Social media started out small, relegated to internet chatrooms and message boards. Then 2002 hit, and suddenly connecting with people online wasn’t just a novelty – it quickly became an intrinsic part of everyday life.
Today, social media has become one of the most cost- and time-effective ways for small businesses to advertise goods and services. The key to making it work for you? Mastering the social media platforms that your customers are actually using, and skipping the rest.
If your business caters to the expansive 24- to 54-year-old demographic, the world’s most recognizable social media platform fits the bill. It’s fantastic for getting your business out there on a local level and engaging with your customers.
- Invite followers from your current email list
- Maintain your brand’s personality in every post
- Offer followers special deals and discounts
User-friendly and highly effective, this online “mood board” is much more than pretty pictures and links – it gets users engaged and drives traffic to businesses, both online and in-store. But who uses Pinterest? Nearly half of all American women – 42% at last count. Their ages range from 18 to 49, and companies who focus on apparel, accessories, home décor, and food see dramatic results when using Pinterest as a marketing tool, especially since the roll-out of Do-It-Yourself Promoted Pins.
- Keep boards organized and visually appealing.
- Avoid serial posting – if you’re filling up a follower’s homepage, they will unfollow you.
- Look through your followers’ boards to see what interests them to generate content ideas.
Twitter’s unique capacity for engaging with existing and potential customers makes it a gold mine for small businesses. And the age range of users is a lot bigger than you might think – around 42% of high school kids and 32% of 18- to 50-year-olds use the platform. Perhaps the biggest benefit of Twitter – users are more likely to engage with a brand, especially small businesses, than users of other platforms.
- Respond to followers’ tweets.
- Vary your tweets – link to interesting content, offer tips or advice related to your business, and throw in a few funny quips for good measure.
- Look at trending hashtags related to your business and use this to come up with content ideas.
Targeting the under-24 crowd? You need to be on Snapchat, which boasts a whopping 100 million users. It will take more work than other social media platforms – you need to create content to post, and do it in a way that will appeal to your base. Sounds time consuming, right? It doesn’t have to be – get employees involved, especially if they fall into Snapchat’s demographic.
- Have a different employee run your Snapchat account every day
- Post behind-the-scene videos of how your company runs
- Get your customers involved by offering incentives for watching your Snapchat stories
Whether you choose to start with one platform or more, being selective with social media maximizes results. So start small, be strategic, and experiment to discover what works best for your unique business.