acquaintances and everyone else you know to like your social media pages – especially in the beginning. These people will be the first to support your online content through liking, commenting, and sharing, while also establishing credibility as you build your brand. Remember to include any existing customers in your community as well. There are various types of Whatsapp marketing software which can highly engage your digital channels.
As you begin growing your following, cross-promote your accounts on other social platforms. For instance, you can share the link to your Facebook page to Twitter and LinkedIn, with the goal being to maximize reach across all platforms. If you encounter groups or forums relevant to your business, join them, make a contribution, talk about your business, and share your links. For example, Twitter Spaces is a new feature that’s growing in popularity.
Once you have your social media pages up and running, it’s important to post consistently, as you can quickly lose followers if you neglect them – and always be prepared to be transparent and accountable with your customers. Not only does this create trust and understanding among your existing followers, but also encourages new people to join the community because the business promises reliability.
To build relationships and create engagement on social media, ensure you build your brand around users who genuinely enjoy your content and believe in your business. The best way to do this is by making your brand more human.
First, be responsive. While it’s important to post informative, funny, or engaging content on social media, it’s just as crucial to respond to comments or DMs and engage with your community to make them feel valued. Your community will appreciate the interaction and feel motivated to engage with your content more regularly.
Additionally, you should engage with content posted by your followers by liking, sharing, retweeting, or commenting on posts that are relevant to your business. This will help build a stronger relationship with your community.
Try taking it a step further by collaborating with your followers through user-generated content. Below is a great example of how the folks behind the graphic design software Vectornator teamed up with a local Berlin artist Wanita Pagihari to create an amazing artwork in their Berlin office.
Tapping into your customer base to share real stories, product photos, memes, or any other form of UGC can be an easy and effective way to promote your brand. However, working with bigger influencers can also help to strengthen your community and increase interactions. No matter what third-party content you share with your followers, remember to stay on brand. Choose content that inspires you, is relevant to your business, and connects with your community.
Organic traffic and follower growth can take some time. An easier and faster way to acquire an audience is by creating paid ads.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram collect tons of data about users whenever they browse. Even though this has had its fair share of controversies relating to privacy and data security, it does make these platforms ideal for customer targeting and paid ads.
Using user data, social media can help you to target specific demographics, enabling you to place your brand in front of the right prospects. Paid ads can help you to increase sales, gain more followers, grow your brand and increase conversions.
Creating paid ads is a simple process. Both photo and video ads have proven to be effective depending on the platform you’re using or product you’re promoting. For example, image-based ads work well for retail products, whereas a video might be better for promoting your services, explaining your business or showing how something works. Facebook also offers carousel ads, which consist of multiple images and a single text block. If you want to promote multiple products or display a new collection, a carousel will help you get the job done.
When it comes to Instagram, video is undeniably king. While in-feed ads still work well, Stories ads have proven to be particularly effective. With Twitter ads, use short, catchy videos or images with descriptions that go straight to the point. On the other hand, LinkedIn is a professional platform, so any ads you place here must match those standards. Keep it interesting with a catchy title and no “salesy” content.
In addition to the data collected when browsing, social media platforms collect information about post engagement and interactions. As a business owner, this information is invaluable as it helps you to analyze, understand, and refine your social media marketing strategy.
For example, using Facebook Ads Manager gives you real-time insights performance, showing how many people clicked on your ad, how many people you reached, and the cost of the ad.
It also gives you demographics data, indicating how well your ad is fairing across people of different genders, locations and ages.
Lastly, it lays out the value of your ad, taking into account the impressions, reach, and money spent. In some cases, you can even see the devices your audience uses, plus what time of the day, week, or month people engage with your ad.
These insights are critical for small businesses because they can help you improve your campaigns, define your branding, develop a long-term ad budget, place ads on multiple platforms, and use dynamic creative optimization to boost performance.
There is no doubt that social media is a critical part of our lives today.
As a small business owner, you cannot afford to ignore the power and potential of social media to promote your business.
Each platform is unique, and the best ways to use them might differ from one to the other, so always make sure to customize your content for both your audience and separate social channels.
If implemented correctly, an effective social media marketing strategy can give you a competitive advantage, earning you customers in a market that is increasingly difficult to penetrate.
Yash Chawlani is a digital marketing consultant based in India. He is the founder of Marveta, a result-oriented digital marketing agency. He specializes in SEO & Content Marketing and helps various B2B & SaaS companies out there with his top-notch marketing strategies.