Some mumblings made by economists—including Janet Yellen, the new chairman of the Federal Reserve—indicate that the economy is improving. But tell that to most small business owners and they’ll laugh at you. They’ve certainly not seen that improvement in the purses of their companies.
These days, small business owners—to some extent, like their larger counterparts—need to accomplish more with fewer resources. They need to reach out to their customers in such a way that shows they can meet their needs in a manner similar to the large enterprises they are competing against.
Luckily, thanks to social media, reaching out directly to customers is easier than ever. The world’s most populated social network, Facebook, boasts more than 1.3 billion users. With that many people actively logging in, the website is essentially a marketer’s goldmine.
That is, of course, if it’s leveraged correctly.
How You Can Beat Your Rivals
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some methods marketers who work for small brands can master in order to compete effectively against their big-brand counterparts—companies who likely have a team of employees focusing solely on their social media efforts.
Sure, maybe it’s just you who is leading your company’s social media campaigns. But remember: David beat Goliath. With the right tactics and cleverly executed campaigns, you too can emerge victorious—seemingly against all odds.
It’s all about quality, not quantity.
From the outset, you might be intimidated by the prospect of having to manage your company’s entire social media efforts. But even just focusing on Facebook, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to produce infinite sums of content in order to be effective. Remember, nobody wants to see their newsfeeds flooded by one poster. People are using social media to escape from their mundane work day, to connect with those with similar interests and to learn. So create fun, engaging posts that will facilitate laughter or conversation.
Keep in mind important events—like the World Series—and holidays.
Any content posted on the Internet has the ability to go viral at any given point in time. That’s true for businesses as well. So reach into the deepest abyss of your creativity and put together some pertinent, time-sensitive content that either elicits laughter or causes someone to raise an eyebrow in bewilderment. Who knows? Maybe you’ll hit the viral jackpot and watch your fans increase exponentially.
Once you’ve built traction, don’t disappear.
Marketers across all industries can hit a homerun from time to time. But all too often, once the ball is knocked out of the park and the captive audience has been created, the well runs dry and there’s radio silence. That’s why it’s important for marketers to script comprehensive campaigns and content calendars—ensuring the well is always filled. The last thing you want is to build up interest and then fail to deliver.
Provide your fans with useful information that isn’t related to your company.
We all have one of those friends who just constantly talks about his or herself. Even if we love them, such behavior is pretty obnoxious and gets annoying fast. Marketers should keep this in mind: No one wants to hear about your company constantly. With this in mind, it’s important that you provide a balance between informative content, helpful content and self-promotional content. For example, imagine you’re leading the social media efforts at Southern Plastic and Reconstructive Surgical Institute. It’s fairly safe to assume that your fans are interested in plastic surgery. If you find yourself managing such a page, perhaps consider posting news links to celebrities talking about their plastic surgery or even speculative gossip columns about whether a certain actor got work done or not—any content you think your fans would find interesting is fair game.
Talk to your customers when they reach out to you.
When someone speaks to you, odds are they want you to respond. And believe it or not, that’s exactly true of customers who reach out to you on social media. Except that they demand answers and they demand them fast. In fact, recent research indicates that when users on Twitter complain about something to a brand, 72 percent of them expect that brand to respond within one hour. Even if they just ask the brand a question, 53 percent of them expect a response within one hour. Granted, those statistics apply to Twitter which is a much more ephemeral site than Facebook, but there is a still a lesson to be learned here that can be translated to how you manage your Facebook page: There is a reason your fans are reaching out to you—so don’t leave them hanging.
If you’re a marketer for a small business that is taking up the reins of your company’s Facebook efforts, you do have an important job in front of you. But it’s important to remember that it’s not impossible to emerge victorious. In fact, by taking the above advice into consideration, you might find success is that much more attainable than you previously imagined.