The Best Social Media Platforms for Small Business in 2020 (and Beyond)
Social media is an intrinsic part of any business’ marketing strategy. You don’t need to be a Fortune 500 company and spend thousands on reaping its multiple benefits for business.
No matter how big or small your business is, the social media posting can significantly boost your brand’s awareness, engagement, and sales.
But that’s possible if you’re using the right platform.
Which are the best social media platforms for small businesses? How can such companies make the most of their use? Here is a comprehensive list answering precisely those two questions:
Instagram — the best for visually showcasing your products
Every day, over one billion people log into their Instagram accounts, most of which are Millennials. They use hashtags to search for things they like, particularly products. If you’re a commerce business without an account, you’re missing out on Instagram’s massive market and organic reach.
While Instagram’s core feature is sharing photos, more features and benefits are available by using the platform. The Stories feature a great way to showcase your products. Also, it gives a short glimpse of your business behind the scenes. Your Highlights feature also acts as a display case or show glass for your best products. Additionally, as a small business, you should not underestimate what engaging through comments can do for you as far as building brand-trust goes. You can also reach out to influencers (most of which hang out on Instagram) to review your products, or occasional host competitions, even start your hashtag and make your products go extra viral — without spending a penny, by the way.
YouTube — the best for being found and ranked on Google
As far as search engines go, YouTube is not far behind its parent company, Google. YouTube videos based on the right long-tale keywords are more likely to pop up on the first page of Google Search than on some articles.
And if that wasn’t enough, did you know that as much as 73% of adults use YouTube regularly? Most users are below the age of 50 and are interested in a blend of both educative and entertaining contents. So your videos can be about anything, really, as long as they are relevant to your business in somehow.
So, if you like being in front of the camera and are familiar with keyword research, this platform is perfect for you.
Are you unsure about what content to create? Start with videos about your most popular queries. What do your customers want to know? Host a live Q&A to instantly answer your subscribers’ questions (which can also be an excellent tactic to follow if you want to create a community around your brand). Maybe you can even provide a tutorial of a handmade product you offer, take a tour of your workplace, offer expert tips, and so much more.
Facebook — the best for startups and audiences over 30
Why wouldn’t the most popular social media platform be one of the best for small businesses? Facebook currently boasts over 2.5 billion users monthly, so it’s a great platform for startups looking to break into online realms. While younger generations tend to prefer social media channels like Instagram and TikTok, Facebook remains the most sought-after platform for users over 30.
Facebook Business Pages can function as a business platform until you have your website up and running, equipped with messaging, analytics, and customer service features. Such pages are also useful tools for creating brand awareness.
But what makes Facebook ideal for small businesses and startups is the fuss-free ability to engage with potential customers through comments and direct messages. Take the time to engage with your audience when a post encourages it. It not only increases the visibility of that post. Besides, it strengthens your brand loyalty.
You can also use Facebook features like stories, live streams, and polls to keep your audience excited and interested in your products.
Twitter — the best for B2B marketing and trending content
Twitter may have had its ups and downs throughout the years. However, it ranks comfortably in the top five for B2B marketing. With 145 million daily users looking for a mix of informative and entertaining content, it’s an excellent platform for those who know how to use it. From world leaders and celebrities to popular brands and businesses, Twitter is utilized for its conversational and update-driven aspect.
If you can tie your business into what’s trending in a fun and humorous way, use Twitter. It’s also fantastic for offering customer service. Part of what makes this platform stand out is that it facilitates content variation. Pictures and short videos tend to stand out more, but do not underestimate the power of text. Explore different media types, follow threads, and stay consistent while maximizing this platform.
Pinterest — the best for high-ranking images
Pinterest is a visual search engine. Well-optimized images on Pinterest tend to dominate the first search results page even if the image is nothing spectacular (so imagine what the spectacular ones can do!).
One of its most exciting features is Pinterest’s reverse engine search. What does it entail? It allows users to searches using images. Some of these users make purchases linked to pictures they have liked and pinned. This feature is fantastic if your small business has – or can come up with – excellent visual elements. Vibrant images will draw users to your products or services and generate a ton of traffic for you. But don’t dive into Pinterest marketing without knowing anything about keyword research and SEO.
About 70% of Pinterest’s users are female, so you’ll do better if your brand centers on women and more feminine products. Lifestyle, fashion, arts, and crafts are the niches that perform best on this platform.
LinkedIn — the best for networking and showcasing expertise
LinkedIn is an expanding platform that targets individual professionals and companies alike. It has a higher transactional atmosphere, as its users tend to have a higher net worth than other social media platforms.
Opt to use LinkedIn if you are a professional looking to network or have opinionated or expert content to contribute (like thought-pieces, tutorials, or expert tips). Its in-built publishing platform is also an excellent opportunity to draw in traffic to your website.
You can also use LinkedIn ads to your advantage, as the ads are more tailored to specific professions and levels based on education, experience, or title.
LinkedIn is generally an excellent platform for professionally exhibiting your brand. It also makes an ideal platform for connecting with other companies (B2B).
Social media can either make or break your business. If you’re not social media savvy, you can still reap social media’s multiple benefits for your business by hiring an expert social media manager.
If your find the information worth it, call me now or visit my website.
Facebook is currently the leading social media platform, with about 2.7 billion monthly users as of the end of the second quarter of 2020. That’s about 80% of the total social media users.
Huge, right? But what does it imply for your business?
There are millions of potential customers you can connect with on Facebook. Not only does the platform provide a vast organic reach for your business, but it also cuts across wide demographics. People use Facebook to discover and engage with your business, which is the first stepping stone to converting them into customers.
Facebook provides a platform for your target audience to connect with your business, receive your business ads, promoted content, and more. But you can only tap into these potentials by creating a smart Facebook marketing strategy.
Not sure how to go about that? Here are the detailed, practical steps you can apply for your small business:
Create a Facebook Business Page
It may go without saying, but the first step is to create a business page. You must be logged into a personal account to do this. Choose the right page type for your business account, i.e., Brand/Business or Community Page.
For a fully functional Facebook business page, make sure to also take care of the following:
Create your Facebook Username/Vanity. Use a name that properly represents your business, and that is search-friendly.
Upload a profile picture that represents your business well.
Add a good cover photo.
Complete your About section.
And there you have it! You now have a Facebook Business Page.
Identify Your Main Facebook Marketing Goal
What do you want to achieve with your Facebook marketing? Brand awareness? Lead generation? Prompt customer service? Or sales? Be specific on your main goal, as this will define your content and engagement strategies.
Make sure your goal is SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. For your Facebook marketing to be effective, you need clear goals tied to some of your business objectives.
Your goals may change from time to time to accommodate new ideas. For example, your marketing goals might change from brand awareness to sales or lead generation. It’s okay to do that; ensure that your content and engagement on Facebook is mostly geared towards that.
Increase Your Organic Reach
Your organic reach plays a big part in the number of people that see and engage with your posts and ads. Organic reach is currently at an all-time low, and it continues to decline. That means you’ve got to put in more effort to generate organic reach for your business page.
Optimize your content to generate attention and shares. Facebook news feed algorithms reward engaging content. So, the more people like, share, and comment on your post, the more visible that post becomes.
Remember to also engage your audience as much as you can on your post. When a person leaves a comment on your post, take your time to respond, and spark a conversation if necessary. Like and comment when people share your posts — don’t be invisible.
Create a Custom Target Audience
Your custom target audience is created from the data of your existing customers. Creating such sub-groups is known as the process of audience segmentation. It is useful when posting content or targeting users through ads.
As a small business, you might be tempted to reach all the Facebook users because you want to increase your organic reach. But that will somewhat reduce your organic reach — even make your business content look a little spammy. Create a custom audience and target them to increase your organic reach with content designed specifically for them. If the content is well thought-through, then these users will promptly engage with it.
Create Relevant and Useful Content
The content you post on your business page should be engaging and geared towards your marketing. Avoid using formal business style and tone. This will put people off and prevent them from engaging with your posts.
Furthermore, don’t make your posts come off as too promotional. Facebook is all about building relationships and forming connections that matter. Posting promotional content alone will not do that. Instead, follow the 80/20 rule; Let 80% of your posts educate, entertain, and inform. Only 20% should be promotional.
Your audience will attract to your brand if you give enough value to your posts. They will also be open to learning more about your product and service in the future.
When unsure, why not use the social media rule of thirds as your compass:
“One-third of your content should share stories and ideas. One-third should be interactive with your customers. The remaining one-third can be used for business promotion.”
Aim for Content Variety
Apart from the usual text post or status post, there are other Facebook posts you can utilize to engage with your customers ,such as:
Photo Posts: As the name suggests, photo posts contain photos and captions. They tend to receive higher engagement than text or status posts and are excellent components of any engagement strategy.
Video Posts: Video posts play automatically in the newsfeed and usually get higher engagement than photo posts. Short, compelling videos can capture your audiences, while longer videos are a great way to share your business story.
Live Video Posts: These are live video broadcasts on Facebook. They are great ways to engage with your audience and give a behind-the-scene of what is happening in your business.
Linked Content Posts: A linked content post is links to content outside of Facebook. This is the easiest form of content to create as all you need to do is copy and paste a URL into your page’s text box. Facebook automatically generates a photo and description for the post.
Poll Posts: A poll gives your audience a chance to vote between two options. This is a great way to engage your followers and audience (everyone loves to share an opinion on social media).
Facebook Stories: This new and trending Facebook feature is a very different type of “post.” Positioned on top of the news feed, it’s the first thing your followers will see. However, it will disappear after 24 hours! This may be a photo or short video that, for whatever reason, is not something you want hanging around your feed indefinitely. About half a billion people view Facebook stories each day.
Would you like to hand over your social media management to a trusted social media expert who can help you handle your Facebook marketing and get excellent results while you sit back and relax?
12 Versatile Marketing Approaches To Consider When You Need To Do Something Different
The world has changed over the last several months, and businesses of all kinds try to figure out marketing strategies that will work going forward. It may be time to try something new and different from your routine to create energy and get sales moving.
Depending on your industry, there are many options for you to choose from. The choices may not have considered in the past but are worth a look now.
Read on to learn about 12 versatile marketing approaches and choose which of them will work best for your business.
#1 Cause Marketing
What values or beliefs are the heart behind your business? When you know what your business cares most about, you can use cause marketing to get your customers to kill two birds with one stone by purchasing your product or service. For example, for every item purchased, your business will plant a tree. Not an environmentalist? That’s okay. For every service you sell, donate to a local shelter or soup kitchen. No matter what cause you choose to support, this type of marketing goes far beyond brand awareness and reveals the heart of who you are as a company.
#2 Close Range Marketing (CRM)
CRM allows you to send messages about your products or services to customers within a close range of your business. When they’re passing by, why not avail of this quick and easy method to get them in the door?
#3 Relationship Marketing
Want to ditch all the cheesy sales tactics? Your customer base will likely thank you for it. Instead, opt for relationship marketing. Focus your attention on making connections with your customers — whether that’s through face-to-face relationship-building, through social media, or email. Instead of focusing on how to get the sale, focus on the person behind it. You’ll be surprised how easily this method translates into customer loyalty (and even more sales) down the road.
#4 Transactional Marketing
On the other hand, maybe you’re finding that relationship marketing isn’t enough cutting it. Transactional marketing could be the better option, as it focuses on maximizing individual sales transactions through coupons, discounts, and sales.
#5 Word-Of-Mouth Marketing
Everyone knows that word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool. But how can you maximize it for the benefit of your company? Put, when you wow your customers at every turn, you won’t have to ask them to share your company with their friends and families. This means curating a stellar customer experience from start to finish. When you’ve got that down, word-of-mouth marketing is a natural result.
#6 Call to Action (CTA) Marketing
With so much dependence on technology these days, you can’t afford to neglect the web when it comes to your marketing strategy. CTA marketing is a method of getting your online visitors to engage with your brand through your ad or landing page design. Whether it’s to “click here for more information” or to “submit an email addressr to access a promo code,” your CTAs lead your web traffic to where you want them to go.
#7 Email Marketing
When it comes to technology, email marketing is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to reach many customers with just a few keystrokes. Through this avenue, you can offer discounts, convey new product or service info, announce upcoming events or product launches, or solicit sales.
#8 Event Marketing
Join or create your event to generate some buzz and invite potential customers to engage with your brand. Invite other businesses that complement what you’re trying to achieve, set out brochures and business cards, engage your customers face-to-face, and hype it up on social media. Creating an event marketing is a reliable method to increase brand awareness and turn on-the-fencers into customers.
#9 Inbound Marketing
If your business takes incoming calls for any reason, use this opportunity to sell your products or services. Of course, you’ll need to have a plan for meeting your customers’ needs so that you’re not trying to sell to the wrong audience. However, a little bit of script planning for diverse target audiences can make your inbound call marketing successful.
#10 Freebie Marketing
Everyone loves FREE. With freebie marketing, you simply promote free product or service giveaways to create a buzz around your business. Once your customers have experienced your product or service and come back for more, you can then sell additional products or services to meet their needs and boost your sales.
#11 Content Marketing
Over the past couple of years, content marketing has become somewhat of a must-have for those wishing to boost online brand awareness. This method involved writing and publishing content (such as podcast articles, blog articles, expert interviews, or how-tos) to educate potential customers about your products and services. Of course, they don’t lead directly to a sale in most cases, but they do meet a real need for your audience.
#12 Social Media Marketing
People want to be social on social media. And it says a lot about your business and how much you care for your customers when you reply to your followers’ comments, concerns, or questions. Create that online relationship to boost customer loyalty. And That’s Not All…
Of course, there are countless methods for marketing your business, and as technology changes, we can expect even more. However, the right combination of the methods covered above can take your marketing strategy to the next level. It may be time to shake things up and try something new! __________________________________________________________
6 Reasons To Include Content Marketing In Your Strategy
You’ve heard it before: “Content is king.” And while other new marketing techniques may have your attention, content marketing is still a big player in bringing in customers and establishing credibility in your industry. Below, we’re going to talk about 6 reasons to include content marketing in your strategy. Let’s get straight to it.
#1 Build Trust and Credibility
Content such as how-to blog articles, podcasts, case studies, or interviews allows you to show off your expertise in your niche and help your potential customers at the same time. Content marketing will not only build your credibility as an expert, but it will also help you build trust with your audience which is essential for brand loyalty.
Make a list of the problems or pain points that your target audience experiences and develop content to find solutions. And don’t use your content to sell, sell, sell. Content marketing aims to help customers establish your brand, which will eventually lead to organic sales.
#2 Build Brand Awareness
Do people know about your products or services? Do you have a reputation in your niche? If not, content marketing can help you change that. When people land on your website to get answers or find solutions, you increase brand awareness organically. Use your content to showcase your expertise, as we said above, and increase traffic to your website. It’s a win-win.
#3 Get More Leads, Keep More Customers
It’s all about generating leads, right? And content marketing allows you to reach a pool of customers who might have otherwise not engaged with your brand. When you provide relevant, timely, and helpful content, you draw in new leads. Keep it plain and simple.
Content also keeps customers coming back for more. People are more likely to return to a resource that has helped them in the past. Once they begin to depend on you to provide relevant content as an expert in your field, your customers will think of you when they have a need related to your niche.
#4 Rank Higher in Searches
Your content allows you to weave in keywords that will help you rank higher in Google search. The more you post relevant content, the higher your authority, which means more traffic to your website. We all know that no one (well, almost no one) ventures past the first page of search results, so the higher and longer you rank, the better!
If you post quality content, other businesses will want to link to your website, which further expands your audience. Plus, these “backlinks” are great for your site’s SEO. Want to rank higher? Backlinks are a significant part of getting you there.
#5 Attract Your Target Customer
Yes, content marketing aims to attract leads, but you don’t want unqualified leads that will never result in a sale. Instead, you want to attract your target customer, your ideal buyer, so that you don’t waste time with the uninterested. So, how does content marketing bring in the perfect customer? Put, only those who are interested in your industry will search out your content. And only those who search out your content will click your CTAs and end up perusing your landing page and viewing your products or services. This means that quality leads will be considering purchasing from you.
#6 Get People Marketing FOR You
When your content is valuable, relevant, and solves a problem, you can expect people to want to share it to benefit others in their social circles. When that happens, there’s almost limitless to how many people can stumble upon your content in their feeds. Just make sure that, when you create content, you do so with purpose. People won’t share content that didn’t help them in any way.
Time to Create More Content
There’s no time like the present to start creating and posting quality content as a part of your marketing strategy. Add content marketing to your strategy, and welcome those organic leads!.
The goal of any legitimate SEO strategy is to funnel more traffic to your website. But instead of seeking to rank high on the first page of Google Search’s results (which is important in its own right), today, I’m going to go over 5 tips for landing features snippets on Google Search.
A featured snippet is that first box that pops up in a Google Search just above the ranked results. Also, it provides information or answers a question that users commonly ask. This answer could be a picture, video, list, or text explanation relevant to a question or topic that the user has typed into the Google Search bar. Essentially, Google searches for the best, most appropriate answer, and places it in this coveted spot. Technically, if you land a featured snippet, you’re in position 0 because it pops up ahead of position 1, which is the top of the ranked results. What a place to be!
Is It Really Possible To Get Featured?
Even though there’s no guarantee that your page will be used for a featured snippet, there are some specific steps you can take to optimize your pages and increase your chances. And there’s even better news. It doesn’t matter if your business is big or small, new or established… anyone can land a featured snippet with a little bit of focused work.
Tips for Landing a Featured Snippet
#1 Review Your Website Content
Take a look at your website content with an eye for how you may or may not be helping visitors when they peruse your pages. Do you provide answers to commonly-asked questions? Do you have detailed content that informs readers instead of just persuading them to buy? If you do, then you’ve got an excellent foundation to start with. If not, then Tip #2 becomes even more critical.
#2 Make a List of Questions to Answer
No matter what your website content looks like currently, this tip is critical to increasing your chances of landing a featured snippet. Spend some time in the shoes of your potential customers. What kinds of questions do they need answers to? What advice can you provide? What how-tos or steps or definitions can you offer? Come up with as many items as possible (the more specific, the better), and move on to Tip #3.
#3 Answer Them Clearly and Concisely
Now that you’ve got your list of questions, look at your existing content and polish it up to answer them clearly and concisely. Or, if you don’t have content that answers these questions, it’s time to start writing. For example, if you own a pest control company, create a blog post that answers one of your questions, like “How can I tell if I have bed bugs?” or “Why do I have cobwebs in my basement?” Providing a short, specific response to these types of questions increases your chances of getting featured.
#4 Say It Better,And Say It With Keywords
Make sure you incorporate relevant and competitive keywords into the text that you’d like to have featured. Take a look at what your competitors are saying and create a better, more specific snippet. Make every word count. In other words, no generalities or meaningless terms like “good,” “great,” or “better.” Another quick tip: use Heading 2 and 3 tags. This small addition helps Google identify relevant information within your broader content.
#5 Create Summaries or Lists
Summarize longer content into a short paragraph, bulleted list, or steps and place this summary at the top of your content. For example, if you’ve got a lengthy how-to on how to remove wine from the carpet, then consolidate the steps (1 sentence each) at the top of your article to increase your chances of getting a featured snippet (and make sure you use Heading 2 or 3 for each step). Then, when the reader wants to learn more, they will click on the link to your full article.
When Will My Snippet Get Featured?
As I said above, there’s no guarantee that your content will be featured in a snippet; however, the tips above will get you closer than you are today, and it’s definitely worth the effort. If, after some time, you find that your content isn’t working, don’t be afraid to change it up. If you’re answering the right questions, your likelihood of snagging a featured snippet will increase. Simply, it’s all about getting into your potential customers’ shoes.
Chances are, you and your marketing team have had your world turned upside-down due to Covid-19. But although you may have had to adjust to remote work, there are some ways to make your “new normal” more productive and efficient. Let’s go over 7 tips for productive remote marketing so you can get back to killing your marketing efforts no matter where you are.
#1 Set Up Your Workspace
Distractions are an all-day affair at home, and it’s hard to stay focused when you’re right in the middle of all the action. From kids eating snacks and watching cartoons to dogs barking at passing cars, you really can’t get a break. That’s why it’s crucial to find a workspace that allows you to get away as much as possible. Your dedicated office space will allow you to focus on work, stay in a daily routine, and communicate effectively with your colleagues or clients without distractions..
That being said, it’s impossible to eliminate every distraction when you work remotely. So, don’t be too hard on yourself (or on the kids or the barking dog). Most people understand that these times are difficult and will cut you a little slack if the occasional distraction happens, so don’t let it get you flustered.
#2 Stick To A Schedule
Take a look at your work duties. Create a feasible schedule that helps you reach your goals. Make sure to prioritize the more urgent items on your to-do list. Then, incorporate break time (lunch break, water break, etc.) to give your brain the rest to lead to more productive work. Then, input your schedule (work hours versus off time) on your Outlook calendar and share it with your colleagues. This proactive communication will keep you from straying from your plan.
#3 Communicate With Your Team
When speaking of communication, there’s no such thing as too much of it, especially when it comes to remote work. You’re already removed from the typical work environment — one in which you would be able to lean over your desk and ask a colleague a question or add your opinion to an ongoing discussion. Now, you find yourself on the periphery of the business’ goings-on, which is to be expected if you’re not physically near your team. To fix this issue, frequently communicate with your colleagues. Use video conferencing or pick up the phone and call, but resist the urge to email and text your way through the workday. So much is lost in written interaction. Keep that vital connection with colleagues alive, even if it takes more work on your part.
#4 Rehash Your Marketing Strategy
Because of all the unexpected twists and turns, your 2020 marketing strategy has probably needed a few tweaks (if not a complete overhaul). Instead of just charging forward, spend some time conferencing with your team about what needs to change to be more effective. How have your roles or duties changed? What are the next steps for implementing the strategy? What aspects of the strategy need to be changed to meet new challenges? These questions must be discussed and firmly decided upon before a marketing team can move forward effectively.
#5 Schedule a Daily Check-In Meeting
If you’re leading a marketing team, consider scheduling daily check-in meetings to start the day. In these meetings, you and your team can get on the same page by confirming the day’s goals, priorities, and obstacles and troubleshooting any issues that have arisen over the past couple of days. Not only will you stay connected with daily meetings, but your team will also remain on-task, leading to better efficiency and productivity.
#6 Don’t Neglect the Small Talk
Even though you’re not in the same physical location as your team members, keeping the fun alive is still essential. The interactions that would occur at work — the jokes, the banter, and socialization — can even happen when you’re working remotely, albeit in different ways. For the sake of levity, schedule a short meeting where everyone can talk, vent, joke about their day. Host a happy hour on Zoom on Friday night after the workweek is over. Start a contest, like the best work meme or GIF or this week’s funniest distraction.
It’s hard to be positive when the news spouts fearful pandemic predictions, and you’re all alone in your home office. That’s why it’s so important to celebrate you and your team’s wins, no matter if they’re big or small. When you’ve reached a goal or milestone, celebrate! This focus on positivity is essential no matter where you work, but especially when we feel alone.
The Bottom Line
It may be a hard adjustment, but it’s all about the right perspective. If we can approach remote marketing with positivity and take advantage of the tools that will keep us connected, we can still reach our goals.