Marketing for small businesses can be challenging. You not only need to be able to speak to the needs of your audience, but you also need to reach them at the right time and on the right platforms—using limited resources. Usually, a mix of approaches like SEO, advertising, and social media management is necessary for successful and steady growth.
With over 72% of U.S. adults using social media, marketing through this channel can offer a lot of benefits for small businesses. Not only can it build brand awareness and attract new customers, but it can also act as a customer service platform for answering questions and updating a business’s loyal fan base about what’s new.
Getting engagement on social media is key for it to be a worthwhile marketing activity. Unfortunately, that’s not always easy to do. Each potential customer only has a limited amount of time and attention, after all, and many people would rather follow an account full of cute dog photos than a business page.
With that said, good engagement is possible with the right approach and great content. Small businesses have to find a way to stand out and motivate people to get involved. Businesses can use persuasive advertising techniques to get fans excited about liking, commenting, sharing, and following. With that in mind, which platforms are the best for small businesses?
Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for Small Businesses
The most well-known social media platforms are obvious: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Although many people have multiple accounts on different social media platforms, most of us prefer one or two platforms to the others. This is actually good news for small businesses because it allows for greater focus on the platforms that are likely to offer the best results. It’s overwhelming to create content for four different sites at once!
Small businesses should choose their platforms based on the kind of product or service they offer and on where their ideal clients spend the most time. For example, companies that offer beautiful products and visual-centric services might do best on Instagram, which is all about photos and videos. Companies with a B2B focus, however, might find that LinkedIn is a better choice.
Each of these platforms offers different pros and cons. There are also multiple ways to reach potential customers of each site, from organic, content-focused growth to paid advertising. Many small businesses find that building an organic presence, combined with advertising and collaborations (like giveaways) offers the best results.
Micro and Nano Social Media Influencers for Business Growth
Influencer marketing is a popular social media marketing technique of leveraging the existing audience of an “influencer” to get more reach and word-of-mouth growth. Influencer marketing has evolved a lot over the last few years, and now that the bigger companies have experimented enough to find out what works (and what doesn’t), there’s a huge opportunity for small businesses to step in and claim a piece of the pie. The good news is that it’s become clear that a smaller, highly-engaged audience is more effective for generating new business than a large audience.
This means that small businesses can leverage the power of “micro” and “nano” social media influencers at a low cost on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. Many influencers with small audiences are thrilled to receive a free product in exchange for a sponsored post. Small accounts are usually followed by largely friends and family, so there’s a high level of trust and authenticity that helps to boost awareness and sales from these collaborations.
Identifying Influencer Marketing Goals & Defining Budget
Small businesses need to be strategic to get results from influencer marketing. By 2022, it’s estimated that brands will spend $15 billion on influencer marketing. Larger brands can afford to pay influencers (and even celebrities) for sponsored posts, but small businesses typically need to rely on micro and nano influencers who will accept free products or commissions in exchange for promotional content.
Before starting an influencer marketing campaign, it’s important to have a goal and a budget in mind. Whether it’s building brand awareness, driving traffic, or increasing sales, it’s crucial for you to know what you’re trying to accomplish before creating a strategy and approaching influencers.
Influencer marketing can be intimidating for small businesses, but it doesn’t have to be. Word-of-mouth marketing is the oldest and most powerful marketing strategy there is. Social media has simply brought it into the 21st century, allowing it to reach farther than ever before!