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10 of the Best Ways to Promote Your Business on Social Media

10 of the Best Ways to Promote Your Business on Social Media

Learning how to promote your business on social media can often feel like a hit-or-miss scenario. With the surging growth and popularity of social media in recent years, however, promotion on these platforms has become an essential form of small business marketing.

Luckily, although social media promotion will involve experimentation—finding what does and doesn’t work for your business—there are a number of creative strategies you can employ to get started.

Here, we’ll break down some of the best methods you can use to learn how to promote your business on social media—from developing a content calendar to working with influencers.

How to Promote Your Business on Social Media

According to a 2020 report published by Datareportal, We Are Social, and Hootsuite, social media users are spending an average of two hours and 24 minutes per day across an average of eight social networks and messaging apps. Of those networks, Facebook continues to be the most used, followed by YouTube and Instagram[1].

What does this mean for small businesses?

In short, there’s a huge advantage to learning how to promote your business on social media—if done successfully, you’ll be marketing your business to your target audience and drawing people to your website or location, hopefully resulting in more sales, and consequently, increased revenue.

With this in mind, let’s break down some of the best ways to promote your business on social media:

1. Properly circulate—and cross-promote—your social media profiles.

When you’re figuring out how to promote your business on social media, one of the first steps you’ll take is setting up your profiles on the various platforms that you think best-suit your business—whether Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

Once you’ve set up your profiles, however, they’ll do no good in helping promote your business if no one knows they exist. Therefore, one of the best things you can do is promote your social media profiles across your business website, email communications (as shown below), and even in your physical store.

how to promote your business on social media

In this snippet from a Fundera email newsletter, you can see how we include social media icons that link out to our channels

The more people see your social media profiles, the more likely they are to visit them and interact with your business.

In addition, it’s also worth cross-promoting your social media profiles across different channels. In other words, this means you can use your Instagram profile, for example, to promote your business Facebook page.

If you start to gain a particularly large following on one platform, you might use that platform to market your other channels as well—and therefore, reach the different audiences that frequent those particular channels.

2. Use a content calendar and schedule your posts.

One of the most difficult parts of learning how to promote your business on social media is staying organized—especially if you’re using multiple channels. Therefore, in order to streamline your social media efforts, you might consider using a content or social media calendar to plan your posts ahead of time.

You can create a calendar that encompasses all of your different channels and use it to brainstorm, write, and edit your posts, as well as track them after they go live.

Depending on your schedule, you might make your calendar a month, or a few weeks at a time—but either way, planning in advance will help you stay organized—plus, it will give you the opportunity to think about your social media marketing strategy and put additional thought into your processes.

how to promote your business on social media

This example shows the Buffer dashboard, which allows you to schedule posts from linked social media accounts. Image source: Buffer

Although you can certainly make a calendar in Google Sheets or Excel, you might also opt to take advantage of a social media scheduling platform, like Hootsuite or Buffer, which allows you to create your calendar within their software. Even better, these platforms give you the ability to schedule your posts ahead of time, which can be a huge time-saver for busy business owners.

3. Capitalize on trends, especially those that relate to your audience.

When you’re learning how to promote your business on social media—a great way to get started if you haven’t necessarily gained traction yet (and even once you have) is to capitalize on social media trends, popular hashtags, and even social media “holidays.”

As an example, if you’re building a social media strategy for your restaurant, you might capitalize on trends like “#thirstythursday,” or “National Pizza Day,” or even simply “#Instafood.” All of these trends will not only help you connect to your existing followers, but place your business amongst the larger community that’s participating in those hashtags or holidays.

how to promote your business on social media

In this example, you can see how an ingredient delivery service appeals to their audience of pizza restaurants. Image source: Instagram

Of course, you’ll want to capitalize on trends that relate specifically to your business, your audience, and the particular social media platform in question. With those examples we just mentioned, you would want to incorporate them into Instagram posts, as opposed to Facebook or LinkedIn posts.

Additionally, like with restaurants, you’ll find that your industry has its own trends that you can participate in. As another example, if you’re a fashion business, you’ll be able to post “#OTD,” or, outfit of the day, as well as “#fashionfriday.” A simple Google search, or search on your social media platform, will help you identify trends and popular posts that may work well for your business.

Overall, getting involved in these kinds of trends is not only a great way of promoting your business, but also engaging your customers and potential customers. You can encourage customers to make their own posts and tag your business.

4. Develop a social media aesthetic for your brand and stick to it.

When you started your business, it’s likely that you put significant time and energy to creating and developing your small business branding. To this point, as you promote your business on social media, your social media profiles become a part of your brand.

Therefore, in order to get the most out of your social media strategy, you’ll want to craft a facet of your brand that’s specific to social media and ensure that it’s consistent across platforms or across channels. Of course, your business’s aesthetic, voice, and tone might be slightly different on Instagram than it is on Facebook, but overall, social media users should be able to get a good sense of your brand from your channels.

how to promote your business on social media

In this example, from PonyBar, a local NYC bar, you can see how their Instagram feed shows a consistent brand feel and vibe. Image source: PonyBar Instagram

Similarly, they should find consistency within your channels—in other words, if they see a post from you, they should feel that’s consistent with who you are, what you typically post, and what your business does and stands for.

As an example, if you run a doggy daycare business and highlight a fun, playful attitude on your social media platforms, you wouldn’t suddenly start posting the more mundane aspects of your business, such as scheduling employees or reordering dog food.

When it comes down to it, it can be helpful for current and potential customers to understand your business through your social media platforms—which means choosing a consistent vibe and sticking to it.

5. Embrace user-generated content.

One of the great things about social media is it gives everyone a voice. Now, if you have customers who love your brand, you’re likely going to hear about it or see it on social media.

Just as we mentioned above in regards to social media trends and holidays, once you have users that are posting and talking about your business, you have easy access for more content for your channels.

This social media strategy, called user-generated content or UGC, is as simple as it sounds—brands are taking the content created by their users (with permission) and highlighting it.

how to promote your business on social media

Here, you can see how Work Hard Anywhere reshares photos from their followers. Image source: Work Hard Anywhere Instagram

There are two main benefits to this. First, it makes marketing a bit easier for your brand. The second, and more important benefit, is it highlights and showcases an active community to your followers.

Consumers today, and especially the millennial generation, want to see input from other customers before they buy. According to a study by Mintel, 72% of opinion-seekers aged 25 to 34 look to social media contacts for recommendations when purchasing goods and services[2].

The fact of the matter is consumers trust people over brands. Therefore, for small businesses that take this approach, that knowledge is a powerful tool. And it also explains why user-generated content works so well.

6. Use social media as a form of customer service.

Although social media is typically considered a marketing or advertising tool, it can also be an extremely useful customer service tool—and using it as such is a creative, and likely successful, way to promote your business.

This being said, in a survey by Sprout Social, 90% of respondents said they’ve used social at some point to directly communicate with a company. It’s also the first place customers choose to get a response from a brand over both phone and email[3].

Therefore, if you’re not using your social media channels to communicate and answer questions from your customers, or potential customers, doing so is a great way to improve your customer service and increase customer retention.

how to promote your business on social media

Here, you can see how subscription service Barkbox uses Twitter as a customer service platform for their customers. Image source: Barkbox Twitter

Whether you use Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, you can use the comment, chat, and messaging functions to answer questions from your customers, provide information, and even take orders or appointments in some cases.

When it comes down to it, customer service statistics show that 73% of customers stick with a brand because of friendly employees or customer service representatives. In this way, offering customer service through your social media channels could make a huge difference for your business.

7. Work with micro-influencers.

Influencer marketing has been a big strategy in social media—with big brands, in particular, finding success working with A-list celebrities as influencers.

This being said, however, small businesses aren’t excluded from the potential advantages of influencer marketingOne thing to remember about this social media strategy is that it’s not the size of the following that matters, but how engaged and excited that following is.

Therefore, you might find a lot more success with someone who has 5,000 super-engaged fans right in your target audience over another person with 200,000—these people are called micro-influencers.

promote-social-media

In this example, Vineyard Vines works with a micro-influencer, Jacob True, who has less than 15,000 followers. In this picture, however, he fits the target market of Vineyard Vines customers. Image source: Jacob True Instagram

To this point, influencer marketing company Markerly performed some research on Instagram—they compared the engagement rate of people with small followings (micro-influencers) versus large followings[4].

The results might surprise you:

We believe influencers in the 10k-100k follower range offer the best combination of engagement and broad reach, with like and comment rates that exceed influencers with higher followers.

So, if you can find the right micro-influencer who is willing to work with your business, investing in this creative strategy can be a great way to promote your small business on social media.

8. Focus on unique or compelling visuals.

With the coming and going of different trendy social media platforms, one thing has become clear—visuals are important, whether photos, videos, or infographics. At this point, almost anyone can take a pretty incredible photo using their iPhone, so as a business, you’ll want to take your visuals to the next level when learning how to promote your business on social media.

Of course, the type of visuals you highlight will vary based on the social media channel and the type of business you run—but, in general, the more compelling visuals you can post, the more success you’ll find.

how to promote your business on social media, visuals

This example shows how cupcake company Baked by Melissa uses compelling visuals on their Instagram account. Image source: Baked by Melissa Instagram

Therefore, you might choose to focus on video, especially if your business lends itself well to that medium. As an example, if you own a bakery, you might record recipe videos, frosting videos, or even short clips showcasing your different products. In particular, high-speed videos of cake baking are popular among Instagram and Facebook users alike.

On the other hand, you might opt to create fun graphics or memes—whatever you think will be most appealing to your target audience or niche market. To get a sense of what performs well, you can take a look at what some competitors are doing, as well as explore different hashtags and categories that relate to your business.

9. Run social specific discounts or giveaways.

Another great way to promote your small business on social media?

Take a common promotional strategy, implementing discounts or giveaways, and apply it to your social media channels. Instead of simply offering discounts through email, on your website, or in your store, you can create campaigns that are only run on your social media channels.

With these specific promotions, you’ll not only be encouraging potential customers to purchase from your business, but if they do, you’ll easily be able to identify how they found you—making it much easier to evaluate the success of your campaigns.

how to promote your business on social media, giveaway

Here, you can see how Kopari Beauty ran a giveaway campaign after reaching 100,000 followers. Image source: Kopari Beauty Instagram

In addition to discounts or promotions, you can also run social giveaways—and encourage participation and interaction amongst users to gather more buzz on your social media account.

As an example, if you run a clothing business, you might give away a new item to one user who comments on what their favorite product is on your post. Similarly, you might give social media followers early access to a sale or new product—creating a quasi-social media-based loyalty program.

10. Use social media paid advertising tools.

Finally, one of the easiest and most common ways to learn how to promote your business on social media is through advertising.

Virtually every social media channel offers a paid ads platform that allows business owners to run targeted campaigns with money behind them. Of course, for this strategy, you’ll need to invest money in your business promotion, so you’ll want to ensure that you have the budget before developing and running your ads.

This being said, however, one of the biggest benefits of social media advertising, like advertising on Facebook, for example, are the tools Facebook provides that allow you to target specific audiences. With Facebook ads, you can target people who have interacted with your business before, users in certain locations, with certain interests, etc.

how to promote your business on social media, ads

On this Facebook feed, you can actually see two examples of paid advertisements. Clearly these brands are targeting the same audience. Image source: Facebook

Once again, the channel that will work best for social media ads for your business will largely depend on your audience and what your business does. For instance, if your audience skews older, you’d find much greater success advertising on a platform like Facebook than one like TikTok.

All in all, it can take some trial and error to figure out the right way to advertise through social media, but it can take your business past the reach of organic social alone.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, the world of social media moves very quickly—so when you’re learning how to promote or advertise your business through these channels, you shouldn’t be afraid to get creative, try things and scrap them if they don’t succeed, and adjust as the trends change.

To this point, although it may take some time and effort to find out what works best for your business, investing in social media now will help you stand out from the competition and engage with more potential customers in the long run. 

Article Sources:

  1. Datareportal. “Digital 2020: Global Digital Overview
  2. Mintel. “Seven in 10 Americans Seek Out Opinions Before Making Purchases
  3. Sprout Social. “The Sprout Social Index: Shunning Your Customers on Social?
  4. Markerly. “Instagram Marketing: Does Influencer Size Matter?

The post 10 of the Best Ways to Promote Your Business on Social Media appeared first on Fundera Ledger.

This post was originally published on this site

Local Marketing for Small Business: Strategies, Examples, Tips

Local Marketing for Small Business: Strategies, Examples, Tips

Many small businesses overlook local marketing. They’re too busy getting caught up trying the strategies of Fortune 500 companies.

Following the marketing strategies of the big players is great in theory. But unless you can compete with those huge marketing budgets, you’re likely not going to see the same levels of success.

Chances are, you’re not one of those brands. In fact, according to a survey conducted by BrightLocal of over 1,000 small business owners, 70% of them spend less than $500 a month on marketing.[1]

local marketing

Where the small business owner can succeed is using the tools at their disposal. Today, that’s the ability to use digital marketing as part of your game plan—a tool that has helped to even the playing field. But where your small business can really make strides is with local marketing.

Local Marketing: An Overview

Local marketing might be a relatively new buzzword in the world of business, but it’s one of the oldest methods around.

Remember the days before the internet and mega-retailers like Amazon? When you had to pick up a phone book to find an area business and you always shopped at the corner store?

That was all local marketing. With very few exceptions, the majority of companies in your area serviced customers within a few-mile radius.

Today, things are different, and yet still the same.

Welcome to local marketing 2.0.

Customers today want the same things customers wanted a generation ago. They’re looking for products or services to solve their problems and personalized service. These are things many small businesses excel at and that set them apart from bigger competitors.

Realizing that and taking advantage of it on a local level can be a smart strategic move for many brands.

The problem is, many small business owners aren’t capitalizing on the potential there is in the local market. This is particularly the case when it comes to digital spending. Keep in mind, you don’t have to bust your budget on expensive ad campaigns. You want to spend money the smart way, on things that drive results.

There are strategies you can use right now with the digital tools at your fingertips to start creating a local buzz for your business.

5 Local Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Small businesses can embrace local marketing in many ways to gain a competitive advantage over many larger brands. Let’s take a look at some of these local marketing strategies.

1. Search Engine Optimization

Being on top of your local SEO strategy is the first place you want to start. Local SEO is important because it helps people find your business website online.

This is key for local businesses that want to appear on the first page of search engines like Google. A lot of people (your target customers, in fact) type in their location plus a keyword when they do a search.

It looks like this:

local marketing

The top three sites in the red box are going to get virtually all of the clicks. To give your business the best chance of being in this box, you’ll need to optimize your site for SEO.

You’d be surprised to find most brands aren’t optimizing their websites—and that leaves an opening for you.

Here are some quick local SEO tips for your site:

  • Have a website design/theme that is responsive (meaning your site automatically reformats when it’s viewed on mobile devices).
  • Target a handful of keywords that your ideal customer will search for; these will likely be some combination of “your location” + “your service/product/brand.”
  • Have keyword-optimized title and meta tags on your entire site, both blog posts and individual pages.
  • Add pages to your website that are helpful, answer customers’ most common questions, and include your targeted keywords.
  • Include your business name, address, and phone number on every page of your site.

Getting your local SEO in order is one of the first steps you can take to improve your local business marketing and get found online.

2. Get Found on Other Sites

This ties in with search engine optimization and is an important component of any local marketing strategy.

Beyond your website, you also want to make sure your business is being highlighted in other places online.

This does two positive things. First, it increases the chances of your small business grabbing a potential customer. Second, it helps improve your search engine rankings.

For local businesses, there are a few places to advertise your business online to jump on right away. You can see most of them in the graphic below:

local marketing

The first two places you want to start is to claim your business on Google My Business and Bing Places for Business. Both of these are vital directories and can help you get started running local ads online.

Having a presence on local business listing and review sites like Yelp and Manta are important local marketing strategies, as well.

So be sure to sign your business up for as many of those as you can. Don’t forget to also search for local directories as well; chances are there will be other sites available like your chamber of commerce.

Make sure you also include your name, address, and phone number on every directory and website, so people know how to contact your company once they find you online.

3. Email Marketing

Often, email marketing can be a forgotten tool for small business local marketing.

When an Infusionsoft and Leadpages survey asked what small business owners’ preferred marketing channels were, email marketing came in third,[2] as highlighted by the following chart:

local marketing

Social media might be hot right now, but email marketing has shown a much better return on investment, higher lead generation, and more buying power than social.[3]

A good email marketing strategy offers many benefits for a small business by:

  • Building a list of prospective customers
  • Allowing for customer connections on a regular basis through newsletters or email automation series
  • Enabling offers through special coupons, discounts, and events 
  • Providing a way to give personalized service and attention

Each of these features can keep your business top of mind with your customers, provide excellent service, and build trust. Someone who trusts a brand is far more likely to buy from them—and be a loyal customer.

You can use your local marketing emails for very simple things that will make an impact over the long run. Here are a few examples:

Birthday: Harpoon is a local brewery in the Boston area. Every year, they send out a personalized birthday card to mailing list members.

local marketing

Coupon: This Oregon-based hotel created a campaign to send out a coupon code to their mailing list.

local marketing

Special event: Three Kittens Needle Arts used Small Business Saturday as a way to drive customers to their store.

local marketing

As you can see, there’s plenty you can do with email marketing to boost your local marketing efforts and connect with people in your community.

4. Direct Mail Promotions

Local marketing is not just limited to digital strategies. The art of direct mail marketing has been around for quite some time and is still a valuable tool to get your brand in front of potential customers. 

Creating promotions, discounts, and specials for direct mail recipients can be an inexpensive way to get some local residents through your doors. Whether you offer coupons that give customers a discount, free shipping, etc., direct mail can be a great way to entice locals to try your business.

If you’re not exactly sure where to send your mail, you can use USPS’s Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) tool. It allows you to enter a central location and view the mailing routes that are normally taken in that area.

local marketing

When you select a route, you are able to view how many total delivery addresses there are, as well as the total price to send mail to those addresses. 

Here are a few simple steps that can help you use EDDM to your local marketing advantage:

  1. Enter your business’s address as the central location.
  2. Choose the routes that you would like to mail your promotion/coupon to.
  3. Pay the mailing costs (make sure the total cost is within your marketing budget).
  4. Finally, bring your mail to the local USPS and you’re done.

This tool also allows you to see the details about the mailing routes such as age range, average income, and how many of the addresses are business or residential locations. Make sure you know your target audience before you send out your mail; otherwise, you might spend your budget unnecessarily.

5. Sponsor Community Events

Sponsoring local community events and organizations is not only a simple way to earn some brand recognition, but it’s also a great way for potential customers to put a face to your business’s name. 

Find out when your local area holds community events and contact the organization that is in charge of coordinating the event. See what requirements there are to register a booth for your company. Once you register, figure out how you want to attract new customers. Here are a couple of ideas to boost your local business marketing.

Set up a Canopy Tent With Your Business Name on It

A great way for you to get attendees to notice your business is to set up a canopy tent with your brand on it. There are many websites that allow you to create a custom tent for outdoor events. Anyone who is walking by will be able to see your business, which could draw in any curious prospects. This will help you build brand visibility and can get your business name out in front of local customers.[4]

Give out Promotional Products

Offering free products at an event is almost a surefire way to get people interested in your business. Giving out products that have your brand name on them, even if they aren’t directly related to your business, can be really impactful to getting your business known in the local area.

Products like notebooks, mugs, and shirts are just a few examples of different customizable items that you can give out. Once people have your product in their possession and begin to use it, your brand will become more familiar to them as time goes on—a gift that keeps on giving.

Plus, sponsoring a community event can allow you to meet locals and make a great first impression for your business.

The Bottom Line

Being able to create a local marketing strategy, often with little expense, around attracting customers in your community is a winning formula in today’s market.

These are just a few ideas to help get you started, but feel free to continue developing a custom local marketing strategy to serve your business best.

Article Sources:

  1. BrightLocal.com. “37% of SMBs Plan to Spend More on Internet Marketing in 2015
  2. SmartInsights.com. “SME / SMB Marketing Trends
  3. OptinMonster.com. “Email Marketing vs. Social Media: Is There a Clear Winner?
  4. Marketing91.com. “How Brand Visibility Increases Brand Equity?

The post Local Marketing for Small Business: Strategies, Examples, Tips appeared first on Fundera Ledger.

This post was originally published on this site

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