Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses

Marketing To run a successful business requires time and energy, and as these are not infinite resources an emphasis needs to be placed on efficiency and finding actions which yield the greatest results relative to the time and effort invested in achieving them. On that note, social media platforms provide an excellent and mostly free way to market your business to thousands of potential customers. Like most things you tend to get out of it what you put in, however some platforms are more suitable to the needs of the small business than others and rather than spread yourself thin, I recommend you focus your efforts.

Number of Users

As I’ve already said, small business owners need to weigh up the potential benefits of an action relative to the time it takes to achieve them as this is time that could otherwise be spent elsewhere. Consequently, the first criteria worth mentioning with regards to choosing a social media platform is the number of regular users it has. Clearly, from a business point of view the more users the better as this is greater exposure for your business and more potential customers. Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram & Twitter have the highest number of daily users so that’s one point for them.

More on Users

Yes, numbers are important but they can also be somewhat misleading. Depending on the specific nature of your business you will likely have a ‘typical’ customer or at least an approximation. It’s no use trying to sell power tools to school children, for example, so you need a platform which has a significant population of people who fit your target audience as these are the people who are most likely to purchase your product and or services. And this is where your efforts will be best spent. User demographics can vary significantly between platforms so its important to bear this in when dedicated time to a specific platform. User statistics are freely available so you can make an informed decision.

Suitability

Again, much of this will depend on the nature of your business however the content types employed by some social media platforms will likely be more suitable than others. For example, a photographer will do very well with platforms like instagram and flickr as they’ll be able to showcase their work and the users of these platforms are used to and enjoy interacting with visual media. By contrast, a local pizza shop might prefer something like Twitter where they can communicate with their customers in a quick and concise way with something like “25% off tonight” and tap into peoples spontaneity. Facebook is the great all rounder of social media platforms as you can do pretty much everything. from the concise to the convoluted. Facebook will likely be a core component of your social media marketing however the other platforms you choose to make use of will, as I tried to explain above, depend on your business.

Finally,

Facebook is almost ubiquitous these days and I’m sure that virtually every business would benefit from creating and interacting with a facebook page. By the same token there are loads of other platforms available which bring provide access to different demographics and facilitate interactions via a range of media. You should decide what will work best for your business and go from there. The impact that social media marketing can have on your business can be profound, however it won’t happen by itself. Try to remember that your time is a valuable commodity and as such should be focused in areas with the greatest potential pay off and social media marketing is no different.  

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