Using Social Media to give your small business an edge

When running your own small business, you must be a jack of all trades to ensure the smooth sailing of your company.

Whether it’s sourcing funding, perfecting your business plan, or training and staff management, there is always a different plate to spin when it comes to the day-to-day running of your business. One aspect that is often neglected by small businesses in their infancy is the importance of utilising social media to increase the visibility of your brand and to help give you an edge over the competition.

Today it is more vital than ever to have a social media strategy in place for your business. 57% of customers are more likely to buy from a brand they follow on any given social media platform. Not only is social media an effective way to entice repeat purchases, but it’s also a good way to communicate new products, reach new audiences and nurture the relationship you have with existing customers. It’s certainly worthwhile keeping on top of your strategy as 71% of consumers are more likely to go onto buy again after having a positive experience via social media.

If you’re thinking about implementing a new strategy, here are some pointers to help you on your way;

Planning Ahead

The best place to start is to have a plan and clearly set out what you want to achieve. It’s very tempting (and easy) to just throw yourself in and post away, but without having an idea of what you would like to achieve or how you’ll measure it then your efforts will be lost in the tide.

Before you start, investigate what your competitors are doing and see what works for them, what doesn’t and apply this learning to your own efforts.  Give yourself some SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant & Timely) goals and apply this to your own KPIs for optimum success.

Create a Content Calendar

Once you have laid out what it is you want to achieve it’s now a good idea to get a content calendar together. It’s best to plan your content ideas 2-3 months in advance and align your social media plans with public holidays, key seasonal trends, industry events, etc. You can also jot down when the typical payday is and build your content around those dates for optimum return.

This doesn’t have to be set in stone and can be flexible to allow you to react to what you are seeing in the market at a given time and readjust your content plans accordingly. Being proactive in your approach will ensure maximum exposure at different times throughout the year.

Start Brand Building

With the calendar in place, you can look to further expand your social media efforts by working with the likes of influencers and running sponsored content to build your brand further. Allowing a relevant ‘influencer’ to take over your twitter will open your business up to a new audience base which you may not have previously had access to before.

Social media is also a great way to evolve how the public perceives your brand, with the majority of companies opting for a chattier and less formal tone when they interact with customers. Brand building on social media is a huge commitment to take on so make sure you take advantage of some of the online guides to strike the right balance