Marketing a small local business using social media can be overwhelming as most small businesses are family-run, one employee or five employees and maybe even a sole trader. The marketing budgets are not usually a business priority, however, they know they need to be on social media.
Small business marketing has come a long way in the past few years, with social media platforms amplifying highly targeted advertising, allowing people to move away from the typical newspaper ads, magazines, letterbox drops, radio and TV commercials (at the more expensive end).
When starting out on social media you need to conduct your own market research as a key part to developing your market strategy.
It’s all about collecting information that provides an insight into your customers thinking, buying patterns and location. The market research also allows you to see who your competition is and how can you position yourself in the market to do better.
Attempting to market your products or services to everyone can be costly and ineffective. By using a social media marketing strategy you can easily position your products and services in front of the right people to build your brand awareness, more sales, leads and quotes depending on your goals.
Here are my 10 Steps to Start Marketing a Small Business using Social Media.
Decide which social media platform is for you. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn.
Ask yourself, where does my ideal client hang out?
Create a business profile on your chosen platform. I recommend starting with Facebook and Instagram business accounts.
- A website – Ideally, as a business who is serious about being seen in the online space, you need to have a website. This will instil confidence in the marketplace that you have an established business and will show up in organic Google searches if it’s search engine optimised. Google My Business is also another must have platform recommended for small business.
- Daily consistent posting around your services and products on your Facebook business page/ Instagram account. Showcasing your work, before and afters, how the products solve a problem your audience may be experiencing and values of your business.
- Create a Facebook Business Account – Go to business.facebook.com and create a business manager account for your Facebook and Instagram social media accounts. This will allow you to run advertising and give you access to the Facebook Pixel code unique to your business. The pixel needs to be positioned in the header of your website. If this is a little advanced, your website designer will be able to do this on your behalf. The pixel will collect data of people who have visited your website and allow you to run more targeted ads as it builds audiences on your behalf. A very powerful strategy for your business.
- Paid Advertising – Now your business manager is set up, it’s time to run some paid advertising to your Facebook business page and Instagram (if you have one). For local businesses, there is a 3 step simple Facebook Ad objective strategy to get you started read about it here.
- Set a realistic goal, marketing budget and time frame
- Monitor and respond to all relevant engagements and conversations your posts create. Utilise the notifications tab to clearly see comments and post reactions.
- Schedule out the content to free up more time and not be tied to social media all day every day. Use tools like Facebook Creator Studio or the scheduling tool available on your Business page.
- Track and refine your performance – using the insights tab on your page is the best way. This will tell you what posts work and what doesn’t. Obviously do more of what works.
By following the above 10 simple steps you will begin to effectively market any small business on social media and Google.
Have a clear social media profile with daily consistent posting and running Facebook ads continuously to the business page and posts engagement will begin.
How long does it take to see results from social media marketing for small business?
As a small business, you are looking for immediate results and phone calls, however a good social media strategy needs to be implemented over a longer time frame. Results will differ for different businesses and whether the business already has audience and brand offline. Typically from Social Domination’s client experience, results begin anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months in. Results depend on a lot of factors, as mentioned earlier consistent posting, advertising and re-marketing, a good converting website and building audiences are good examples of variables.
ELISHA DE JONGE
Digital Marketing Expert & Owner at Social Domination
Local business digital marketing expert who successfully works with local small businesses on social media to generate them more sales and leads.