Social Media Marketing is the SMARTEST thing you should look at when you’re a small business with very less or no marketing budget.
There is no other legal and possible way for you to reach thousands of customers, leads, and prospects all over the world without spending a penny on advertising.
This might be sounding you quite unreal and confusing. Isn’t that?
Now you might be thinking, how to get started with Social Media Marketing. How to generate leads, and reach out to more prospects through social media.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Getting Started with Social Media Marketing
Most of the small business owners ask this first question – Does my business need Social Media Marketing? Will this help me bring customers to my business?
My answer to all of them is if your customers use the Internet and are on social media, then YES. Yes, you need social media marketing. Facebook alone has over 2 billion monthly active users. Just imagine the marketing potential on Facebook.
That time is long gone when Social Media Marketing was optional for the business, now it is necessary.
The next question they ask me is “Which sites are the Best for Social Media Marketing?”
Simply, when you’re getting started, go with the biggest ones where they have a huge number of users. For instance, you can use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. It’s not necessary that you use all of them at once. But be present and active on the two-three of them having huge traffic.
Though social media marketing is great to generate leads for any business. But the business owners need to keep this in mind that they don’t need to go too fast. They might be banned to use the network due to spamming.
What they need to do is to learn Social Media Marketing and implement the learnings one at a time. Then analyze data and focus on the one that has the highest return on investment for your business. Simply, chuck out what isn’t working for you.
OK, So How Do You Know Which Social Network is Best for Your Business?
I have written a whole article earlier on this topic. This would help the business owners to decide which social networks they need to be present and active on.
Rule of Thumb for Selecting the Right Social Media Network
Business owners should see where their customers hang out online and try to engage them on that social media platform.
How Do You Get Started with Social Media Marketing?
That’s easy, just set up your social media profiles.
Fill incomplete information about your business, like:
So that your customer can contact you by any medium.
After that start posting engaging and informative content that you think your audience might find interesting.
Are There Any Shortcuts for Social Media Marketing?
Technically, like there is no shortcut to business, similarly there is no shortcut to Social Media Marketing.
However, you can use some social media management software like Hootsuite or Zoho Social to schedule your posts. Using the software to schedule your posts would save you time.
Also, this software gives you a quick view of your social media accounts engagement data.
This data gives you insights into your Social Media Marketing. You can see which posts are getting more likes and shares, which offers got the most clicks etc.
You can repeat those offers or can launch similar offers to entice your customers and prospects.
Does Social Media Marketing Really Work?
Yes, it does. You know the power of social media. And astonishingly more than 93 percent of all marketers use social media for business.
Companies are investing heavily in Social media marketing. Their Social Media Marketing Budget is increasing every year. Because they have understood the power of Social Media and hence don’t want to lose out on this medium. This medium helps them connect directly with their audience and generate leads for their business.
Big businesses invest heavily in Social Media Marketing, but it doesn’t mean that small businesses cannot use it. They can also use it to generate leads and connect with their audience on Social Media.
All you need is a great content strategy to leverage Social Media Marketing for your business.
Is Social Media Marketing Really Free?
The majority of social media channels are free to use. And they don’t charge the users to register and set up their profiles there.
The paid part on Social Media is when you want to promote a post or run advertisements. Or when you want to reach out to your target audience quickly using ads.
But, they are optional. You technically need not do that if you have a great content strategy for Social Media Marketing.
Though, if you don’t have a solid content strategy that keeps your audience engaged then social media marketing can be a serious time-wasting activity.
There are people who have great and innovative ideas and who can put together a great content plan for your social media marketing. They are called Social Media Marketing Experts.
You can hire one of those people to help you do Social Media Marketing for your business.
But, it’s great if you learn this art yourself. You would save a lot of time and money. You would be able to generate quality leads for your business and build engagement with your audience.
Why people Spend Money on Social Media Marketing if it is Free?
As I explained earlier, it is not necessary to spend money on social media marketing. Only when you have a great content strategy to put together to engage your audience. But when you can’t pull the right audience or want to expand your reach then you might want to spend a little money to make your ads or posts reach the people you want to target.
Here are a few scenarios when you might want to spend a little money on Social Media Marketing:
Who Can You Hire to Do Your Social Media Marketing?
This is the piece you want to really think about very carefully. You can’t do everything on your own, like your tax planning, mow your lawn, repair your car, and do a lot of daily stuff, similarly if you don’t have time to do it yourself you want to hire a Social Media Manager to manage your social media marketing.
Keep in mind that Social Media Marketing is a tool for having conversations with your audience, and if someone is going to be interacting with them on a daily basis on Social Media, it should be someone who completely understands your audience needs and their personals as well as your business very well.
Be careful, not to hire a stranger, rather invest your time finding the right fit and invest your money in creating a great content strategy to win more customers online rather than keep posting boring and mundane posts on social media for the sake of posting something.
Measure and Analyse Your Social Media Marketing Data
All of the social media channels have an inbuilt analytics system to show stats of your activities and audience reaction on them which you can use to measure and analyze your Social Media Marketing data.
Or you can use social listening tools like Fanpagekarma or buffer to analyze your Social Media Marketing data and understand what’s working best for you and put your efforts to create that type of content that your audiences like the most.
What Type of Data Should I be Tracking?
That depends on your business and Social Media Marketing goals!
For example, if you’re just trying to drive traffic to your website from social media, you can use Google Analytics to track how much of your site traffic is routing from social media.
Or, if your goal is to build brand recognition for your company, you may want to focus on more specific data, like:
How Often Do You Need to post content on Social Media to Make Your Social Media Marketing Succeed?
Your audience has so many different things to do when they are on Social media and also Social media moves very fast, but you have to be realistic about how much time you have to create meaningful and engaging content for your social channels.
Besides social media marketing, you have several other things to do in a day, hence you have only limited time to do social media, and you want to utilize that time as much optimally as you can.
There are a lot of tools available like Zoho Social, SocialSprout, Buffer, Hootsuite, etc., to schedule your posts and automate them to post automatically when your audience is most likely to engage with your content.
How Do I Get More Followers on Social Media?
This is the question people ask me most often.
No matter when you get started with Social Media Marketing, if you want more followers, you need to have a great content plan for your Social Marketing.
Social media is no different than your usual ad campaigns where you have the complete plan, like where are you going to run that ad campaign, what you would write in your ads, what would you show in your ads, how often those ads would run, who your ideal audience would be, what offer would you promote in your ads, etc.
Similarly, you have to plan your social media marketing, because if you just make it up as you go along, you’ll have a really hard time getting more followers.
Planning is key! People love the brands to follow they relate to and those offer them more meaningful ways to get engage with them.
Is it Useful for an “Offline Business”?
Of course YES.
Social media is just a communication channel, like snail mail, Newspaper, TV, the radio. Rather it is more than all of them combined together.
It’s better because it offers more options unlike the other channels, you can share images, videos, audio, infographics, content whatever you want through social media, which was not possible in the traditional media.
The best part is that you can track real-time responses on social media. Which offers great insights into your content strategy, ad campaigns, etc.
It is relatively cheaper than the traditional media because the audience uses it for free. They don’t have to pay monthly cable bills to use social media.
Except for a few things people still use their neighborhood, like:
So, yes Social Media Marketing is very much useful for Offline Businesses.
How Do You Market a Local Business on Social Media?
Earlier the local business owners used to ask friends, family, and customers for feedback about their business. They use to analyze the answer from the feedback they receive, whether their customers like their business or not.
But, no they just search the web to know everything about their business. They see how many people review about their business online.
What people talk about their business online. How many people asked for directions to their local store on google maps.
How many people checked into their Facebook listing of the business.
Social media makes it easy for you to increase the “know, like, and trust” factor for your business.
It gives you an excellent opportunity for building highly visible and meaningful relationships with customers and prospects. And also for sharing information about your business.
I have written an article earlier “How to Supercharge Your Local Social Media.” This would be helpful for you to really supercharge your social media.
How Do I Make My Stuff Go Viral?
You don’t make your stuff go viral, rather people make it go viral.
“Going viral” sounds like a way for instant fame and fortune, but it isn’t. And yes, it isn’t something you can engineer, either.
I had many clients in the past who came up to me having the same request. ‘Create a viral video for my brand.’ And I just smirked on that question. I explained to them how it works, and what they can expect.
You need to understand that creating a video that goes viral is not that important. Rather, when you try to create content solely for that purpose, you can damage your brand.
The content you create should be designed for your specific target audience, not as big an audience as possible. You can’t have everything under the sun.
The mantra for successful Social Media Marketing is to stay focused on what your target audience is interested in.
And you have a better opportunity of getting recognition from the people who matter most to your business.
Ultimately, they are the ones who are going to buy from you.
What’s the Next Big Thing in Social Media Marketing?
Great news! It doesn’t matter at all.
I have heard marketing agencies saying clients to create a lot of video content. Because that’s what people want to consume nowadays. But, that’s a totally wrong approach.
When it comes to Social Media Marketing, you don’t want to be ahead of the social trends. Rather you want to be on them.
Create meaningful content as per the interests of your target audience. The idea is to give them reasons to get engaged with your content.
Someone looking to buy a basic family car will surely not get influenced by a viral video showing Lamborghini.
So, don’t waste your time and resources on attempting to create viral videos. Rather use that time to create meaningful and engaging content for your audience.
For more questions about Social Media Marketing or for any help you want in this regard you can contact me. Write me an email with your question on [email protected] and I would be happy to help you.