Photo credit: business2community.com

Social media is one of the best things to happen to small businesses in this new era, but amazingly, only 53% of these businesses in Nigeria say they actively use social media. The rest claim not have have the luxury of internet, time, money or energy.

As a business when starting out on social media, it could be very confusing and even scary, knowing there is a whole world to reach out to, coupled with the fact that many things are going on at the same time. Trust me I know that feeling too, just starting out on Instagram can leave you stretched thin.

But good news! Marketing your small business on social media isn’t rocket science. In fact, it’s pretty simple once you know a few insider secrets; Following these simple steps would make it a lot easier.

Slowly build a credible reputation

This particular step doesn’t need a thousand followers to do! Building a credible presence for your business on social media isn’t as complicated as it sounds. Instead of connecting with a lot of people, all you need to do is to connect with the right people.

You can begin this process by building brand awareness. The best way to do this is to create an online presence that’s a perfect representation of who you are both online and offline. Start by translating your brand through visual marketing. From your logo to your website, blog and social media graphics – you need to design a look and feel that matches your persona.

Attract potential clients

When customers use your service, you need to let their friends know. That’s easily free advertising. So create contents like a Facebook Check-in option, an Instagram or Twitter hashtag. When your customers talk about you, it will do you a whole lot of good than sponsored “all up in your face” posts. You can even offer incentives, promos for anyone who uses your hashtag, that way customers are inclined to share their experiences.

Instead of trying to cast a wide net and attracting a bunch of people who may or may not be interested in your services, focus on connect with your target market. Chances are the friend of your customer will also fit your ideal customer profile.

Connect with like-minded business professionals

In the social media world, relationships are everything. Whether you’re on LinkedIn building your professional network or responding to your tweets. It’s important to set aside some time to connect with like-minded professionals. If you’re into fashion, serenade your social media space with fashion pages and all, it helps you know what’s in vogue and what people like.

As a small business owner, you’re probably cringing at the thought of spending valuable time engaging with peers on social media. This is where planning comes, get a blog planner if you have to, dedicate time to set out your social media posts for the next one week and strategically schedule them, they have to follow a logical sequence.

Now your content is setup for the whole week, next begin by spending at least 30 mins daily on social media 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night to respond to comments, answer questions and reach out to like-minded business professionals.

Diversify your marketing efforts

We’ve all heard this saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Just like with your offline marketing, you should definitely diversify your online marketing efforts. For a start rather than focusing on all social media pages, focus on the social media channel with your target audience, find out where they spend most of their “online” time and then camp there!

Instead of focusing on the demographic of the customers you have, consider focusing on the customers you want. That information will tell you which social networks you should be spending time on. As you learn more on how to use social media to market your small business, the social sites you should be on will become almost obvious to you.

Once you decide which social networks you’ll use, be sure to cross promote that content in your other online marketing and PR pieces also!

By diversifying your online marketing, you’ll expand the reach of your business further than you can even imagine.

Re-purpose top content

As you learn how to use social media in your small business , you’re very quickly going to see how time consuming it is to create new content. Re-purposing content is a brilliant way to put new forms of content out there without recreating the wheel.

Did you know you can repurpose that “tweet” into at least 13 other pieces of content?

Have you ever seen someone on social media who seems to come up with new, original content over and over and over? You start to wonder if that person ever sleeps, right? That is someone who knows how to repurpose content. You can be that person too! Don’t confuse repurposing content with duplicating your posts on every social network.

If you do that, people won’t have a reason to follow your page because they’ll see the exact same content from you everywhere. Instead, learn the language of each platform. Give people a reason to follow your page! Don’t duplicate your content exactly. Look at each piece of content in a different way for each social platform.

You can always pull a quote out of an evergreen blog post you tweeted and create a quote graphic to post on Instagram or take that helpful tip you gave someone on Facebook and use it to create a 2 minute tutorial on Facebook Live Video or scope it. You can even embed that video in a blog post. Or take your notes from a recent presentation and create an infographic. The options for re-purposing are endless!

Spend reasonable time doing the necessary things

As a small business owner,  you should definitely know time is money (or heard Sunny Neji sing about it).

We’ve all had those days when we get on Facebook to work, but then we see a post from a friend… and suddenly 2 hours goes by. Sound familiar?

If you want to use social media for your small business in the most efficient way possible, it’s important to focus each time you log onto social media. Sure, there’s time for posting those fun pictures and goofing off — but when it’s time to get to business, be sure to focus on your goals! If you find yourself getting off track, remind yourself why you’re on social media in the first place.

Be accountable…to yourself.

Drive Traffic to Your Website/Blog

Your website or blog is the foundation of all your online marketing efforts. It’s the place where your potential customers will go when they’re deciding whether or not to do business with you. Your social media channels are only channels, they are not the end destination; don’t get carried away.

Your website is what people will remember when they think of your business; pay attention to that too.

Do your research! If you want to drive a significant amount of traffic back to your website/blog, you can’t base your strategy on guesswork.

Use the right social media tools

Source: blog.scrum.org

As a small business owner, the right tools can be your best friends. They’ll help you get organized and create a method to the madness. Using the right tools will save you time, money and a whole lot of frustration. Find out what works for you efficiently.

Conclusion

Little foxes, spoil the vine. Small changes can make a huge impact on the success of your social media marketing. You don’t need a huge following or social media presence on every site. You just need to put some data, strategy and tools behind your efforts. Soon you’ll see that you can use social media to market your small business without feeling overwhelmed or breaking the bank.

Do you find some of these tips useful to your business? Lets us know by dropping your thoughts in the comment box below.