An accessible marketing tool for businesses of any size, social media can really help a business connect with the public and grow its customer base when it’s utilized properly. And with some careful thought and planning, social media is an outreach method where “outside the box” creativity can definitely be rewarded.
To reap all of the benefits that social media marketing has to offer, you can’t simply create profiles on the various networks and expect some magic to happen. You have to consider the unique niche a particular site fills in the social media space and create content that specifically speaks to and engages its users. Below, seven members of Business Journals Leadership Trust share some creative ways small companies can improve their social media game.
1. Focus on authenticity and consistency.
Develop a social media strategy that focuses on authenticity and consistency. As a small company, you may not have the resources to invest in a social media team that can really drive a strategy. Utilize curated content from customers and team members to help with content development while showcasing unique perspectives on your products or services. – Lerah Harris, Kforce, Inc.
2. Show your audience more than just your ‘business’ side.
People have to feel like they are getting to know you. Show them other things besides just the business. Maybe it is a group volunteering somewhere or going out to eat at their favorite restaurant close by (remember to tag the restaurant). – Christy Berry, Compass
3. Create a distinctive feature in your store as a backdrop for customer selfies.
A favorite strategy of mine is one that many of my customers who own coffee cafés leverage. Have a mural wall for people to take pictures in front of and post on social media. It is a free advertisement for the café, and, if done correctly, it can draw a crowd to the location. – Michael Bacile, The Daily Java
4. Respond to comments and reviews.
Whether they’re selling a product, service or experience, strong brands on social media are strong community managers that are responsive to comments and reviews and are proactive at capturing their brand in action. By making your customer the hero of your brand story, you can capture the essence of your brand in a way traditional advertising never could. – Ethan Whitehill, Crux KC
5. Hold a sweepstakes or giveaway.
A sweepstakes or giveaway is a tried-and-true method for promoting engagement and capturing customer information. Ensure you promote your winner at the end to show full transparency and encourage further engagement. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising
6. Create and share eye-catching videos.
Creative videos that stand out and connect with audiences will increase social media engagement and success. Creating eye-catching videos may be easier and more affordable than many small-business owners realize. User-friendly video creation tools are available through various platforms, third-party apps and video specialists for hire, making it possible to tell compelling stories within wide-ranging budgets. – Lincoln Jacobe, 6 Pillars Marketing
7. Share information, not a sales pitch.
Create a presence on places like LinkedIn — but not with a sales focus. You can become an information source with brief, hard-hitting posts that provide something. Help others understand a complex process or the nuances of a particular industry or resource they may not otherwise be aware of. Giving away knowledge eventually pays off if you’re strategic and genuine about helping others. – Chip Laingen, Defense Alliance