How to use social media marketing successfully for small businesses?

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Might do a few videos on this but here’s something to think about when you are embarking on a social media marketing journey as a small biz person. It doesn’t matter if you are offering a product or service… there’s an invisible stage before you get to converting to a sale that is “nurturing and building relationship”.

I’ll tell you why I use the term invisible… people think of a sales funnel like this:
1 – Create awareness/brand build (you do this in multiple ways but your social media posts fall in to this category).
2 – Capture data (let’s say you send traffic to your website which then has some kind of free download or exclusive content that people opt in for)… ie. the list building phase.
3 – Conversion! Aka sales.

We often have people ask for what their return is on social media marketing as it relates to creating and publishing content on their behalf. The truth is unless you are running ads to send this traffic somewhere once the person has shown interest then you can give them metrics like “people reached” or “number of clicks” but you cannot tell someone the actual direct ROI for building a brand. This is no different than taking out ad space in a magazine. You would pay 💰 amount of dollars to have your ad printed in x amount of copies. How many people bought or saw the page your ad is on is a mystery. Yet people are willing to blindly spend on traditional forms of advertising.

If you were to sink the same amount of money let’s say in to a Facebook ad you would see exactly how many people were reached, if they took an action (clicked etc), where they are from and some demographic info which you can use to improve your ads and marketing (not to mention you can also retarget to these people again after!).

But let’s get back to that invisible stage…

Rarely does someone opt in for something and then pick up the phone to call you and pull out their wallet to buy your product or service right away. You have to nurture the relationship! You could have an email marketing strategy or a group they get added to where you interact on a CONSISTENT basis… This way, when they are ready to buy or are at a point of needing your services, you have been maintaining contact and they will think of you first. Does it mean you will close every sale? No. But it surely means that if you have maintained contact AND continued to stay in front of your audience with your regular social media posts you SHOULD at least be the front runner in terms of choice and then it’s up to you to perfect your closing skills 😉

I feel that this is really key to share with small business owners because I’ve seen more business owners, than I care to admit, decide that “social media marketing doesn’t work” when they were just missing a part of the bigger marketing strategy. Yes it takes time and effort to build out these systems but there’s nothing more important in business than communication (aside from having a good product or service of course, but that goes without saying).

In the early days of Empty Desk Solutions we used to take the request to set up ads and just do what the client was asking for, without asking what nurturing processes they had on their side to make their ads and social media marketing a long term success story. That was a mistake. We couldn’t figure out why our social media marketing works for us but not for others. Then “duh!” 💡… we communicate ongoing on multiple channels until that person is naturally ready or refers someone to us that needs our help.

So think about that middle piece… and don’t give up if you’re not quite there! Our blogging and social media marketing is the ONLY form of marketing we do and we have grown year over year without injecting marketing money back in to the business.

We will still help you with your content and your ads, it’s what we do and we freakin love it… but be prepared to be asked how you intend on nurturing contacts because it’s absolutely 💯 necessary to success. And hey… if you don’t have that part of the strategy that’s what we (and our communications partners) are here for.

Brittany Hardy is the Owner and Social Media Manager at Empty Desk Solutions, a Canadian company providing top notch social media management services to small business owners in British Columbia.