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As a small business owner, it can be easy to trick yourself into thinking that most of your leads can only come from word of mouth, your local community, or niche groups online. However, social media is a super important part of growing any small business, and shouldn’t be left to the wayside.

Due in part to the global pandemic, 47% of global internet users reported spending more time on social media in 2020 than they did the year before. People are also spending more money online than ever before, which means that if you’re not using social media to boost your business, you’re definitely missing out.

How Social Media Can Help You to Expand Your Business

You can use both free and paid versions of social media to boost your business by growing your audience and showcasing your services or products. Social media offers many benefits, including audience engagement, product promotion, building brand awareness, creating an enhanced customer service experience, generating targeted ads, and offering a unique and authentic experience. 

Audience Engagement

Social media platforms are the perfect place for building genuine audience engagement. When you create and post content that adds value to your audience’s lives, you are giving them a gift that will keep them coming back for more.

Taking the time to read and respond to your followers’ posts and comments, and to share their content, shows your audience that you care about what they care about, and are interested in building a connection with them. 

When it comes to measuring audience engagement, it’s important to consider what kind of metrics matter to you. If you are a small, service based company that gets most of your business from people who live in your town, then it will be more important to pay attention to how many local followers you have as opposed to having thousands of followers who won’t ever use your service (although if you do have thousands of followers, that’s probably a good sign that it’s time to broaden the services that you offer and think about providing a digital package!). 

In the end, paying attention to sales and engagement rates, how many visitors to your website were referred there from one of your social media platforms, and retweets, likes, shares, and view counts are all great ways to gauge how well your audience engagement tactics are working.

Product Promotion

Social media apps like Facebook and Instagram are great for showcasing and promoting your business’s products and services. Use the Reels and Stories features to demonstrate your wares, and to answer any questions your viewers might have. 

With an Instagram business account that you can connect to your Facebook page, you can also upload a product catalog and create an official Instagram shop! 

Building Brand Recognition

Social media is an excellent tool for building brand awareness. Creating a compelling brand comes down to using consistent imagery, tone, values, and personality. Luckily for you, social media is designed to put the best of your personality on display, so take advantage of it!

When developing your brand, it’s important to consider your audience: what do they want or need to hear from you, and how can you help them solve their issues or problems? Work to strike a balance between promoting your business and creating valuable content that serves your audience’s needs.

One great way to maintain brand consistency is by scheduling posts in advance. A social media calendar is an often overlooked tool that can really help you in creating, scheduling, and posting reliable and consistent content. 

Scheduling posts in advance increases your visibility, helps to establish your brand as a dependable expert in your field, and can save you time and energy when you batch multiple posts at one time. 

Enhanced Customer Support

Brand loyalty and repeat customers starts with excellent customer support that goes above and beyond expectations. One of the best things about using social media for business is that it can help you to provide a public platform for customer support.

Think about it this way, if a customer has a question, they can ask it in the comments. When you respond to that question, you can do so in the comments as well as in a story or reel. This helps to reach multiple people who might share the same question and shows your audience that you care enough about their concerns to take the time to respond to them.

Social media also enables you to create a more personalized response to questions and concerns, something that is often missing in chat boxes (are you talking to a real person or a bot?!) and emails. 

Targeted Ads

Targeted ads are designed to reach a specific demographic that matches the criteria (age, gender, interests, etc.) of your choice. You can estimate the effectivity of targeted ads by one key metric–sales–but it’s also important to analyze your reports to figure out what kind of trends and patterns are occurring within your advertising campaigns.

Looking at your reports can tell you what kind of demographic follows you, which can help you to create stronger ads that are geared toward helping that population to find solutions in the form of your business’s products or services. 

Reports can also give you information about engagement rates and click-throughs, which can tell you how compelling your content is and whether you need to make some tweaks to your ads. 

Authentic Experience

Do you know how your Mom was always telling you to “just be yourself”? Well, that advice, while perhaps mildly (or possibly infuriatingly) annoying in the 8th grade, is exactly the vibe that makes small businesses succeed on social media.

Social media enables small businesses to offer a personalized, authentic experience that larger, faceless corporations are unable to compete with. Being genuine and vulnerable and consistently demonstrating your brand’s style and values through your content helps you to connect with your audience and attract like-minded clients.

If you are a small business owner who wants to get into the social media game but are unsure of where to start or what practices would best suit your needs, we’re here to help. Here at Don Creative Group, social media strategy is our middle name! Contact us today and find out how we can help you to implement a social media strategy that will help you to grow your audience, build your brand, and increase your revenue!