“Marketing on social media takes finding your niche and building a relationship there. Trying to reach a broad audience will fail.”
– Nick Leffler, owner of Exprance
When a person makes a grand leap of faith to becoming a business owner, they are not just entering the organizational world; they are committing to the marketing industry as well.
It can be hard for a first time owner to know where to begin in the world of marketing; there’s SEO, content, e-mail, and a variety of other methods.
Social media, however, is likely the most obvious and most fruitful option.
Despite this, a 2015 Clutch survey found that only 53 percent of small business are actively leveraging social media. As for the other 47 percent, they believe that resources like time and energy are too sparse for social media to do them any good.
While it is certainly true that running a small business can be so overwhelming that crucial tasks like marketing go neglected, that only makes creating a game plan and identifying the most effective social media tools and tactics even more critical to success.
Fortunately, building a social presence doesn’t have to be an all-consuming process; that is, if you know how to get the most “bang for your buck.”
Here are four innovative ways that small business owners can make a big splash on social without draining already limited assets.
1. Employ Social Media Powerful Tools
If you’re a small business owner you are likely strapped for time, money, or both; that means you need to get your hands on platforms that are capable of lightening the load.
When it comes to social growth tactics, sharing content and community engagement top the list.
My favorite tool to help owners manage these activities with more efficiency is Agorapulse.
When it comes to content, Agorapulse enables users to share across multiple platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and others from a single destination.
This saves business owners the time required to continually switch between sites and re-upload posts.
The tool also provides users with the ability to schedule content in advance so a page never goes too long without posting.
Agorapulse provides users with a content calendar where all upcoming activities can be managed and kept in perspective. And when it comes to community, you’ll find various inboxes via a streamlined dashboard to manage all of a brand’s social channels. This helps to ensure that all comments, messages and other engagements are tended to appropriately. I can’t tell you how convenient it is to moderate all your social channels from a single UI.
Finally, Agora accommodates automated moderation rules based on keywords that trigger the tool to take the appropriate action without human intervention.
This helps to save incredible amounts of time that can then be allocated to other areas of your business.
2. Get a 360-Degree View
Visuals are infinitely more engaging than text alone. This point is proved by the fact that four times as many consumers would rather watch a product video than read about it.
But people don’t just want visual content anymore; they want more immersive visual content. That’s why behind-the-scenes Facebook Live videos are popular among a variety of brands.
A fantastic way to provide your followers with that kind of immersive and compelling content is to create 360-degree images and videos.
To craft this, you need to take a panoramic picture or video with your camera or Smartphone. Facebook can automatically detect this type of upload, so you don’t need to do anything special once you have the footage.
This type of content is amazingly powerful for certain niches such as real estate, tourist-geared locations like museums, and it can also be a powerful driver for just about any local business.
3. Telling Great Stories on Instagram
Instagram Stories is an insanely popular feature; so much so it threatens to dethrone the mighty Snapchat. As of June, the feature touts upward of 250 million daily active users. This means that Instagram Stories is a goldmine for exposure.
Using this type of format, brands can create some really cool content.
One extremely innovative way to leverage this tool is to create a video story based on a recent blog post by your company.
Utilizing a blend of graphics, photos and videos of you or a rep talking, you can bring a simple blog post to life in remarkable fashion. Just be sure to link to the blog in your page’s description so that people can dive deeper.
4. Social Messaging is the Next Big Innovation
When conversations about social media growth are taking place, there is one vital aspect that almost always goes completely ignored: Social messaging.
Research this year from Statista shows that WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger alone are engaging more than one billion users per month – each. This doesn’t even account for the many other social messaging services.
These platforms are becoming prime locations for sharing content and personalized engagement.
This is likely a large reason why 62 percent of millennials favor brands that engage them via over-the-top (OTT) messaging and SMS avenues. This is pretty vital information when it is predicted that OTT apps will have more than two billion users by 2018.
As brands continue to realize the power of these services and potential consumer shift from social networks to social messaging services, the marketplace will continue to become more saturated. It’s a great time to hop on this trend and start blazing a trail.
Take this time to embrace the agility of your brand and experiment with the means of growth listed here. You’re likely to find a blend that greatly benefits your business.