Social media is the most efficient way to grow your business and that’s mostly because it’s focused on driving prospects that are sitting at the top of your marketing funnel. It also offers an ample opportunity to engage them directly, thus keeping the name of your brand fresh in your follower’s mind.
Social media sits at the height of communication advancement. You’ll agree, much has changed in the communication spheres in the recent past.
A Brief History on the Evolution of Communication
In the 1900s, communication was mostly conducted through hand-delivery of letters from one person to another. This would later on evolve to postal services, which we still use today.
Later on, telephones and telegraphs would be invented, and then came the radio, and all that followed was making communication more private.
This ushered in the 20th century that would see to it that computers became the norm. The internet started ruling the airwaves, and emails became a thing. Businesses would adopt it first, followed by private homes shortly after, causing the internet to be widespread the way it is.
Initially, computers were regarded as gaming consoles and computing tools. The internet would first be used as an online search tool using the earliest search engines such as Excite in 1993, Yahoo in 1994, and Web Crawler in 1994.
As of today, social media is the most popular mode of communication all around the world. The number of people using social media has incredulously grown to billions. Social Media itself has grown to be so prevalent, thus emerging as one of the communication channels you can’t afford to ignore, particular for those operating small businesses.
This post will be covering all the basic details that you need to know about social media, together with some primers on how to make the most out of this communication channel as a small business owner or marketer in Singapore.
How is Social Media Likely to Benefit Small Businesses?
There isn’t much to debate about on this subject – one of the biggest beneficiaries of social media are small business owners. Here’re a number of ways these businesses are benefiting through social media, particularly those in Singapore:
Enhanced Web Traffic
Imagine a world of marketing with no social media in it. Where competing with high profile businesses would mean outbidding them for paid searches. Let’s just say that, small businesses wouldn’t stand a chance in that case scenario.
But then came social media that somehow levelled the playing field. Now, whether small or big, you’re all competing on a levelled ground– where everyone stands an equal chance to woo in customers and drive the much-needed traffic.
The concept behind social media has evolved to be even simpler and straightforward. Focus on creating a strong social media presence, while engaging with the followers you attract. The rest is about promoting your product, brand or website to them – and before you know it you’ll be raking in colossal amounts of profits.
Simple, the point is to attract more visitors to your site. And social media, through hard work and some little bit of diligence, makes it a child’s play.
Again, search engines started considering social signals as part of their ranking elements. Meaning, by just working on establishing a formidable online presence, you’ll also be boosting your SEO score, thus securing a prime ranking in the result pages of Google and other search engines.
Looking to raise some awareness around your brand? Well, look no further than social media, particularly Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
First and foremost, social media offers you the opportunity to generate some buzz around your brand. If anything, there’s no limit as to how loud you can get screaming about your brand to the whole world, which is served in a single platter in front of you.
In other words, you’re looking directly into your target market, and it’s upon you to figure out the best way possible to reach to them and engage them directly in a bid to get them to make a purchase with you.
What social media does is that it makes communication with your target audience so much easier. Customers also have a chance to contact you directly and find out more about your business or what it is you’re offering.
Suitable for Geo-targeting
By geo-targeting we mean it’s possible to target a certain group of people or prospects based on their region of operation or residence. So instead of mass-shooting your marketing posts to everyone, you simply narrow down your target to a specific geographical location.
Among the platforms that allow you to target your audience based on where they come from includes Twitter and Facebook. They have an option where you can narrow down your list of targets to specific users, limiting your reach to only a particular region you’re accessing. That way, you get to save on your marketing budget; ergo, increasing your ROI.
This is one very important feature for small businesses that want to market their products and services to the prospects within their locality.
Building Lasting Relationships
Social media marketing stretches far beyond making money online. In addition to winning customers over and increasing the number of sales you’re able to make, social media is also focused on establishing a long-lasting relationship with the customers you attract.
The whole point is to end up with loyal customers that will be coming back for more of your products. You also want these customers to send out a positive word about your business so that your business keeps expanding.
You’re simply feeding on each other through social media engagement, where your customers share with you valuable information, and which you’ll be using to better the services you provide to them.
So one way to look at it, you’re simply working with your social media followers to create a solid team of supporters and loyal customers.
There’s a lot you can tell about your business by monitoring it over social media. You want to find out what people are saying about it, and come up with possible ways to make necessary adjustments and calibrations for the better future of your business.
The information provided through social media offers you a chance to improve your business, while also understanding the environment around you.
It’s possible to run a successful social media campaign without spending a penny. So where businesses had to heavily invest in traditional forms of advertising such as radio, TV, and newspaper to address a target audience, social media avails it all for absolutely free.
The best part is that it’s even possible to measure results and adjust your campaign strategy where necessary.
Opening a social media account is the next thing to free. And even if you decide to run a paid campaign on the platform, the prices imposed on you won’t be as exorbitant as traditional media.
You get to reap huge benefits with only a small investment and minimal effort on your part.
No other form of marketing is as converting as social media. Odds are, a good number of the people you’re attracting to your page have some vested interested in your brand or some of the products and services you’re offering – and all it takes to get them to take action is some little convincing on your part and that’s it.
Examples of Social Media Networks a Singapore Business Owner Can use to Market their Products or services
The most popular social media channels in Singapore in their rightful order include YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, LinkedIn, WeChat, and Skype to name a few.
So how do you go about choosing the right social media channel to use?
One common mistake lots of Singapore marketers and web owners make all the time while running a serious social media campaign is rushing to sign up with every social media channel they find.
If you’re operating with a team of social media marketers or have enough time on your hand to juggle all the networks, well and good – but most of the time, it’s always wise to start small and expand later on to other channels as your business grows.
The last thing you want is having some of your prospects visiting a particular social media network only to find out that it’s inactive. That impression isn’t going to reflect well on your business and is as such among the things you’d want to avoid at the beginning of your business.
Important Tips on How to identify the most suited Social Media Network for Your Singapore Business
- Smart Small. Don’t overburden yourself with the unnecessary workload by signing up with every social media channel you can lay your hands on. Instead, focus on two or three social media networks and utilize them to the full maximum.
- Research on Your Competitors. Your competitors have been in the business long enough to understand the market better. So instead of learning as you go, take your time to study them and find out what social media networks they’re channeling the bulk of the marketing effort. These are the channels to try out as you adjust along the way.
- Determine the type of content you prefer to post. This could be anything – written, videos or images. If your strength is on vlogging, then common sense demands that you start with YouTube. For press-like posts that focus on what’s trending or latest within the industry you’re in, then you might want to try out Twitter.
- For standard posts that are highly engaging, then Facebook should be your first stop. And lastly, if your strong suit is with photos, then Instagram has you covered.
- Determine the Social Media Network that you suspect hosts the majority of your ideal customers. This should be the network you target, unless otherwise.
- Lastly, make a point to outline your social media marketing strategy. List all your objectives and goals (content distribution, brand awareness, and so forth). This should give you a rough idea of the most suited social media channel to sign up with.
Best Social Media Marketing Practices to Follow
Once you’ve established the right social media channel to sign up with, the next thing you do is learn all there’s to know about how to conduct a solid marketing campaign on the platform. You want to make sure you’re making the most out of all the social media marketing effort you pump in.
That being said, here’re some crucial social media marketing practices to observe to make the most out of the social media campaign you’re running:
Choose a Social Media Channel that’s more relevant to your line of business.
Don’t settle for any channel based on its popularity or how appealing you find it to be. If the network requires you to connect with your customers first to convert them, then it would be much wiser to sign up with social media channels such as Facebook or Twitter.
Consistency matters a great deal when it comes to social media marketing. Pick a niche and stick to it. You’re allowed to veer off a little every now and then but make sure you maintain the course.
Be consistent with your content, how often you share the content around, and most importantly, learn to voice the communication by giving it your own persona.
Engage with Your Active Followers
Don’t just post and be done with it. Make a point to respond to some of the questions some of your followers ask. Retweet their posts where possible and once in a while give a shout out where necessary.
This is important as it goes at length to establish some sort of connection with your prospects, thus establishing trust and loyalty.
Automate What You Can
You can automate some of the things you do on social media. But remember to keep the engagement at a human level when engaging with your audience.
For instance, you have the option to retweet or repost some of the mentions you’re getting automatically via IFTTT.
Promote your social Networks on Your Website
Just like you’re promoting your website on social networks, make a point to promote the social networks on your site as well.
WordPress makes it a whole lot easy by including a series of plugins that you could use to integrate your social media accounts directly with your website.
Forget about the Useless Metrics you’re getting and Focus on Quality
The number of followers you have on social media doesn’t matter a whit. If anything, you’re better off with 100 loyal fans than 10, 000 of uninterested fans who contribute nothing.
Learn to Embrace Negative Comments
Not all negative comments harbor ill intend. So instead of allowing them to dispirit you, learn to embrace them with a warm heart.
Worth mentioning is that there’ll always be a group of customers who won’t be impressed by anything you do. Don’t focus too much on them. So instead of letting their comments pin you down, embrace them with an open heart and pick whatever you find valuable to improve on the quality of your services for the better.
Negative comments are part of your online reputation. Your prospects don’t expect everyone they stumble across to be in a positive ululation of your business. They instead want to find out if you’re indeed genuine enough to be trusted with their hard-earned cash.
What matters a great deal is how you respond and handle all the complaints that swing your way. If anything, all your customers care about is that you value them enough to respond to their needs should there arise a need for that.
Also, it’s possible to turn a negative comment around into a positive one by handling it correctly.
All Your Social Media Posts Should be Accompanied by Clear CTAs
The whole point of running a social media campaign is to get some of the followers you attract to take action. This requires that you remember to include clear CTAs in every single one of the posts you make.
More importantly, the CTA must be responsive enough to load just fine on mobile devices as well. That’s because the bulk of the prospects you’re likely to attract via social media will be viewing your site on mobile. To make sure that the campaign you’re running is effective enough to generate you some leads, then it’s crucial to make sure that all your CTAs can be navigated on phone.
Fuse Social Media Marketing and Email Marketing
You’re also to remind your social media followers to consider subscribing to your email list. A link directing them to your site or a page with the subscription form is enough to get them to consider handing you their email addresses and the green light to be served with regular newsletters.
Email marketing gives you total control over your marketing strategy. So just in case something happens to social media or they decide to make their campaigns somehow harder, you’ll still have your prospects’ email addresses.
Recommended Social Media Marketing Tools
Social media marketing is better conducted under the aid of a series of important tools, and it would be remiss of this post was to end without mentioning a few of these tools:
- Viral Content Buzz for promotions
For Measurement and Insights
- Facebook Insights
- Simply Measured
Social Media Monitoring Tools
- Sprout Social
- Tweet Deck
Let’s wrap it all Up Here
This is the guide you need to develop a basic understanding of what social media marketing really is and how to work your way around it. It’s the guide you need to get started if you’ve decided to handle social media marketing on your own.
For help in managing your social media account or some more primers on how to handle it correctly, you’re hereby requested to contact MediaOne today with your query and their friendly customer care department will be glad to help you out.