For small businesses, marketing is essential to your survival. The idea of ‘if you build it, they will come’ can only succeed if ‘they’ know what and where ‘it’ is, and why they need it. And with our increasing digital connections, being active and present on the various social media platforms can play a huge part in connecting with your clients. If that is where they are hanging out.
Social media is essentially peer-to-peer – friends, family, neighbours and colleagues connecting, recommending and guiding each other. And in this environment, a business with a good reputation can thrive, as your clients and friends want to support you and share the value of your services. With this in mind, having a social media presence is about establishing your business, being visible and interacting responsibly and reliably, so that you can harness the power of social media to your benefit.
The big platforms to consider are Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Reddit, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, Clubhouse, Circle and TikTok. They each compete for users networking attention and each has different benefits to businesses.
In this article, were going to tackle 5 of the most widely used platforms for wellness businesses:
Let’s start with some insights on social media performance and user behaviours:
- Social media users are now spending a daily average of 2 hours and 24 minutes multi-networking across an average of 8 social networks and messaging apps.
- More than half of the world use social media.
- 99% percent of total social media users are accessing via mobile device.
- Facebook and Instagram are particularly good for marketing to millennial and Gen Z age groups.
- The research from GlobalWebIndex in their social media trends 2020 report shows that younger age groups are particularly keen on researching products online via social networks.
However, alongside this growth we have to note that some users are concerned about their habits and data being harnessed, manipulated and misused, so there is a small trend of users stepping away from social media. Keep this in mind and be sure to act responsibly with any customer data you have – a misstep in this direction could cost you in your reputation.
Facebook has over 1 billion active users every day and is arguably the most accessible platform – simple to use, widely available, a great tool business interaction with business pages, community groups, events and Facebook ads. It’s ‘like’ and ‘follow’ features enable continuing engagement with interested clients and Facebook ads can drill down on users interests, which can work to your business’ benefit.
Facebook uses complex and constantly changing algorithms to decide who sees your posts and when, so play around with the content by noticing what creates the most engagement – try posting images, videos and Facebook stories. A catch-22 of Facebook algorithms is that unless people comment on your posts, they won’t see them but to get the posts seen, you need people to comment on them. Makes complete sense, right?! One workaround is to try asking questions in your posts to get the audience to comment, meaning they will see your future posts quickly.
Our advice – being on Facebook is beneficial for your business, great for engagement with your community and a must for small businesses. Be sure to reply to comments and messages in a timely way to fulfil your customer service commitment.
Initially, Instagram was just for sharing photos but sharing only one photo at a time, users had to become creative about that image and the accompanying text and the platforms gained popularity quickly. Now with the addition of Instagram stories, adverts and IGTV, this platform has grown vastly in popularity.
Facebook owns Instagram so it’s fair to assume it will continue to grow and evolve, and because of the shared ownership you can also link Facebook and Instagram accounts together in the Business App and post or answers messages from there. It’s not as easy to schedule posts on Instagram, and because it won’t allow link-sharing this means being a little creative with content, which isn’t a bad thing.
Instagram was designed for mobile devices and has a younger demographic than Facebook, so having a presence on both platforms is recommended. To succeed on Instagram, be active regularly with engaging posts, and learn how to use hashtags as these will extend your reach by a mile.
Our advice – having a presence on Instagram is quite straightforward, can be fun for engagement and is a common platform for small business.
Twitter has been around a long time and shows no signs of fading – it’s character limit forces users to be creative with what they say so that posting to Twitter is somewhat of an art form in its own right.
From celebrities and presidents to normal folks and businesses, Twitter is a really popular platform and its worth noting that Twitter ads generally have a better success rate than Facebook.
However Twitter requires regular posting, lots of engagement with other users and some creativity in how you say what you want to say, so before you commit to a presence on Twitter be sure that your audience is hanging out there, that you will get engagement in line with your business needs and that you have a good understanding of how to succeed on Twitter.
Our advice – Twitter is a great platform if you love to interact and be creative, but if you are trying to cut back on social media time, this might not be the platform for you.
LinkedIn was initially a networking tool for professionals, mostly in corporate environments, that enabled people to research companies, find jobs, and connect with colleagues in a very transparent environment. It now has a wider user-base than just the corporate world however it’s not known as the best platform for socialization or online shopping, and so again – understanding your audience and what you want to get out of this platform is paramount. If you want to make more business-to-business connections this is the place to be but it doesn’t support eCommerce very well.
Our advice – LinkedIn is worth having a profile on and might well extend your professional network.
YouTube is a widely-used, hugely popular and free video-based platform. This is the place to have a profile if you have any videos to share and can be great for creating a library of video content. YouTube allows users to limit the audience that sees your content, making videos private if you prefer and sharing the link to them.
YouTube is a place where users go to learn new things and this makes it powerful for businesses. Even if videos aren’t part of your business model, creating interesting or fun tutorials on YouTube can expand your reach. The key to using YouTube successfully is to optimize your SEO and that is a learning curve all of its own. YouTube videos feature high on Google searches so it is worthwhile using this platform and understanding the best features of it.
Creating good videos and optimizing SEO are learning curves all of their own but it is worth putting the time in to understand how to create good content and you can then share it across the other platforms.
Our advice – YouTube is a worthwhile tool if you can create videos to share, but do your research on SEOs to maximize your reach.
To cut back on time spent on social media, consider using a scheduling platform such as Hootsuite, Buffer, Tailwind or one of the many others available. Creating social media posts in advance takes the pain out of trying to come up with interesting, relevant content at the last minute, and you can feed into your broader marketing strategy in a planned out way. For example, if you have a big workshop or event on the horizon, you can create posts to lead up to that, keeping the audience engaged. And so, setting time aside to create those posts in advance saves you oodles of time in the long run and is more productive and effective for your business.
If you post in advance, all that is left to do on the daily is to check in on messages and comments on your posts. Being present on social media does require a level of commitment because your clients have a direct and easy route to contact you with queries, so it’s important to reply and interact to build that rapport and trust from the get-go.
So yes, social media can be a new skill to learn but with some savvy time-saving tips and a little research on how to work with each platform, you can soon harness its power for your small business.
As well as using social media to stay in touch with our clients, OfferingTree also provides its users with an easy-to-use email builder which includes the ability to segment your audience, set up nurturing campaigns, and analytics so you can make more data-driven decisions for your growing business. Visit offeringtree.com and see how we can help you stay connected with your audience and grow your business!