This article is specific to small business social media marketing for two reasons:
- Small businesses are the lifeline of our business (and our country's economy)
- Ninety-nine percent of all social media marketing articles out there reference major brands as their examples of best practice.
What nobody is talking about is how a small business, with a fraction of the audience a major brand has, can use social media to drive traffic to their website.
While the results (likes, comments, etc.) will be very modest when compared to a brand like Coca-Cola, social media marketing can still have a real business impact on a small business.
Social Media Marketing for Small Biz
One of the most effective ways to promote your business, and to distribute your content, is with social media marketing. Cultivating a presence for your business on various social media channels gives you an opportunity to share your content with the world, as well as engage with your audience on a personal level.
Of course, “social media” is a very broad term.
There are dozens of prominent social media sites out there, and hundreds of smaller ones.
Do you need to maintain a presence on all of them? No. In fact, if you try to spread yourself too thin, you’re just setting yourself up for failure.
Your social media presence isn’t just about having an account on a particular social network, but about maintaining it effectively: posting regularly, listening to your audience, providing them with things that they’ll find helpful and worthwhile— many of the principals that apply to content creation also apply to social media.
In order to create an effective social media presence, it’s best to concentrate on just a few major social networks and tailor your approach to fit each one.
Different social networks have different focuses, are used for different things, and attract different types of people. So what you need to do is figure out where on social media your target audience is most likely to be found, and which networks fit best with your business. Then, create posts on each network that fit with the general dynamic and will appeal to that audience.
Twitter, for example, is a fast-paced world of bite-sized content: links, quick observations, and hashtags will help you stay at the forefront of an ever-evolving discussion that unfolds in real time.
Facebook, on the other hand, lends itself more to pictures, memes, and other visual stimuli, that will catch your followers’ eyes as they scroll through their newsfeeds.
There’s also Pinterest, for curating helpful content (both your own and other people’s) on specific topics.
Or Tumblr, which combines blogging with group discussion.
Like with your content, don’t use social media for a hard sell. What you should do, however, is post links to your content to all of your social channels, to get the word out and drive more people to your site. But will social media really help drive NEW people to your site? After all, the people who 'Like' your page are likely already loyal customers, or at least people with an active interest in your business.
But, how does that help drive traffic?
If those loyal customers like what you post, then they’ll share it with their friends. When promoting on Facebook, even if someone just clicks the “Like” button on one of your posts, it will show up in their friends’ newsfeeds. And every social media channel has a “Share” button of some sort. The more people interact with your content, the wider your reach becomes, and the more people you’ll be able to drive to your site.
Another way to use social media to drive web traffic is with LinkedIn. As opposed to other social networks, LinkedIn is specifically geared towards business and professional connections. With it, you can find and join niche groups that are directly related to your industry.
It’s a great place to share your content and get the right people interested in your business. It’s also a good way to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s going on in your field. See what people are talking about and use it to get more ideas for content that will appeal to your audience.
To see a real life example of how a small business manages their social media marketing, visit High Level Marketing's social media accounts: