How To Promote Your Small Online Business Using Social Media (2022)
Nov 23, 2021 | Sabina M Abul
Social media use has been increasing fast.
According to statistics, there are 4.48 billion people actively using social media in the world in 2021.
As the owner of a small business, you’ve probably already been told about how important it is getting for ecommerce businesses to be active on social media platforms.
However, what are the benefits of being present on social media and how can you use social media to promote your business?
Let’s first start by looking at the advantages of using social media and also at a few of the most popular social media platforms:
WHAT ARE THE KEY ADVANTAGES OF USING SOCIAL MEDIA FOR YOUR BUSINESS AND THE MOST POPULAR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS?
Social Media, as defined by Cambridge Dictionary, are “websites and computer programmes that allow people to communicate and share information on the internet using a computer or mobile phone”.
There are various reasons why you should be active on some of those platforms.
Here are the key advantages:
-You can build a relationship with your customers and improve your service by constantly taking on feedbacks and addressing customers’ concerns.
- You can reach a wider audience whilst promoting your brand which can potentially increase your sales.
- You can also promote your business through customers spreading the word about your business.
There are many social media platforms, each with its own features. Here are the top platforms used by people:
• Facebook: this is the biggest social network in the world that connects people by allowing them to talk to each other, write and share posts, images and videos. It is now also possible to sell items on Facebook through the Marketplace section where anyone can sell used and new items.
It is also a great platform where you must have a presence as there are always consumers searching for new products there, which also gives you an opportunity to promote your brand.
• Instagram: this platform is focused on sharing images and videos. It is a platform where people are required to follow other accounts in order to keep seeing the photos and videos posted by those accounts.
This is the best platform to showcase your products or even promote your new collection of products. You can also contact other businesses on Instagram in order to create partnerships or to advertise each other’s pages.
• Pinterest: This platform focuses on sharing images and it is used by a lot of people to find inspiration and ideas for the hobbies and interests from food to fashion.
As a business, you can use the platform to post quality images of the items you sell in order to promote them to the users.
• Twitter: this platform allows users to write posts and also comment on other people’s posts and share them with people that follow you.
This network is normally used by businesses to engage with customers and also to post new business/product updates and share website content such as blogs. This is also a useful platform to see the strategy of used by your competitors when engaging with customers.
Now that we have looked at the basics on social media and also explored the advantages of using it for your business, let’s look at how you can use the platforms to promote your business!
1. Build a plan and find your key objectives
Every good strategy starts with good planning.
It is important to know what goals you are trying to achieve with social media presence and to have a detailed plan of how you are going to work on the goals.
When making a plan, follow the SMART criteria where you specify the criteria to follow with each objective.
An objective you can set when starting is increasing the number of people who follow/like your page and then you can slowly set bigger goals such as increasing the conversion rate.
When setting your objectives, you should get some inspiration from your competitors and look at what they are doing on their own platforms. You would also need to keep in mind your customers’ needs and wants.
Many social media platforms including Instagram and Facebook allow you to create polls that will enable you to understand what customers want.
2. Choose the right platforms
As mentioned before, there are many social media platforms, and the number is only growing with time.
It is important, however, to choose the right platform for your own business and for your customers. It is especially important to use platforms that your customers use.
To find the right channels, you would need to do some research and an easy way to find out is by looking at the platforms your competitors are using.
You would need to look at your target audience demographics and then look at the demographics of users of different platforms to see which channels to consider.
You don’t need to stick to one platform, you can in fact use multiple platforms and use each for a different purpose e.g., Instagram to showcase your products and Facebook to engage with users.
3. Create a calendar
After you have written down your objectives and you have also created pages and accounts on the platforms you want to be in, it is time to organise what you want to post.
To do this, you need to organise a calendar in order to ensure you have a constant and regular presence on the platforms and avoid writing last-minute low-quality content.
In your calendar you could specify the following:
• The type of content you are planning to post eg images, videos, blogs.
• The frequency of each and also the topic that you will be covering on each.
• Who will be in charge for each task.
• The name of the platform you are planning to share each content on.
When thinking about the content, try to use the 80-20 rule, whereby 80% of the content you upload is to inform and educate your followers and 20% to promote your products.
4. Do not over promote your product
It is important not to keep on just advertising your products on the platforms as this might actually refrain people from wanting to follow you.
Try to find content that your users will find interesting and will actually enjoy.
This doesn’t have to be your own blog or articles all the time, it could also just be you sharing some relevant content related to your industry that might interest users.
It could also just be you asking a question or starting a conversation with customers on a topic of interest that is trending.
You could alternatively show your support of great social causes by sharing about them.
It is alright to promote yourself, but don’t overdo it.
5. Use and share video content
Video content is great at getting people’s attention as most people would rather watch a video than read content.
Almost all social media platforms allow you to post videos, some of them have a length limit and some don’t. Take advantage of using those features where possible.
Content that is in video format stands out on people’s feeds and it will also allow you to let the audience know more about your personality.
People, in fact, tend to engage more with video content rather than other types of contents.
The American action cameras manufacturing company GoPro has a very successful video marketing strategy. From the earliest stages, the company started encouraging users to post and share videos created by them and it then repurposes and reshares them on its account.
This strategy has played a big role in the company’s success by having more people know the brand and increasing overall brand visibility.
The one above is a great example of how a company can use videos to step up its marketing strategy.
6. Use the feedbacks to improve your service
People often use social media platforms to give feedbacks of a business’s service or product.
These are really important as they are also seen by other potential customers.
It is, thus, essential for you to keep checking the comments people leave on your posts and the messages they send and to reply to them keeping in mind that other customers are also reading your answers.
If people see that you are responsive and that you care, it will incentivise and encourage more people to buy from you.
The American technology company Dell initially did not have a system to take in customer feedback and its brand image suffered a lot because of it. It then decided to build a separate website that deals with customer queries formerly known as IdeaStorm and now known as DellTecnhologies.
The introduction of this service increased Dell’s brand loyalty ratings, with 83% of customers wanting to buy again from Dell and with them being more likely to make a recommendation.
7. Build strong relationships with your customers
As reinforced in the previous points, it is important to engage with your customers and build a strong connection with them.
Remember that your aim is not only selling your product once, but it is to keep customers so that they keep buying from you which will allow you to build customer loyalty.
To build these connections you could do giveaways or contests where you are able to tag your followers in the posts and images.
A lot of brands are doing giveaways on Instagram in order to promote their brand. An example of this is Kiehl’s, an American cosmetics brand retailer that has recently posted about a giveaway to promote its brand.
You could also encourage customers to post and review the products they purchased and tag you in exchange for a discount on their next order. This will be a great way of promoting your products.
8. Keep being updated on all trends
When choosing content, you want to cover, look at what is trending currently on social media.
You could do this by looking at the “Trending section” on Twitter which shows real time trends on different categories.
By following trends, you will show that your company is active and that it cares about its customers’ topics of interest.
Again, not all trending topics might interest your specific audience, so ensure you are still picking out only the most relevant ones for your target audience.
Whatever you do, keep your followers’ interests in mind.
An example of a brand who did this really well is McDonald’s that recently partnered up with the biggest boy band in the world BTS by creating a meal in partnership with them named the BTS meal.
In order to promote it, the person who was in charge of the McDonald’s Twitter account started writing posts related to BTS a few weeks prior to the release of the meal in order to gain fans’ attention.
This partnership led to a big jump in sales for McDonald’s and it was really successful.
9. Sell your products on social media
It is now also possible to sell your products on certain platforms.
For instance, on Facebook and Instagram, if you set up a shop account, you are able to display and sell your products.
This way of selling is called social commerce and it is slowly growing as the features are constantly changing.
If you haven’t created a website yet for your business, you could actually just not do it and sell on these platforms.
As can be seen below, a lot of companies are using Facebook’s marketplace platform to sell items:
10. Keep checking your performance towards the goal you have set
It is important to keep checking how well your strategies are doing and whether you are making progress towards achieving each of the objectives you have set for yourself.
You could try using different approaches each week to see what is working better. It is alright to keep changing strategy as it is the best way of learning about your audience and their interests.
Without trying, you will not know if something will work or not.
As you keep trying, you will then be able to find the right set of strategies to keep using and perfect them each time.
Overall, there are many advantages of using social media for your business and these were ways you could use these platforms to promote your business.
Remember, it is important to plan everything out and start working whilst checking your progress to see if you are going towards the right direction.
We hope these tips and strategies will help you build your plan and starting on it!
Meanwhile, why don’t you check out this great blog on top strategies you can use to grow your business!
Otherwise, you could contact us if you have any questions on the topic or if you are interested to know more about us, we are more than happy to hear from you!
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