10 Tips to Do Social Media Marketing for Small Business

For small businesses, it’s very crucial to opt for a marketing channel that gives the best outcomes using the most practical resources. These days, many businesses favour social media marketing when compared to the other marketing strategies. Well, social media marketing for small business certainly deserves the recognition it gets for its ability to increase the brand’s sales and reach, which in turn expands the professional network.

If you are not sure how to use this marketing channel, here are few smart tips for social media marketing for small business.

#1 Choose the Right Channels

If you’re looking forward to use social media marketing for small business, there are plenty of channels out there, including the popular ones like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Your business need not be a part of all the social media channels available.

Assess the needs of your business and find out which channel will best suit the requirements. For instance, Pinterest and Instagram are ideal for visual businesses with access to plenty of photography or products. Twitter and Instagram are perfect for businesses, which generate plenty of editorial content.

Opt to go live on some of the most suitable social media channels and ensure that your business is active on the specific channels. It’s generally advised to commit to just one or two networks. With the right approach, social media marketing for small business can give amazing results.

#2 Decide Your Target Audience

You might be wondering how target audience matter when we talk about social media marketing for small business. But, they play a very important role here. When you want to decide which social networking platform is the right one for your business, knowing your target audience helps in making the right decision.

To explain with examples, teenagers are all about SnapChat, Vine, Instagram, and YouTube. The young parents and the elderly gravitate towards Facebook. Businesses rule LinkedIn. Bloggers and influencers love Tumblr and Twitter. Now that explains why it’s important to decide your target audience before choosing a social networking channel. If you know which social networking channel your target audience use mainly, it’s easier for you to take a call.

#3 Focus on Community

Experts have proved that social media marketing for small business can widen its reach and create many fans by engaging more audience. However, it is not like conventional advertising where you post a message and expect someone to respond to it. It’s more focused around the concept of community and more conversational.

Social media marketing for small business allows them to directly interact with their customers and so it has the potential to convert those few customers into an effective virtual marketing team. On social media, ensure that you reply to those who communicate with you. Engage yourself with powerful social influencers like individuals with strong followings or the owners of blogs that your customers read.

Keeping your online community of followers engaged is crucial to social media and this in turn is the key to your success on this platform.

#4 Repeat Strategies That Were Successful Earlier

Every business is unique and so there some unique social media aspects that may work well for one business, but not for the other. If your small business has been exploiting social media marketing for quite some time, you might get to hit upon some strategies that have been really profitable for your business. So, instead of reinventing the wheel, repeat the successful social media strategies and reap the benefits.

Social media is a unique marketing tool in that it can enhance the visibility of a company, expand reach, and engage prospective, existing and future customers. It’s just that you have to use the right strategies in social media marketing for small business.

#5 Post Regularly and Stay Active

The importance of regularity cannot be stressed enough when it comes to social media marketing for small business. If you happen to disappear for weeks or even days together for that matter without updating your business’ social media profiles, your customers and followers will forget you. That doesn’t mean you’ve to be active 24/7, but you just need to ensure that you spend some valuable time to update the profile. If you’re busy, you can schedule future updates using the many tools available like HootSuite, Buffer and SocialOomph.

One thing to remember here is that you cannot post anything and everything just to be active, but rather do your research and update your profile with quality posts rather than quantity. So, the thumb rule here is to post good quality updates on your business profile regularly and remain active.

#6 Monitor the Results and Measure Them

What’s the use of social media marketing for small business if you are not able to monitor and measure what the outcomes of your efforts are? This is important because you need to know whether or not your strategies are working out.

Generally, it takes around three months to find out if it’s worthy to spend on your existing strategies. There are several tools like Google Analytics and KissMetrics that can help you in measuring how successful your presence on social media is. That does not mean you have to rely only on the numbers in the long term, but rather also focus on the quality of content.

With the right strategies followed, your social media marketing for small business success is sure to yield good results. You’ll realise this only when you monitor the results and measure the outputs in reality.

#7 Consider Advertising

If you are ready to invest a little bit of money, you can consider advertising as this can give great benefits for social media marketing for small business. Invest some funds in Google Adwords as this can bump your site to the top few positions of search engine results. For this, you will require a defined listing of keywords, which represent you. You can find such keywords often on your website. Consider both these if you wish to get the best out of your investment.

You can intensify your message on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. You can build highly targeted, specific advertisements on the networks with only few clicks. Get to know your audience as this can help you in promoting posts easily, sharing offers, gaining more followers, and driving website traffic.

#8 Share the Links Repeatedly with Your Social Presences

If you develop it, it doesn’t come. Use the clickable social icons, user names or vanity links on your home page, email signatures, business cards, marketing tools, and any other place where you think you can use it. If you are not able to get the world to know how to find you, there’s no use setting up a social networking page.

Perform a Google search to find free social networking icons or you can also consider purchasing a fancy icon package. Never underestimate the power of using social networking icons everywhere you can as this is how you can let people learn about your business.

#9 Start Networking

If you want to win in social media, you first need to be its user. In social media, the good news is that you can steal from others – this is called sharing and you need to do that often. Share someone else’s posts with the hope that they will also share yours. When your post is shared by someone else, it means their followers also get to know about you.

Spend some time daily to read your feeds. Follow experts, influencers, brands, publications, and marketers in your industry actively. Like their updates, share their articles, re-tweet their posts or link to their articles. This way, you are likely to move ahead in a positive direction in the world of social media marketing for small business.

#10 Dive Deep and Not Broad

As far as social media is concerned, it’s important that businesses dive deep and not broad. As the saying ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ goes, it’s important that you don’t dip a finger in all the social media channels. Master just one or two channels rather than floundering in many.

When you consider social media marketing for small business, a good model is to differentiate between social networking sites and social platforms. Social platforms are similar to soap boxes. They let you to establish your credibility and expertise and give a method for discussion and feedback. Good examples are SlideShare and YouTube. On the other hand, social networks are similar to real-world networking event. Good instances are Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

The above listed tips, when implemented judiciously, can be the right ones to get the most out of your social media marketing for small business. A few months down the lane when you monitor the results and measure them, you can see that your business has gained a lot due to your prudent efforts.

Facebook and AdBlock Companies

Digital advertisements keep popping up online so often and ubiquitously that several tech-savvy users are making use of ad-blocking software to prevent these ads. Such programs have been a boon to them to stop the annoying ads, but hereon it’s not likely to be that easy for Facebook users to stop the advertisements from showing up on their desktop FB website. The social networking giant has worked a way around and come up with a smart way for blocking the ad blockers.

The New Changes to Facebook Ad Preferences Controls

Recently, Facebook rolled out its forthcoming changes to ad preference controls and among these latest changes is a decision to deactivate the popular ad-blocking program Ad-Blocker that is used to get rid of the online ads. As per this change, the social networking company has turned on a switch on its desktop site, which basically renders ad blockers. So, even users with ad-blocking program installed and running on their systems will get to see ads on Facebook.

Further, the Silicon Valley Company also revealed that its ad preferences tools will be updated to make things easier for users to customize the kind of ads that they get to see on the website.

Debate about Ad Blocking Ethics

The recent move by Facebook has given rise to a furious debate about the ad blocking ethics. On one side of the coin, too many digital advertisements are annoying as they slow down the web pages’ loading times and have a negative impact on the overall online experience. On the other side, they serve as the foundation of business for many digital publishers to offer content to the readers.

Read on to find out what the affirmative and negative teams have to say about Facebook’s move.

What the Affirmative Team Has to Say?

Facebook, of course, is the main participant of the affirmative team. Talking on behalf of the company, Facebook’s Vice President Andrew Bosworth stated that disruptive advertisements are an industry issue and the increase of ad-blocking programs is a very strong indication that users don’t wish to see ads. However, he feels that ad blocker is a bad solution to the problem.

Facebook is not alone on its side. In fact, there are many digital publishers like The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times that consider ad blockers to be a huge threat to their advertising revenue. Around 200 million users globally employ ad blockers on their desktop PCs, as per estimates from the anti-ad-blocking start-up PageFair. There are many users who use ad blockers on their portable gadgets like tablets and smartphones also.

Many other digital publishers like Forbes, The Times and Wired have also started experimenting new techniques with the sole aim of anti-ad-blocking. Such publishers argue that users need to understand that the journalism that they enjoy online costs money, which has to be paid for – and advertising is a crucial aspect of this revenue.

Facebook also supports this claim admitting that ad blocking software is bad for publications that get robbed of almost 50% of the value exchange between publishers and users. However, the social networking giant also feels that instead of blocking all advertisements, a way has to be discovered to serve relevant ads to the users.

What the Opposing Team Has to Say?

When ads are well-made and relevant, they can be useful in helping users find out more about new products and services, while also introducing them to new experiences. However, advertisements don’t work that way, which is why many users try to find ways to use ad-blockers to avoid them.

On the opposing side of the debate is the ad blocking companies reacting furiously to the action taken by Facebook, which they believe will soon by incorporated by many other major websites as well.

Adblock Plus calls this move of Facebook to be anti-user, stating that it’s following a dark way against the choices of users. It posted a question to Facebook asking why users are being stopped from making a decision on what they can block and what they can’t. Nonetheless, Adblock Plus doesn’t consider this as a cause to panic because such cat-and-mouse chasing games aren’t new to the tech industry.

Adblock Plus considers that Facebook’s view is ironical taking into account that the social media company acknowledges that users are justified to block ads, but still denies giving them the rights to do so.

The response from Adblock Plus has stirred across a blend of mixed responses among the Facebook community. If we’ve to judge based on the user comments to the post, several of them will try to find a way around to continue with blocking advertisements. Some of them are even ready to go to the extent of ceasing Facebook usage, while some others regard it to be quite reasonable to come across some ads in exchange for the free service they use.

The Verdict

Facebook’s move towards its anti-ad-blocking campaign has received mixed reactions, but still the Silicon Valley Company revealed that the new updates to its ad control and format options would supposedly eradicate the need to block ads. On a closing note, the social media firm says that it’s placing control in the hands of users with its updated ad preferences and other ad controls so that they can personalize their requirements and be served with relevant ads.

Facebook’s ad controls, performance and formats are claimed to have been designed to address the fundamental reasons users have opted for ad blocking. With more powerful controls, Facebook says, there would be no need to look for ad blocking programs.

We’ll have to wait to see if Facebook’s move to disable ad blockers on its website turns out to be in favour of users or against them – after all, it’s the vast user base that has helped the social networking company attain the popularity it has gained today. What’s your perspective on Facebook’s decision? Share your views in the comments section below.