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5 Fool-Proof Social Media Musts to Grow Your Small Business

Let’s face it… growing a successful small business can be nothing short of a f*cking grind!

Even if it’s founded on something you’re passionate about. Maybe especially so, as all of your time, energy – sweat, blood, tears! – and money goes into the development of this product or service that has excited and inspired you enough to jump into the abyss and build a business around it in the first place.

Enhancing Your Social Media Presence Can Be Easy – Really!!

The biggest part of the grind often comes with the promotion and marketing necessary to build a business.  It’s unusual when the business owner is not only great at what they do but that they’re also great at the marketing end of things. If only!

Specifically, it can be the additional challenge of growing what has become a mandatory social media presence that can confuse, frustrate, and overwhelm entrepreneurs on their way to success. Consequently, the important online marketing work often takes a back seat as all of the valuable resources (mental, physical, spiritual, and financial) are being spent, or are consistently under strain keeping the business afloat and moving forward.

But… it doesn’t have to! I’m here to reassure you that you CAN do this. Social media is relatively simple in its implementation, and with regular, consistent activity can help to grow your audience, increase engagement, and, ultimately, begin to translate to viable leads.

Say it with me: I CAN F*CKING DO THIS!! To help get started, simply schedule 15 minutes to half an hour each day to devote to developing your social media practice. The steps listed below are designed to take some of the grunt- and guess-work out of it!

What to know more?? Click HERE to receive our easy and effective Intro Social Media Strategy specially designed for small businesses.

Baby steps – five easy social media fundamentals to get you going:

1. Identify Goals & Objectives

This first step is HUGE! You MUST identify what you want your social media presence to accomplish.  Do you want to increase following and likes (I recommend this as the first goal, regardless)? Drive traffic to your website or blog? Generate sales?

Make sure you know what you’re after – before you start posting. Know which platforms are best for your product or service and how they work as well as what audiences you can reach, where.

2. Understand the Needs of Your Audience

This is all about identifying pain point, really. The needs of your audience help you interact with them on a much more personal, intimate level. If you know what content is most relevant, what’s important to them, and what they want to read, it will go along way in illuminating what you need to provide them. Get your head around this and, with each post, you can give them what they want which, ideally, inspires them to explore further your product or service – visiting your various channels of social media as well as your website or blog.

3. Produce Valuable Content

This is your opportunity to translate your passion for what you do to the social media content you offer your following. People who visit your social media channels or website are often asking ‘What’s in it for me?’ and you want to be sure that you are providing information across channels that answers that question with content of value. Whether it’s a unique insight into your industry; a funny quote, image, or both; or any other content that isn’t merely a sales pitch.

Be sure to incorporate relevant visuals – photos, videos, infographics help catch the eye in a cluttered feed, drawing interest and engagement.

Providing rich content helps set you apart as an authority in your space, inspire the trust of your following, as well as showcase your business and website, which brings in more customers and more money.

4. Incorporate Fun: Games, Contests, Giveaways!

If there’s a sure-fire way to get conversations going and generate interest in your content, it’s to bring the fun!  Incorporate activities that beg responses to questions – trivia games, or “caption this” requests – to build engagement, generating likes, follows, shares, and traffic.

In line with the ‘What’s in it for me?’ agenda, give away something for free.  This isn’t a random something. In exchange for likes, shares, or email addresses to build your list, make sure your giveaway is something designed to draw your visitors further into your business, now as well as into the future. It doesn’t have to be expensive.  It can be a free sample of your product, a discount code, perhaps a short trial, or the e-book you’ve written.

Engaging in a fun way with your audience is a terrific way to earn and keep valuable followers who will stay engaged, looking forward to the content you provide.

5. Give Your Audience a Reason!

You want to approach every post you create from the perspective of giving your customers, existing and potential, a reason to like your page, follow your profiles and continue to receive your content. Demonstrate your commitment to them by posting interesting, valuable updates consistently and frequently providing them a reason, day after day, to stick with you.  Not only looking forward to what you have to say but because of the increasing interest in your business!

What to know more?? Click HERE to receive our easy and effective Intro Social Media Strategy specially designed for small businesses.

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No Time for Social Media?

With a background in design and development, part of creating something useful and effective for the client is understanding exactly how they plan to use their new or refreshed web presence.

With small businesses, who often utilize their website as simply electronic business card, when confronted with the question about Social Media and how actively they plan to engage in it, it’s not unusual for the client to wince, if not outright cringe, and vehemently insist, “No, no social media – I don’t have time to worry about tweeting and Facebook.”

And they’d be right.  They feel as though they don’t.  Particularly if they haven’t done it before.

I’m a content creator.  And, as such I tend to proselytize the power of fresh content and maintaining a variety of channels to promote product and/or service to not only do the important work of building community and audience, but actual business.

As my clients protest, I sit back resigned but understanding, well aware how daunting the task appears.

Chances are you’re using social media on a regular basis already

I don’t leave it there, however.  Social engagement and utilizing social channels are too valuable to let go without a stronger pitch.  I get them thinking about it further by asking a couple of simple questions:

  1. Who is your target market.  To whom will you be directing your more conventional advertising efforts?
  2. What is your favourite way to communicate?  For instance, are you partial to quick, entertaining anecdotes; do you take a lot of pictures with your phone?

 

Social Media for Small Businesses

Only a couple of questions, but they can provide important insights to someone who doesn’t consider marketing through social media right for them.

Chances are pretty good that most people are contributing in some way or other to a particular channel in their regular day-to-day.  It’s just a matter of better directing that effort to marketing their business.

In retail?  Use the snaps you’re already taking to flesh out your Instagram or Facebook accounts as you consider your greater messaging and how that can be implemented in hashtags directed to your market to gain followers.

Have a landscape business?  Same goes.  There’s nothing better than a visual to use before and afters as well as progress snapshots to better promote your services.

Social media becomes yet another business asset

These are only a couple of examples, but they work regardless the industry.  Real estate, construction, technology, you name it… all industries where social media can be effectively leveraged to grow your community, following and, ultimately, leads.

As you build out your content it becomes another asset of your business, creating a space that you occupy, contributing to the value of your product or service.  And, better than your conventional avenues of marketing, largely free.

So, before discounting entirely, ask yourself the two simple questions above, and then give it a go.  If you keep at it a while, you might actually be surprised that you 1. actually might enjoy it a little and, 2. reap the tangible benefits of connecting with your people, growing your following and increasing your potential for leads and sales.

If you’d like more information on how social media will work for your business, please don’t hesitate to ask – scroll down!

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3 of the Best Reasons to Use Instagram for Your Business

If there were any skeptics who saw the rise of social media as merely a quickly passing trend, they couldn’t possibly have anticipated that, 16 years ago yesterday, Facebook would be celebrating yet another birthday connecting over 100 million people every month.

In the sea of status updates, we’re all looking for that little something to help us grab a little piece of the news feed.  In 2014 mobile media consumption surpassed online for the first time with more than 100 million daily active users.  This activity included 1.6 billion daily likes, and 20 billion – yes, 20 BILLION!! – shared photos. If you’re looking at the millennial market, those numbers are even higher.

The number of photos shared gives us all the data confirmation we really need.  Which only serves that with over 300 million Instagram users – and growing – the visual platform is a no-brainer for developing your brand and building business.  Here’s why:

1. Instagram allows for a consistent visual representation of your brand

An image has the power to inspire as it informs and there is nothing like a picture to convey a message and tell, or show, the story of your brand.  From historical images to that which happened today, providing consistent visual updates of your work, service or product engages your community and audience on an entirely different level.

No matter the industry, any company can create visual campaigns to reach their targeted audience, sharing interesting and evocative imagery along with creative captions.

2. Instagram is effective for engaging with your followers and growing your community

Social media users are eager to share stories and experiences visually and Instagram offers a one of the best platforms to do this.  Content on Instagram is simply more sharable, easier to understand, and far more universal than other types of content.  Keep in mind, however, that in order to capture the attention of your audience you must be active on the platform, creating content that is not only engaging but also shareable for your target audience.

3. Instagram-mers are far more likely to interact with your content

Instagram is the best social and mobile platform for brands to reach audiences that are willing to engage.

A recent study by Forrester Research found that Instagram users were 58 times more likely to like, comment, or share a brand’s post than Facebook users and 120 times more likely than Twitter users. Instagram is the channel that continues to grow as data indicates that users are moving away from Twitter and Facebook,  rather investing their time in Instagram.

Marketing is about reaching consumers to invoke a change in their behavior, giving them a call to action.

Instagram is beautifully simple to use.  It’s full of potential with people eager to connect with a brand on a more intimate and tangible level.

If you’re not marketing on Instagram, you’re missing out.

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