Building your online business isn’t easy, particularly if you’re a brand new startup. Having a great service or product and the support of the community is great, but if you’re looking to grow your customer base to mid-size level, you’ll have to do more than market within the community.
Many small businesses don’t put much effort into marketing beyond their local region, but those that seek to grow must widen the scope of their self promotion. Growth is impossible without attracting more customers from surrounding areas as well as in your local community.
In order to reach more customers, social media marketing is key. If you build a stronger online presence and show increasing value for your customer base, you’ll draw more potential consumers and improve your bottom line. Here’s how.
1. Market for Your NicheEvery niche uses marketing a little differently to appeal to its particular audience. There’s no point in wasting money on consumers who aren’t interested in purchasing your product or service.
So spend time identifying your target audience and the kind of content that appears to be going viral in your niche. For example, if you’re using social media to market a real estate investment, you’ll want to focus on the target audience of millennials (ages 18-35) who make up the primary population of renters.
You’d also be smart to place an emphasis on such tools as a regularly updated blog, powerful graphic imagery, and regular engagement that make renters and potential tenants feel like they're part of a community.
The consistency and frequency of social media posts and comments can be a major factor in a successful social campaign. Ideally, you’ll post a few times per day or at least several times a week.
2. Be Consistent and Share a Lot
Most small businesses don’t recognize the profound impact of sharing content frequently, so they’ll post once a month ... or even less. But those who understand what it takes to grow a business recognize that social sites are becoming the go-to stop for consumers that seek information about a business.
Sites that remain up to date with high-quality content and posts tend to enjoy more engagement and customers. When a company neglects its social media pages, it comes across as indifferent to potential buyers.
3. Spread the Good WordThere’s no better method for getting the word out about a new product or service than through social media. It can build relationships with customers and make them feel like they’re an essential part of new production and the future of your company.
In addition, traffic on social media opens the door for word-of-mouth marketing, which has proved to be the best marketing tactic today. Research shows that 74 percent of consumers identify word of mouth as a major influence in their purchasing decisions and 68 percent of consumers will trust opinions about a brand or product from others, even if they don’t know them personally.
This creates a lot of clout for your business, and encourages conversions.
Social media is like a window into the souls of your customers. Though not everyone posts his or her life story on social pages, a lot of customers have documented their lives online.
4. Invite Two-Way Communication
This makes it easy for companies to glean information about interests and feedback from their audience base. Customers can also ask questions and leave comments when they wish to communicate with the company.
The flipside is the ability for companies to talk back, and share their own thoughts, questions, and ideas so customers can get to know the firm better. It’s easy to keep up the conversation because response times are instantaneous.
When companies keep lines of communication open on a steady basis, it creates goodwill between the business and its customers, and encourages loyalty and growth with every comment.
Social media works well for every business as long as you’re willing to give it a try. Small businesses that are most engaged and in-tune with their social media pages tend to see the most growth over the long run.