What social media marketing strategy would work for your small business? Social media consists of online technologies, practices or communities. People use social media to generate content, share opinions, insights, experiences and perspectives with each other. It mainly involves participation, sharing, interaction, and collaboration using online technologies.
Social media include collaborative projects (e.g., Wikipedia), blogs and microblogs (e.g., Twitter), content communities (e.g., YouTube), social networking (e.g., Facebook), virtual game worlds, and virtual social worlds. Facebook and Twitter are the most widely used by businesses. In order to engage people in discussion, sharing, and collaboration on an ongoing basis on social media, the content needs to be refreshed quite frequently.
If you are considering adopting social media networks for your business, you should be aware that some are better suited for certain marketing strategies than others. For example, if you need fast, brief conversations and engagement then consider Twitter. However, if you are interested in building lasting relationships, you may consider Facebook because it supports deep conversations among users with a variety of features; and can also be used to inﬂuence and track consumer beliefs and attitudes.
Many large companies such as Wal-Mart and Papa John’s Pizza have used Facebook and Twitter to assist customers, to share specials, and to interact with customers. However, small businesses often tend to rely on word of mouth in order to attract new customers.
Many small businesses do not use or discontinue to use social media for several reasons. For example, businesses with old and loyal customers may not use Facebook at all because it does not cover their target customers. Social media marketing would then be a waste of time and money without tangible beneﬁts. Such a business would prefer using the traditional marketing methods such as direct mail or coupon ﬂyers.
Small businesses with a limited number of staff members, a busy work schedule, and/or a limited store space; who have enough loyal customers may not have any interest in getting more customers. They may be happy with the current revenues of their businesses and do not have the intention or the ambition to expand their businesses any further.
Are you interested in new technologies and looking for ways to expand your business and increase your revenue? Do you want to compete favourably with you peers who have adopted social media marketing and had gained more customers? Here are tried ways of making social media marketing work for your small business.
Post daily specials, promotions, recipes, event announcements, achievements, and interesting stories and/or pictures for your fans on your business page. You can also post contests and videos on your page. Make sure you respond to customer comments frequently and have interesting conversations with them.
IN-STORE PROMOTION OF YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA SITES
Promote your social media sites inside your store. Display the relevant URLs and QR codes on banners, brochures, takeout menus, bills, receipts, and business cards. You can also get more social media engagement by constantly posting messages on an instore banner that actively encourages your customers to ‘‘like’’ your Facebook page or visit your social media platforms and by giving customers a discount in exchange.
COMMENT ON OTHER PAGES
Another good way of getting more ‘‘likes’’ is to visit the pages or sites of other businesses and to befriend them and comment on their pages. This strategy would help you gain more followers because people on the other sites would become aware of your business by reading your online comments.
POST ON BUSINESS PORTALS
Posting links to your social media sites on main business portals such as Urbanspoon or Yelp as well as on local community sites would also help create an awareness of your brand. Posting on local community sites can also help grow your business because tourists visit such sites to learn about local history, attractions, dining, and entertainment.
Social media marketing e.g. on Facebook is easy to set up so you could easily promote your products or services on the Internet at minimal cost. For example, if you set up your Facebook page yourself, you could spend about 2.5 hours a day on average managing and updating the content of your business.
If you have several locations, you can assign a staff member in each location to post social media content and to answer customer comments on hourly basis.
Social media marketing jobs exist. You can take the responsibility off your shoulder and hire a third-party social media marketing company to manage your social media sites.
Authors: Wu He, Feng-Kwei Wang, Yong Chen and Shenghua Zha
An Exploratory Investigation of Social Media Adoption by Small Businesses. Inf Technol Manag DOI 10.1007/s10799-015-0243-3.An Exploratory Investigation of Social Media Adoption by Small Businesses. Inf Technol Manag DOI 10.1007/s10799-015-0243-3.
Categories: Entrepreneurship and Small Business