Brought to you by Open Colleges

How to get the most out of social media for your small business

by Chloe Baird

Why do small businesses need social media marketing?

Social media for small business owners can be a powerful marketing tool. This isn’t news to anyone. But what most small business owners struggle with is utilising social media effectively.

You know that social media can help you connect with new and existing customers. You know it can help build your brand’s reputation. You know it can be used to generate leads and convert sales. You know all of this. So why isn’t social media working for you? How should your small business be using social media effectively?

Social media marketing is such an important part of any small business’s marketing strategy. If you’re struggling to understand how to use social media marketing, or if you’re unsure where to start, read on for our tips on getting the most out of social media for your small business.

What’s the best way to market your small business on social media?

Top 3 tips on how to maximise social media for your small business

1. Decide which social media platform is right for you

It’s a common enough query: What is the best social media platform for my business? The thing is, there might not be just one answer.

Deciding on the right platform (or platforms) might seem a little daunting – after all, there’s so many out there! But once you’ve done your research on your target audience (who are they, where do they live, what are their buying habits?), it will make it much easier to decide what the right social media channels are for you.

According to Civic Web Media, Facebook is the most popular social media platform for Aussies in 2020, with around 16 million unique monthly users. It’s followed by YouTube (15 million), Instagram (9 million), SnapChat (6.4 million), and LinkedIn (5.5 million).

But what apps are your customers using?

A survey from Roy Morgan in 2019 found that Facebook was universally popular across different generations, but that YouTube was proving to be more popular than Facebook for Gen Z. Whereas Instagram (maybe unsurprisingly) was more popular with Gen Z and Millennials than it was with Gen X.

With this knowledge in mind, what apps are your customers most likely to be using?

2. Create a social media marketing strategy for your business

Running your own small business is no small feat. It can be hugely fun and exciting, but it can also be exhausting and stressful. You might feel like you don’t have time to come up with a social media marketing strategy. Or you might think that if you just start posting something then you’ll naturally attract followers.

The truth is, if you don’t have time to make a serious social media marketing strategy, you’re going to need to make time. And the chances of you going viral with a random video are practically nil.

So, where do you start, and how do you market your small business on social media?

A social media marketing strategy is about achieving exposure with your target audience. It’s important to have one in place because you need to create a targeted, structured plan when it comes to connecting with your customers. Your posts will be much more successful if you understand why you’re posting, where you’re posting, who you’re trying to engage and what you’re selling. Backing all this up with research and data is also important to help your marketing strategy gain maximum exposure.

And if you’re not exactly sure what goes into a social media marketing strategy, that’s ok! Check out our blog: What is a social media marketing strategy?

A solid social media marketing plan can make all the difference.

3. Build your small business’ social media presence

Now that you’ve decided on the appropriate platforms to use and have developed a strong social media strategy, it’s time to start posting!

What are the key rules when posting content to try and engage your audience?

  1. Use engaging imagery/videos so people will stop to have a look, like and comment and maybe even share.
  2. Make sure its valuable to your audience – remember, your audience don’t want to feel like they’re being sold to! They want something that gives them something.
  3. Keep it relevant to your audience
  4. Stay true to your brand image and be authentic, because nothing will turn your audience off if they feel like you’re being disingenuous.
  5. Create a story your customers can follow and believe in so they remain engaged with your brand.
  6. Post content regularly and maintain a constant presence so you’re always at the front of your customers’ minds.
  7. DO engage with your audience directly and have fun with them! Your audience will enjoy being involved!
  8. DON’T get into heated arguments with people online ­and always make sure you deal with criticism in a positive way.

Ready to take your social media marketing to the next level?

Open Colleges recently partnered with Social Media College to bring you four unique short courses, all designed to help you master social media. Whether you’re a small business owner, an aspiring influencer, or a marketing professional, these short courses have been designed to teach you relevant, must-know skills and knowledge.

Are you ready to take the next step and up your social media game? Find out more about our exciting Social Media online courses by clicking on the above links.

Leave a Reply