Recently, I ran across a small business social media question on Quora, and it got me thinking about how many small businesses out there probably have the same question: How can a small business with limited time and resources leverage social media? If you are a small business owner and new to online networking, then you may not have a clue about how to get started. While a lot of people make it sound like it’s easy and can be thrown together with little to no effort, that’s not really the case if you want it done right.
Here are some questions you should consider before you jump into social media.
- Is your company a B2C or a B2B? Identifying your customer type will be important in determining the best social media platforms to tackle.
- Who is your target audience?
- What’s your message?
- How much time do you have to devote each day/week?
- What is your budget?
Regardless of whether you have limited resource or all the resource in the world, the answer to question 1 should guide your focus. Below I will outline the top two areas you should focus on as a B2C vs a B2B type company with limited time and resources.
A Look at Opportunities for B2B and B2C on Social Media
B2C (Business to Consumer)
If you have a B2C business, then your target audience will be consumers. You need to determine the demographic you want to reach through social networks. For a B2C business, you may want to focus on the below social platforms for your business to start the ball rolling.
A company blog is the backbone of your social presence. This is your platform to share your expertise and provide useful information to your consumers. It also provides you with content to share on your social platforms.
Facebook or Pinterest (depends on your type of company)
Facebook is a great way to reach your consumer audience if you have a general retail type business. According to State of Inbound Marketing, 77% of B2C companies acquired customers from Facebook compared to 43% for B2B companies (Source: Hubspot). Add a Tweet This link
- Your cover art should send a message about your brand.
- Post at least twice daily. Share information about your brand and general useful posts about things that matter to your target audience.
- Interact with followers.
Pinterest is a great way to share your products visually. If your product is something that people want to see prior to purchasing, then this is a good platform to use. According to Ragan.com, “The top interests on Pinterest in the U.S. include crafts, gifts, hobbies/leisure, interior design, and fashion designers/collections” (Source: Hubspot). Add link for Tweet This Wayfair shared that “Shoppers referred by Pinterest are 10% more likely to make a purchase than visitors who arrive from other social networks, including Facebook and Twitter. They’ll also spend 10% more on average.” (Source: Hubspot ) Tweet This
- Make sure to have a board(s) set up that visually displays your product(s).
- Pin a new picture at least 3-4 times weekly.
- Setup non-product boards and repin others pictures.
- Comment on others pictures.
B2B (Business to Business)
If you have a B2B business, then your target audience will be other businesses. You need to determine the type and size of businesses you want to reach through your online presence. For a B2B business, you should focus on the below types of social platforms for your business to increase leads.
Just as we stated for B2C, a blog is the backbone of your social presence and the source of the majority of the company-generated content you will share through other social channels.
Twitter or LinkedIn
Twitter is a great way to share content and engage with potential customers. It can be a great place for your sales team to identify leads. According to Inside View, “B2B marketers who use Twitter generate twice as many leads as those that do not” (Source: Marsden Associates). Tweet This
- Tweet at least twice daily. Share information about your brand and general useful tweets about things that matter to your target audience.
- Retweet your followers tweets.
- Interact with followers.
LinkedIn is another great way to identify potential customers and develop relationships. According to Marketing Charts, “For B2B companies, LinkedIn was the most effective, with 65% having acquired a customer through the professional network” (Source: Marsden Associates). Tweet This
- Share your blogs on your company page and then have your employees share it through their personal profiles.
- Share useful articles or insights on your personal profile’s activity feed. Doesn’t have to be written by your company. Just make sure it’s information that fits with the message of your company. Try to share an article daily or at least 3-4 times weekly.
- Join groups and comment in the groups. Look for groups that your potential customers may be part of so that you can reach out to them. Also, join groups where you can offer your expertise to engage leads.
Again, it does take time and effort if you want to do it and do it right. If you don’t have the time to do it right, then it’s not always a good idea to do it. Or if you don’t have the time and resources to do a full on social media marketing plan, then just start with the top two platforms listed here based on your type of business. It’s a lot of work, but it can be worth it!
“Social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing.” (Source: Hubspot) If you are ready to take advantage of the value that social networking can bring to your business, let us help. We can assist with a coaching session, plan creation, on up to full social media management for your business.[banner id=5606]