Social media is a cost-effective marketing powerhouse that can draw in leads, boost brand awareness, and generate buzz around your business – that is, if you use it right. Knowing how to leverage social media to grow your business is a unique skill, just like anything else in business.
You can work to learn, practice, and develop your social media marketing into a major asset for your business. Success may not happen overnight, but we’ve laid out 8 great ways to help you get started.
The Benefits of Marketing Your Small Business on Social Media
While social media marketing can be a major time commitment for any business, it is well worth the efforts to maintain. The benefits include:
- Enhancing your marketing ROI, without added costs: Social media helps you reach new potential customers without having to spend a ton of money, which can increase your ROI.
- Increasing brand awareness: Social media lets you include hashtags and keywords in your posts, which can increase the number of views for your content and help you develop stronger brand awareness.
- Customer engagement: On social media, you can easily answer questions, respond to reviews, and work to understand your customer base on a deeper level by asking your followers questions about their preferences.
- An edge over the competition: More and more businesses are building up social media followings to grow their business. If you aren’t engaging, you risk losing out to your competitors.
How to Choose the Right Social Media Platforms for Your Small Business
Users: 2.9 billion worldwide
Facebook continues to dominate the world of social media, even as new competitors emerge. The platform makes it easy to share a variety of content types, which helps it maintain its appeal. There is a fairly large reach across all age groups, genders, and geographic location, though the 44+ year old demographic tends to be growing the fastest.
Users: 2.56 billion worldwide
YouTube is the second most visited website in the world, making it a great place to market your business. Known for longer format videos, it’s great for businesses creating educational content or product breakdown videos, as well as promoting video reviews.
Users: 1.5 billion worldwide
Instagram is owned by Meta (Facebook’s parent company) and is great for visual marketing, as it is mostly image and video based. It’s particularly popular with Millennials and Gen Z-ers. You can easily integrate and control a Facebook and Instagram channel from one business account, so it’s an easy way to expand your reach and cross-post content regularly.
Users: 1.1 billion worldwide
Common with the 18-24 demographic, TikTok is a relatively new platform that has exploded in popularity. You can create short 30-60 second recorded or live videos promoting your business. It’s all about creativity and is often less polished than Instagram or YouTube content.
Users: 875 million worldwide
LinkedIn is a great social media platform for B2B businesses, including freelancers offering services to businesses. It’s similar in its format to Facebook, allowing you to post links, videos, long-form written posts, and images, but aimed at professionals looking to make meaningful business connections.
Users: 440 million worldwide
Pinterest, like Instagram, is mostly image-based and allows users to create personalized boards. Boasting more than 400 million users, it is a very viable option for visual marketing, especially for more mature target customers. It’s important to note that Pinterest also skews more female-heavy (around 70%), more so than any other platform listed here.
Users: 200 million worldwide
Twitter allows users to create short 280 character tweets – designed for short, snappy thoughts. While it has had its issues, it continues to be a place for savvy marketers to engage with customers. Major brands like Wendy’s and JetBlue have made names for themselves by creating funny, often edgy Twitter personas that attract attention and new customers.
8 Ways to Market Your Business on Social Media
1. Develop a Plan
You’ll want to take the time to figure out what you want to get out of your social media marketing and develop short- and long-term goals.
Two common goals are growing brand awareness and getting leads, but you can even sell products on social media directly. Whatever outcome you hope to gain from social media, be sure to write up a clear social media strategy, as a roadmap for how you plan on getting there.
Once your general strategy is in place, you can work to develop the steps needed. A great place to start is planning out content ideas. The more posts you can plan out ahead of time, the more likely you are to stay on top of your channels, even when you get busy.
2. Choose the Right Platforms
With so many social media platforms out there, it can feel overwhelming to get started. You could try to maintain a whole bunch of different social channels, but if you’re a small business owner without a marketing team, it could feel impossible. I suggest focusing on only a couple of platforms, at least for starters.
Figure out where your target market is most likely to be spending time, and focus on those platforms. If your target demographic is college students, for example, TikTok and Instagram might be the best places to start, but if you’re aiming for a more mature audience, Facebook or Pinterest could be better. For B2B businesses, LinkedIn is probably a good first choice.
As your business grows, you can expand to other social media platforms, but in the beginning, it’s important to meet your high-value customers where they are most likely to be. Figure out what type of content engages your followers before trying to do everything at once.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Recycle Content
Every piece of content you create, whether it’s an infographic, a promotional video, or an article, can be reused. If you’ve posted a case study on your website, you can reuse the data in a visual infographic for Instagram. If you’ve shared a product guide, you can create a video version for YouTube or TikTok.
You might be thinking posting repetitive content doesn’t sound like a great idea, but the truth is that very few (if any) customers will notice. This can actually be the best way to make sure your most effective content is seen across channels.
You can even cross-post content on different platforms. If you create a stellar TikTok video, don’t be afraid to post the same video on Instagram or Twitter. Since each platform is different, content that performs poorly on one channel might do really well on another.
4. Create Value-Driven Content
To keep your audience engaged and give them a reason to keep following you, be sure your posts provide value. You should work to provide content that informs, educates, and entertains your target audience.
To create value-driven content, consider the needs and wants of your target market. What problems do they need to solve? What questions do they have? How can you teach them something they don’t already know? Once you’ve identified a need, you can create content addressing these questions.
This might be through thought leadership pieces on LinkedIn, infographics on Instagram, product guides on Facebook, or a YouTube channel with explainer videos for your target audience. Be authentic, genuine, and helpful – this builds authority and positions your business as a trustworthy source in your industry.
5. Reward Your Followers
A great way to see an increase in interaction on social media is to provide incentives for your followers. Run contests and giveaways, boost promotions, and have special offers just for your social media followers.
This type of content is great for attracting new customers. For giveaways and contests, you get to set the perimeters, which could consist of ensuring the person follows you and tags someone in the comments.
It’s essential to find a balance between promotional content and other types of content, so you don’t lose followers over time. Too much promotional content can make people distrustful of your brand – offering constant discounts can make people suspicious of quality and could even make you come across as annoying.
6. Promote User-Generated Content
One of the best things about social media is how it connects customers and businesses in an authentic, shared space. Because of this, you can use user-generated content to your advantage when posting on social media.
Encourage your customers to share images of your products in use and tag your business page in the post. This gets your name out to all of their followers, boosting brand awareness. Plus, you can then repost the content on your site – an easy post to make that usually is great for boosting customer experience.
You can also ask customers to share stories or reviews with you through social media or other sites. With their permission, you can then post these reviews on your own page, tagging the reviewer. Having real reviews helps boost confidence in your business, which can encourage others to buy from you.
7. Use Affiliate/Sponsored Content
Posting content through on your own channel consistently can help you build a following over time, but if you want to get new followers fast, a great way to do that is through affiliated or sponsored content. This is where you team up with an influencer who will promote your brand or product through their own network.
Sponsored and affiliated content will cost your business some money – either upfront or from a percentage of each direct sale from an affiliated link. However, it can be a great return on investment if you partner with the right type of influencer.
There are influencers for every niche imaginable, and some already have huge audiences of engaged users that trust their opinions. If you sell makeup, look for influencers that create makeup tutorials or review beauty products. If you sell mountain bikes, look for adventure influencers. You can see your social media followers grow and attract some new customers.
8. Build a Community
For social media, it’s not just enough to post consistently and hope that people follow you. You need to actively engage with your followers to build a community. To do this, you should interact with your followers by responding to their comments or getting their feedback through positive experiences.
For example, you could post a poll about what kind of content you should post next or product features that they’d love to see in the future. This gives your audience agency to voice their opinions and feel involved more readily in your business.
How to Get More Followers on Social Media
Growing your social media following is important, and the ideas on the list above should help you gain active and engaged followers. A few additional points to remember are:
- Watch the competition
- Follow trends
- Establish your brand voice
- Be authentic
- Use targeted and popular hashtags
The Benefits of Working with Pay.com as Your Payment Service Provider
Social media marketing doesn’t have to be complex, and neither does your payment system. Pay.com is a payment service provider that makes it easy to accept and track payments from your customers in a number of different ways.
If you have an ecommerce business, Pay.com makes it simple to integrate a custom checkout page onto your site. If you don’t have a website, you can still receive payments by sending your clients direct Pay Links.
With the user-friendly Pay Dashboard, you can track payments and follow up with any disputes. It’s straightforward and easy to navigate, saving you time and effort.
Pay.com is a great option for any small business looking for simplicity and convenience. Click here to create an account now!
The Bottom Line
Social media has become a crucial marketing tool for many small businesses, especially if they’re on a budget. You can use it to improve brand awareness, drive traffic to your site, and engage with customers.
Though social media can’t always replace other marketing strategies, it can be a great addition to your arsenal of tools. There are many different ways you can create content across channels, so don’t be afraid to experiment and try new ideas.
No matter how you go about growing your social media following, you also need to consider what happens when people click out of social media and visit your website. Pay.com helps improve customer experience, by providing you with a customizable checkout page where you can accept multiple payment methods.