Managing Social Media for Small Businesses
When it comes to orchestrating a small business, growth is an aspect that many small business owners struggle to excel in. However, oftentimes this can be attributed to a lack of optimization on social media platforms. Frankly, from the get-go, many businesses underestimate the impact that having an online presence will have on their business. However, if a small business owner chooses to take the right steps to optimize their following on social media, they will find it has an immense impact on their business. Below is a compiled list of essential social media tips and tricks to help you and your business skyrocket in growth, and build a large following online.
Knowing Your Audience
Before starting your chain of social media, it is important to know your audience very well. Different businesses have extremely diverse demographics, leading to different approaches in social media. When it comes to knowing your audience, there are many key factors to take into account. Age, gender, race, religion, and location are all important factors in determining your approach to social media. For example, a boy’s youth soccer club would use different approaches for social media than a women’s senior care center would. A local traditional Vietnamese restaurant would use different approaches than a Flamenco Dance Studio.
Sometimes, it is very easy to know your business’s demographic. You may know your regulars or may have noticed trends in who comes into your business. However, sometimes it’s not so easy. If you run an online business or one that deals with shipments and deliveries, it can be tricky to know your customer’s demographic. However, this can be changed relatively easily. A business can collect data via surveys or other data collection methods to determine their unique demographic.
When running various social media sites, it is very important to have a diverse presence. This means setting up an account for your business on various platforms. The most well-known businesses in the world all have diverse presences on the web. From accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, the most popular companies today all utilize almost every social media. However, these accounts are often run by teams of hundreds of people. When owning such a small business, this can be extremely time-consuming, so depending on your different demographic, you can change which platform you direct most focus to. Sproutsocial.com has data on social media use via demographics in 2020 that a company can use to connect with their audience.
It breaks down the demographics of users in each platform to help your business to determine its target focus for an online presence. For example, 32% of teenagers use Twitter, whilst 72% use Instagram. If your business’s customer demographic is on the younger side, chances are, you want to prioritize the platform that will pander to them. This would look like focusing lots of advertisements and news on your Instagram account, while not focusing on your Twitter as much. Again, this doesn’t mean neglecting Twitter entirely, the more platforms the merrier, but you should have different focuses depending on your demographic.
One small business that does practice demographical targeting very well is Seattle's local boba shop Drip Tea. Drip Tea is known as a “Hypebeast” Vietnamese Boba Shop that heavily attracts trendy young customers. Knowing this, Drip Tea has a huge presence on Instagram. In the past 3 months, they have gained over 3,000 followers, and their popularity has been exponentially growing among youth in the area. Drip Tea is one example among many that emphasize the importance of knowing your audience.
Interact with Your Customers
Customer service is one of the most important things when it comes to running a small business. Patrons love to see it when their favorite business reaches out to them to show that they care for their thoughts and opinions. Social media is one of the best ways for businesses to interact with their customers. Using different features on different platforms, businesses can allow their customers to comment and review different products, send different ideas and opinions, and offer compliments and criticism on what your business has been doing so far. Not only do these methods build a bond with your audience, but it also gives your business guidance about what aspects your customers would like to see changed, or what aspects you should keep and continue to improve.
One small business that is exceptional with audience interaction is BobaLust, a Vietnamese Boba Café in Tukwila, WA. Their Instagram page of nearly 5,000 followers is one of the most customer interactive in the local scene. BobaLust uses weekly polls to gather customers’ opinions of various drinks. Also, BobaLust even creates surveys on their story to ask which new flavors customers would want to try. These kinds of voting systems, polls, and surveys allow BobaLust to receive accurate data on what their customers want, and in turn increases customer loyalty in the brand, knowing that their opinion had a direct impact on the business.
However, customer interaction doesn’t end with business-related conversations. Asking customers unique questions can also improve their opinion of you. Whether it be asking a customer about an interesting story, or how their day went, a simple question goes a long way for your business. The ATP(Association of Tennis Professionals) Instagram Page is amazing at this. They post a picture of tennis-related news — maybe the latest Masters 1000 champion, then ask the viewer about a match they played that the viewer will never forget. This invites discussion on your page, increasing traffic via algorithms and sharing, simultaneously adding a personal connection from a customer to your brand.
In addition to customer interaction, customer appreciation is another very important aspect of managing social media for your business. Thanking customers and expressing gratitude for the continued support of your business is a gesture that anyone would appreciate, but it is especially important in maintaining routine customers to a small business. This can also be accomplished using social media.
Social media platforms allow a business to “shout-out”, or publicly commend customers for their continued support of your business. Posting different shout-outs helps to maintain a loyal fanbase, showing that you are grateful and appreciative of the support your customers give you.
In addition to shout-outs, rewards are an excellent way to show your gratitude towards your customers. On social media, you can set up giveaways or competitions that reward customers if they win. For example, BobaLust, the Tea Café I previously mentioned often has competitions where one of their followers on social media will win free merchandise, along with several free drinks. Having these competitions incentivizes customers who are regulars to follow your page, and increases talk about your business.
Maintain A Schedule
Maintaining a schedule is something that everyone finds hard to do. Procrastinating and forgetting are all very real problems, and everyone will experience them sometime in life.
However, you must find a schedule that you diligently stick to for your social media management. Posting routinely and keeping your followers and customers updated is immensely important for your business. One cannot simply post twice in one day, then wait 2 weeks before posting again and hope for their following to grow. Consistency is key. Set aside a bit of time in the afternoon to send an update or post a picture of a new product or item on your menu. Keep your followers updated at all times, at the same time, so they stay connected to your business, and your business stays relevant.
Ask For Help — As our Seattle Social Media Agency
Last, but certainly not least, when it comes to any business — but small businesses especially — it is fine, fine, fine to ask for help. If you own a small business, chances are, your hands are already full. It can be overwhelming or out of reach to spend so much time committing to all the steps I’ve listed. And that is OK. It is ok not to be able to juggle 90 balls at once while folding your mother’s blouses and doing the dishes. There are many professional social media managing services online, and I guarantee that there are many individuals in your area who are professionals when it comes to social media management. If you have so much on your plate that you can’t afford to spend your precious time on social media, set aside a budget to pay someone else to do it. It may seem counter-intuitive, but I promise that a strong social media presence will translate into strong numbers, and soon, you will surely see the payoffs of that investment.
In the modern age of social media domination, it’s becoming increasingly important for small businesses to step up their game in the field of social marketing, SEO, and web design. Undoubtedly, in the decades to come, media use will only increase, so it’s best for businesses large and small to develop a following now, before getting lost in the sea of the millions of start-ups and small businesses. Social media allows you to connect with your customers on a more personal level. Remember to know your demographic and to use platforms accordingly. Also, always display your gratitude to patrons. Don’t forget to keep in touch with your followers too. Let them know that you care, and value their ideas. Always maintain a steady schedule to stay relevant in your customers’ lives, as well as media algorithms. If you can’t afford the time spent doing all these steps, hire someone who can!
There are plenty of online services guaranteed to help you, for example, Visualwebz.com.
First appeared on https://visualwebz.com/seattle-social-media-agency/