5 Tips to Boost Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses

Natalia Autenrieth In her professional lives across the United States, Natalia Autenrieth, CPA has audited Fortune 500 clients as part of a Big 4 team, built an accounting department as a controller of a large hospital, and served as a CPA consultant to municipalities. Today, Natalia coaches in the financial industry and writes about business finance, financial technology, and personal money management. Her ghost-written articles have appeared in thought leadership and expert blogs, as well as Kiplinger and Accounting Today. Read more about Natalia and her practice at www.AutenriethAdvantage.com.

5 Tips to Boost Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses

It’s not easy to reach your customers in a noisy world. These tips will help!

Where is your cell phone right now?

Maybe it’s in your hands as you read this. Or perhaps it’s in your pocket, inside your bag, or in a desk drawer. No matter what your answer, the point is — you had the answer right away.

Yes, mobile devices are everywhere, and virtually everyone around you has one. That creates amazing possibilities for a small business owner. You can use that connectedness to meet your customers where they are. You can add value, ask a question, or put a smile on their faces. That is, if you can get to them!

Many small business owners get burned out on social media. Maybe you’ve tried ads or sponsored content without much traction. Or perhaps the latest platform algorithm change knocked you out of what had been working previously. Here is your opportunity to re-visit social media marketing — and try something new.

Choose your platforms wisely — and make it consistent

Platform over-commitment is a common cause of social media problems. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Vine… Each one has promise — but where do you find the time to create that much content, and make it all look “native”?

The answer is, don’t try to do it all. Choose just one or two platforms that your customers spend time on. Then, dedicate consistent effort to posting regular content. That formula works better than spreading yourself too thin across 4+ platforms just to lose steam and give up.

Encourage conversations

The ultimate goal of social media marketing is to sell your product or service. But going straight for the sale is a mistake. People typically don’t open their social media apps to buys something. They come to socialize, to be entertained, to learn something new. Give them what they expect by starting conversations. Respond their comments, encourage their content, and carefully prune any comments that are offensive. Make your profile a kind of a place they would want to follow and visit often.

Don’t make demands

Make your content memorable, fun to read, and beautiful to look at. Above all, make your content about (and for) your audience. Outright sale offers from brands that haven’t invested in building a relationship only serve to irritate and alienate their audience. Focus on adding value first. Then, an infrequent and well-placed call to action will generate a stronger positive response.

Try micro-content

Your audience is busy and easily distracted. While there is definitely a time and a place for long reads, try your hand at “micro-copy”: quick, in-the-moment nuggets that respond to current events. A skillful application of this requires you to first understand your audience — and the things, activities, shows, books, and events they care about. Talk about what they are talking about.

Stay human

Finally, remember that social media is your opportunity to give a human voice and character to your brand. When your customers begin to interact with your company’s social media profiles as they would with another human, you will have achieved a true connection with your audience.

Despite their many drawbacks and criticisms, social media platforms aren’t a waste of your time as a business owner. However, making them work for you — and crafting a compelling presence — takes time and effort. So, learn the rules. Get inspired by companies and personalities that use these platforms well. Build your community, and your investment in social media marketing will deliver an impressive return.