Guide to Social Media on a Budget for Small Businesses: Part II
So you’ve signed up for a couple of social media platforms and crafted an amazing profile that is consistent throughout all of them. You’ve even drafted a proper brand voice guide for your business. And best of all, its still free! So here comes the most important part of the whole social media game:
People will only follow your social media, and by extension, your business if they enjoy the content you produce.
Think about the last time you followed a business on social media: I’m willing to bet that you followed it because it produced content that closely aligns with your interests, hobbies or values. And most of us are the same, which is why now on the opposite end, you have to do your research into what topics align with your brand.
There are too many examples of businesses not doing their due research before jumping head first into the social media game. This results in them either not targeting the relevant topics or spreading themselves thin over too many topics.
Stick with 2-3 core topics and think about all the different content you can produce from them.
A good tip to remember is to think about writing or creating content that your audience/customers want to see. Think about their needs and desires and whether it would drive them to click on your blog post or follow you on your socials.
By now it should be apparent that this is quite a bit of work. And I’m not going to lie, it really is. It is also why big companies have entire departments of people working round the clock to create content.
But as a small business owner trying to tackle social media on a budget?
It’s still possible to do it on your own, but do consider putting a small amount of money into creating content. We only recommend it here because in our modern day and age, new customers usually have first contact with your brand online, and we all know how important first impressions are.
You can have amazing content, but if you only post on Instagram once a month, you’re definitely not doing enough to generate visibility for your business. Posting regularly allows your brand to stay in public consciousness, which is increasingly important in an age of short attention spans. I repeat, you will be forgotten!
It might be tricky to figure out the optimum times you should post in a week and requires quite a bit of trial and error. However, once you’ve gotten it down, stick with it and watch your audience base grow!
Social Media Influencers
Influence and influencers have been part of the arsenal of marketers for decades. The power of celebrities and star power has been understood and utilised for selling products and services.
Who could forget the massive boost that Calvin Klein got for their #mycalvins ad that featured Justin Bieber at the height of his fame? Or Rihanna for PUMA in their “FENTY” collection, driving sales for the brand up by 3.7%?
The point is: Using people to push products have always, and will always be viable method of getting people to buy into your product.
However, in the social world, things have changed slightly. The concept of influence remains the same, but the medium of choice has turned to social media.
Having just started your small business in the social world, it will be difficult to get your content to an audience because – well, you don’t have one yet. This is where social media influencers step in.
By capitalising on the credibility and social authority that they have amassed over time, it could be worth paying them to promote your business for you.
It is important to note that your choice of influencer is important too. Naturally, you would want someone who has a large audience that you believe would be receptive to product or service that you are selling.
Furthermore, it is important to be careful what kind of influencer you are working with! With the recent news about fake followers and unprofessional influencers, do your research about the one you intend to work with.
You want someone who is authentic, active and engaging with their audience. This nets your the highest chance of conversions to your page.
Engage your audience!
Social media is a two way street. That is, it is conversational in nature. Continually posting content without engaging your audience is an outdated concept.
Increasingly, consumers want engagement. They want to be able to interact with the company and engage with other users. Furthermore, this is also a good way to gain awareness for your page in the beginning.
Also, don’t be afraid to converse with other companies as well, even if these companies might be your competitor!
For example, famous snack companies Oreo and Kit Kat got into a tweet ‘feud’ last year. A Twitter user tweeted that she followed both brands, which was subsequently picked up by Kit Kat. They decided to ‘fight’ for her affections:
— KITKAT (@KITKAT) March 13, 2013
However, Oreo went with a safe and creative bet, choosing to reply with grace:
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) March 13, 2013
An amusing jab at each other, but both companies come out for the better in terms of awareness!
P.S Do not make fun of your competitors or your customers! Studies show that 67% of users find that behaviour annoying.
You’ve made it this far, armed and ready to bring your business to the social media world! As you can see, crafting the perfect social media presence does not require much money, but putting some into it does help. I hope this two part series has been informative and useful in your social media journey. Do leave me a comment if you’ve benefited from or have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them.
Till then, enjoy growing your business!