As a small business owner, social media can seem like a big question mark.
You know it’s effective and that many business owners are uber successful drumming up business with social media, but with all of the options you have available to you not only with platforms but methods of promotion, it becomes overwhelming.
Luckily, there are a few basic social media marketing principles you can follow to increase your reach, your followers, and your client count.
Here are some of those timeless principles:
- Use Hashtags Wisely
It seems as if hashtags are falling out of social media style sometimes, but truth be told, they are still very effective for reaching the right audience.
Since hashtags are used mainly in the context of online marketing, travel, and Internet jokes, they can be especially powerful for your local business. Because they aren’t used as often for marketing in the Relational Economy, some targeting hashtags can bring awareness about your business to your ideal clients without getting lost in a sea of competing hashtag noise.
On Instagram, Twitter, and any other hashtag haven, use hashtags for your neighborhood or city that you’re in. Do some research to find out what hashtags people are using to find your services.
If you’re a hairstylist in Cleveland, Ohio for instance, people might be looking for #hair #Cleveland.
You can also ask your clients to use a hashtag when describing your services on social media.
- Show a Visual
As a species, we’re visual. We like to be able to see things for our own eyes, and we appreciate visual information.
On social media, it’s the same story. Social Media Examiner demonstrates that social media posts with images strongly outperform those posts without.
In fact, adding a simple photo to your Tweet can boost retweets by 35%.
For service based businesses, images crucial. Are you more likely to choose a personal trainer who has powerful before-and-after images on their website and on social media, or one who doesn’t use any images at all?
When I was trying to find a hairstylist to do my hair on my wedding day, I scoured social media. There were many stylists on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, but I didn’t consider any who didn’t have images of their work – and lots of them didn’t.
The stylist I ended up choosing had the most extensive image portfolio on Instagram, so I knew the quality of the styles she could do based on the images of her previous clients.
You do good work. So why not show it off? Use images of your client work (be sure to get their permission) to boost your social media presence.
- Find Out Where Your Target Market Hangs Out
There are so many social media platforms out there, that it can difficult to know which will be the most effective.
There’s one simple secret to solving this mystery, though:
Consider where your target market spends their time.
It sounds very simplistic, but many people forget that their efforts won’t be effective unless they’re spending their time getting in front of the right eyes.
So think about it. If you’re a spa focusing mainly on mothers, you can probably find them on Facebook and Pinterest. If you’re a massage therapist who targets athletes, Pinterest will be a ghost town for you.
Pick one or two social media platforms that your target market frequents, and then spend all of your time on social media on those platforms.
Not sure where they are? Casually ask your next few clients what their favorite social media platforms are. It’s that simple.
- Spend Your Marketing Dollars Where it Counts
It used to be that a marketing campaign would cost hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars to ensure that you were getting your message in front of the desired audience.
But that’s changed with the introduction of social media into our society.
Social media allows for hyper-targeted, inexpensive marketing exactly where your market hangs out.
For example, Facebook advertising allows you to target your ideal client locally and inexpensively. You can set up a great campaign for less than $30/month.
Twitter has also released an advertising platform recently, which will help you save money to reach more people, and LinkedIn has a great ad platform as well.
You don’t have to spend a ton of money to get the results you need. Most social media marketing can be free, but if you’re going to open your wallet, make sure you’re doing so for very targeted, local results – which luckily you can do with social media.
Social media can be incredibly powerful for your business.
A strong presence on a social media platform can be the difference between being booked solid and hearing crickets when you open your schedule.
The best thing about social media is that it’s snackable. You don’t have to spend all day strategizing and agonizing. You can set aside a small amount of time each day for social media promotion, and if you know where your target audience is, what language they use, and what they’re interested in, everything you do becomes more effective.
So get out there and set your stake in the land of one or two social media platforms. See where it will take you!
Check out therelationaleconomy.com for more helpful tools and resources!