When it comes to social media marketing, many small business owners feel one of two things—that it hasn’t been successful for them, or that it’s already too late to start.
If you fall into either of these situations, you’ll want to reconsider your position on marketing with social media, because it is a powerful way to expand your audience and engage with your customers. Here are five reasons why you should give this strategy another look.
There is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to marketing on social media. If you’ve never tried it before, the Facebook Ad Manager can be intimidating, and the same goes for the other platforms. Once you start to find your way around, however, you can develop a rhythm that works for your business. Once you do, you’ll realize that reaching out through a marketing campaign on social media is not any more complicated than traditional marketing. In fact, it can be even more efficient because it allows you to reach a targeted group. This means you aren’t wasting ad spend showing your products or services to people who are not interested.
Despite small increases, it is still one of the cheapest ways to advertise. In 2016, according to Search Engine Journal, Facebook was 88% cheaper on average than Google AdWords (Source: Search Engine Journal).
Not everyone is on Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram. Most people, however, do spend time on at least one social media platform. If you can meet your audience where they already unwind, you are already over one of the outreach hurdles.
The good news is you don’t have to try and cover every single platform. While each social media company tries to steal ideas and features from the others, such as Instagram and Facebook borrowing stories from SnapChat, they still tend to appeal to certain demographics. You will likely find that most of your customer base tends to gravitate towards one site more than others. This allows you to focus your efforts on that platform, at least in the early stages.
This narrowed attention will enable you to connect with your audience on an emotional level, but it also means you can provide engaging visuals as well as useful information and facts. These different modes help you build a stronger bond with your viewers, ultimately leading them to be customers.
Social media marketing isn’t just about ads. It actually gives you the chance to interact with your audience and learn more about them. You can use these platforms to learn the wants and needs of your potential customers. You can establish yourself as an authority, as a resource users turn to because they trust you.
In addition to this direct contact, you can also discover a great deal about your audience through the data gathered by the platforms. At the most basic level, you can quickly find out what types of ads work for your audience. You will learn what appeals to them and how you can gain their attention.
Tools like the Facebook pixel also allow you to see what types of people are clicking your content and whether or not they are converting or need to be retargeted with a new ad. Over time, you will gain a better sense of who your ideal customer is and how you can serve them. This information just isn’t available in traditional marketing models, certainly not for such a small investment.
Often, small businesses struggle to get their name known, without feeling like it’s being drowned by wave after wave of advertising. This is especially important for service industries where it isn’t always easy to distinguish between one company and the next.
Brand loyalty is one solution to this dilemma. It helps ward off the competition and keeps your audience engaged and enthusiastic. Fortunately, effective social media strategy helps establish and strengthen brand loyalty. This means less effort keeping the new customers you worked so hard to convert.
In many traditional marketing avenues, the smaller business often has a tough time competing with larger corporations. With social media marketing, however, the playing field is much more level. While you might not have the budget of large corporations in your industry, you have the personal touch and authenticity that your customers crave.
When it comes to competing with other small businesses, this is an area that is still largely untapped. Some of your competitors might have dipped their toes into the social media scene, but most of them are not operating with a well-formed strategy. If you can plan and execute a true social media campaign, you still have the chance to stake your claim on whatever platform you choose.
Social media marketing is here to stay, and you need to start taking advantage of it. There is a lot to learn, but it doesn’t mean you have to drop all the things that you already do well. Instead, make sure that your audience knows about all that great stuff. If you start small and work smart, you’ll have your first campaign behind you, and you’ll realize that it isn’t so scary.