Social media can have a big impact on small businesses. Unfortunately, it’s not just about publishing a few posts and nice graphics. To really stand-out on a small business budget, your business has to understand its target customer, build great content and take a bit of a guerilla marketing approach to build experiences and programs that foster community and credibility.
Here is what I have seen work in my own business and also via the research I do monitoring social media and mobile marketing trends. Below is a high-level summary of my recent Business Bites 2.0: Marketing On A Shoestring session. The session was put together by the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Rhode Island Avenue Main Street to help DC small businesses to leverage social media to grow their businesses.
STEP ONE: Get to know your industry space before you market
Define your target customers, the competition and what’s working well in your space. Craft stories that exemplify why your target audience should choose you and your business. This will drive the content and marketing actions you’ll invest time in.
Your target: Take a highly targeted approach to understanding who your customer is and refine your message and marketing efforts to maximize communication.
The competition: Understand the competition so you can stand out and be noticed.
The conversation: Identify the conversations, communities and influencers so your efforts add value and build credibility.
Tools that can help:
STEP TWO: Create great content: Creating value-added content for your community is the best way to ensure that your content will be shared.
Here are top strategies being used by local DC businesses that work:
Here are some free and easy-to-use tools that can help businesses build great content:
For additional tips on how to use social media to grow your business, see the online session slides below.
Idaliz Ortiz is a Puerto Rican former multimedia journalist. She received a GLAAD award in 2017 for Spanish Programing - Special Feature, and was twice nominated for a Capital Emmy Award. She is currently the GWHCC Director of Marketing and Communications. Feel free to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org