Social Media Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

If you are a small business owner, deciding where to spend marketing money or time can be nerve-racking. There are so many different avenues to take and because avenues change quickly – it is hard to keep up.

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and a specific marketing route for your business. The effort lies in piecing together the perfect plan, but the pleasure begins the moment rewards trickle through the door.

Here are a few tips to help simplify the marketing strategy process.

1. Pick the best place for the business

The top players are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. These networks are distinctive from one other. Facebook offers in-depth interaction and solid advertising. Twitter limits interaction, but it makes the interaction smarter. LinkedIn is a professional network best suited to groups and peer-to-peer interactions. And Pinterest is the wild card – a visual treat with the power to send thousands of people to a business with the right content.

Plus, there is blogging and email marketing. Blogging is a valuable tool to communicate with customers from the business website and email marketing arrives on their virtual doorstep.

All of these options have incredible value, but you want the best value for your business.

Successful campaigns are generally comprised of at least 2 social media networks, a blog and an email marketing strategy. Email marketing can be utilized once the addresses are collected, but most experts agree – it is the most effective marketing tool.

Take the time to research these options and decide what is best for your business.

2. Decide what sets the business apart

It’s simple. Figure out what is distinctive about your business and use that angle to market it, everywhere.

For almost every type of business, there are thousands of variations. These variations may be due to the owner, a business feature or product. It is the job of a marketer to figure out what is exclusive and promote it to make the business stand out.

If that one special piece is still a myth, consider gathering employees and close associates to brainstorm on what makes the business different. Having a range of perspectives will benefit the final outcome and authenticity of it.

3. Invest in excellent design

Whether you agree or not, quality design is a determining factor. Thanks to Apple, excellent design has become the standard amongst manufacturers of every kind. People want to buy aesthetically beautiful furniture, carry their phones in trendy cases and frequent the coolest looking businesses on the block. Whether a business resides on the street or in the online community – everything associated with its name needs to be well designed.

This includes branding, website design and profile pictures, cover photos, and backgrounds for all social media networks. Excellent design tells the audience the business is reliable, detail-oriented, and exceptional. Most importantly, it translates to telling them all the hard work put into the business will be put into their business.

The investment is more than worth it. And with today’s competitive prices it is easier to find affordable designers who provide business quality products without breaking the bank.

4. Do video marketing

The newest, coolest and hippest thing to do these days is video marketing or vlogging (blogging with videos) with short videos. Videos get top traction in search results and are more eye-catching in thumbnail form than regular article headlines.

The videos do not need to be professionally produced, but they do need to have a solid message and a dose of personality. Are you infectious, passionate, or interesting? If you love what you do – it translates in video form. Folks love them because they get to see who is behind a brand or business and make a personal connection. Videos are a compelling way to tell the story behind the business or translate the business culture into a reality for viewers.

People on every social network are already in the habit of sharing videos, so jump in and give them something to share that markets your business.

For best video optimization, videos must to be titled, tagged and published correctly.

5. Learn how to monitor and adjust

There is no straightforward marketing strategy that works for every business. The optimal social media networks will vary, the type of email campaigns and even the blogs written along the way.

The best thing is to learn how to monitor what you are doing and make adjustments, move things around and play a bit dangerously until the perfect recipe is found.

There is a whole slew of different tools to use to measure and monitor what is going on behind the scenes. Below you will find links to a few sites that have lists of great tools to help you become a Rock Star blogger.

  1. 22 Top Blogging Tools
  2. 100 Social Media Tools
  3. Free Marketing Tools

In conclusion

If marketing is approached as a creative game geared towards finding and communicating with the target audience, it can be a blast. There are many different possibilities, so make sure to test them out until finding the best solutions for your business.

2 Comments

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  • Kevin

    Great tips! Tip #1 is something many businesses don’t give enough thought to. Twitter works. Facebook works. Linkedin works. They all work, but some social networks produce a better return on investment for a business than others.

    Nice tip on Video Marketing. Traditional advertising dollars are shifting to more targeted and measurable online video, and 85% of all age groups are watching videos. In July 2010, there were 12 billion videos watched each month; Today there are 40 billion videos watched each month. So, Video marketing is something all businesses should look at.

    One tip I would add that piggy-backs off of tip 5 is to Interact, Interact, Interact. Many businesses make the mistake of viewing their social networks as billboards and com commercials in which they broadcast out to an audience they assume is engaged. A company can follow every key step but if they don’t attract followers and interact, nobody will see or hear their message.

  • Ahna Hendrix

    Thanks for reading the article and for the stats concerning video. Vlogging is really becoming popular – who knew :) Also, I agree with you about interacting. Thank you for reminding me I need to emphasize it in my articles. Throughout all the small business reviews I conducted, it was the most common missing element – and it’s the most important. Thanks for your input!

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