Online Marketing for Small Business and Freelancers : Social Media

As a small business or freelancer, social media is a core part of running your business. We’re all familiar with social media; with more than two billion people around the world using at least one platform, social media has become a pervasive part of everyday life.

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Running a personal Twitter account is very different from running one for a company or brand. Many established companies make the mistake of assigning the task of social media marketing to their youngest or most tech savvy person, not realising that, for a company of any significant size, social media marketing is a full-time job and cannot be neglected.

Strategise

Before you embark on your social media marketing journey, ask yourself two questions:

What do I want to accomplish?

Think about how you want your social media presence to help you. Do you want to make more sales? Increase brand awareness? Improve your customer service? Your objectives are up to you and making them clear will help you to carve out a space for your business.

Who is my audience?

Different platforms appeal to and are used by different demographics. The same ad posted on Facebook can be received very differently when posted on Twitter. Observe your customer base and consider which platforms are most appropriate for your brand. Avoid establishing a presence on a platform that you are not likely to use often; blank or sparsely populated social media feeds look unprofessional and can make it appear as though your business or brand is no longer trading. Platforms that have a strong visual element will be essential in spreading and sharing your message.

Plan

Unlike a personal social media account, a company or brand account can’t be left dormant until inspiration strikes. In order to produce regular and consistent content, you’ll need to create a calendar to plan out when and how often you’ll post. Find local and national events that are relevant to your business and plan your content around them accordingly. Major events will often have their own hashtag, so use that as a jumping off point in order to reach more people.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to write a year’s worth of tweets all at once. Plan out the big stuff and then assign some time to plan your content for the week ahead. Social media management tools like Hootsuite allow you to schedule your posts in advance and some even automatically schedule them for you in order to reach the widest audience.

Network

Other businesses may provide a product or service that is similar to yours, but no one does what you do like you do.

Keeping that in mind, don’t be afraid to interact with other similar brands on social media. Building a professional network opens all sorts of doors and creates opportunities for collaboration that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. There is a long list of bloggers and artists who were able to

There is a long list of bloggers and artists who were able to monetise themselves through social media by first building a fanbase. James Charles, a YouTube makeup artist, garnered such a following that he was eventually hired by CoverGirl as a model. Your network is an opportunity to sell not only your services, but yourself!

Engage

Social media gives your customers a way to talk to you, so talk back! People generally prefer to talk to a real person, so let your personality shine through when you engage with them.

Businesses rise and fall based on how they handle interaction on social media. This isn’t limited to customer service; competitions and giveaways are a good way of encouraging your followers to share your content and advertise your business to users who don’t yet follow you. A poll or survey also allows you to benefit from some free market research to expand your understanding of your audience.

Create

Blogging contributes to your SEO, which makes it easier for customers to find you through search engines. Blogs don’t need to be long, but they do need to be regular and contain keywords that relate to your business.

You can blog about anything, from events, to advice and tutorials, to announcing and demonstrating new products. It’s also a great way to give your customers a sneak peek behind the scenes of your business, allowing them to feel as though they’ve been part of your creative process.

Conclusion

Strategise, Plan, Network, Engage and Create are the bedrocks to succeeding at online marketing and social media for small business and freelancers.

If you would like to discuss how to grow your business and leverage online marketing for your small business, please get in touch!

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Online Lead Generation for Small Businesses

Excluding referrals, Online Lead Generation is the most cost effective way of generating new sales for smaller businesses. For a relatively small budget, you can promote your products and services locally, nationally or even internationally.

Having an online presence is essential for all businesses and the sooner the better. You may already have a Facebook or social media presence, but a good website projects authority and expertise. There are ways to sell on social media but a website gives you much more functionality.

Lead generation is all about getting people interested in your products or services. The days of phoning people up and asking if they are interested are long gone. Apart from the fact that it just isn’t cost effective, 85% of land lines are now registered with the TPS, so can’t be called. People tend not to sit around waiting for a call if they need something.

The first thing people do is search the internet. Unless you appear on the front page of those search results, their business is going to go to one of your competitors.

What about the people that don’t know they want your products services?

For SME’s, traditional telemarketing and direct mail also falls down here. Telemarketing because less and less people are picking the phone up and it costs thousands a month. Direct mail, with the increasing mailing costs and people’s habit of just throwing junk mail in the bin, it takes a significant budget to get any kind of response. Even then, it is unlikely to generate a return on investment.

Online lead generation can help with this. Do you know what type of people are more likely to buy your products and services? If you do, then social media advertising (Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn etc) can display your adverts to these people in the locations that you specify. For example, you may be targeting new parents, Mums in the local area, Men over 40 etc.

Advantages of Online Lead Generation

  1. Have you business found by people looking for your products or services.
  2. Get your business in front of potential customers who don’t yet know that they need your service.
  3. Lower marketing spend.
  4. Control and transparency.

Find out more

Based South of Manchester in the UK, Online Customer Solutions provide solutions to a range of business, but specialise in helping small businesses grow.

Contact us today, we can advise and provide a range of services, from setting up a website, to improving online marketing and conversions.

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