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Tips on building social media audiences for small business

Social media platform brings businesses closer to their audiences but it never guarantees revenue for them. When it comes to successful social media strategies, there is a lot of misinformation about the channels that may confuse small businesses and cause them to follow the wrong one. Small businesses do not have a large marketing budget or have not set aside any at all for this activity. You may ask then, how do small businesses build a following with a small budget? Here are some tips on building social media audiences:

 

Social media is not a free marketing channel.

 

Whilst most social media platform are free to sign up, advertising on them are not free. According to Stephanie Walden of Mashable (Dec, 2013), an average brand post was only seen by 16% of its followers and Facebook admitted that paying to promote the post will boosts the post’s reach. If you do not plan to promote via paid channels, put your social media address(es) on your business card, email signatures, website and etc that clearly directs customers to your social pages.

 

Choose your platform wisely

 

There are many social media platform for you to choose. However, you will waste your time and effort if you try to focus on every single platform available. Instead, understand your target market and pick only those platform where the majority of your target audiences uses. For example, if you promote a product that serve mass audiences, consider Facebook; if you promote a blog about HR or business management, choose LinkedIn; and for events, Twitter may be your best option thanks to their famous hashtags. The better you understand your audiences and picking the correct platform will help you flourish and expand your target groups.

 

Do not hard sell

 

Because of “virtual” nature of social media sites, it is not recommended to push your brand messaging on unsuspecting fans by overly promote your fan page. Stay away from sentences that says “how great is your business or product”. Start with content that brings values to the audience. At Texo Design, our aims is to share content that educate readers or audience on topic(s) that they may be interested in and generate genuine interests in our products. We also share inspirational thoughts and motivational quotes to help enrich the reader lives in an informative and relevant way. In order to grow your business audiences organically, you need to feed them with good and valuable content and do not hard sell to them because it will make them “unlike” you for sure. One last thing, make sure your content is delivered in an accessible and personal way.

 

Sweepstakes and giveaways

 

One of the easiest ways to attract a social following or “likes” is to offer a small incentive. Everyone loves something for free. If your marketing budget is small, you may want to consider sweepstake and giveaway something small but is of interest to your target audience. However, one thing you need to keep in mind is not to overuse this method because not every participant translates into a loyal, converting customer. You might be asking why use this method then? One of the upsides of sweepstakes and giveaways is that you have followers who may not be your brand loyalists yet. However, you now have the ability to convert these followers if you continue to provide value-added content.

 

Conclusion

 

Building social audiences is not easily for small businesses, especially those that have limited marketing budget. You need to invest in social media as a long-term activity but more importantly, know who your audiences are so that you can gradually build and turn them into your brand loyalists.

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