With Small Business Saturday just around the corner, we have decided to show our support by sharing our top digital marketing tips for any small businesses that would like to grow online and don’t know where to start.
1. SMALL BUSINESSES AND SOCIAL MEDIA
With over 2.8 billion active users on social media across the globe*, it has never been more important to enter your small business into the social world. But before you get started, you need to be ready: preparation is key!
Your first step will be to take some time to review the different social media platforms out there. It’s important to focus on the channels that are relevant to your business objectives and target audiences, to avoid wasting your limited time and resources. Here’s a very brief review of the most common social media networks for businesses:
The biggest social media network in the world. Having a Facebook company page is great to connect your business with people worldwide or locally, provide important business information and access its paid advertising platform.
Fast-paced and reactive, Twitter is great for engagement and has become an effective channel for handling customer service. If you write valuable content, sharing it on Twitter can help boost your visibility.
LinkedIn is the largest social network for professional. You can create a company page which allows you to highlight your services, thought leadership content and employees in order to build your credibility and gain exposure throughout your network.
As a mobile-only visual social media platform, Instagram is a great tool for brand building if you have high-quality images and videos to share. You can’t add clickable clicks to individual posts so driving users to your website will be challenging.
Another mobile-only visual social media platform, SnapChat allows you to send images and videos available for up to 10 seconds to other users. If you have a good audience of Snapchatters, you can capitalise on its ‘Stories’ feature, showing daily operations of your business, behind the scene videos, interviews with influencers, for example. . A majority of Snapchat users are under 24, making it a powerful tool to market Millenials.
Now that you have selected the most relevant social platforms for your business, you need to establish clear objectives for each of them. Do you want to increase brand awareness? Drive traffic to your site/blog/portfolio, increase engagement with your audience? Once you know what you want to achieve, you will need a strategy for each network. Review what your competitors are doing on the chosen platforms, research relevant and valuable content and build an editorial calendar around seasonal opportunities, business events, etc.
Now that you have a plan in place, it is time to build your social audience. Build a list of people you want to follow for each platform and follow them: prospects, customers, influencers, partners, competitors, any key players in your industry.
Post, share, retweet valuable content that resonates with your audience. Comment, give your opinion on posts that are relevant to your business. Respond to any questions as quickly as possible.
The key is to keep your audience interested and engaged
2. SMALL BUSINESSES AND EMAIL MARKETING
Email is not dead! Integrated with your social media efforts, email marketing can help you extend your audience and boost your sales. Here are 3 email marketing tips for small business.
More emails are now read on mobile than on desktop. This means that you must ensure your email campaigns are readable and appealing across multiple devices, especially if you use images.
#Optimise your images
Emails that include images can help you stand-out. But if these images have been blocked by the recipient’s email provider, the message will get lost. Ensure you add ALT tags to your images, using descriptive words that will encourage the recipients to take action even if they don’t show.
Extend your audience reach and improve engagement by including links to your social media platforms within your emails. As recipients have already subscribed to receive your content by email, it is very likely that they will follow you on social.
3. CREATE GOOGLE MY BUSINESS LISTING
Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool from Google that allows your business to appear when people are searching for your company or companies similar to yours on Google Search or Google Maps. It’s a great way for small businesses to gain local exposure.
To add your business, go to the Google My Business page and enter your business name and address to ensure it doesn’t already have a listing that you need to claim (it may happen if your business has been around for several years).
Once you have submitted your business information, you will need to verify your listing. This is an essential step to ensure your listing is visible and perform well. Verification usually takes less than a week. Google will send you a verification code by mail that you will need to enter onto your GMB account to make your listing officially live.
Here are some tips to follow once your small business is live:
- Ensure you’ve entered as many relevant information as possible (opening hours, contact details, etc.)
- Include relevant keywords that describe your business activity
- Include images, such as your logo, your office or your market stall
- Respond to customer review
to find out how we can help you grow online. We will offer a one-hour online audit to the first ten UK-based small business owners contacting us on Saturday 2 December, 2017!
*We are Social Media & Hootsuite, January 2017