There were 4.95 billion users on social media as of 2023 and the number is growing. This fact has made social media a goldmine of business opportunities and no longer just a platform for connecting with others.
Social media marketing is a powerful technique to grow your business if used right, even if your business is small. Since you lack the time or the resources of large companies, your strategy needs to be very flexible and creative.
We will thoroughly cover the importance of social media marketing to better equip you for the same.
How does social media aid local business growth?
You are noticing the rising trend of almost every business investing in social media marketing and may be wondering about the benefits of the same. Here are the many benefits of social media marketing:
1. Improves Brand Awareness
When you reach more people and keep them engaged, your brand awareness increases. Social media’s user base provides you with a good opportunity for that.
When you incorporate your brand’s message into the content you share in a way that connects with others, they will share it with their friends and family. By building reach and positive perception, your business gets higher conversion rates.
Some ways through which you can measure your brand’s awareness are:
- Use surveys to assess the knowledge and perception of your brand.
- Check engagement and increase in followers.
- Use Google Analytics to track your brand name and its related search volume.
Infibusiness solution’s Instagram reach.
2. Community Building
The very nature of social media embodies a sense of community. You can form communities with your customers by sharing engaging content in a space where your customers feel heard and valued.
You can hire local influencers for community building apart from using your customers and employees.
Managing a community of customers involves responding to comments, and questions, and regularly sharing content.
Such interactions foster loyalty among your customers which translates into recurring visits and more referrals.
For example, Glossier, a beauty and skincare company encourages its users to share pics and videos of their skincare routine and product reviews to create a sense of belonging.
3. Drives traffic to your site
Social media marketing also attracts your customers to your site, boosting your conversion rate.
Having your site’s link in the bios of all your social media handles is a must. Including your site’s link will arouse people’s curiosity about your brand. You can share the link through posts or stories if you are using Instagram or Facebook.
4. Engages Customers
Social media can help you stay relevant among your customers even after they have made the purchase. This brings your business recurring visits and referrals.
Content is king! Posting content worth sharing improves your brand’s engagement. Some ways of doing that are:
→ Replying to your customers:
You can prove your commitment to your customers by regularly responding to their messages, mentions, and comments. If a comment or review requires a follow-up, don’t hesitate to text through direct messages(DM).
→ Using Hashtags:
Hashtags can help you reach your target audience. You can create hashtags related to your brand that your followers can use when they post about it. Use a mix of popular and branded hashtags to improve reach.
→ Contests and Giveaways:
Contests and giveaways are very effective short-term promotion strategies in which users are asked to perform certain social media tasks to win prizes.
5. Understand the competition
Stay updated with the latest social media trends as they will inform your marketing strategies.
The main purpose of social media marketing is to stand out from the competition to boost your business. Therefore, analyzing your competition is necessary.
Find out your competitors your target audience is following, the topics they’re searching frequently, and the kind of content they’re engaging with the most.
Analyze the strategies of your competitors and check if you can improve them for your use. Seize any opportunities that arise due to weaknesses in their strategies.
You can also take inspiration from the strategies of businesses in other niches.
A method called the SWOT analysis helps you analyze your strengths, weaknesses, external opportunities, and threats that inform your business goals.
Suppose you own a restaurant, then your SWOT analysis could look something like this:
Friendly Staff, and Good Ambiance
Very limited reach due to lack of social media budget
The rising popularity of food delivery apps and new partnership opportunities arising.
The opening of a popular restaurant franchise near your hotel.
Organic social media marketing greatly reduces your budget-related worries.
Investing in this method can fetch you an average return of $2.80 for every dollar spent
Unlike paid ads which require considerable investment, organic social media marketing affordably allows you to improve brand awareness and boost conversion rates by posting interesting and valuable content.
It is easy to track and analyze your campaign’s metrics on social media unlike in traditional media, which is quite hectic.
Though social media marketing is generally cheaper than paid ads or traditional marketing, the cost of your campaign depends on its length, time of year, platform, and goals.
7. Understand your customers better
You will be able to keep your existing customers engaged and attract new ones only when you know satisfy their needs, wants, behaviors, and preferences.
Analyzing these factors will help you tailor-make strategies for your target audience and make any possible improvements.
Consistently communicate with your customers to gauge what they like and what they don’t to inform your marketing strategies.
8. Social Commerce
To the credit of social commerce, people can directly purchase your products and services on your social media handle.
The advantage here is that your store is at the same place you’re interacting with your audience, i.e. social media.
This improves the chances of them making a purchase and reduces the hassle of listing your products on e-commerce sites or directing users to your site’s product pages.
Some examples of social commerce are Facebook and Instagram shops, TikTok shops, and Pinterest buying pins.
Tips to create an effective social media strategy
You know that social media marketing is quite important, but you need to consider a few things before you jump into it. They are as follows:
a. Pick the correct channels
The channel most suited to is determined by your industry trends, goals, marketing budget, and importantly, the platforms that your customers use frequently.
Not all platforms will suit all of your goals. You need to carefully analyze your goals and select channels accordingly.
b. Optimize your profile
Your profile should be optimized to increase reach and create a lasting first impression. Your profile should reflect your brand’s values. Start by optimizing your bio since that’s the first thing people notice in your profile and include the relevant keywords in it.
Add a call-to-action to urge users to sign up for your newsletter or go to your product pages
Ensure that you are using a business account and not a personal one, since the latter lacks extensive analytical features
c. Define your goals:
They may be thought leadership, brand awareness, social media engagement, and sales growth. Having well-defined goals helps make it easy to craft your social media marketing strategy.
You can use the SMART goals framework to set your goals. SMART stands for:
→ S (Specific):
Set specific goals. For example, instead of saying you want to increase brand engagement, say you want to increase it by 30% by August’s end.
→ M (Measurable):
Your goals should be measurable. E.g. Set a goal of selling 20 products, instead of setting a goal of just selling many products.
→ A (Attainable):
Set attainable goals. E.g.- Increasing sales by 10x in one month is comparatively tough for a small business than increasing it by 2x.
→ R( Relevant):
Ensure your goals fit your business’s purpose. E.g. Trying to generate leads on the platform used most by your customers would make more sense than trying to generate leads on all social media platforms.
→ T( Time Bound):
Set goals with deadlines. E.g. Trying to increase reach by 100% in a month is a better goal than trying to do the same with no deadline.
d. Be authentic:
Users will lose interest in your brand if all your posts are sales-oriented and lack a personal touch.
They are not just your potential customers, but people with aspirations, needs, interests, and wants.
Your content should be valuable, inspiring, and educative, and should reflect your brand’s values.
Use anecdotes, tricks, and other creative elements like humor and storytelling to establish a personal connection with your customers.
For Example, the American clothing brand Patagonia incorporates strong environmental sustainability in its manufacturing. It frequently posts content with captions having such themes.
e. Ensure Consistent Branding
Your profile picture, visual identity (color palette, theme, and font), username, and style of posting across all the platforms should form a consistent brand image. People love consistent social media profiles and find them easier to connect with.
Ensure your username is short and that your visual identity captivates your audience.
The images below represent the consistent branding of Branding Marketing Agency across Instagram and LinkedIn.
f. Use analytics to inform your strategies
One of the biggest advantages of social media is its analytics, which tells you the strong and the weak areas of your strategies.
This information is very insightful as it tells you what content your audience likes and what they don’t.
You can check how many people your posts reached, how many engaged they engaged(likes, comments, etc.), and how they responded (Neutral, positive, negative, etc.
If a post fails to receive engagement, you can analyze why that’s the case and then experiment with different forms of posts.
Infibusiness Solution’s LinkedIn engagement rate
Social media marketing is a must-have to keep your local business relevant in today’s digital world, where almost everyone is on social media.
You can reach and establish deep connections with your target audience by posting engaging content, and that too, cost-effectively.
Moreover, you can monitor your campaign’s performance and check for any required changes.
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are the most commonly used social media marketing platforms. Your choice among these should be informed by your goals, target audience, and market trends.
As a small business owner, you should consider hiring an agency to craft your ideal digital marketing because you may lack the resources and experience to do it yourself.
Check out our digital marketing services that will boost your business like never before.