Social media has the power to drive massive traffic for your business.
3.5 billion people use social media worldwide. Out of this, 75% of people use it to research a product or service before they buy it.
“Why should I be on social media?” Some business owners ask. “It’s distracting and I can’t tell if it’s getting me any results!”
The answer is twofold:
- You need to be where your customers are (and they are on social media).
- You need to be actively sharing stories and news from your business which tells potential customers you are alive and care about your image.
Further, and this comes down to the whole point of marketing itself, the game is and always will be GETTING ATTENTION. And getting it before your competition does.
You can get a lot of attention on social media.
92% of social media marketers say that if you are not utilizing social media to its fullest, you are missing out on great opportunities as social media channels are the best tools to increase exposure.
Here is another question to ask yourself, “How many potential customers are searching for a product or service you offer within a 10-mile radius of your business?”
Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and several other platforms are indispensable tools for your business and your brand.
Let’s talk about how you can leverage social media to attract customers.
How to leverage social media for small business
I’m the CEO of Walker Kreative where we have veterinarians, dentists, and gym owners who are using social media, RIGHT NOW, to generate massive attention and gain new clients and patients. It works.
Look at this slide from a recent webinar I delivered. The company owners in these slides are sharing videos where they are speaking to their community about what they are doing to stay safe while continuing to offer services.
Look at this next slide. It shows a graph of new clients with the highest point in April of this year. This is almost wholly based on ORGANIC Facebook posts to promote what they are doing to be involved with their community, while staying safe during Covid.
When I tell you social media is responsible for driving massive traffic, I say it based on statistics and results in new clients walking in doors or calling phones. Now is the time to “jump in” feet first and get into social media to be in front of consumers.
Which social media channels are best for me?
Here’s another question, “Am I on the right social channels for my business?” and “Is my ideal customer on the channels I’m on?” You don’t want to make it hard for consumers to find you. BE ON THE CHANNEL THAT YOUR CONSUMERS ARE.
Look, if you are selling fitness clothing for young people, then should you be on LinkedIn? The answer is no. You would be on Instagram and TikTok. And, if you are a dentist sharing family-oriented posts, then you SHOULD be on Facebook. You should also be on YouTube. Same for a Veterinarian or a Physical Therapist.
Not every social media channel is meant for every business. Do your homework to analyze which social media channel is best suited to your business. Again, find out where your target customers are.
- Survey ten or twenty of your existing customers to find out which channels they are on most.
- Also ask them what type of posts they like to see and react to.
- Google each channel to find out about the current demographics, with a question like, “Who is using Facebook in 2020?” or “What social channels are the millennials using in 2020?” or, “What social media do parents use for themselves?”
This also helps so you are not wasting your time on the wrong social channels. Putting in hours posting to LinkedIn or Twitter could be a total waste of time for you when your target audience is on Instagram.
Research trick: Get to know your competitors (and other similar businesses to yours) – this can be in your city or a city like yours. Look at their websites and the social channels they use. How engaged is their audience with them? Finding a model is a great way to get yourself started.
What type of posts should I be doing?
- Post content that connects with your audience.
- Post photos, videos, or short texts to keep your customers informed about your business.
- Funny posts are always a hit.
- “Behind the scenes” with staff being goofy.
- Dogs visiting the office day
- Local groups or teams who just accomplished something and you want to acknowledge them. Check this one out here.
- An educational post or link to a blog that is useful to your target customer is a great one.
- Birthdays or other events that you celebrate at the business.
- Testimonials from super happy customers are awesome posts, especially when they share what problem you solved for them. People can relate to that.
PRO TIP: It’s all about being real – Being a person just like your customer
Social media is all about connecting with your audience and this connection grows stronger when you portray yourself as someone real. Your followers want to talk to real people on social media. They don’t want to talk to a stale business.
Make your posts more personal and community-oriented. This is easy if you are a local business. Granted – this can be tougher for national businesses that are less connected to their communities.
Take for instance the example of my CrossFit coach at Pace Fitness. Walker Kreative built her website and she’s attended several of my workshops on small business marketing. She’s very aggressive about sharing news on her business Facebook page.
Back when Covid hit she announced virtual training and launched it. She held live “workouts” where we all tuned in as she told us what to do. Every day she posted to Facebook about how it was going and the wins that people were having working out at home. Business thrived and now she’s getting more and more clients because everyone knows her as a coach who truly cares to make sure she serves her athletes.
Social media is all about increasing your brand awareness and establishing a good connection with your audience. Staying real and true to your audience helps in creating a “community” of your fans.
Techniques to increase social media engagement
- Respond to comments, good and bad. (And never be defensive if its negative – use it to show everyone how you can always take the high ground and boost credibility).
- Use questions to engage with your audience.
- Create social media content around trending topics that make your brand a part of the trend. However, these posts should stay focused on your social media goals and your brand image. Don’t go off sideways to just get the attention that may confuse your audience.
- Proactively reach out to your customers to boost engagement as well. Search for your brand mentions using certain keywords or your brand name. Address any issues people might have. Doing this will boost the social value of your brand.
- Time is of the essence in social media posting. There are certain time intervals when your audience is most active. Watch for when this is and then give yourself alarms to post during this time and see your engagement get a boost.
- Promote people to message you on Facebook and give them a response to messages quickly – 30 minutes or less is best. When a consumer doesn’t get an answer to a need they have, they will look for another source if it takes too long.
Should I hire a digital marketing agency?
A professional social media marketer knows how to draft a successful social media strategy. They will analyze your target market, demographics, buyer personas and create engaging posts.
I suggest hiring people with expertise as a single mistake, bad post or bad response can cost you many customers. On the other hand, good, authentic posts that support your brand can create exponential growth and take another “hat” off your head so you can focus on other aspects of running your business.
Good luck and stay hungry!
Guest author: Cebron Walker is a Marketing and Public Relations specialist with 25 years’ experience. He founded and is the CEO of Walker Kreative, a digital marketing agency in Sacramento, CA. His team is driven by the sole purpose to help small businesses grow and thrive, no matter the economy. When it comes to building an online brand, developing an SEO optimized website, video marketing or growing your client base with targeted social media advertising, his team gets it done. When Cebron is not in the office he’s playing tennis, hiking the Sierra mountains near Lake Tahoe or you’ll find him speaking about digital marketing to as many people who will listen.