Making Social Media Work For Your Local Business
Everyone is always talking about social media and how you should use it for marketing your business. Are you trying to get with it and not getting the results that marketing gurus promise? How well is social media working for your business?
A simple Facebook post of random remarks or images will not get you very far. There is a great deal to know and learn about establishing your brand and acquiring new consumers. This article will teach you the important things that small business owners need to understand to make social media an effective marketing tool.
Today’s consumer is smart when it comes to purchasing decisions. They’re researching more than ever before. Most won’t even make a purchase or reach out to you without doing some research, either looking at other companies or learning about a product. Ensure that you provide educational content that can help the consumer take that decision to the next level.
People want to make sure that they not only understand your product or service, but they also want to do comparison shopping and know what the most cost savings would be or what the most energy-efficient product would be. Everyone wants to save money.
As a professional, you know your product or craft. When a consumer looks at your business, don’t assume they understand the technical aspects of what you’re offering. Find a way to educate them and provide searchable content that can be shared on social media.
Give them the knowledge to help them make the best decision. However, you want to be sure that you’re not speaking too deep into the technical specs; you want to speak at a level they can understand. Speak from a consumer’s voice.
Monitor all your channels
When a business responds to comments on one channel, they forget that people can also comment on Instagram, Twitter, or any other social platform. So, they would have pushed out content in a wide variety of platforms and only responded to a select few.
It would help if you remembered that anywhere your content is, you want to maintain that channel as much as possible. When somebody wants to engage you on that channel, take the time to go there and talk to them. Otherwise, that is a missed opportunity.
Monitor all your channels and make sure that you’re engaging and the consumers hear from you. There’s nothing more frustrating than when a consumer is trying to engage with you, and you don’t respond. No one likes to be ignored.
Tell your story
The way large successful brands work to make consumers passionate about their brand is very applicable on the small local business scale. You know those brands as they have become household names such as Nike, Red Bull, or Coke.
The way they do it is because they tell a story about their brand. Storytelling is what makes them stand out from their competition, and that’s what makes their fans passionate about their product. It’s the same for any business, large or small. Tell your story on social.
The more stories you tell about who you are, what your business is, why you’re in this business – the less you’re competing just on price. Competing on price alone creates no customer loyalty. With customer loyalty, a competitor offering a lower price won’t sway them easily.
A consistent message across all your social media is very important
When you tell people you’re passionate about something, keep that story going consistently throughout your timeline and social media and keep it business-focused. Don’t go off on a tangent that will derail your whole story and not benefit the audience.
Narrow your audience
To get your social media working for you, in addition to posting on Facebook to tell your story, you can also advertise. Set your advertising budget to a total amount that you want to spend daily or throughout the campaign. Another way is to boost your post.
Some business owners complain that they placed an ad or posted something on Facebook and boosted it, and they didn’t get very many calls or only got a couple of comments. The reason for this is they didn’t leverage the extensive targeting that Facebook offers probably.
As a local business, there are only so many people in your area who will be interested in what you have to offer. Facebook and many other social platforms give you the ability to target the audience you wish to be in front of and connect with.
Don’t cast your net too wide. With Facebook, you can narrow your audience and target ads to:
- Locations – people, based on locations
- Age – people within an age range
- Gender – to women, men or both
- Languages – users of certain languages
- Detailed Targeting – Include or exclude people from an audience based on demographics, interests, and/or behaviors
- Connections – Include or exclude people from your audience based on connections to your Pages, apps, or events
When you have the location and radius that you’re targeting, make sure that any image you use in your ad or post is appropriate to that audience. If you’re targeting everyone in Phoenix, Arizona, for example, don’t use a picture of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ensure that the product you’re showing and everything else ties in to your targeting, especially on the visual and in the content of the ad or the post you are boosting.
The role that social plays in the customer journey
The customer journey involves several steps before they engage with your company, and social is a critical part of that journey to a decision.
Social media is a place where people share great memories with family members, or as on Pinterest, post their dreams of things they would like to do or future trips they’re taking, so it’s a very safe place for people. A place that needs to be developed and cared for.
When you’re casting a wider net, many people may not be in the sales funnel. Social media can give them the education to drive them from that wide net down to a smaller, more focused funnel because they may be at a point they’re just learning about your product or service.
You can’t use just one social channel and expect results
If a person doesn’t know anything about you but is in the market for what your business offers, their first step may be to do a Google search or look up reviews on Yelp. Then to get more background, they may go to your Facebook or other social pages.
If you have some great videos, photos, and content on Facebook, but you don’t have any on Yahoo or Google, that is a wasted opportunity. People use social media to find out more about a business to decide – is this a business I want to give my money to.
This is why you need to use more than one social media channel to get results. Customers are on this journey around the internet, and you can never be sure where they will find you or engage you. This doesn’t mean you must be on every single one as there are too many.
Pick the channels that are most important to your business and ones that you can maintain. Since communication is so important if you are going to use a channel, be sure that you’re engaging that channel and always present having conversations back and forth.
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We hope this article will truly help you to make social media work for your local business. If you would like some help with improving your social media marketing, help with Facebook ads, or just a general consultation to see what your online presence is currently, contact us at 480-970-4688.