For many small businesses in our industry, social media presents huge opportunities. However, these are often met with equally huge reservations. In reality, the potential is endless for small businesses like ours. Social media is a free and universal advertising tool that allows our businesses to reach wider audiences than any of our traditional marketing activities. It’s a no brainer right?!
Social Media & Our Sector…
Looking at social media in our sector, some businesses fully immerse themselves while others watch from the side, unwilling to jump in. Businesses are utilising social media in a wide range of ways; major industry players are being proactive (as they should be!) and truly using social media to their own advantage. At the other end of the spectrum, the everyday print & garment decoration company is mainly inactive; their presence in the social media world is dangerously quiet. In our industry, businesses are predominantly reactive with most merely using social media simply for the sake of it. Many small business owners simply deem it a distraction to core business. However, if used correctly social media represents a fantastic range of potential opportunities for small businesses to reach customers further than ever before.
But the question on every business owner’s mind is: how do we best utilise social media?
Time is precious when you’re managing a small business. There simply isn't time to be sat a computer all day mulling over Twitter Feeds, Facebook Posts & the Latest Pins on Pinterest. The trick to being successful on social media is to be savvy; find a balance between using a successful strategy and being completely spontaneous.
In this technologically shrewd world, there really isn't any excuse for business owners. With free software all over the internet to help any small business out, managing social media has never been easier saving your business time and importantly money! Traditional business owners (especially in our industry!) are reluctant to accept that social media isn’t a chore, a waste of time or a necessity. Social media is standard practice in most current businesses sectors but our industries yet to catch up! Businesses are even going as far as hiring people specifically for all things social. We’re not saying go out and hire a techy graduate who knows all things Social Media, but just embrace it and understand it’s a part of the business landscape for the foreseeable future.
Our Top Tips for Social Media Success:
- Pick Your Platform: Not all platforms will be ideally suited to your business, so select carefully what social sites give your business the best opportunity to stand out.
- Be Creative & Engaging: Invite customer participation, play around with ideas. Social media doesn’t have to be taken too seriously, just have fun with it!
- Give Your Business A Personality: Let your customer see you as not just as a service but as a ‘friend’. Build up your online voice; develop an online personality and use your sense of humour to engage with your current and potential customers.
- Social NOT Sales: Use social media as a subtle sales tool. Don’t overwhelm your customers with constant sales posts. Focus more on building up your businesses image and following.
- Run Special Promotions: Give your potential customers a reason to follow you; offer unique discounts and special promotions just for followers.
- Create a Realistic Plan: Use free Social Media planning tools to plan a week’s worth of content at once. Don’t set yourself unrealistic targets, use whatever time you have smartly.