Being more interactive on social media can allow a small business to connect with their audience and build upon it from what they previously had.
Growing a larger audience is by far and away the most important thing for a small or independent business venture to focus on.
The truth is that people like interactive social media posts because it makes them feel like they’re an individual part of the very thing that they’re following online. It connects your audience directly to your brand, which is a very important aspect of small business growth.
The stats small business owners need to know
- Nearly 50% of the world’s population uses social media. That’s over 3 billion users worldwide. (Statista)
- In 2019, 90.4% of Millennials, 77.5% of Generation X, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers were active social media users. (Emarketer)
- 54% of social browsers use social media to research products. (GlobalWebIndex)
- Each person spends an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes on social networks and messaging. (Globalwebindex)
- 321 million new people joined social media in 2019, which brought the total from 3.48 billion to 3.8 billion social media users (an increase of 9%) in 2020. (Hootsuite)
- Millennials are logged on to social media for an average of two hours and 38 minutesdaily while Gen Z logs on for two hours and 55 minutes. (World Economic Forum)
Keep things flowing consistently
Don’t rest on your laurels as the owner of a small business, or as a social media manager for an independent business venture, if you want to make your brand truly interactable, interactivity needs to become a constant. Simply creating a post that’s interactive for your audience every now and then won’t work; the way to grow your business through interactive social media marketing is by changing the way you do things completely.
Make sure all your posts are following the same format of communicating with
Social media marketing requires commitment, themed branding, observational skills, and hard work. You have to focus on what it is your consumers interact with and hone in on a niche you find. It can be very tedious at times and rather hard work, but it’s always worth putting in the extra effort.
To make the most out of social media with a business, you have to create a coherent feed of posts, making yourself instantly recognisable to your followers. There are some classic examples of this, especially on Instagram, where business use images and photographs to advertise their branding.
Using social media from a business perspective also makes you settle on a target audience from an early point in your company’s lifespan. This includes making choices regarding how frequently you create posts and how formal you allow your writing to be in those said posts.
It will also dictate how many links you include, what images are right for your audience, and what type of content you think will receive more impressions and interactions. Your audience will dictate how serious or light-hearted your content can be on the social media sites too.
Consider the reach of your business venture
The size of your business very much depends on whether social media marketing will be right for you or not, if you’re a smaller company you should analyse if it’s going to be worth the time and effort you’ll have to put in each day. If you fail to create a strong brand on social media, people won’t interact with you, so it’s got to be more than just a few Facebook ads. Take the time to assess your own businesses situation and move forward from that position. This is why creating a business plan is essential to longevity and success.
Small business social media
It’s always a great idea for small business owners to come up with an overall social media strategy that can be applied to all outlets of the business’ social channels. In some instances, developing a different strategy for each individual social media site is the best way to go, although this isn’t always a requirement and you can occasionally get away with using just one, before applying it to all social media pages at your disposal.
When developing a social media strategy for your small business, don’t simply plan what you’re going to post, where and at what time, there’s far more to it than that. You need to know what your target audience is, what sort of reach levels are you aiming for, how are you going to engage with your consumers, and don’t go forgetting about business growth through the use of your social channels either. The only way you’ll be able to find successful levels of business development through the use of social media posts are if you’re putting in your maximum amount of effort and firing on all cylinders.
Consider looking further than the odd Facebook and Twitter posts and show off your creative side a little more. People want multimedia content that is both interactive and informative these days, so that’s what you should be aiming to create. Not only that, but original content that isn’t a simple rehash of what someone else has already created is what will get you the very best results.
So, with all that being said, you should aim to make your strategy tightly focused on what’s unique about your business venture. This could be the location, the products it sells or the services it offers. Only you truly know what makes your business special, so spread the word on social media and make some informative and entertaining videos that can uploaded to Youtube, etc. and imbed them within your company’s website. This is just one example of what you could do, but video footage will be much more successful at catching the eye of your audience than pages and pages of text, so at least have a few high quality images at the ready for your upcoming posts.
Tracking interactivity levels on social media
One thing that you’ll likely be eager to learn about is how you’ll actually keep track of your business’ social media interactivity levels. Well, there are various sure fire ways you can do this and they’re all, for the most part, rather simple and straight forward. When thinking about ways to track your interactivity levels, consider looking into engagement rates your social media posts are receiving, including the amount of comments and likes, the increase in followers you are receiving over your targeted time period and more.
We’ll now quickly take you through a few of these things to get you started with tracking interactivity rates and levels throughout your online audience.
Comments on posts – If you’re experiencing an increased amount of comments on your business’ social media profiles lately, you’re likely on the right track when it comes to improved interactivity. If you’re getting a much greater amount of comments, you’re becoming more interactive, this is a great way to develop an online brand community if that’s something you’re chasing.
Followers – If your follower count on your business’ social media pages is on the upward trajectory, you can assume that it’s because of the content you’re putting out there via these channels. At the end of the day, if you’re creating better, more engaging content and posting it through your social media pages, your follower count will undoubtedly grow exponentially.
Engagement levels – This may also include the amount of comments your social media posts receive, as we’ve already discussed, but it may be worth checking other areas of concern as well. These can include the time bounce rate of your content from internet users and your audience, and also try to look at the amount of time people are spending on your content before clicking away.
People have short attention spans these days online, so if the amount of time spent looking at your content is going up on average, the chances are you’re starting to create more engaging, more interactive content.
Social media is a self-promotional tool for businesses
You can effectively promote your business online by using the various social media platforms that are free to use right now. The use of the social media can be perfect for self-promotion. Not only can you build up a strong follower-base by connecting with the right people online, you can also begin to narrow down a target audience. Using social media is an effective method of keeping your audience engaged, letting them know what you have to offer on a daily basis.
“Social media statistics from 2019 show that there are 3.5 billion social media users worldwide, and this number is only growing” (statistics courtesy of Oberlo.co.uk).
Social media can improve website trust levels
Some customers, particularly those of a slightly older generation, will often question the security of your website, especially if it is new to them. This means that starting out as a new business online could potentially have its difficulties in the sense that you’ll need to provide customers with some proof that you are safe and legitimate to shop with; this could prove to be very tough, as some people still don’t even trust online banking after all these years.
Make sure your site is secure and trustworthy, the best way to do this is to seek out customer reviews and display them across your website and respective social media pages. The words of fellow customers and consumers will be much more important to potential clients, than your own words will be. Wear your positive reviews as a badge of honour and work to make every customer transaction go as smoothly as it possibly can.
Social media can be seasonal
The social media pages attached to your business should be wisely utilised around holiday seasons. By creating posts that link to the current season, you’re likely to see more engagement from new users during that time of the year, because holiday periods will always be a trending topic on the internet every time they come around. You see, seasonal marketing shouldn’t only take place in stores or websites, but rather through the entirety of a business’ core when they’re trying to maximise sales and levels of consumer engagement around it. Marketing ideas can come in all shapes and sizes, but if you want to truly muster up that seasonal spirit within your company, don’t forget to put the word out there, via your socials.
Social media is one of the best ways to capture potential customers of the future, so just as long as you’re posting about things that will engage with their personal interests, you’re doing the right thing for your business.
As you go through different seasonal periods, you should focus your efforts on Instagram posts, or other social media websites that can create interactions between your business venture and its customers. You could have polls and other kinds of voting activities on Twitter, interactive stories on Instagram and heavily-utilised comments sections under Facebook posts. Social media accounts are free so if you own a small business, make sure it has them and get them posting actively in order to connect further with your audience.
Social media for small businesses
Though, you should be aware that utilising social media in a smart, consistent way can be a great way to connect to your audience and widen it further, especially if you’re the owner of a small business. The extensive presence of social media is something that can be commonly found throughout the vast majority of online businesses. This is because it essentially acts as a free added strand of both branding and marketing.
By making your social media posts interactive, you’ll ultimately start connecting with a much wider audience than ever before. Along with this, you’ll also give your current followers a better experience and an extra reason to stick with your business and look out for your updates as they come through on multiple social media channels. Don’t waste time, if your social media has been plain and bland up to now, begin mixing it up with some multimedia elements that will ultimately help it to be more interactive from today onwards.