Social Media Marketing Strategies that will power-up business growth!
Social media marketing for businesses, especially small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that do not have an effective online presence, requires strategy, planning, and proper execution. The hardest part of SMM for SMBs can be nailing the most basic step: social media marketing strategies.
Social media marketing can help SMBs establish their identity, brand perception, find new customers, deliver excellent social media customer service, and find credibility through collaboration. Social media marketing for your small or medium-sized business gets streamlined once you start following these strategies and taking a bit of help from these tools, of which we’ve provided a sneak peek below:
Social media post creation, scheduling, analytics.
So, what SMM strategies should your brand or business follow to increase sales and community engagement?
Before we get into that, let’s touch upon another important question: What can SMM do for SMBs?
As you already know, social media marketing is the use of different social media channels to increase your business’s sales, conversions, leads, likes, follows, and community engagement. When it comes to SMBs with little or no online presence, social media marketing can do the following for free:
make them discoverable and put them on the map🗺️
increase sales, conversions, and understand what SKUs are popular
Now let’s take a look at those strategies, shall we?
Set and Track S.M.A.R.T Goals
Any good social media marketing strategy should start with setting social media marketing goals that are S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-specific). Once the goals have been set, you need to track realistic metrics to see what the return on investment (ROI) is like.
SMART Social Media Marketing Goals for SMBs
For SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses), SMART goals for social media marketing can look like the following:
Increasing discoverability and brand awareness
Increasing traffic to the company website
Increasing community engagement around the brand and its products
Generating leads and increasing sales
Improving customer services, conversions, and brand reputation
Collecting market insights through social listening (brand mentions, tags, hashtags)
Hiring new talent for attractive positions
When you’re setting up SMART goals for SMM, come up with different strategies and goals for different networks. You might have cracked brand awareness on LinkedIn, and now you’re focusing on hiring new talent.
Those goals and metrics will be entirely different from your Facebook’s social media marketing strategy, where you’re trying to leverage sales and increase conversions via Meta Business ads and the Facebook Marketplace.
What Metrics to Track for Social Media SMART Goals?
As an in-house brand marketer, these are the metrics I used to track the SMART goals implemented for a medium-sized business that’s recognized as one of the Indian unicorn startups in 2022:
Social Media SMART Goals
Discoverability and brand awareness
Likes, followers, number of shares
Number of shares, number of saves, brand mentions (tags and story tags) and other metrics for gauging engagement reach
Leads, sales, and conversions
Email signups, website visits, click-through-rate (CTR), conversion rate, social media conversion rate, bounce rate, effective leads, marketing qualified leads (MQLs)
Customer service, and brand reputation
Increase in customer satisfaction, reduction of wait times for resolution, industry trends, and social sentiments
Build an Effective Social Media Presence
Another sure-shot strategy that can help SMBs perfect their SMM game is to build an effective social media presence. However, I don’t mean a massive follower count or thousands of likes. They are no good if not backed up with a powerful engagement rate.
Building an effective social media presence is all about nailing the basics. So, consider responding positively to comments on your social media pages, answering DMs on time, and creating engaging content.
Most social media users love😍 video content that’s short, fun, and entertaining. Hence, it’s a good idea to have a social media presence that fills these buckets. Moreover, an effective social media presence can also be reached by collaborating with credible creators and influencers.
As a Born on Instagram (BOI) Creator and a LinkedIn Top Writing Voice (2023) myself, I can vouch how worthy creator collaborations can help brands and businesses establish a meaningful social media presence.
Your users will start trusting you more because of these collaborations, and you’ll reach even newer audiences.
Consider posting consistently, and repurpose content on different platforms to ensure you’re never out of track.
Choose the Right Platform
While your social media presence should be high and effective across all popular platforms eventually, you should start your social media journey with platforms where your audiences are.
If you’re running in circles about choosing the right platform, ask yourself these questions:
Where are your audiences? Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, LinkedIn, or YouTube?
Where are your competitors? What hashtags are they targeting?
What are the social media platforms perfect for SMBs?
Is there a social media network where your audiences are present, but not your competitors?
If the answer to the last question is yes, you should start off with that social media network. You have found a market gap, and your growth will be exponential if your social media marketing can be consistent and meaningful.
Which Social Media Platforms Should SMBs Choose to Target the Right Audience Pool?
Facebook continues to be the top social media platform with 2.9 billion active users. So, give it a shot and grow your Facebook Marketplace and Meta ads eventually.
Instagram is great for finding a niche. In fact, with 2 billion active users and 1.62 billion ad reach, Instagram is where 70% of users find their next buy. Hence, to increase sales, build discoverability, you should consider Instagram organic marketing and paid channels.
TikTok is where users spend the highest daily time of 1.5 hours. TikTok is exceptional for SMBs because TikTok is the right place where users discover new products, or find relatable content and buy out of a sense of community. If your product is popular on TikTok, you’ll overflow in sales.
LinkedIn is the right place for businesses, it has low ad spend in comparison to other popular networking sites. However, it has 950 million users to target. It’s also a great place for building your reputation, delivering customer service, or hiring new talent.
Twitter (now X) is also a great start for SMBs as it has minimal setup requirements, and is one of the go-to platforms for customer service.
Don’t Forget to Incorporate eCommerce
As social media users, we’re more likely to buy directly on the app, rather than being redirected to the website and completing a purchase there. Hence, it’s crucial for SMBs to incorporate eCommerce within their social media networks.
Most social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest have in-built eCommerce features that allow you to share posts and stories with product shopping tags enabled. These tags allow users to complete purchases on the spot and help reduce bounce rate or drop rate.
You can use testimonials, reviews, and client feedback to establish brand credibility and social media presence. Share them on stories, save them as highlights, create ads that are testimonial-based to encourage users to shop on your pages.
Plan Your Content With a Content Calendar
SMBs always have a lot to do on all fronts. Hence, your social media marketing strategy isn’t going to succeed if you don’t have a social media marketing content plan.
Make it a practice to maintain an SMM content calendar every month. You can use a content plan template, or a tool (more on that later) to create this.
What to Include In Your SMM Content Plan?
Your content plan will be incomplete without date, platform, content (format & creatives), and CTA. Your content plan for a day should look like this, at its most basic form:
Content Creative Link
Content Creative Text
Links, tags, hashtags to be included
The campaign it’s a part of
<insert ad copy>
You can extend the basic format I’ve created above to include metrics that you’ll be tracking. Consider adding columns for number of likes, number of shares, number of saves, CTR, bounce rate, MQLs generated, direct sales, website visits, and such. Choose the ones that are relevant to you.
(Preferably From a Single Dashboard)
Once you have a content calendar in place, it’s important to schedule all your posts weeks in advance. It’ll help you save time and ensure you never miss out on your social media marketing streak.
There are two ways SMBs like yourself can go through scheduling posts:
Scheduling posts individually on each social media platform
Scheduling posts through a single dashboard, facilitated by a tool
Tools like Hootsuite, Later, or other popular alternatives (I’ll discuss below) can streamline your content creation processes and allow you enough time to fine-tune your SMM marketing strategy.
How Can Tools Help Social Media Marketing for SMBs
Another advantage of using tools is they can help you track critical metrics automatically and on a single dashboard. This will help you take a look at how your sales are, how your conversions are, and how your community engagement is for all platforms, yet on a single screen.
You should also look at these analytics to understand what posts work where. Good tools will give you content recommendations, show you top posts, and top content buckets that perform well. They make the task of handling social media a lot easier, especially when you have so much on your plate in SMBs. The key to success is to delegate or automate what you can.
You can also leverage automated tools or AI content creation tools to speed up the mundane tasks every once in a while. A chatbot can help answer frequently asked questions before an agent intervention is required to improve customer service. You can also use AI content creation tools to create stock graphics, short videos, and ad copies.
Best Social Media Marketing Tools
While we’re on the talk of how social media marketing tools can help streamline SMM strategies, I’ve rounded up the best social media marketing tools you can consider:
You can create, edit, and schedule all social media posts with Later. Not only that, you can use its content creation tools to bring your A game to your SMM strategies. You can track all analytics in one place. You’ll be able to stay consistent while increasing your views, conversions, and engagement rate.
Hootsuite is another incredible social media scheduling tool that can help you leverage top posts and generate more like your top-performing ones. In fact, you can organize existing posts, plan advanced posts, and monitor trends so that you’re always on top of what’s trending.
Buffer is one social media marketing tool that can help you increase organic reach by telling you when and what to publish. You’ll find suggested hashtags that work the best on particular platforms. Additionally, you get access to automated reports to monitor and measure performance. Moreover, you can set up approvals and creative permissions in your team, without disrupting workflows for the best collaboration.
Perfect for small and medium-sized businesses, SocialPilot has plans for every business and brand. Schedule and publish up to 500 SMM posts across all platforms at one go, customize top-performing posts easily, and generate posts with AI automated tools. You’ll also have the option to visualize content strategy with a social media calendar, and the option to store your best performing or evergreen content.
Tailwind behaves like an in-house social media marketing team that can help you plan posts, create content calendars, get copy on demand with Ghostwriter AI, and access to done-for-you designs. In fact, you can also optimize ads from Tailwind to boost your eCommerce traffic.
The Impact of Social Media Marketing on 2 Real Businesses
Social media marketing can help businesses of all sizes and in organic ways paid channels can only hope to accomplish. That’s why I’ve rounded up two businesses with excellent SMM strategies that are winning the internet now:
A best-selling condom brand, founded in 1980, known for its witty, quirky, and highly entertaining social media content. Durex SMM has become sensational, and is all the talk of the town now.
In some parts of the world, it’s doing sex ed talks to encourage conversations around sex. All in all, Durex’s focus, as a brand, is being relatable.
When Airbnb lost 80% of its business due to the pandemic, Airbnb decided to ditch performance marketing entirely while focusing solely on brand marketing and SMM. Since then, Airbnb has had a profitable IPO and is a household name now.
That’s what SMM can do for your business – you can go from a product/service to a household name. Airbnb’s SMM focused on its core: homes, hosts, and guests. It has succeeded immensely! After all, from AI travel planners to hotel booking details, there is almost nothing you don’t find online.
SMM Strategies SMBs Use in Real Life
Giving you the real picture might not be complete unless I round up some learnings from real SMBs on how they plan their SMM strategies or go about it:
Use real and stunning imagery as they do better than stock images on any given day
Catch onto real-time events, and give a unique experience of moment marketing
Connect with your target audience by using real users as your show leads
Find a brand tone that’s entertaining and engaging
Ensure you jump on trends enough, without looking desperate
As SMBs, the most intimidating task might be being regular and consistent with your social media marketing strategy.
You might not be getting the likes, follows, shares, or sales you desire. However, the key is to hold on and keep doing it. Keep fine-tuning your content and creatives according to trends, and your top-performing posts every once in a while.
As someone who has worked as an in-house brand marketer, I can confirm consistency is the key to social media marketing success. Getting to your first 10,000 is probably the hardest. Once you’re there, it only gets easier and faster.
If a customer wants to view the product, they should look at the product listing page. If they want to buy it, then put it in the cart. I mean, it’s basic common sense. Then why is cart abandonment such a big problem for e-commerce businesses?