Whether we like it or not, we are fully submerged within the digital era. With billions of social media users (yes billions, with a B!) it is no longer a viable option to ignore these platforms. Though there are drawbacks. Concerns are understandable as many of us have seen the digital faux pas that have almost broken companies. However, the word almost is used with absolute intention. Especially with outrage culture being alive, well and becomes so easily out of control. Even the most mundane of social media posts can be misconstrued if someone chooses to see a negative perspective. Your average Joe will typically understand this so companies are given a little slack. Large companies benefit from sourcing outside help in this respect. It means having specialist expertise as well as a ready-made scapegoat. Small businesses though, do not have that luxury.
How then, can small businesses survive in the tron-like competitive environment of social media marketing? Well it’s not as daunting as many believe. It can be one of the most efficient and cost effective methods of reaching a large yet specific audience. If you start in the right place…
Not all platforms are created equal
At least not for every business. Depending on what your business offers and who your target market is, certain social media platforms are better than others.
Facebook is the powerhouse that it is for a few reasons. In mentioning billions of active social media users, Facebook has a fairly enormous chunk at 1.44 billion. Businesses are at another advantage by being able to gain better information on their customers with Facebook Insights. Having these factors in mind, Facebook will increase the odds of conversion for most business types.
Google My Business
You may have heard that google+ is being disbanded in favour of google my business. And for good reason. When you think of social networking, google my business doesn’t immediately spring to mind. It should. Everyone is vying for the top spots of a google search. Information such as location, reviews, contact and photos help google generate a more personal and compelling search result. The more information you utilise, the easier it will be to be found by potential customers. Location maps are becoming the headline act on google search so it pays to have it updated.
The amount of time and resources put into Instagram really depends on who your audience is. The majority of online users aged 18 to 29 use Instagram. If the target audience of your business is between this age group, it may be a good idea to incorporate Instagram into your social media strategy.
Moderation is Key
While being active on social media is undoubtedly beneficial, there can be too much of a good thing. Social media is a tool like several other components of your business. It shouldn’t become the sole focus. Social networks are designed to be addictive and running your own social media has the same danger of being sucked in. Posting every day of the week could appear to be spam and have the opposite effect of gaining traction. Also consider the responsive real-time nature of likes, shares and comments. These are great when you are getting your message out there but can be difficult to deal with when the conversation becomes a different and negative message.