• Leilani Romer

How to Grow Your Small Business Through Social Media

The roaring twenties were a dark age for small businesses in the liquor business. Perhaps that’s why hustlers were so looked down upon and became synonymous with being a mover of illegal goods. The individuals involved in passing the 18th amendment failed to take into account the fact that not everyone in the US actually felt a need to go sober. They misjudged their audience.

But if you’re reading this more than likely you’re an entrepreneur yourself. A small-business owner with hustle in your blood. And that that kind of drive is very difficult to squash if the infamy of speakeasies is any indication. It’s your job as the owner of your 'mom & pop' to keep the passion, and business, alive. One way to do so is to keep the ‘misjudgment’ moments to a minimum. Social media marketing is an opportunity to nail it or fail at it. Growing your business through social media marketing -without misjudging your audience- takes research, strategy, and effort. But I bet you already knew that.

Start at the Beginning

The best place to start working on building your social presence is the beginning. In the case of social media for small businesses, this means research. In a *previous blog* we discussed the key elements of building a social media strategy. Two of the main points most relevant for SMBs are knowing your audience and knowing which platforms they prefer. You’ve heard ‘go where your customers are’ in social media it’s not worth your effort to be spread too thin, focus on the platforms that will value the content you produce.

Provide Value

Now that you’ve got your audience’s attention, you need to keep it. Think of it in terms of ‘what’s in it for me?’ Why would anyone want to follow you? What value can you provide them?

Start by considering the problem are you solving with your product or service.

Now consider how you can address that problem in a small way without giving away your trade secrets.

Think about other related problems that you can provide knowledge and advice about.

One example of this would be for a real estate agent to share advice on staging one’s home, moving out, and how to choose home repair vendors.

Be yourself

Branding isn’t just a fancy word marketers throw around. Consistency in verbiage, tone, and imagery is what makes your small business easy to remember. Think Nike, Apple, Microsoft. You’ll often know an advertisement was created by Apple before you even see the logo. Your social media presence doesn’t have to be dry, injecting your brand’s personality into social posts is a great way to connect with the kind of people you want as clients.

Many well-known brands are using Twitter to inject specific personality into their brand. Wendy’s Twitter serves up a heap of snark with a side of humor, DiGiorno has some cleverly weird content to make you laugh, and even brands like Charmin are killing it with potty-based personality.

The key with branding on social media is to create consistency across all platforms with your website while also tailoring your message to the kind of customer you find on each platform.

Test test test!

You aren’t going to nail it on the first try. Unless you’re incredibly lucky. And even then, you risk audience fatigue if you try the same thing every time. So the best way to grow your small business on social media is to test out various methods. Think of it as a science experiment, change up one variable at a time until you find the right mix. Then test again. It’s highly likely what’s working well right now might not work as well as an untried method. It’s also possible that what’s working now is a combination of factors that won't apply 10 months or even 10 minutes from now. This is why we recommend running analytics and keeping a pulse on the success of your efforts.

Run Ads

Testing using an A/B method is also recommended for any ads you might be paying to run for your small business. Social ads require quite a bit of testing to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Every single jot and tittle of your ad copy requires scrutiny. Multiple versions of copy, creative (or the images that go with the ad), multiple headlines, click through buttons and calls to action. But keep in mind the science experiment side. Test one variable at a time in order to have a clearer picture of the results.

Interacting is Proactive!

Social media is a two-way street. Marketing methods like newspaper ads, billboards, and tv commercials are not. Because anyone can comment, share, or react to your posts in some way it’s vital to be proactive about interactions from your brand. Reach out to your target market and provide them value before they even follow your account. Give them a reason to look into your brand. It’s also important to be prompt with reactive content. Respond to comments, messages, and brand mentions as quickly as you can. Timely responses allow you to keep tighter control on the conversation happening around your brand leaving less room for false or negative information to spread.

Everyone’s Small Business is Different

What works for everyone, may not work for you. The reverse is also true. Embrace your uniqueness, test everything, and be flexible with your strategy. The beauty, and curse, of social media marketing, is how often things change. Algorithms get updated, security breeches change things, someone’s dog goes viral and suddenly what was working is no longer relevant. Continue to figure out what brings your audience value at the moment and provide that to them.

And remember, you never have to do social media marketing alone. At Romer Social, we created our packages and services with small businesses in mind. We consider it our privilege to keep your social media as far away from ‘dry’ as possible. Contact us today to see how we can help!

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