So many small businesses are in constant need of help, but most don’t have the funds to advertise on billboards as other companies do. Social media is a great way to expand an audience at a low cost. Small businesses need to use social media to expand brand awareness because most people find out about these places through various platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Social media allows users to share and promote heartfelt stories about these companies that benefit them in the long run. Everyone loves a company that has an important story to share!
Building Brand Awareness
One advantage to social media or website production is they increase brand awareness. People spend most of their time on cell phones. Purchasing things online is a growing activity. If a small business can create a name for itself on social media, they have access to so many possibilities. “Social media allows your business to share its brand across various platforms while creating a consistent look and feel. This consistency is the foundation for building a reputable brand and business. By using the same logo, font and brand colors, you create an authentic online presence…and authenticity is a must-have when it comes to building trust in your customers” (Vistaprint.com).
Each platform gives off a different “vibe” depending on what the company is looking for. Facebook and Twitter seem to be more professional and word-oriented. While Instagram and TikTok are used by a younger crowd and can be used for sharing interesting graphics or interacting with people in a casual way. However, each platform reflects upon the overall “tone” your company creates. “Though the caption for a Facebook post might be different from a TikTok video, the tone and voice should still reflect your brand” (Vistaprint.com). Social media platforms can help an old small business or a new small business. You can enter your social media journey at any point and gain benefits from it!
Think about a small business that you really love and care for. A small business you own, your family owns, friend owns, or a small business you enjoy going to. Why do you love it so much? Is there a special backstory to the business and how it came to be? ““Remember, before they buy your products or services, they have to buy you.” If you want to make an impact on your prospects and customers, then you have to become a small business storyteller” (Caplan, 2022).
Storytelling is a powerful tool that is used by many small businesses and large companies as well. “The goal of these stories is to highlight the impact that you’re having on your community, but on a micro-level that others can relate to” (Wentley, 2022). Storytelling can convince more people to trust your store and what it’s about. It can increase sales and increase customer loyalty. Stories can be tailored to a “macro-level”, as stated above, to relate with customers on a deeper level. The best way to show people that their company is important is to lay out all the details and pull on the heartstrings.
Know Who You’re Talking To
In any business, it’s important to know who you are advertising toward. Understanding your target audience will affect the platform you use, price points, tone and language, and much more (Thomas, 2020). Small businesses can benefit from this because it allows them to tailor their marketing to their audience. “If your product is trying to reach baby boomers, but you announce a product release on Snapchat, you’re not choosing the best platform for your customers” (Thomas, 2020).
Google Analytics is a crucial tool to use when researching your audience. “Google Analytics is a web analytics service that provides statistics and basic analytical tools for search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing purposes” (Chai, 2021). This allows small businesses to understand who they are speaking to and who is interested in their products or services. Knowing your target audience allows businesses to spend less on advertising. Quality over quantity is important, especially when a company has a small budget (such as a small business).
Invite Others In On The Fun
Are you more likely to purchase a product that your favorite singer or favorite influencer uses? Most people would say yes.
“User-generated content is technically any content that was created by individuals and not brands. Additionally, it encompasses web pages that users can contribute to, such as forums” (Lahey, 2021). UGC can positively impact the level of followers you gain, but UGC doesn’t need to come from incredibly famous people like Adele or Taylor Swift. When it comes to small businesses, any support from the public can launch your company into popularity. Creating an engaging and fun atmosphere within your non-profit will likely influence people to partake. For example, the small business I work for is called BookBar. It’s a book store, a cafe, and a bar all rolled into one. Last weekend, a woman took a video of our store and posted it on TikTok. She is a content creator that travels to cities and reviews small businesses. The video received over 100k views and we found the store to be busy as hell ever since! “Finding the correct person may end up in vital donations with very little to no cash spent. Look around your network and circle of friends for influential personas that can advocate for your cause” (Kick Ideas, 2017). Even smaller-scale influencers (such as that woman) can make a huge impact on a small business.
Consumers also trust UGC more than a brand’s content. People tend to trust others who seem genuine and authentic about the products they are interested in. “Consumers simply don’t believe that they’ll get the experience they are looking for if they don’t have any visual proof of it. Especially when a competitor offers them more security via UGC with customers’ stories and reviews” (Lahey, 2021). It’s also important that a brand reposts any UGC they come across online.
“78% of consumers are willing to purchase from a business after a positive encounter with them on social media” (sociallybuzz.com, 2022). With a statistic like that, it’s hard to justify why any small business wouldn’t invest in social media. Social media is especially a smart tool to use when advertising on a low-budget. Small businesses can benefit from this because they need to spend their money wisely and don’t have loads of money to spend on advertising.
Looking back at all the points that were made, what stood out to you? Are there more ways non-profits can increase the likelihood of gaining donations? To conclude, here are a few key points that were covered in this article.
- Social media will help small businesses develop a brand and draw awareness around their products or services.
- Drawing a customer into the business by telling a story and being vulnerable is an extremely important part of becoming a great business.
- Knowing your target audience will open up crucial information that will allow small businesses to reach the people they want to reach!
- Invite influencers, micro-influencers, your friends, and old customers to post about your business on social media. Create a mini campaign or hashtag for others to use on Instagram. Small businesses thrive off of word-of-mouth and social media can jump-start that opportunity.
- Finally, social media is free. Small businesses need to use that fact, and that fact alone, to their advantage.
Taking these points into account, where have you seen these tactics being used? I challenge you, the reader, to investigate a few small businesses’ social media pages and see if you can find a few tactics.
Caplan. (2022). Just a moment… Retrieved from https://www.constantcontact.com/blog/small-business-storytelling/
Chai, W. (2021, April 12). What is Google analytics and how does it work? SearchBusinessAnalytics. https://www.techtarget.com/searchbusinessanalytics/definition/Google-Analytics
Lahey, C. (2021, September 10). How user-generated content can help your content strategy. Semrush Blog. https://www.semrush.com/blog/user-generated-content/?kw=&cmp=US_SRCH_DSA_Blog_EN&label=dsa_pagefeed&Network=g&Device=c&utm_content=622080551499&kwid=dsa-1754979152125&cmpid=18348486859&agpid=145169426390&BU=Core&extid=60113851181&adpos=&gclid=CjwKCAiA68ebBhB-EiwALVC-NrZYBSHzTKoU0DIDKE6kFH0Td4_PtN6cxCFUPWKK4kPLn0Ph5zL6MhoCTncQAvD_BwE
Pauleijsermans. (2021, May 23). 5 big benefits of social media for small business. Retrieved from https://www.vistaprint.com/hub/benefits-social-media-for-business?PCXTVATINCLUSIVE=&utm_id=&coupon=&partner=google&ps_vtp=16161998800|134634576193||dsa-1456167871416|c|9002256||g&ps_vtp2=g|||584111360772|||||&gclid=CjwKCAiApvebBhAvEiwAe7mHSH_8-XoxOH33JNLyfQhPgrMMvpu9JwmGy6hpmEfe3FOt6oyvMJvkqhoCQagQAvD_BwE
Sociallybuzz.com. (n.d.). Why is Social Media Good for Small Businesses? Retrieved from https://www.sociallybuzz.com/why-is-social-media-good-for-small-businesses/?
Wentley, S. (2022, October). Nonprofit Storytelling: Why It Matters and How to Do It Effectively. Constantcontact.com. https://www.constantcontact.com/blog/nonprofit-storytelling/
Category: Personal Branding, Social Media Marketing 101