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How To Use Social Media To Set Your Small Business Apart

  • Social media can gain your brand direct contact with your existing and potential customers.
  • Engaging in a dialogue with your audience is a more effective use of the platform than trying to sell a product.
  • Playing it safe isn’t likely to pay off – when it comes to social media, different is better.

With the increasingly competitive digital market, every small business should be taking advantage of social media to help set their brand apart in the eyes of their target audience. But, without a solid approach, startup owners run the risk of wasting valuable time and money on an ineffective strategy.

Even worse, a poorly managed social media presence can actually undermine your business’s chances at success. Luckily, there are ways to avoid that fate, and use social media to turn your small business into a brand with an active following. Here’s everything you need to know to get you on the right path.

Set a Clear Objective

Without a clear goal in mind, there is no way to measure your success. So the first thing to do is to set tangible objectives for your social media account. Ask yourself what it is that you really want to gain from your presence on this platform. Is it to spread brand awareness, reach a new audience or increase your sales?

You really can’t be too detailed when it comes to these goals, so put them down in numbers and in writing. At the end of the day, you’ll have a way to objectively look back at your initial goals and evaluate the success of your campaigns.

Also, keep in mind that some social media platforms will be more relevant to your brand than others, so don’t spread yourself too thin trying to cover all them all – it’s better to dedicate your efforts to one or two manageable accounts.

Know Your Audience

Before you start generating any content for your social media platforms, it’s essential to know exactly what group of people you are speaking to. Define your target audience and do enough research to understand them on a deep level, this way your entire content and strategy can be crafted around that ideal persona.

Fortunately, social media is the ideal platform to gain in-depth insight into any group or demographic.

Take Facebook, for example, which boasts billions of monthly users, and gives you free access to their incredibly detailed analytics tools. You basically have a glimpse into the online behavior and interests of the people who are most likely to be interested in your business.

Use that knowledge and play to those interests when creating your social media content, and you’ll engage with your target audience organically and meaningfully.

Engage In A Dialogue

While we’re on the subject of knowing your audience, what better way to gain understanding than by asking and listening to them directly? So many businesses try to use social media as a glorified microphone and end up putting forward a one-sided monologue. Those brands rarely gain any real level of following.

That’s because social media should truly revolve around a conversation between you and your audience. Even if your ultimate goal is to increase sales, using your platform solely to promote your products won’t get you closer to your goal. Instead, dedicate a portion of your efforts to engaging in important conversations and building relationships.

Try Out Different Approaches

Even with a rock solid approach, you really never know what’s going to be your most successful social media campaign until you try everything and test your results. Sticking to a formula that works will only get you so far, and will actually start to limit your success if you don’t change up your approach.

There is an overabundance of content being added to social media channels at every moment – trying something out of the ordinary increases your content’s chance at getting noticed. Experimentation (within obvious reason) can be very healthy and beneficial to your online presence.

Even if your standard image posts are seeing good engagement, you might find that a video will get five times the amount in a shorter amount of time. Just make sure you’re capturing and learning from your results so you can develop your future strategy accordingly.

Stay Consistent With Your Posts

When it comes to running a social media account, it’s very important to stay consistent, both in the quality and the frequency of your posts. Generating consistent, engaging content takes quite a bit of time and dedication, but it’s also key to setting your brand apart from the competition.

Even if you don’t personally have the time to manage your social media content and presence, you can easily outsource this task to the right professionals.

Hire Professional Help

This brings us to the final point: hire professional help when you need it. Yes, it’s tempting to go the DIY route for many small businesses due to a lack of resources, but this will likely result in more wasted time and money down the road.

After all, it takes time to run a successful social media account – time you don’t necessarily have as a busy business owner. With a dedicated professional, you can go about running your company with the peace of mind that your social media is in good hands and working hard to drive your bottom line.

Final Thoughts

Social media has the potential to help your business grow and set it apart from your competition, but that requires some research and strategy. To set your brand up for success, be sure to know your goals as well as your customer.

Social media platforms give you access to nearly unlimited insight into your customer’s online behavior – it’s up to you to use that insight to craft compelling content and engage with your audience on a whole new level. When in doubt, do not hesitate to outsource this important task to a trusted professional.

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