Social media platforms (especially Facebook and Instagram) have evolved. No longer somewhere people go to have fun, they are now customer hunting grounds for small businesses.
The way small businesses connect with prospects and customers has evolved along with social media. Truth be told, there’s more to social media marketing than responding to DMs, comments and other customer engagement activities.
Everywhere, you see testimonials of small business owners, yet some social media challenges persist even in 2021.
Let’s take a look at 5 of them;
1. No Plan No Strategy.
Most small business owners fly in blindly when it comes to social media marketing. Hence, the results they get can’t be analysed and repeated. Setting up your business for success on social media is something you do intentionally through a series of predefined steps.
These steps taken to achieve preset goals make up your social media strategy. It is an extensive outline of all that you intend to do and want to accomplish for your business using social media platforms.
- Proceed by making a rundown of social media goals and objectives. The more explicit you are, the easier they are to do.
- Tie goals and objectives to the bigger picture i.e. your overall business goals.
- Make sure these goals are SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.
- Ensure there are metrics you use in measuring your social media goals e.g. profile visits, call-to-action button clicks, weekly post reach etc.
- Be wary of vanity metrics like follower count and post likes, they don’t follow the big picture.
Is your business active on social media already?
It is not too late to create a playbook for your social media marketing. However, you need to know where you stand at the moment. Therefore, I recommend a social media audit to help you know where your business stands.
After this, you can build a social media strategy going forward. Be sure to review your strategy after a chosen period of time.
2. Deciding The Social Media Platforms That Serve Your Business
- More than 27 Million Nigerians use Facebook
- 85% of Nigerians on Instagram spend 1 – 3 hours on the platform daily
- Jark Dorsey visited Nigeria
Information like these are all over the internet and, they tell you how important social media is for your business. Also, they scatter your ready-made plans for social media marketing when you see them. It tempts to try your business on the platform with most active users or that who’s CEO visited Nigeria 😉
Choosing a social platform to focus on could be difficult. What do you do?
Simple, focus on those people who keep you in business.
Your customers. Your audience.
Which social media platform does your audience use the most? Analyse the characteristics of platforms and check whether your intended targets are active there. It is futile having a lot of followers on a platform your target audience does not use. Promoting your business in a small social media platform that contains your audience is better.
Once you have the ideal social media platform for you, create content that your target audience finds palatable and monitor their response to your account.
3. The decrease in Organic Reach
The problem is there are a lot of people on social media. A lot of people equals a lot of content (posts). There is just too much content on social media. Therefore, it is difficult for you to stand out.
Also, time-spend online is limited (you know, 24 Hours in a day). Therefore, social media platforms prioritize posts and “posters” who post the most engaging content.
I understand your hustle. It is tedious to create content. Hence, it hurts when your posts don’t perform well or reach more people.
To reach more people, you need to define the content to which your target audience respond. To do this, monitor the engagement on your posts, track which posts perform well. Videos, designs, native photos, even texts; look at what your audience engage with more.
Yes, post consistently. However, be careful not to post just for the sake of it. Your social media content strategy should be a part of the bigger picture of your business.
Do more of what works.
4. You Are Human, So Are Your Audience
We all have products to sell. Some businesses have varieties that could take a full year if they post one product daily. Your promotions help build brand awareness and build your community (followers). Retaining people’s interest is another ball game.
To retain people as a small business, you need to treat them like human beings, not numbers. It is easier for a small business to talk to people. Yes, talk to people on your social media handles.
One of the manners in which you can accomplish this is through storytelling. If you need people to stay with you for the long stretch, you need to motivate them. Storytelling presents your brand to people as humane and inspires them to stay with you.
Consistently create insightful, helpful content that represents your brand goals. These content, however, should be relatable to the human beings who follow you.
In addition to creating content, engage with other peoples content. Engaging other businesses is very acceptable for small businesses. Some big brands have the sense to respond to simple comments about them.
Follow your customers or brands from other industry. Like, comment or share posts that you like with your followers. You can likewise build brand loyalty and reinforce your relationship with clients by being responsive.
The best approach to make your business human on social media is to act like one. At the point when people connect with you, whether positive or negative, give a timely response.
5. Tracking Your Results
Rarely do people purchase your product on first exposure to your business. You need to nurture the relationship, convince and convert over time.
This makes tracking social media marketing results, a nightmare.
- How do you follow one follower from impression to purchase?
- Did the person even follow to purchase in the first place?
The trick here is to play the long game. Don’t see your social channels as an easy way to make sales because there are a lot of people there. Invest in creating content that shows people you are the expert, don’t sell in every post. Influence people to see your business as a solution provider, an approachable friend.
In addition to thinking long term, be consistent with your social media content. Don’t just ghost your followers, there are a lot of ways you can show up. Your post does not have to be beautiful, it just needs to be valuable.
No, you won’t get immediate results, but your results will be enduring. People who enjoy you will become loyal and buy from only you when they are in the market for your product or service.
Don’t lose sight of what matters to you.
What is a great social media return for your business?
Website visits. Direct messages. Phone calls.
Yes, these are metrics you can measure. These metrics most likely lead to sales. Prioritize these metrics in a sea of social media metrics. It is easy to get lost in likes, follows, views etc. In reality, these things do not matter to your bottom line.
If you are struggling with social media marketing for your business this year, know that you are not alone. There are a lot of strategies to promote your business on social media on a lean budget. Perhaps you need help you can’t do it all alone.