16 Mar 5 social media marketing activities all SMEs and small businesses should do
Social media can do great things for small businesses and SMEs. That’s not being questioned. But this means a lot of those businesses tend to turn to social media marketing as a cure-all, a one stop shop for all marketing ills. And if there’s one thing that’s a definite social media no-no it’s desperation. Much like in real world social situations, people can smell it a mile off and instinctively avoid it.
So, enough of what not to do. How can you make sure you’re making best use of your limited time and resources? Above all, how can you make it pay its way?
1) Find the social media platforms that work for you and go deep on them
Too often small businesses and SMEs try and work across too many platforms, victims of commercial FOMO. You’ll have to trust us when we tell you that you’ll miss more by dabbling across many different platforms as you’ll not have enough resources (time, attention, money) to take advantage of the opportunities offered by any of them.
Figure out where your audience are and then devote yourself heart and soul to a broad spectrum of social media marketing tactics. That’s the way to make it pay.
2) Look after your fans
When you’ve found a platform or two where your target market hang out and engage and you’ve invested what resources you have in properly engaging with them, you’ll start to see fans step forward. You don’t have to have state of the art analytics to figure this out, there are loads of free tools that do this or there’s the good old fashioned “being observant”.
Your fans need looking after. You need to work on your relationship with them harder than any others. This might sound contradictory, after all they already love you right? Well, yes. And that means they have the biggest potential influence on your success or failure at social media marketing.
3) Don’t be afraid to advertise
Again this might feel contradictory. One of the things small businesses love about social media is its “free-ness” (not a word}. But sometimes pay to play gives you what you need. There’s no point in spending every day crafting awesome posts that just get dropped into the void to disappear without trace.
And as you build your audience, you have to spend less to get people who already like/follow you to engage. So it’s an engine that builds its power over time, but you shouldn’t be afraid to fuel it to start with.
4) Observe the normal rules of social interactions
Unless you’re a Twitter troll and you get your kicks out of behaving like an arse online, then this should be an obvious one. But still many SMEs fall foul of it through nervousness, awkwardness and the pressure of short term objectives on what is more of a long play channel.
Don’t think about what you want, think about what your customers want. Help them out. Chat to them. You’ll make way more friends that way. After all, how many besties have you gathered through self-indulgent monologues and handing out coupons to strangers?
5) Make sure social media really is the answer
There are so many good news stories around social media marketing for small businesses and SMEs, it can be very easy to think it’ll fix pretty much anything. For no money. Overnight. But if you pay attention to the detail behind these stories, these are very rarely overnight, no-budget success stories. They took work, and thought and yes usually some dough at some point.
Social media is the all purpose glue of marketing, you can use it for all kinds of research and testing, and it’ll contribute to pretty much every stage of the buyer funnel. But there are a lot of things it won’t do. And take your struggling sales figures and turn them into dynamite overnight is one of those.