When it comes to staying relevant, many of us know social media should be a part of our online strategy and yet - most businesses don't know which social media platforms to spend their resources.
This past week, Filament's Internet marketing team presented at Local First Milwaukee’s 2nd annual Grow Local Biz Expo on exactly this topic. Below are a few of the concerns we heard from small business owners regarding social media, and how we recommended making it work for their industry and budget.
What can social media do for me that my website can’t?
Unlike a website, your presence on social media platforms allows an open dialog with your current and future customers. This interaction puts a personality behind your logo and business name. Your customers are bombarded with constant advertising, so it’s important to be personable and approachable - something a website can’t always do successfully.
Your website is still incredibly necessary and will provide all the information your future customers need to decide to work with you. Your social media account, on the other hand, is a way for them to see your business in action and how you interact with other customers. It’s crucial to be on the proper platform in order for this to happen.
Before you decide Facebook over Twitter - what is it that you want to achieve?
An answer we hear a lot is to simply “bring in more business” - something we know is important to allow a small business grow. Social media plays a large part in not only lead generation and conversion but also in creating awareness around your brand.
If your business is fairly new, you’ll have the chance to gather relevant customer and competitor data and use that information to make better business decisions as you grow. By connecting with your customers on social networking, you’re more likely to increase customer retention and brand loyalty.
Do you know where your target audience spends their time?
The answer will always be evolving, but it’s important to pay attention. Why not be on all of the platforms and catch as many potential customers as possible? This can sometimes be difficult to comprehend, but it’s smarter to focus your resources on the pool of individuals who are looking for you.
Once you know the demographics of your potential clients and where they spend their time and money, concentrate on being active on those platforms.
I picked a platform, now what content do I share?
YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest and Instagram
- Demonstrate and showcase your product or service in action
- Show followers what you do and share the people behind-the-scenes
- Great for creative and visual industries
- Share in-the-moment news
- Take part in fast-paced topical discussions relevant to your industry
- Allow your followers to interact with you directly and quickly
- Discuss industry topics and showcase your expertise on this employment-oriented network
- Users include HR and business professionals, recruiters, college graduates and high-income earners
- Has more than one billion users
- Provides substantial demographic information on your followers
- Features affordable and simple paid advertisements
Although there’s a lot of proof that social media pays off, it will require patience and flexibility to discover what works for your Milwaukee business. Eventually, you may find that your time is best spent growing your business versus maintaining your online marketing strategy. We admit - it’s a lot of work. But it’s our passion to help small businesses like you grow by doing this work for you.
Ready to learn more?
Each month, we will break down a popular trend in the marketing world - explaining its relevance, shortcomings, and potential for your small business. Make sure you don’t miss our topic for May by subscribing to our blog.