This pandemic has hit us like anything. We all are suffering from such a phase that no one ever expected. Small businesses got the hardest hit. Pandemic affected them so hard that their scope of growth and take the business on higher levels is in doubt.
All the strategies that small business owners have planned for the future are going in vain and have brought their businesses at the initial level. But there is still a ray of hope, as technology is increasing and people are moving towards digital platforms.
When a business comes into life, its main focus is to get the first set of customers. For achieving that they do marketing in a traditional way such as print ads and coupon mailers or even big signs on the side of the road. This costs them a lot of money and results are not even equal to spends.
Businesses are not aware of what digital marketing can do to their business with very less amounts of spending. They should consider the huge marketplace of prospects online. No small business, no matter how new, should overlook this vast marketplace.
You will find a larger set of potential customers online than you are likely to attract locally. Using digital marketing, you can reach an enormous audience in a way that is both cost-effective and measurable.
Other benefits of online marketing include:
- The ability to interact with your prospects and learn exactly what they are looking for
- The ability to reach a global marketplace
- You can save money and reach more customers for less money than traditional marketing methods
- Get to know your audience and allow them to know you personally which can help to create brand loyalty
- You can track responses to your marketing efforts immediately
- Take Advantage of a Higher ROI
While there are small businesses that are active in digital marketing, there are also small businesses that are still postponing it due to a variety of reasons like lack of time, lack of knowledge, or limiting themselves to one particular kind of marketing. Some also believe that as they are a small business, they need a small manageable number of customers. This approach is not appropriate and may become a hindrance to their growth.
Some ways digital marketing improves the “traditional” methods of keeping loyal customers are:
- Using digital testimonials from happy customers instead of the old “word of mouth”. These testimonials should be posted on your website and used in social media campaigns as well.
- Automated but personalized thank you and follow up email campaigns instead of the physical letters or pamphlets. You can reach larger audiences for a lot less money, and send an email in the right moment to the right people.
- Engaging customers on social media once they leave your store or buy your product online, to keep your product on their minds and have them come back next time.
- Re-marketing and re-targeting to have them try out “this other product” that compliments what they already bought.
Digital marketing is creative and helps you to keep up with the trends!
Engage with right audience
Content is key to your social media engagement. There are 2 types of content. It can be directly posting about your products or posting about trending/relatable topics. It’s easier to use social media to shout about your products but for engagement, you need to post relatable content for your followers. Engagement is a key social media metric you need to track.
You need a plan to attract more engagement.
You might be thinking, “Do I really need a plan for something as simple as responding to people on the internet?”
Every engagement on your social media should work both ways. It should be beneficial for your follower and for your business as well.
Content will vary from business to business. However, there are a few key points that any good plan should have.
Define your goal
Business to Business social media engagement goals will change. It totally depends on your brand what kind of engagement will benefit your business.
Some more examples of good social media engagement goals:
- Getting feedback about products or campaigns
- Finding and nurturing leads
- Providing information that helps move customers from one point in the buying journey to the next
- Changing brand perception
Know your audience
Scratch your head to know your audience. Before posting anything, think about what your audience is looking for. What are their issues and how can you solve them by your social media content. Listen to your audience, learn where they are struggling, and give them what they are looking for.
Once you know your audience and their need, you are ready to post your content and open gates to tons of engagement.
One simple, but a tested way to drive your audience is to post what is trending. By posting about any trending topics you will attract a lot of audiences. Ask them their opinion or throw a question on them so that they can interact. This can include things like trending hashtags, sporting events, pop culture news, and holidays.
Interact with the audience
Always find time to answer messages and comments on your post. People should feel that you are reading and actively engaging with them. Like, repost and tag some of your followers’ posts, this will make them belonging and loyal.
Set aside a block of time in your day to handle reactive engagement and another for proactive. You may also want to plan your day around specific social networks, depending on the size of your communities.
Social media engagement tools
Here are some tools which will help
- Canva makes it easy to crop pictures to the exact specifications of different networks. You can also edit photos directly in the Hootsuite compose box and add text and filters to them.
- Giphy: “Type in a keyword like ’excitement’ or ‘dog’ and you’ll quickly find a batch of (amazing) animated GIFs that can add some entertainment to any engagement.”
- Hootsuite Insights: “This is the best tool for getting a general overview of your engagement efforts and reporting on specific keywords or topics.”
- Brandwatch: “Create in-depth reports that capture the entire social conversation around your brand and industry.”
- Google Hangouts: “Hangouts helps keep me in contact with the rest of the company, so I can get a heads up about real-time events that could potentially be great engagement opportunities like conferences that our executives are attending, for example.”