One of the smartest ways for small businesses to advertise is through social media marketing. It allows them to do so much with such little resources. But how exactly can small businesses use the power of social media marketing?
Let’s find out!
1. Budget-Friendly Marketing
The beauty of social media marketing is that it works for anyone, no matter the size of your business. This is because social media has something to offer for every budget.
Don’t have the budget to pay for ads on social media yet? That’s okay! You can always produce content and advertise it on social media platforms. Creating an account is free. Building a community and garnering followers can be done just by producing quality content—no need to pay for anything.
Your business grew and can now afford to advertise online? Great! There are tons of options to advertise on these platforms.
These platforms also offer customized options for advertising. You can control the budget and the target audience. This offers more effective and targeted advertising. There’s no need to waste money advertising to customers who are outside your target audience.
2. Partnerships with Influencers
As a small business, you might be having second doubts about partnering up with influencers. You might be thinking that they’re currently too expensive for your business right now. But thankfully, micro-influencers are here to save the day!
Micro-influencers are individuals who have around 10,000 – 50,000 followers on social media. Despite the relatively low number of followers, these influencers are known to have high engagement with their audience. Working with a micro-influencer who is highly relevant to your business can increase brand awareness significantly.
Statistics show that micro-influencers on social media have better engagement compared to mega influencers.
On Instagram, they have an average engagement rate of 3.86% compared to the 1.21% for mega-influencers. While on YouTube, they have around 1.64% compared to mega-influencers, who have a rate of 0.37%. As for TikTok, micro-influencers have an engagement rate of 18% compared to the 5% of mega-influencers.
To be able to reach out to these micro-influencers effectively, you’ll have to convince them that your business is worth advertising.
Sending a customized portfolio will help them visualize what kind of business relationship you can have. This portfolio should contain who you are as a business and what you stand for. Of course, it should also contain a description of your products and how your business is relevant to the influencer.
Send the portfolio inside a branded folder envelope. This will help influencers know that the package is from you. It establishes a sense of professionalism to see that the package they’ll be receiving is consistent with your corporate identity.
Aside from that, it also establishes trust. They’ll know that the kit is legitimate because it comes with your logo and other brand identity elements.
3. Contests, Giveaways, and Promotions
Who doesn’t get excited with contests, giveaways, and promotions? This strategy can be very effective in social media because it’s easy to share information, therefore making word-of-mouth travel fast.
Catching the attention of users everywhere is a great way to increase brand awareness. In hosting a contest a giveaway, for example, you can ask users to share the post for an entry in the contest. You can also ask them to comment why they want to win and tag a few of their friends.
These efforts will snowball into getting lots and lots of exposure. Your business gets discovered by thousands of users, and some of these are bound to get interested.
As for the prizes, it would be a great opportunity to personalize the packaging of the winner to make them feel special. It will be a total social media-worthy experience if you put a lot of effort into the packaging. To top it all off, add a personalized letter in a custom portfolio folder thanking them for being a part of this event.
4. Participate in Social Issues
Social media became the center of communication and expression throughout the years. Along with this, it also became the center of discussion of multiple social issues. This is where people speak up for the oppressed, the unseen, and the unheard. It’s the tool that people use to propagate movements against discrimination and injustices.
Out of all these issues, choose one that resonates with your small business. Being involved in these issues will help you build relationships with your audience. Doing so is hitting two birds with one stone. You get to help make the world a better place, and you get to increase your brand awareness.
People are excited to support a small business that doesn’t shy away from involving their brand in social issues, much less controversial ones. If they know that their purchase helps out in solving issues, they’re more likely to buy and share it with their friends.
5. Increase Brand Recognition
As a small business, raising brand awareness is one of your top priorities. It would be hard to maintain the business if people didn’t know who you are. They wouldn’t be able to make purchases and support your brand if they don’t know you exist.
Just like with bigger businesses, people feel more comfortable buying products from businesses that they know. This is because in getting to know your business, your customers get to know if your:
- Processes are ethical
- Products are cruelty-free
- Ingredients are safe
- Ingredients are organic
- Products are high-quality
It’s understandable that your business may not have all of the things stated above. But the most important thing is to be honest to your customers regarding your processes.
In increasing brand recognition, you also get to create relationships with your customers. It’ll ultimately help your small business grow into something bigger.
6. Establish Industry Authority
Consistently posting relevant, helpful, accurate, and factual content on social media can help establish your business as an industry authority. This means that your viewers and followers can trust that you know what you’re doing and you are a competent source of information.
Being an authority in your field will make you the go-to website for online users. They’ll always look up to your thoughts, opinions, or reviews. This, in turn, will generate high-quality traffic to your website. It also helps in establishing brand awareness and business relations in the industry.
As a small business, being an authority in your industry can be a big opportunity for growth. It’s a quick way to build a community that will support you and your growth.
7. Social Proof
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where we view a behavior as more correct if we see others doing it. This is reflected in marketing as “If more people write good reviews about your product, then more people will buy it.”
Social media makes social proof easier for small businesses. It becomes an avenue for customers and clients to post about their experiences online. They get to post about the packaging, their unboxing videos, and their reviews about your product.
This becomes free advertising on your end. Your customers advertise your products to their friends just because they had a great experience. Through social proof, this will motivate their family and friends to try out your products as well.
According to statistics, testimonials were able to increase sales up to 34%. At the same time, another study states that 50% of consumers go to a business’s website right after reading a good review. This shows that a small business can increase sales and gain traffic to its website by having good social media reviews.
8. Personalized Experiences
Since small businesses have fewer customers to attend to, a lot of them work on making the purchases more personalized. This can be observed in the packaging, small thank you letters in customized envelopes, and quick responses to questions.
Having fewer customers means you have more time to create genuine connections with them. You get to understand first hand what they like about your products and what can be improved on. All of this is possible on social media platforms.
Encouraging your customers to share their experiences online opens up the conversation. A great strategy would be to include a customized portfolio envelope that encourages them to do exactly that. You can even include a hashtag on the very front so you can find the entries online.
Social media can be a powerful tool in helping your small business grow. It helps raise brand awareness, increase site traffic, and ultimately increase sales.
Despite the multiple possibilities that come with social media marketing, it can come totally free to small businesses. Since the internet is a vast digital space, small businesses don’t even need to compete with larger competitors. There will always be a niche target market that will be interested in what you have to offer.
Good luck with starting your social media marketing journey!
About the author
Dan has hands-on experience in digital marketing since 2007. He has been building teams and coaching others to foster innovation and solve real-time problems. Dan also enjoys photography and traveling.