There is no denying that social media is a must-have marketing strategy for small businesses in this day in age. And while 77.6% of small businesses plan on using social media to promote their company, many struggle to overcome certain challenges leaving them frustrated and defeated.
Below are common obstacles many small business owners tackle when incorporating social media into their marketing strategy.
1. Choosing the Right Social Media Channel
With 3.48 billion people now using social media, it is more important than ever for small businesses to integrate it into their marketing plan. However, as it is with most things in life, knowing where to start can be the biggest battle.
The first step is understanding your audience and what social channels they use most often. For many B2C and in some cases, B2B, Facebook is a great starting place. Boasting 2.32 billion active monthly users, it is the top-ranked social platform and reaches both men and women of all ages. Once you establish Facebook, you can consider expanding to other social media platforms. The top platforms, aside from Facebook, are Twitter (321 million users), LinkedIn (303 million users), Instagram (1 billion users – and the fastest growing platform) and Snapchat (330 million users).
2. Finding the Time
Social media posting isn’t at the top of the list for most business owners when prioritizing your daily tasks. Not finding time can result in lost opportunities to reach new audiences, establish brand authority and engage with your current customers.
Instead of trying to tackle social media posting individually, take advantage of Facebook’s scheduling tool. Set aside time weekly to write two to three posts to schedule throughout the upcoming week. Another option is to enlist a social media management company that can do the posting for you.
3. Connecting with Your Audience
Establishing a connection with your audience is a great way to build brand awareness and increase customer retention. 86% of users want to and do follow brands on social media. Yet, they can be quick to unfollow if brands bombard them with promotions or sales-driven content.
A great solution to this is to follow the 80/20 rule. Only 20% of your posts should promote your business. While the remaining 80% should inform, educate, and entertain your audience.
4. Handling Negativity
Warranted or not, most companies receive negative comments or reviews from time to time. Your first instinct may be to go on the defensive; but, that can open the door to a public argument. And while that might make for good entertainment for some, it is not great for your business.
Alternatively, thank them for their feedback and invite them to take the conversation offline—addressing their concerns privately. Doing this shows you not only care about your customers’ comments but are looking to address and rectify any issues immediately.
5. Understanding It’s Pay-to-Play
Organic reach is the number of people that see your post without spending any money to promote it. With Facebook, each organic post is only seen by approximately 6.4% of a business page’s followers on average. So, for a small business with only 300-page likes, that results in less than 20 people!
By putting a few dollars behind a post, you can ensure it reaches more of your followers and expands its reach to those who don’t know about you yet. Better yet, you can narrow down the audience by demographics, interests, and behaviors which will increase the odds that the people who are seeing your posts are potential customers.
Conquering these five challenges will set your company up to get the most out of your social media marketing.