Updated: Oct 2
Social media encompasses an array of digital channels that allow you to advertise your business, connect with your audience, and increase the reach of your brand. With nearly 2.5 billion people using social media around the world, it has become a way for businesses to expand their reach and grow.
In this blog, we will cover the details of what social media is and how you can use it to generate new leads and grow your business. We will also include real examples with tangible step-by-step explanations of how small businesses have benefited from expanding their presence on social media.
What is Social Media?
If you’ve ever used TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, then you’ve used social media. Social media refers to any digital channel that lets people interact and share information online. Blogs also count as social media.
On average, people spend over two hours a day on social media. The most popular channels worldwide are Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook messenger. But this does not mean that those five channels should be where you direct your marketing efforts.
What Social Media is Best for Businesses?
It depends. What industry are you in? What are the demographics of your buyer personas? What is your budget for potential ads? Before you open eight social media accounts for your business, pause. Refer back to your marketing strategy and your target audience, as a start.
Any effective social media strategy requires that you understand your target audience. This means that you consider what other interests and hobbies your potential customers have, how they use social media, what time they are most active on social media, and what they want from brands like yours on social media.
3 Tips for Growing Your Business on Social Media
There are so many examples of businesses that have found success by developing a social media strategy that works. Here are three tips for growing your business and online presence.
Tip #1 - Research Your Target Audience
Where does your target audience spend time in the social media universe? For example, if your brand caters to millennials and Gen Z, then chances are that a lot of your target audience uses TikTok.
Take notes on what you notice about trends, content, branding styles, etc. Research is arguably the most important step. While researching how other businesses in your industry use Instagram, you may notice how short videos called reels are increasingly popular. How are other brands using reels to connect with their target audience? If your small business wants to grow on Instagram, reels could be a way to connect with your audience, introduce yourself and your product, or tell a story.
Not all social media channels are going to work for you. Prioritize where you will be. If you plan to use TikTok, for example, then explore Examples of 18 Brands Using TikTok. You’ll note that the Chipotle brand does not just “sit there” on TikTok; their marketing team clearly understands and engages with the culture of TikTok and implements brand-centric challenges that incentivize people to eat their guacamole, burritos, etc. Does this mean you need to be on TikTok? No! This example solely highlights how a successful social media presence is about how your small business interacts and engages with your target audience on social media.
People are more likely to follow brands on channels like Facebook and Instagram, compared to LinkedIn or TikTok. So again: do your research first.
Tip #2 - Start Small
Set up a business profile on a few social media channels. It is better to have an AMAZING presence on two channels than to have a so-so presence on five.
At this stage, it’s time to consider what type of content you have (or plan to have) for social media posts. For image-heavy content, consider Instagram and Pinterest. Refer back to your findings from Tip #1.
If you already have your handle and branding for a few channels, great! Facebook and Instagram link easily so that if you post directly on Instagram, it can post to your Facebook page too. If you are going to put money into boosted posts or paid advertisements, be sure you understand the difference. Boosted posts help increase your reach and engagement, but paid ads via the Ads Manager are going to offer more customization.
Keep in mind that bigger companies like the aforementioned Chipotle have HUGE budgets for marketing; try not to get discouraged!
Tip #3 - Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
When thinking about your goals, consider what feels realistic given the amount of time and budgeting you have.
You may have heard this acronym for S.M.A.R.T. goals, as it has been used in education, business, personal growth, and more.
Here is what it S.M.A.R.T. stands for:
S. - specific
M. - measurable
A. - achievable
R. - relevant
T. - time-bound
What does a S.M.A.R.T. goal look like? Let’s break it down.
For example, let’s pretend you have a gym with a small presence on Instagram. Perhaps a S.M.A.R.T. goal to begin is to increase the number of followers you have by 10% before launching a paid Instagram ad four months from now.
This means you will need to schedule two Instagram posts each week for four months. You can easily measure the success of this goal via a simple spreadsheet where you track the week and the current number of followers. If you have 300 followers when you begin, then you will need 330 followers by the end of those four months in order to meet your goal.
S.M.A.R.T. goals rock. They help keep marketing campaigns on track and also help you understand if your business is growing in the ways you want to.
Social Media for Growth!
Social media channels help businesses grow by connecting brands with their target audience. People expect brands to engage with them in ways that are new and constantly changing, and social media helps with that.
Before hopping onto a lot of channels and developing business profiles, be sure to research your target audience as well as how brands in your relative industry use social media. Start small and set S.M.A.R.T. goals so you can watch your business grow and also learn from campaigns that worked.
Social Media Expertise for Local Businesses
Now that you know what social media is and why it matters, you are well on your way to considering how it can help your business grow. Maybe you have researched your target audience more and feel ready to grow your Instagram and Facebook presence. That’s where we enter the scene.
At Reset Web Design, we love to help small businesses grow. Schedule a free consultation today to talk strategy and see how our experts can expand your reach via social media.