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Have you ever found yourself spending a tremendous amount of time and effort on social media trying to market your products and services in the hopes of increasing your profits?
It’s not as easy as some people make it out to be, is it?
Okay, so you just got a well-designed new website for your business. What’s the next move in your grand plan? Obviously, you get people to visit it and browse through your content, right?
But here’s the thing: How do you plan on getting people, and when I say people, I mean potential customers, to actually find your website and check out what’s in store? That is the goal of having a business website, after all.
You want the right kind of consumers, your target audience, to get on your website, start browsing through your content, be impressed by what you have to offer, and start sharing their experiences with friends and acquaintances. This is how you build a strong following of quality customers and how you establish your brand both in the real world and the online community.
But how exactly can you achieve this?
The simplest answer is through social media and social media marketing (SMM). If you haven’t realized the true power of social media and how it will benefit your small business, you will soon. Just keep on reading.
What is social media and why is it important for small businesses?
In its simplest form, social media is a tool or an application that allows users to create or develop content in the form of articles, blogs, infographics, videos, and images and share it with their social circle and other users.
This is the basic idea of social networking platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, Pinterest, and so on. You get the picture. The important thing to remember, when it comes to social media, is the word “share.” As a business person, you are aware that the main purpose of any marketing strategy is to attract the attention of as many potential customers as possible.
In the world of TV advertising, marketers who have done their research know exactly when the perfect time is to buy a TV spot in order to maximize viewership and make sure that they’re showing their ads to the right audience.
The same principle works with social media marketing. You want your content to attract the right audience and you want them to share your content to as many people as possible. The main difference between the two methods is that you don’t have to spend hundreds of thousands, or even millions, in order to implement a sound marketing strategy on social media. And that is why social media marketing is one of the most practical marketing avenues for small business owners.
You get to establish your brand and market your products and services for little cost, but you can expect comparable results for your efforts.
Here are a few more advantages that small business owners can expect from using social media as a marketing tool:
The Top 5 Advantages of Social Media for Small Business Entrepreneurs
1. It can effectively increase website traffic.
Every business nowadays virtually has a website. If you don’t know that, then you’ve probably been living under a rock in the past decade. That said, it has become almost impossible to stand out or get noticed in the online world without a solid strategy, especially for small online businesses.
Simply creating a website for your business doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to boost your sales and increase your profits. You still have to get the right people to visit your website. But then again, just because you have a website doesn’t mean that visitors are going to start pouring in.
In order to increase traffic to your website, you’re going to have to promote it somehow. And what better way to promote your brand and your website than through social media. Social media can give your brand an online presence, an identity, and it will give your target audience the means to reach your website.
2. It can give you valuable customer insight.
One of the few things that will make any online marketing strategy a success is a company’s ability to respond to the needs of its consumers. Your customers’ likes and dislikes, their expectations, and even their criticisms—all these are important data. Your ability to gather these and address them efficiently can mean the difference between success and failure in your marketing efforts.
Social media does not just provide valuable insights as to the current mindset of a particular market demographic; it can also serve as a bridge that will connect a business entity or a brand to its core consumers. This is what social media can do for you and your brand.
3. It enables you to take your business to the International market.
The best thing about the Internet is that it can help break geological boundaries. And social media is the tool that enables users to go beyond borders. Even if you run a small business, you can still promote it in the International market by simply taking advantage of social media.
Through social networking platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, and so many others, it has become easier for local businesses to turn global practically overnight. Obviously, not all small local businesses want to go international. It’s not always the most ideal solution to boost profits, but the fact remains that if you want to, the avenue is there. You just have to figure out the right approach.
4. It can help build interest for your products and services.
Advertising has always been the most effective technique for getting audiences interested in a specific subject, whether it’s to promote awareness or to get consumers to try a new product or service. But advertising is no longer confined to the realms of television, radio, and print.
In this day and age, the Internet has become the main catalyst for all sorts of advertising, and social media being the primary vehicle. Through social media, promoting a business, a specific product or service has become a lot cheaper, easier, and more efficient. And it’s very effective as well, so long as it’s done properly and tastefully.
5. It allows you to study and learn about your competition.
“If you know your enemies and know yourself, every battle is a victory.” This particular statement, taken from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, rings true not just in warfare, but in the world of business as well.
If you want to gain an edge over your competition, you need to figure them out, know their strengths and weaknesses, and learn from their mistakes. Social media can give you that very opportunity, the ability to study your competitors, figure out their strategies, and get ahead in the game.
There you go. The key advantages that you can expect from using social media as an effective marketing tool. But how can small businesses profit from social media marketing?
Small Business Entrepreneurs: How to Profit from Social Media Marketing
If you want to take advantage of social media to boost sales or increase your profits, there are a few key factors you have to consider. They are as follows:
Establish a specific goal for your social media marketing campaign.
All marketing strategies start with a particular goal in mind, so it goes without saying that you should figure out yours before you even begin to plan your strategy. Otherwise, what is the point of creating a social media marketing campaign if it doesn’t achieve anything?
Figure out the type of audience you want to reach with your campaign.
Social media attracts all kinds of consumers, and it’s impossible to market your business to each and every one of them. You have to identify your target audience and focus your efforts and strategies towards them.
Connect with your target audience in order to gain their trust and loyalty.
The ultimate goal of social media marketing is to develop quality consumers that trusts and believes in your brand. The best way to achieve that is to connect with your audience on a deeper and more personal level. And social media is all about making connections through high-quality content.
Make customer care a priority.
For a lot of businesses, marketing their products and services to their target audience is almost always a priority. With the right approach, this technique can be effective. However, no marketing strategy is more effective than making customer service a priority.
Connect with your audience first, build that relationship and trust, then you can start marketing your products and/or services in a respectful manner. That is how you win over potential customers.