The news of yet another franchise opening shop on the High street sends shivers down the spine of every small business owner.
You dread the potential loss of income, when customers are attracted by their advertising. From local TV and radio to full page ads in the local paper, you wonder how you can keep up with your larger competitors.
Face it, it will be hard to compete using traditional media channels. Printing and air time are notoriously expensive and their ROI can’t be accurately tracked. As a smart business owner, you are probably taking advantage of digital marketing. Regardless of your channel of choice, whether it’s blogging, PPC, or video production, deep pockets will always lead to a better ROI.
So, how can you compete on equal footing whilst on a budget?
One channel; social media to the rescue. It’s proven to be cheap, trackable and effective. Nowadays, more and more small businesses compete through social media and don’t get lost within the bigger, corporate companies.
Before you dive in, a bit of caution. Forget industry chatter that dictates that small businesses must use ALL social media accounts. It’s a waste of time that you do not have. Let’s assume you sell marketing services to cosmetic surgeons in London. Are your prospects on Instagram discussing clinic budget constraints? That’s highly doubtable.
There are a ton of online strategies to help you market your business. There are also many ways to waste your time and advertising budget. The following are some ways Search and More has used social media to grow small businesses on a budget:
- Pairing the prospects with the right platform is one of the ways businesses fail at social media marketing. The sheer amount of people on social media platforms leads to businesses attempting to reach them all. That doesn’t work and is a waste. Find where your ideal prospects hang out and connect with them there.
- Attract new prospects, it gives you a chance to connect with new prospects and previous clients. Remember that people buy from those they like, know and trust. Use social media platforms to show the fun and human side of your brand. Using multiple post variations, you can attract and engage different individuals who can become customers.
- It allows you identify and connect with influencers in your industry. Starting conversations on social media with other businesses in your local region can lead to profitable business collaboration. These conversations can also expose you to their fans.
- Social media provides small businesses with an agile marketing experience. It allows you to quickly react to questions,complaints, and compliments that are delivered over any network. It also provides access to many metrics, allowing you to see what’s working and what isn’t.
- Use the targeting options on Facebook and Twitter to find people close to your location. Offering sharable coupons or simply incentivising your existing customers creates a separate marketing funnel for your business.
- On the right platform, you can jump into conversations and not be considered rude. Using monitoring tools to see what people are talking about. This gives you a chance to participate and offer solutions where possible. Social media can also be used to search for keywords relevant to your business. Remember, people go on social media to chat, discuss, commend, and condemn. Monitoring allows you to be in position to chime in and either do some damage control or offer solutions.
- Provides you with in-depth competitor analysis. It allows you to track the success and failure of big business, and thus create a template for your success. Study what they have done and replicate it.
Social media allows you compete on a more equal footing with larger competitors. Quick responses and a two-way conversation are among the traits customers look for in brands. Many large businesses have too many layers of red tape to deal with, hence they fail at these. Use social media listening to win more prospects today.
Call Search and More if you need help setting up a social marketing plan that will deliver results.