If your small business hasn’t started building a social media presence yet, 2023 is the best year to give it a shot. People are scrolling through social media all day, every day, and your brand must go where the people are.
This powerful platform can be an incredibly cost-effective and personalized way of engaging with your customers while providing valuable insights into your brand. You can gain new customers and better engage with recurring ones through social media.
In this article, we’ll discuss the different business uses of social media and best practices for an effective social media strategy to set you up for online success this year.
Why use social media for your small business?
Did you know that in 2023, there are 4.89 billion social media users worldwide—a 6.5% increase from a year ago? These users spend an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes scrolling through these channels daily. In the future, the number of social media users will continue to rise. The average annual growth rate from 2023 to 2027 is predicted to be at 5%.
And if you think social media is just for big businesses, that concept is a thing of the past. Today, 71% of small-to-mid-sized enterprises use social media for marketing themselves, and 52% post at least once a day.
So if you’re not working on your social media presence yet, you may miss out on many benefits.
Social Media Strategy For Small Businesses
Social media marketing for small businesses is all about implementing a good strategy. You can’t just invest money at a problem and hope for the best. You must be smart about using social media to reach your target audience.
While more prominent companies have the luxury of dedicated resources and time, small businesses must be more quick, active, and creative.
Most Effective Business Uses of Social Media
These are some of the parts of your small business that can benefit from a great social media presence:
1. Social Media for Marketing
When you implement an effective social media presence into the marketing plan of your small business, you can achieve a better reach of your target customers and prospects right where they are. Here are some best practices for utilizing social media to create a powerful presence to market your brand:
Craft a social media marketing strategy. A great social media marketing strategy includes knowing which platform to use to reach your target audience and how to introduce your brand and engage with your audience effectively.
Consistent Posting. Your audience values a steady presence, so observe a consistent posting schedule. Consistency doesn’t mean posting too much; some may find this off-putting.
Establish a clear voice. Create a consistent voice and tone that speaks with your audience and influences how they perceive your brand. Don’t be shy to show a little personality. Not only will this present your business as adaptive, friendly, and relevant, but having a personality will help you stand out more.
Have fun with social media. Explore fun ways to engage with your customers, like running social media contests, dropping special promotions and offers, and hosting live videos with exciting updates or news.
Know your audience. It’s important to know who exactly your audiences are. To tailor your content accordingly, you can use analytic tools to track demographic information, customer behavior, and social media trends, so you know what they want to see from you. This effort can go a long way toward boosting your engagement rates.
2. Social Media for Customer Support
Nowadays, social media is being used by many small businesses as their primary channel for customer service and support. You can address customer problems faster and more efficiently through social media communication. This will help you create a loyal customer base.
Respond to customer issues quickly. A research from Convince & Convert revealed that 42% of consumers expect a response to concerns on social media within 60 minutes, while nearly one-third expect a response within half an hour. These numbers prove that monitoring social media channels and promptly responding to concerns can help you build strong customer relationships.
Use hashtags strategically. Hashtags keep topics organized and easy to navigate. Hashtags in social media algorithms change frequently, so stay updated on your social media’s hashtag recommendations and best practices.
Some conversations are meant to be done privately. What do you do when angry or frustrated customers leave public comments on your brand's social media page? While you shouldn’t ignore these messages, handling the entire encounter privately is best. Send an initial public response requesting to continue the conversation privately to show other customers that you value their input and time.
3. Social Media for Sales
One of the most direct ways to really milk out the benefits of social media is through increased sales.
Advertise on social media. The major social platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, have advertising platforms that help you reach your target audience and monitor your ad campaigns.
Sell on social media. These major social media platforms offer sales features that make it easy for businesses to sell online.
Work with brand ambassadors. Having social media influencers or enthusiastic customers to act as brand ambassadors can help boost word-of-mouth buzz about your business. One of the most effective ways to market your business is to use user-generated content (UGCs) because people are likely to listen to people who have tried and tested your product.
Improve your business with social listening. Social listening is a process in which businesses listen to what customers say online about them and use the information to improve the business.
4. Social Media for Recruiting and Hiring
In modern hiring, social media platforms provide an excellent platform to recruit potential talent for your small business. Social media recruiting through LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter lets employers access a broad candidate pool.
A business’s social media channels are also an essential recruitment tool. Potential employees are more likely to be excited about joining your team if your social media pages reflect your brand and company’s values.
5. Social Media for Crisis Management
What did your business tweet after the earthquake tragedy in Turkey? What did you post on Facebook? Whether you sent a heartfelt message to your followers or went through the week in silence, you probably found yourself unsure how to proceed during such a tragedy.
Unfortunately, there is no guidebook out there to teach you how to continue with your social media marketing strategies when things start to get sour.
However, here are a few things your small business can do on your social media page during a crisis:
- If you don’t have anything nice to say, keep quiet.
- Being silent isn’t always the best response in a tragic situation.
- Having a social media strategy ready makes you less likely to be caught off guard when a crisis occurs.
- Carefully choose your words, and always speak sincerely from the heart.
- When you hear of a tragic event, pause any nonessential posts.
- Look for ways your business can create a positive impact and help meaningfully.
Social media is an incredibly effective and cost-efficient tool to engage with your new, current and prospective customers. Through social media, you can gain new customers and have a more insightful engagement with your loyal ones. 2023 is the best year to start building your social media presence if you don’t have one yet. We hope that this article has enlightened you about using social media for your small business and help you with ways you can benefit from an effective social media strategy.
Edited by Chooli