How to effectively maximise social media as a small business

Every business needs a good marketing and sales strategy as one of the essentials for survival in a highly competitive market. But whilst big businesses may be able to afford expansive and high budget strategies, small businesses do not have that luxury. Hence, there is an important need for a growing business to look inward and find how to use resources effectively for marketing and sales, online and offline. And if you are looking online, Social Media is one essential tool you must maximize!

There is no gainsaying the fact that Social Media has become an essential place to have a presence for your brand or business, no matter how small you are. With nearly 2.5billion users across the globe on social media, you have no reason not to take advantage.

Social media should be an integral part of your online marketing as it affords you great opportunities to constantly meet and connect with customers, understand what they want, and solve problems quicker! What more, social media is also one of the fastest places to gain referrals for your business, and most importantly, it is the platform that can make your business go viral within a minute!

But how can you make all these happen?

1. Do an audit.

An audit is like an appraisal of your business, an understanding of your target market, and discovery of the best social platform(s) to reach them. It is the first and most important step, but which is often overlooked. Most people just pitch their tents on any social media platform they love and hope to find their customers there. But it doesn’t always work that way. Before you open up for business on any social platform, there should be an informed reason for it.

2. Have a plan!

If you didn’t start your business without a plan, then you shouldn’t set out to using social media for your business without a plan. No one builds a house without a foundation. After deciding which platform(s) you want to use for your business, you need to have a well define plan for your social media use. There has to be clear goals, objectives and strategies you intend to explore. If you don’t have a plan, you can’t achieve much.

3. Know Your Audience.

When you are fully set up on the platform, you need to start the journey of “knowing” your audience. This is beyond the generics of saying “My audience are youths” or “I am targeting working class”. You need to break it down to bits. And by knowing them, it means you need to understand their social lifestyle. Things like – When do they come online?

What do they do online?

What are their interests online?

What language do they speak?

What inspires/motivates them?

What are their most common problems?

How can I solve their problems?

Does my product/service solve their problems?

If yes, how do I make them see it, and want it?

If no, how do I solve their problem and still make them buy my product?

If you can get a good number of these questions answered, you are going to be successful with a good number of your social activities.

4. Share great content.

Content is king. Social Media thrives on content. And by content, I am not only talking about texts; content involves texts, video, audio, images and GIFs. If you want to go far with your social media strategy, you must understand the game of content. And it’s simple; share content that either makes people learn, laugh or lifts their spirit. If you can serve these three things on a constant basis, you will be sought after. Your content strategy should be 80% of interesting content and 20% of marketing content. If you do too much of marketing, people will get tired and stop listening to you.

5. Have a healthy Budget.

I used the word “Healthy” because I need to differentiate it from FAT and LEAN. A FAT budget can be attributed to big businesses. But LEAN budget is for people who are not exactly ready to take their online marketing serious. Your budget must align with size of your social media goals. You can’t be looking for a N200k turnover and find it difficult to spend 5k on adverts. It’s not possible to achieve much if you are not willing to spend.

There are much more tips for small business on social media, but these five would go a long way to help you steady the ship and stay afloat.

I have to run now before my boss catches me lounging. lol

Thank you for reading.

_______

Olumide Lawrence is a Media and PR Strategist, Content Developer and Blogger at www.glowville.net. He like to share knowledge about Social Media, Branding and Creative ideas. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. You can also watch out for his forthcoming book – “How to build and sustain Social Media Influence”

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