Social Media Marketing Tips for the Small Business Owner

By: Megan V. Torgerson, Business Impact Northwest

Marketing is a frame of mind and it touches all aspects of your business.

Think about it, when you pitch an investor, that’s marketing. When you’re working on your customer acquisition strategy, that’s marketing. When you’re entering a cross-promotional partnership with your neighboring small business – you guessed it – that’s marketing. For some people, marketing puts a bad taste in their mouth, they think of it as a means of coercion or advertising. But when you reframe marketing as storytelling, relationship building and community sustaining, it becomes a posture we can choose to maintain as we navigate the choppy waters of business ownership. The best form of marketing is always word of mouth, but for life in the digital age, that could mean a friend sharing a Facebook post or tagging you on Instagram. If you’ve heard of the Rule of 7, or the magic number of touchpoints you need to have with a customer before they make a purchase or enroll in your services, then you know that you need to maintain your marketing posture in offline and online circles to stay top of mind in a crowded market.

Social media is one tool to engage your audience, and content marketing, a.k.a. storytelling is a strategy that can be used via social media. Centered on creating, publishing and distributing content, content marketing encompasses writing, audio, video and photography, that is shared mainly digitally via social media, blogs, newsletters and websites.

Digital Marketing is an umbrella term for all online marketing efforts that includes your business’s website, social media channels, newsletters, earned online coverage, content marketing, SEO, or search engine optimization and more. It also includes the promotion of programs or products through measured marketing campaigns that can be analyzed for ROI purposes.

A few things social media can be used for include:

  • Telling your organization’s story
  • Building awareness
  • Growing community
  • Driving traffic to your website

There are many digital marketing strategies and social media platforms out there. It depends on the demographics of your target audience which platforms you choose to engage. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind that are applicable to all social media channels.

Social Media Considerations:

  • Take the time to analyze each platform and the objective for each platform.
  • Ask yourself who you are hoping to reach with each platform.
  • Consider the “why” of your presence on each unique social media channel?
  • Build distinct brand standards for your voice or messaging (a.k.a brand voice) and visual brand identity.
  • Determine what type of content will be used on each platform.
  • Build a calendar of major events where social media will play an intricate role and schedule posts to bring awareness to your events.
  • Take the time to analyze your insights or analytics to determine who your audience is, the ideal time and day to post, and what posts result in the most (and the least) engagement.
  • Is your goal brand awareness, creating advocates, selling products, community building/ all of the above?
  • Define which metrics are most important to you. Is it comments, shares, likes?  Incorporate these metrics into your goals.
  • Go beyond, followers and shares for your goals. Figure out how that’s converting to new supporters/ sales by using Google Analytics.
  • Track time and budget.
  • Follow and engage with clients, partners, collaborators and competitors.
  • Use social media to tell your small business’s unique story!

To view Business Impact NW’s original post, please visit businessimpactnw.org/social-media-marketing-tips-for-the-small-business-owner.

You can find Business Impact Northwest at the Biz Fair Resource Center on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 9 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. to speak with business counselors and sign up for business workshops.

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