Eight vital social media marketing tips for small and mid-sized businesses | Expert column

Eight vital social media marketing tips for small and mid-sized businesses | Expert column

Author: William Comcowich / Source: Virginian-Pilot More small and mid-sized businesses recognize the power of social media. Research from

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More small and mid-sized businesses recognize the power of social media.

Research from GetApp revealed 56 percent of small business owners and managers say social media offers the best digital brand-building strategy. They believe it’s more effective than developing apps or investing in technologies like digital signage.

Although a small or mid-sized business can create social media accounts and post announcements relatively easily, reaching business objectives such as obtaining more customers and increasing sales and revenue is more difficult. Engaging with customers can be time-consuming and confirming the business value of social media efforts can be challenging.

Experts recommend these steps to help small and mid-sized businesses implement effective social media marketing.

Go where your customers are. Only large companies and brands have resources to remain active on most social media networks. Different platforms serve different needs and cater to different demographics. Instead of choosing networks arbitrarily, savvy businesses research platforms to determine where their targeted customers are active.

Provide value. Constantly promoting your business will bore and annoy customers. A mix of helpful advice and promotional news gain a following while publicizing your products. Experts typically recommend a maximum of 20 percent promotional material and 80 percent educational. It’s acceptable to sometimes stray off topic to offer customers helpful information.

“Always ask yourself: Is this content valuable to my clients or prospects? If the answer is no, don’t waste your time – or theirs,” said Sarah Lane, marketing specialist at Impact Marketing.

Listen to customers. Monitoring social media for your businesses and products allows you to find negative remarks that require responses and resolve customer service issues. Monitoring can also uncover positive comments that businesses can share. Monitoring for industry terms identifies sales leads. As social media listening services become more advanced, they’ve become a viable option for all but the smallest businesses.

For instance, law firms can acquire…

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