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8 ways to use social media to grow your business

5 Mins read
  • Social media has become an important marketing tool for small businesses. However, as easy as it is to use social media, you have to be strategic about how you use it to maximize profits for your business.

As a small business owner, chances are you have spent some time finding ways you can use your favourite social media pages to scale your business and drive sales. I’d be surprised if you haven’t, because in this age and time when there are over 4 billion people using social media daily, that part of the internet has become a gold mine, creating wealth, as well as burning time.

Social media can be very distracting, especially with the millions of contents posted daily; this makes social media marketing a full time job. And for a job with distractions at every corner, one has to be strategic and have well cut-out plans to mitigate the deafening noise on the space. Big companies have access to huge budgets to push their social media presence, but since small businesses don’t have that competitive budget, strategic moves are the next available superpower.

In this article, I am going to lay out ways you can grow your business through the use of social media, and this will be done in 8 simple points.

Set achievable goals

First, grab a notebook and write down 2-3 specific goals for growing your business on social media. If you’re selling handmade bracelets, goals could be “sell 100 bracelets in 3 months” or “get 1,000 Instagram followers”. Pick achievable goals – goals you can track daily or monthly so you can measure progress. While setting achievable goals, ensure you don’t get too lazy and comfortable with goals that require minimal efforts – you might just be setting yourself up.

Outline specific, measurable objectives like “gain 500 newsletter subscribers in 6 months” or “increase website clicks by 30% year-over-year.” Detailed goals focus efforts.

Know your audience

Search for demographic data on who uses each platform. For example, know that Snapchat and TikTok skew towards teens and young adults, while Facebook has more 35-65 year olds. X (Twitter) and LinkedIn have their own demographic information too. Decide 1-2 top platforms and research what your target buyers care about – then make content about that.

You also have to consider the age group that would be able to afford your product, or at least, be able to convince those that can afford your product.

You do not have to post the same content across all your social media pages, especially if you have different audience on the pages. For example, if you have more teenage audience on TikTok, you can tailor your posts to things teenagers would be interested in, and then find a way to push your product with such content.

If you have older audience, then engage the audience with content that relates with them.

Create share-worthy contents

The key is consistently posting contents your audience love. As a small business owner, you should know that you can’t just share anything – you should share contents with your audience in mind. If your trade is targeted at teenagers, then you should share contents that teenagers will find interesting, and would be willing you share to their circle. The more your contents are shared and interacted with, the more your page will be suggested to users with similar interests. This can end up putting your page into the faces of potential customers.

Videos and visuals get shared most on TikTok and Instagram. You have to make contents as short as possible, as people’s attention span is shortening. The longer the video, the higher the chances of the video getting skipped before ending. Some contents might start good, but later lose traction towards the end. Avoid this.

Suggested contents could include providing value through short DIY tips, behind-the-scenes footage, etc. Spend an hour or two every couple days planning, making and posting engaging content. Hashtags help too, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Use strategic hashtags

Don’t just punch in any hashtag, search what popular hashtags people in your industry or interested groups follow. Using relevant tags is key for new users to find your posts. For instance, if you have a thrift clothing business, you can consider using tags like #thriftfashion #secondhand. Make tags brand specific too so fans can unite.

Being part of wider conversations drives growth. You know your niche, and you should know what what your customers are interested in. A lot of these information can be got by interacting with your followers, especially through post reactions and comment replies; and that’s the next point of discussion.

Interact with your followers

Reply to all follower DMs and comments with a personalized, human voice. Ask followers questions to spark dialogue. Building real relationships, not just hard selling, sustains growth.

In the same vein, minimize the promotional posts you make, and be more conversational with your posts. Conversational posts can drive engagement, improve your page impression when you interact with followers, and further push your page to more people, resulting in more engagement.

It is highly recommended that posts should follow the basic 80/20 rule for posting. 80 percentage of your posts should be conversational, with the intention of giving your page more visibility, interacting with followers; and 20 percentage can be promotional posts. Don’t over populate your page with business posts – business posts can be boring to people that are not on your page to purchase good – people who were brought to your page should be further entertained, and not sent away with too much adverts.

Aside making posts and replying comments, you can also post polls and share the results, address complaints, ask and answer questions, and appreciate followers.

Remember, conversational, more than promotional.

Also, you can partner with other businesses and influencers in the same sector as you are. This will help the algorithm to better place your page, and expose them to mutual followers. The key to to relate with posts of people in your field, this way, you can also learn from those that are doing well with their page, and you can learn a few things from their contents.

Run paid ads

When starting, focus on free posting – but after you have a good number of content on your page, and followers/subscribers on a platform, you should start considering using paid advertising. You can have a monthly budget for running ads on Facebook, Instagram, or whichever platforms you choose. Running ads will get your posts and website in front of more buyers. In case you’re wondering how to pay for ads because you don’t have a dollar account, don’t worry, there are companies that make it easy for you to make payments for adverts, one of such companies is 1app. You will find out that funding your ads account is quite easy.

When you run ads, make sure your ads are targeted based on location, interests, demographics and more. This allows you to reach the people that are most likely to be interested in your product. If you’re using Facebook or Twitter ads, make sure you set up conversion tracking to see which campaigns are working best for your goals.

Read also: 3 strategies Google has deployed to Shield Against Misinformation and Harmful Content on Google Maps

Track the performance of your page

It’s not just about posting – to grow, you need to measure. Look at Facebook Insights, YouTube Analytics, etc. See which posts get most reactions, shares, clicks. Find out when your audience is most active. Use this intel to improve strategy.

There are several platforms you can rely on for metrics to track your performance with, including Google Analytics, Facebook Analytics and page insights, Sprout Social, LinkedIn company pages report, Keyhole, Twitter analytics and keyword reports, Buffer, and BuzzSumo. If you don’t know how to use these services, you can always learn through courses – paid or free; YouTube is a great place to get knowledge for free.

Review and refresh

Successful social media requires consistency. Schedule time every month to review performance data and refresh content or ad approaches. Nail the basics before trying advanced tactics. Post frequently, respond promptly, analyze regularly.

The key is committing time consistently to understand your buyers, engage them with value, respond thoughtfully, and track progress. Do this across your 1-3 top platforms, adapting as you grow, to convert followers into customers.

I hope this article has been helpful.

Good luck to you and your business.

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When I'm not reading about tech, I'm writing about it, or thinking about the next weird food combinations to try. I do all these with my headphones plugged in, and a sticky note on my computer with the words: "The galaxy needs saving, Star Lord."
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