Social media marketing is an amazing power that in certain magic moments, can actually level the playing field between huge corporations and small businesses.
One of the few forms of advertising left that doesn’t necessarily require a costly buy-in, the shiny brass ring of viral popularity is available to all.
How can a little guy walk and talk like the big guys? It’s easy – just copy their greatest hits playbook and watch the follows, retweets and comments pile up!
1. Engage Directly.
Once you make brand known by creating a social media presence and using it to post, you’ll essentially be giving out your address to any and all interested parties.
This transparency creates a forum for both the good and the bad – and smart companies respond to both.
Whether it’s an irate customer tagging you on Twitter or an enthusiastic fan posting to your Facebook page, respond to both with equal speed and your brand perception will start to creep upwards with every interaction.
Customers like a company that listens, and they really like a company that’s willing to stand by their product if something goes awry.
2. Find Your Brand Voice. Stick To It.
While you don’t need to write a manifesto about your social media vision, it’s a good idea to keep a list of words, terms and concepts that positively define your brand, as well as a “no” list of words and subjects never to discuss on social media.
As your company grows, you’ll have more and more people that could potentially speak for your brand on social media, so be sure your rules and expectations are clear.
Make sure you’re not being too ambitious with your tone, as well – not everyone can properly wield Wendy’s level of social media sass.
3. Be Authentic and Self-Deprecating As Needed.
Unless you’re manufacturing luxury sports cars or watches that could pay off a mortgage, you don’t want to enter social media with an air of arrogance.
The collective power of crowdsourcing will instantly ferret out attitudes from companies that are posting a little big for their proverbial britches, and mockery or the cold shoulder are the most likely responses.
Introduce yourself the way you might at a party, being open and warm, asking the social media world what they think of your products.
If you need a “wingman” for some traction, ask suppliers or social media-savvy supply chain partners if they’d be willing to openly banter with you a bit.
4. Don’t Be Shy About Alternative Media.
From GIFs to YouTube Videos to Podcasts, there’s a wealth of possibility out there for small businesses, and most of it costs little to nothing.
Instagram and Pinterest are excellent platforms for visually-oriented companies selling physical products; before-and-after videos work great for service providers.
No matter which platforms you dabble in, do your best to keep a freelance professional handy for advice and make sure not to take pictures or videos of unaffiliated, non-consenting individuals to avoid legal trouble.
5. Hashtags and Campaigns Are Your Friends.
There is no greater marketing force in social media than the humble hashtag. This easy-to-create clickable link is formed on platforms like Facebook and Twitter simply by placing a hashtag mark in front of a word or phrase.
Not only can you create one specific to your brand – #AngelosPizza – you can also hop into a popular conversation by cleverly incorporating a hashtag that’s “trending” in a given platform’s news feed.
For example, an enduring hashtag on twitter is #MCM, short for “Man Crush Mondays,” and it is typically used, unsurprisingly, on Mondays along with a picture or a tag of a user’s favorite man.
If our fictional pizzeria were to use the #MCM tag, they might include a picture of a freshly-baked pizza and innocently ask, “#MCM means “Mozzarella Crush Mondays,” right?” – thus getting the attention and views of everyone using the #MCM tag for its more traditional uses.
These five tips can help your small business make a big splash with social media marketing.
Done well, social media presence should be something entertaining, engaging and a source of information and value for the audience.
If you’re ready to explore the incredible wealth of opportunity found on these versatile platforms, team up with a WriterAccess freelance content creator today to start making waves!
Delany M. is a wave making freelancer within the WriterAccess platform who has worked with over 200 clients.