Social media is the new kid on the block that is burning down the traditional marketing boundaries. Businesses, including small businesses, are optimizing social media in a big way. Social Media for small business works the same way as for any larger business entity in many ways.

However, to begin with, clarity on the categories that social media as a whole is divided into will be sensible.  Social media is broadly categorized into four brackets:

•    Social networking sites like Facebook;

•    Photo sharing sites like Instagram;

•    Video sharing sites like Facebook Live and youtube; and

•    Microblogging sites like Tumblr.

When it comes to social media for small business, optimizing all the social media platforms might not necessarily be a need or even correct. It is therefore extremely important for small businesses to do some basic groundwork to understand what they want to optimize social media for. There are a number of reasons why social media has become a strong marketing tool today.

Here is a list of some pointers that need to be considered if a small business is considering social media for itself.

What Is It That The Small Business Needs Social Media For?

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This is the basic research that the business must initiate to find out the business objective of using social media. A small business also needs to understand its expectations from social media. Is it for brand building, sales, awareness creation or networking? Figuring the objective will help the business in focusing on the right social media platform while channelizing its social media efforts in the correct direction.

Understand How Social Media Works:

Unlike print or broadcast media, social media optimization, in general, is more technical in nature. This stands true for social media for small business too. Hence business owners must make an effort to understand what is acceptable for promotion on social media and what is not. This would be the first step towards creating content that will be effective and impactful on social media.

Get Your Content Ready:

Once a small business owner understands what the business aims at gaining from social media, it is time to plan out the content. Content might be words, audio or video. To start off with, attention-catching titles are a must. For Instance: If it is about a new eatery that is being promoted, along with the apt visuals, the words announcing the same should be crisp while conveying what is being launched. 

Schedule Your Posts:

For effective reiteration of recall value of a brand or a business, timing the social media posts is crucial. These postings do not necessarily have to be done manually. Automated Softwares are available which can be engaged to regularly post to social media at the intended regular intervals. Some of the most popular automated tools are Buffer, Hootsuite and Sprout Social.

Must Read:

1. 9 Social Media KPIs You Should Track and Monitor
2. SEO Friendly Blog Posts- 6 Great Tips

Play The 80: 20 Ratio:

When engaging social media for small business to optimize it, small businesses should not lose sight of the recommended 80: 20 rule. 80% of the content shared by businesses on social media should have informative and educational value for the consumers whereas only 20% of the content should be directed towards the brand, product or service promotion. This feeds the social media page visitors quality content, which in turn buys the business quality time with the consumer on the social media page.  

Look At Nurturing Relationships Via Social Media:

The consumer base of the social media platforms is expanding every day. Hence connecting to the target audience with relevant content is the only way to nurture a long-standing and meaningful relationship. Hence, businesses, especially small businesses need to be active on the social media platforms to gain maximum advantage from their presence.

Here are a few ways social media for small business can become the medium of fostering relationships with consumers:

•    By answering to questions asked;

•    Sharing page and interest relevant information;

•    Appreciating and sharing content generated users in terms of relevant comment, pictures or videos;

•    Initiating conversations and discussions on social media pages and forums that are relevant to the business;

•    Making consumers feel good and appreciated by acknowledging them; and

•    Never skirt criticisms and complaints. Address grievances as soon as possible.

Conclusion:

The usage of social media for businesses is increasing by the day. This is an outcome that has come about due to the extensive spat of online transactions that has been witnessed in recent times. Interestingly, traditional small businesses have reacted to this development too, positively. With the realization of how powerful a medium social media is, small businesses like cafés, small retailers and even work from home sellers have social media presence either for creating brand awareness or for the sole purpose of sales. Social media for small business is booming today as it has now become a very effective digital marketing tool.

 

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