Social Media for Local Businesses: Staying Virtually Connected While Socially Distant

September 10, 2020 Cox Media

Social Media for Local Businesses: Tips to Stay Virtually Connected While Socially Distant

Social media’s low cost, robust analytics, targeting capabilities and ease of use have made this digital channel a popular advertising option for small businesses—especially now, when those businesses are strapped for cash and looking for affordable ways to connect with their audience.

The pandemic has only increased the role social media is playing in small business marketing strategies. According to a survey of business owners by Borrell, 60 percent say they view social media as a “necessary evil” to confront and overcome the business challenges created by the pandemic. Forty percent of small businesses have started posting more consistently to improve their visibility and engagement with their customers.

Almost any small business owner or worker can create a business page and use it to share content about their company. Just because it’s easy, though, doesn’t mean that businesses will automatically know how to drive the results they’re looking for. Social media may be accessible to businesses of any size, but there are a lot of nuances and best practices involved in maximizing the value of this marketing channel. To help, we’ve gathered some tips on how your business can maximize the value of this channel.

HOW SOCIAL MEDIA CAN SUPPORT YOUR BUSINESS

Social media provides a direct line of communication and engagement with your customers. Early in the pandemic, when businesses were forced to restrict their operations or shut down entirely, social media became a relied-upon tool for keeping your business top-of-mind among your customers, while also offering tips and tricks, such as DIY guides to supplement the business’s limited service operations.

Even though most parts of the country have now relaxed these restrictions, your business can still use social media to achieve these same goals. Organic posting to social media accounts can earn you visibility and engagement among your existing followers. At the same time, paid social promotion can be used to expand your visibility among new potential customers. The many targeting filters and tools offered through social platforms can help you focus your paid promotion among consumers who fit the profile of your typical customer.

As with any new marketing tool, social media will take some time—and trial and error—to master on your own. The analytics offered through most social platforms can help, but if you decide to manage social content for your business all on your own, you can expect a steep learning curve.

USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO COMPLEMENT OTHER AD CAMPAIGNS

One of the greatest appeals of social media is that it doesn’t exist in isolation. Your social media campaigns can be integrated with many different marketing campaigns to strengthen the value of these channels both on their own and as a whole.

Social media can be easily promoted on your website, in TV ads, on your blog, in email newsletters, on direct mailings, and anywhere you can place a thumbnail representing a well-known social media platform. In fact, the value of social media is tied to its use with these other campaigns, because it takes the awareness created by other campaigns and provides a new outlet for customers and prospects to connect with your business.

Be aggressive in identifying placement opportunities for social media. Repurpose content on your social media channels to extract more value from your content—videos, for example, can be posted to YouTube and embedded on your website, and also shared on social media accounts. And stay active on social media and respond to customer questions and comments to deliver the best possible customer experience.

THE BENEFITS OF MANAGING YOUR SOCIAL STRATEGY WITH AN ADVERTISING PARTNER

While it can be easy to set up social media for your business, the strategies used for small business promotion are surprisingly sophisticated. Instead of learning the ropes through trial and error, many businesses generate better ROI on their efforts by investing in a partnership that can help them optimize their social strategy, maximize engagement and reach among their audience, and build a social presence that can support and strengthen your bottom line.

Working with an advertising partner can help you skip some of the early steps that involve a lot of work without much, if any, reward. Advertising partners also keep up on evolving trends and opportunities in social media marketing, which are then passed on to further optimize the performance of your social content.

Don’t waste your valuable time and resources figuring out social media strategy on your own. A digital advertising partner can help you skip the growing pains of DIY social media, and quickly achieve social media success that can buoy your business through the challenges of the pandemic. Contact us today to see how we can help.

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