Amplify Your Message: Social Media For Small Business
This week, Markon is going online with small businesses across the globe for #smallgoesbig - a collaborative series of informative web-based events led by Twitter, Google, Hubspot, and Sprout Social. As we move through the series of events we’ll post a bit about them here on our blog. Markon is committed to using social media to elevate our presence in the marketplace, and we believe every small business should make, even a nominal, investment in social media. Managing even the smallest footprint on the social media landscape elevates your business’ searchability, with your business appearing on both web-based and mobile searches. Just like your website, your social media presence is also your 24-hour employee - able to provide cursory, or in-depth, information about your business, take inquiries, or receive valuable consumer feedback.
Social media is a global tool. As your content is “liked” and “shared,” “retweeted” or “reblogged,” its reach is increasing, appearing in more and more feeds. We know from our own experience that this can increase the geographic range from which your clients come from. More importantly, the sharing of your content equates to digital “word of mouth” marketing. As users share your content, they are, in a way, noting their confidence in your brand - which is important! Depending on your audience, or purpose, you might have accounts on multiple platforms. After all, each platform has different features and strengths. One may be more appropriate than another.
Consider which platform might be right for you:
Facebook is the largest and most active of the social media platforms, with 1.32 billion active monthly users. Users create profiles with retrospective personal information and dedicate time to chronicling their lives, interacting with brands and artists they enjoy. Facebook offers a cost-effective, highly customizable advertising feature that is well worth any small businesses time.
With nearly 300 million active monthly users, 78% of whom are on mobile devices, Twitter can also boast an impressive scope. With its limit to 140 characters, easy ability to “tweet” other uses, and famous “hashtags” that allow you to make posts easily searchable (you can do the same on Facebook, but it’s less prevalent). Consider using Twitter for real-time conversations with your audience that are easy to organize and search when you use your own, creative, hashtag. Twitter recently added an advertising function, as well.
As we mentioned in a blog post last week, marketers are calling Instagram the breakout social media platform of 2014. Instagram is a mobile-reliant image-sharing social media app. If you’re looking for a way to share photos of your products or service, Instagram is an easy way to go. Hashtags also organize your content, allowing users who input relevant search terms to find you.
Pinterest is being eyed by marketers as the next big platform for advertising. When it comes to sharing content, Pinterest has a unique niche in the social media genus. Whereas Facebook collects a large amount of retrospective information and its users spend their time chronicling their daily life, or reflecting on the past, and Twitter spends an enormous time in the present, Pinterest is future-focused. Users on Pinterest “pin” content that relates to future intentions and/or activities. Users get on Pinterest seeking content in a direct, and personal way, that is unique to the other major platforms. A small business armed with a good camera, a creative eye, and a desire to spread information could garner quite a bit of brand recognition on Pinterest.
Whether you’re using social media to assert your brand identity, open channels for communication with your audience, or to manage a venue for serious web-based advertising campaigns, your messaging online should be as branded as your messaging offline. Use custom graphics for display and “cover” photos, so that your profile will have a branded appearance that clearly defines your page. Consider creating a series of graphics for sharing on every platform. Memes are an excellent visual tool for sharing your message. For platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, a small business should definitely include items for each in their marketing investments. Quality images shared on both platforms can have tremendous reach, elevating brand awareness with each like and/or share.