9 social media simple tips to grow your small business

Grow your business

If you have a small business or an online one, you most likely spend a big chunk of your time trying to dig up the latest social media trends and online marketing tips. And for good reason.
There are now 4.2 billion active social media users — almost twice as many as there were just five years ago. Those users spend an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes on social media channels every single day.

Related article: The top 4 marketing trends to keep an eye on

Those nearly 2.5 hours offer an incredible opportunity for businesses to:
– Build brand awareness.
– Develop customer relationships.
– Generate sales directly within social platforms.

How? Here are 9 tips to help you with your social media efforts.

1. Start with a plan
2. Decide which platforms are right for you
3. Know your audience
4. Build relationships
5. Pay attention to trends
6. Sell your stuff with social commerce
7. Focus on quality over quantity
8. Use scheduling and automation to free up more time for engagement
9. Track and refine your performance

Related: How to make social media work for your business

 

1. Start with a plan

It’s easy to get started using social media for business purposes. We all use social media in our day-to-day lives, so there’s a level of comfort with the tools.
It doesn’t cost anything to create a Facebook Page for your business, or start posting on Instagram, or to create a Twitter account.

But before you jump in feet first, remember: every good business strategy starts with a good plan. Yes, you can use social tools for free. But the time and effort involved still represent an investment in your business.

Without a plan, you have no clear goal for what you’re trying to achieve. That means there’s no way to know if you’re getting a return on that investment.
Take the time to create a social media plan upfront. This ensures all your social efforts support specific business goals.
Related: Boost Facebook content to reach more customers

Set social media goals and objectives

Create goals that follow the smart frameworks. They should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

Base your goals on metrics that will have a real impact on your business. For example, you could aim to acquire customers or raise your conversion rate, rather than simply racking up likes.

Research your competition

How are your competitors using social media? While you don’t want to copy them, learning from what others have done is a great way to improve your learning curve.
A competitive analysis  can help you learn what’s working and what’s not for other businesses like yours.
Related: How to do a SWOT analysis to improve your business

Get inspired

You’ve looked at what your competitors are doing online, but what about other businesses? Take inspiration from the success of businesses in all industries.

Create a social media calendar

A social media calendar helps you post the right content to the right social channels at the right time. It should include a plan for your content mix.
Try starting with the 80-20 rule. Use 80% of your content to inform, educate, or entertain your audience. Use the other 20% to promote your brand or sell your products.

2. Decide which social media platforms are right for your business

Don’t make assumptions about where your audience spends their time online.
Your instinct might tell you that if you’re targeting Gen Z, you should skip Facebook and focus on Instagram and TikTok. But the data shows  that nearly a quarter of Facebook users are aged 18 to 24.

Facebook
To make sure you’re using social media for business effectively, you’ll need to conduct some research of your own. This will help you to understand how your specific audience spends their time online.
Choosing your platforms doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing approach. You can use different social channels to reach different audiences, or to meet different business goals.
For example, you could use Facebook to build your audience and generate leads, and Twitter for customer service.
Related: 10 social media mistakes and how to avoid them

3. Know your audience

One reason using social media for business is so effective is that you can micro-target your audience. But first, you need to understand who your audience is.
Start by compiling data on your current customers. Then, dig deeper with social media analytics. You’ll soon start to understand who’s buying from and interacting with you online
Once you’ve defined your audience, you can create buyer persona which will help you understand the best ways to speak to your audience.

4. Build relationships through social media

The unique benefit of social media marketing for small business is that it allows you to talk directly to customers and followers. You can build relationships over time, rather than asking for a sale upfront.
More than 44% of Internet users use social networks to research brands.

 .Part of that discovery is getting to know who you are as a brand and what you stand for.
When people engage with your organic content or ads, it’s a great idea to engage back. This helps to build trust and form a loyal following. As fans share and like your content, you rise in the social algorithms and gain new, free, exposure.

Nurturing relationships can also help you build a loyal community that will lead to ongoing sales over time. New customer acquisition is great, but don’t downplay the value of customer retention.
So how do you build relationships, beyond responding to follower comments on your posts? Try these strategies:

Create a Facebook Group

Facebook Groups are another great way to build community and brand loyalty.
For example, the New York Times Podcast Club Facebook Group is “a book club for podcasts.” With more than 37,000 members, the group establishes the NYT as a go-to source for information beyond breaking news.
It also motivates members to listen to the selected podcasts each week, helping to prevent listener drop-off.

Mention followers in your posts and Stories

Collecting user-generate d content https://ae.godaddy.com/blog/what-is-user-generated-content-and-can-it-help-your-business/ through contests and branded hashtags is a great way to source quality material for your social feed.
Even better, sharing your followers’ content on your social channels (and tagging them, of course), helps you establish relationships with some of your biggest fans.
If a fan tags you in an Instagram Story, you’ll get a notification in your direct messages. Be sure to re-share—it’s an easy win-win.

Facebook Live
Related: Turning happy customers into customer advocates

5. Pay attention to trends happening on Social media

We’re not saying you should leap on every meme that goes viral. (Please don’t leap on every meme that goes viral.)
But it is a good idea to pay attention to trends in social media, so, you understand what people are looking for when they sign into their social channels. This helps you create appropriate content that resonates over time.
Always keep your audience’s current needs in mind. What worked last year might not work today.
Social listening is a highly valuable information gathering tool, helping you understand what your audience (and potential audience) might want to hear from your brand.
Related: The top 4 marketing trends to keep an eye on

6. Sell your products with social media commerce

Social media marketing has evolved in recent years to include social commerce: the ability to sell your products directly from social channels. And business is booming, with a global market value of $89.4 billion in 2020.
You can now use social shopping tools to sell your products and services even without a website. For example, Instagram shopping cart 
And Facebook shop which you can actually connect to each other.
Related: Your A-to-Z guide to sell on Instagram

7. Focus on quality over quantity

Quality

The sheer number of social media marketing options for small business might seem overwhelming — but you don’t need to do it all. It’s more important to create quality content on a couple of key channels than it is to have a presence on every single network.
Above all, be sure that your social posts offer value. If all you do is pitch and sell, there’s very little motivation for people to follow you. Remember, social marketing is about building relationships.

You can’t do it all, and there’s no reason to try. Reach out to your audience in the places where they’re already spending time online.
Focus on using one or two social channels well, at least to start. Once you’ve got those mastered, you can build from what you’ve learned and expand your efforts.

8. Use scheduling and automation to free up more time for engagement

We talked about creating a social content calendar way back at the beginning of this post.
Once you have that calendar in place, you can create your social posts in advance and use scheduling tools like Sprinkler  to post them automatically at the right time.

Sprinkler

This allows you to dedicate one block of time per day or even per week to creating your social content. It’s much more effective than letting social posting take you away from other tasks throughout the day.

9.Track and refine your performance on social media

As you implement your social strategy, it’s important to keep track of what works and what doesn’t. You can then fine-tune your efforts and improve results.
Analytics tools can give you a great picture of your social efforts and can help track whichever metrics matter most to you.
Once you have an idea of how your strategy is working, it’s time to start looking for ways to improve. Using A/B testing, you can make small changes that boost your success over time.

No matter the size of your business, social tools can help you better connect with your audience, reach new potential customers, and increase awareness of your brand. If the possibilities seem overwhelming, just start small.

As you find what works, expand your efforts and your audience. One of the great advantages of social media for small business is you can use the tools in whatever way makes the most sense for your business and your budget at any given time.

 

Image by: Ian Schneider via Unsplash.

Based in Dubai, Selina heads up MENA and Turkey at GoDaddy, overseeing the growth of the business and brand in this exciting region. Before joining GoDaddy, Selina headed up media relations across Europe for a large-scale energy project headquartered in the Netherlands and was on the agency-side leading marcomms activities for the likes of Facebook, Verisign Inc and Euler Hermes. Selina grew up in Australia, studying international studies and media at the University of Adelaide before moving to Istanbul and completing a Master’s Degree in Political Science at Boğaziçi University. She also holds a CIM Level 6 Diploma in Professional Marketing. With English as her mother tongue, Selina additionally speaks Turkish and German.