Social media is now an integral part our daily lives. All sizes and shapes of businesses have begun to make the most of social media. We will be sharing tips for small businesses on how to use social media. Many small businesses are looking to social media as a way to market their services and business. These small businesses are often failing to or not being able make the most of social media for business growth. While there are many strategies and theories on how to use social media effectively for established brands, the topic of social media for small business is rarely addressed. According to Octane Research 2017:Digital state of eMarketing India

60% of small businesses use social media to promote their products and services. 50% of small businesses focus on SEO, while 35% use multichannel marketing channels.
70% of small businesses view content strategy as their main marketing activity.
52% of business owners use social media to effectively address customer engagement.
Social media is a major tool for business owners to increase their profits by more than 20%.

The primary reasons for the low turnout are uncertainty on an application of social media, calculating return on investment and persuade employees/stakeholders to clinch social media. It is therefore important to examine the elephant in the room, and how Social Media can be beneficial for small businesses.

Small businesses can use social media to build their reputation and generate leads. Social media can produce more results than traditional mediums if it is regularly updated. Small businesses can use social media to give them control over what content they post. Social media allows businesses to immediately identify which posts are beneficial, as it is a two-way conversation process. Social media can also help small businesses generate Word of Mouth which is one of best tools for emerging companies.

10 Tips to effectively use Social Media

Define your Target Audience
Small businesses must first identify their target audience. This allows small businesses to tailor their social media strategies. Target audience should be identified based on age, sex, location and users’ online behavior, likes and dislikes. Business owners can target niche customers based on important milestones and birthdays. The outcome of your results will depend on how well you target the audience. For example, A local shop selling shoes should not target people who are interested in entertainment. It won’t achieve the desired results.

Set achievable goals
It is impossible to achieve overnight success. This is a fundamental fact that small businesses need to understand. A lot of people are excited when a business launches on social media. Businesses must set upwards-and-forward goals. Small businesses can update their social media feeds with many updates over a shorter time period to achieve huge goals. This can lead to disinterest among users in the product/service. These goals should align with the core competencies and expertise of the brand. For example, For example, a shoe store shouldn’t have a goal of selling the most shoes in their region.

Select the best medium
Social media is free, as everyone now knows. Paid campaigns can be done at a fraction of the cost of traditional media. This is why small businesses often jump on the social media bandwagon to create profiles on every platform. While creating a social profile does not harm brand image, aggressively marketing a brand on the wrong platforms could lead to lost customers. SME’s should first find the right platform to maximize their business. For example. For example, a shoe-selling brand might try to sell aggressively on LinkedIn. They won’t get a credible response compared to Facebook/Instagram promotions.

Promote your core product/services
Every business is riding the social media wave. It is crucial for them to promote their core products/services. Today, there are many businesses that promote their services and also promote peripheral products/services. This revolves around their core product/services. Most of the time, these SME’s don’t have the capabilities to meet a need, which can cause negative word of mouth on social media platforms. Referring to the shoe seller’s example, if they try to promote socks over shoes, it will not be beneficial for the business long-term.

Quality content
After we’ve covered how to identify the target audience, set achievable goals, choose the right medium, and promote the right products/services, let’s now look at what type of content businesses should be promoting on their social media pages. It is important that businesses focus on quality content, rather than quantity. If a business’s page is updated only once per day, as long as it is related to their business, the advocates for its core products will send a clear message that it is high quality content. Users will be suspicious if multiple updates are posted by a business that isn’t relevant to their products or services. New businesses should also refrain from promoting others businesses on their social media platforms.

Create a content calendar
It is not easy to make a small business succeed on social media platforms. Businesses must put in a lot of effort to maintain their conversion rate. A content calendar is one such effort. A content calendar is a useful tool for small businesses to plan ahead for important events. A content calendar should be created at least a month in advance. However, it is recommended to create a weekly content calendar. This allows businesses to plan ahead and strategize more efficiently. It also creates curiosity among loyal customers.

Re-test and test again
Social media can be unpredictable. A business’s content today might not be relevant tomorrow. Small businesses should always test the content they publish on their pages before publishing. The platform that a small business promotes their content must also be tested. Before posting about product features, updates, schemes, or offers, small business owners should always be a consumer. When uploading content, a consumer’s perspective is key.

Find inspiration
Small businesses should always seek inspiration from others who are successful in the same industry. It is not a good idea to copy content or ideas from competitors. Small businesses need to look at the content that their competitors have put up, and then develop their own strategies. Businesses should always look for inspiration and create content that is loved by all. This helps increase brand awareness and brand visibility, which in turn leads to increased conversions.

Calculate your ROI
If there is no way to calculate the return on investment, even a modest promotional budget will not be justified. This is especially important for small businesses. A small business should keep track of the budget allocated for promotions and the ROI. The brand custodian has the option to look at other platforms for quality conversions if a promotion isn’t performing well.

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