We often hear from our customers that it had always been their dream to own a business – whether that’s opening their own store or starting their own restaurant. Like most entrepreneurs, the goal is to turn a passion into a career.
However, many people are held back by the fear that they won’t be able to manage their business successfully. It takes a leap of faith to open a new business, and it takes business savvy to keep it open. In a series of posts, I’ll explore common challenges small business owners face and how to solve it.
One of the first hurdles a small business owner faces is getting the word out about her new business. Or, if the business is established, growing the business and attracting new customers. At the heart of driving sales is marketing. For business owners without marketing experience, this can seem overwhelming. The good news is there is a lot a small business owner can do to market a business easily and efficiently.
Do you take your social media efforts seriously? Seriously enough? Almost 100% of small businesses use Facebook and nearly 75% are on Twitter. But not all of these businesses are getting the quantity or quality of consumer interaction they can be. To make sure your efforts aren’t being wasted, consider adding these elements to your social media campaign.
6 Ways to Master Marketing For Small Business:
- Define your unique value proposition (UVP): The first step in marketing a business effectively is understanding your capabilities and the white space your business is filling in your industry.Inevitably, you will face competition, so take the time to outline what sets you apart from your competitors. Become as informed as possible on your industry. Sign up for industry newsletters; read relevant trade publications, and consider participating in industry events. This will allow you to identify trends, and stay up-to-date with important news. It will also help you identify your competitors. Take a close look at what they are doing and how they present themselves to potential customers.
- Strive for Compelling Content: If your content isn’t compelling, you’re just going through the motions. What you’re looking to post is relevant, accurate, and useable information that will inspire readers to respond, share your brand, and ultimately become new or repeat customers. What is it that customers and prospects like about your business? It could be expert knowledge or shared interests or something else entirely. Capitalize on that.
- Make the Conversation Interactive: Even if your content is compelling and interesting, you still need to give readers that extra nudge to respond. Post questions for them to answer, or conduct surveys. Another great way to enhance your presence is to conduct “tweet chats,” where a pre-set topic is announced and the conversation begins at a scheduled time. Don’t forget to offer modest giveaways for those who respond to questions, participate in your surveys, or post product reviews. Even if it’s just a small discount or free shipping, social media customers love freebies!
- Hire a Specialist: If all this has your head spinning and no one else in your organization can take on the job, hire a specialist to streamline and maximize your social media efforts. To find someone reputable, ask peers in your industry and other business owners outside of it for recommendations. Also, ask the candidate to provide detail on specific campaigns run for other businesses, including results.
- Consider paid content: The paid aspects of social media can also be a great way to boost your business’ profile, and get in front of new customers.
For instance, you can target the exact type of customer you are looking to attract with advertising through Facebook and LinkedIn campaigns, based on the information individuals have shared on their profiles. If you have the ability to incorporate this tailored approach to your budget and cash flow, it is an option worth exploring to supplement your free social media efforts. Sometimes a small campaign can make a big difference.
- Track Your Results: This should go without saying, but in order to determine how effective your strategy is and which social media platforms are paying off, you need to track results. Fortunately, there’s an app for that. HootSuite, for example, allows you to track and analyze traffic on a range of platforms and costs only $9.99 per month after a 30-day free trial.
Mastering your marketing is an ongoing struggle for business owners. This is especially true for social media. If you’ve been in business for a while, making the adjustment may be a stretch, but it’s a necessary one. Marketing via social media is intrinsically different from outdated forms of marketing, such as direct mail and the yellow pages. It can be less expensive, and with the right approach, readers will not only become customers but will also share your business with their social networks. Think of it as word-of-mouth marketing gone viral. If you pair an intelligent approach with the time and effort, marketing via social media will launch your business to new heights.
Thank you for reading!
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