The world is becoming more and more technologically integrated year-after-year. The speed with which new technology is being introduced is truly unprecedented. This has been the case for some time and isn’t necessarily a new trend. We’ve long known that technological innovation and advancement only breeds further and faster technological innovation and advancement. This has especially been the case in the wake of disruptive technologies like the internet which led to the birth of social media and smart-technology. Now, only a couple of decades or so later, the internet, digital marketing, and social media simply cannot be ignored in the context of business operations. These technologies have emerged as game changing and industry-revolutionizing systems that modern day organizations utilize on a daily basis.
Social media specifically has become extremely important in the world of digital marketing, advertising, growth, and of course, online sales. As such, any business needs to account for and create a comprehensive social media strategy. This is especially the case for startups and small businesses entering the marketplace.
One of the reasons that social media is so important for small businesses and startup organizations is the fact that it offers a platform for free marketing. There is truly an incredibly wide myriad of ways that brands of any size can utilize social media marketing as a part of their comprehensive marketing strategy.
“Social media has been a transformative force in the world of marketing and advertising. While it offers brands innumerable ways to reach consumers, the smartest marketers keep a close watch on new trends popping up on various social platforms so that they can figure out how to leverage them in their digital marketing before others do.”
– Expert Panel, Forbes Councils Member, Forbes –
Organic Content Marketing
As mentioned above, one of the most convincing reasons that small businesses and startup organizations need to make use of social media in their marketing plans is because it offers a totally and completely free way to connect with consumers, spread brand awareness, and establish brand authority.
This can all be done through organic content marketing on social media pages. Rather than running paid-ad campaigns, or making use of some of the other social media marketing strategies outlined here, organic content marketing is all brand-generated. This involves creating social media content that users can find and engage with naturally, while also promoting consumer awareness around your brand, company, product, or service.
“Organic content marketing is an important first step for many small businesses to take because it can really go miles in establishing their presence in the marketplace. This is especially true for small businesses who launch online.”
– Fred Gerantabee, Chief Experience Officer, Readers.com –
Not only will organic content marketing through social media help improve brand-awareness amongst consumers, it will also work to build a base of followers. These followers will likely represent a strong portion of your target demographic, and makes it easy to directly connect and communicate with interested consumers.
“Content marketing has exploded as one of the most important and top-tier marketing strategies that there is today. Creating social media content with which consumers can engage is all a part of the overarching content marketing plan.”
– Ryan Rottman, Co-Founder and CEO, OSDB Sports –
Another really great way that small businesses and other organizations can benefit from social media campaigns is through the launch of an influencer campaign. Influencers are people who boast an above-average volume of followers on a variety of social media sites, and the types of campaigns that they can get involved with are far-reaching.
From a pre-product-launch campaign to a pay-per-post campaign, influencer marketing can get your brand, products, and services in front of thousands and even millions of potential consumers.
“Influencer marketing is very much here to stay. Plenty of organizations have been utilizing influencer campaigns since the dawn of YouTube, y’know? People listen to the opinions of those they follow, especially influencers across social media sites.”
– Cayla Gao, Head of Influencer Marketing, Depology –
Influencer campaigns are also good for small businesses because they can help establish brand authority. When you’re a small business in a big business marketplace, having a value-differentiation is key. The endorsement from a high-profile influencer may very well be that key.
“Sometimes getting an influencer onboard is more of just a lucky-timing thing. I mean, we got lucky cause our very first influencer campaign just kinda fell into our lap. Then we saw the data and were like, oh we have to keep doing this.”
– Andrew Adamo, VP, Bullion Shark –
When it comes to social media for businesses, especially smaller businesses, it becomes increasingly important to utilize localization strategies. These are strategies that help localize your content which improves search results in regions nearby. This is particularly important for small businesses because more often than not, the biggest supporters of local small businesses are the residents of the region.
“Making use of geographical features and tagging your location or your city is always a good idea. Then you can go even further and add in regional or colloquial hashtags that enhance your localization even more. It’s all about winning the local consumer first.”
– Serdar Ozenalp, Co- Founder and Managing Director, Ocoza –
Localization tactics on social media can also give a small business the feeling of exclusivity. The fact that your products or services are only available locally can actually be an advantageous selling-point that attracts additional buzz on social media.
“If you have an event going on or something of that nature, you can really drum up a lot of out-of-town business if you’re willing to engage in social media strategies. People love to feel like they were in on an exclusive event.”
– Brian Munce, Managing Director, Gestalt Brand Lab –
Paid Ads and Target Audiences
There are more traditional campaigns that can be run on social media sites as well. For instance, most popular social media platforms offer companies the ability to run paid ad campaigns. These campaigns can take any number of shapes or formats, but are typically much more successful because of their targetability. Instagram is very well known for offering marketing-professionals a wide-breadth of tools when it comes to defining a target audience for a campaign.
“If you’re going to use social media advertising, you might as well schedule a variety of paid-ad campaigns. They’re relatively simple to set up, and extremely effective. Especially if you delve into the data behind your consumer metrics, and design well-crafted targeted ad campaigns.”
– Jason McNary, President, Brandon Blackwood –
By defining and understanding your target audience, you’ll also naturally have an idea of which social media platforms will likely be the most effective for your campaign. This is because different social media platforms have siphoned off one another, creating an interesting landscape of users. Older users gravitate toward Facebook, while younger users can be found en masse on TikTok. The people in between are mostly on Instagram. Having a clear picture of where your target audience lives in terms of social media can help you design effective and successful social media marketing campaigns.
“It takes a little trial and error and also just a little data-analysis. After a few campaigns though, you’ll start to have an idea of what type of advertising works on which social media platform. But when you’re just getting started; it all feels like one big maze.”
– Randee Machina, Director of Marketing, Simpli Pleasures –
Giveaways and Contests
Another great way for small businesses to make use of social media marketing is to run a contest or a giveaway. These social media events give companies the chance to establish themselves as a consumer-first brand, while simultaneously promoting brand awareness, growth, and exposure.
“We didn’t really know what we were doing when we ran our first social media giveaway and it was still a resounding success. We’ve learned a ton since and now giveaways are a regular part of our marketing model.”
– Tony Staehelin, CEO, Benable –
Giveaways and other social media contests are good for consumer exposure because brands can offer additional entries or make rules around sharing and liking the post, as well as following the brand page itself. These tactics all work together to boost social media engagement, and drive additional consumer conversion.
“By offering an additional 5 entries to the giveaway for tagging three friends in the comments; you immediately entice consumers into spreading the post, which in turn, leads to brand exposure and awareness, and everything else we’re hoping for as social media marketing professionals.”
– Caroline Duggan, Chief Brand Officer, Lumineux Oral Essentials –
Wrapping up on Social Media Strategies
Any modern organization, business, or brand that wants to remain competitive in 2022 must account for the world of social media marketing. With more consumers than ever before flocking toward social media platforms, these marketing strategies will continue to play a vital role in successful marketing campaigns well into the foreseeable future.
“Of course, your social media marketing plan needs to fit into your business planning as a whole. Ideally, you will have set strategic goals for how you want your business to progress. Your social media marketing goals should complement your overarching business goals.”
– Werner Geyser, Founder, Influencer Marketing Hub –
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