Small businesses are using the skills and advantages that their big competitors lack and there is no reason you should not be doing the same.
We have put together a quick guide to help you make the most of what you have at your disposal; you are in a position to forge meaningful relationships with your customers thanks to new marketing channels like social media.
1. Goliath, meet David
As the owner of a small company, you will no doubt have superior expertise when it comes to your industry, products and services. You know your industry inside out, you know all of your employees and you know many of your customers and the services they receive from you. Try as they might, big-box retailers and large enterprises can’t hope to compare to you in that regard. You are closer to the “shop floor” than the CEOs that run these companies which means you have a far better handle on your business. No matter how many systems they put in place, it is not a patch on what you can do.
2. Get a leg up on your much larger competition using social media
We have said it many times before and we will say it again; make the most of free social media sites. There are exciting opportunities when it comes to social media for small business. Instead of sending flurries of meaningless tweets to nameless, faceless followers, you can start personal conversations that generate real results. Take what you do in person and do it on social networking sites. Make sure you have a goal, and an idea how to achieve your goal before you start a social media session, this will help you stay focussed and avoid distractions which are the biggest threat to the efficiency of your social media campaign.
3. Meaningful, personal, interesting interactions
When it comes to successful social media marketing for small business, the key is to keep things personal. This isn’t the time or place to spam your followers with aggressive marketing messages. Instead, find out what your target audience is up to and see what people have to say about your industry, services and products. Join the conversation in a meaningful, interesting and helpful way. Share content that gets people talking, and keep an eye on the statistics of how many shares you receive. This will allow to you to see what sort of messages your audience likes to see. Show people that you’re available to help with hangouts and chats, allowing you to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise to potential customers.
4. Go the extra mile
Whenever the opportunity arises, you should try to go above and beyond the call of duty for your customers. Something simple like, if you’re a tradesman working at a client’s home, cleaning up after you have finished a job, taking your rubbish with you and giving the customer the full impact of the finished job so they can start enjoying it straight away.
Get into the habit of thinking what you can do to impress them, people will often share their positive experiences with their social networks which is great news for small business. There’s nothing better than having your customers voluntarily (and loudly) sing your praises ready for you to retweet their message. This is one of the many benefits of engaging in social media marketing and it happens a lot more than you probably think.
5. Give people a reason to share
It doesn’t hurt to give people an incentive to share their positive experiences with your company online. As a part of your social media marketing plan, you could offer perks to those who share positive information about your company on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Whether you offer discounts, free shipping offers or other deals, these incentives can increase the odds that people will share positive news that will generate new business for your company, and what could be better than that.
6. Keep it local
Posting stories about local events is a savvy way for your small business to engage in social media marketing. It couldn’t be easier ! There are services designed and priced specifically for small business that can help you. For example, a service like Constant Contact can help you easily share your email marketing campaigns on social media at the very same time they go out to your email database. Tools like Hootsuite, the social media dashboard for small business, can help you manage and post to all of your social profiles (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) from one place. With Hootsuite, you can also search for people on social media who are having conversations about topics related to your business and even target them geographically, allowing you to reach-out to very segmented groups of potential leads.
7. Start a word-of-mouth frenzy
The ultimate reward for small businesses successfully engaging in social media is prompting a word-of-mouth campaign. Studies have shown that getting such a campaign off the ground can happen with as few as 20 people. By getting 20 people excited about your company/product/service, you can kick-start a viral marketing campaign that could have enormous benefits! These kinds of things can’t be forced. Larger companies would if they could. But the fact is, small businesses are the ones more likely to enjoy this kind of social media marketing success, and there’s no reason why your company can’t be one of them.
If you would like to learn more about how a targeted marketing campaign with us can help your business succeed, give us a call today. We have helped many companies with SEO services, social media marketing campaigns, website design and graphic design services.