Social Media

Secret weapon for SMB growth Social Media

by Angus Jones

In today’s dynamic business landscape, staying ahead of the curve is crucial for success. As consumer trends evolve and industries adapt, one area that shouldn’t be overlooked is social media. Whether a business is already well-established or it’s the beginning of a side hustle, social media is one of the most effective low-cost ways to market a brand.

For SMBs, social media can serve a variety of purposes, such as boosting brand visibility, establishing credibility, generating good word-of-mouth, or deepening connections with existing customers. Whatever the objective, understanding how to harness its power is essential for growth and success in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Small business owners should begin by understanding exactly how social media can benefit their business. Here are a few things to keep in mind when learning the ropes and developing an online presence.

The cost-effective social media advantage

One of the most compelling aspects of social media for SMBs is its cost-effectiveness. Unlike traditional forms of advertising, such as print or television ads, social media platforms offer a range of tools and features that allow businesses to reach their target audience at a fraction of the cost. Social media allows SMBs to stay true to their brand, providing an accessible medium for customers to learn their unique story. The opportunities granted by social media enable the customers to stay connected and engaged with frequent posts and messaging.

Whether it’s purely organic content or running targeted paid ads, social media allows SMBs to stretch their marketing budget further and achieve larger results – which is particularly beneficial for those without the time or budget for a well-executed marketing plan. Jennifer Lay Lash Supplies is an Australian owned SMB using their Instagram page to drive customer engagement and loyalty. They recently hosted an Instagram giveaway, requiring customers to follow and tag friends to enter the competition. Customers were given a strong incentive to return to the page and business while Jennifer Lay Lash Supplies grew their follower base and brand loyalty.

Most major platforms have different strengths, so it’s important for SMBs to find the network that’s best for their brand. Instead of spreading resources thin across multiple channels, brands might want to focus on one or two social platforms to devote more time to that offer the best fit and potential for customers. By researching where their target audience spends their time, what kind of content they consume and share, and how they interact with brands can help determine which ones are most appropriate. If an SMB feels they will benefit from a presence across multiple social channels, they can use Vista’s free graphic design tool, VistaCreate, to repurpose content for each relevant platform.

Craft compelling content to build trust and credibility

Content is the core of all social media marketing, and it should be relevant, useful, and engaging for potential customers. Quality content has the power to build trust, credibility, and loyalty while simultaneously expanding reach and visibility across platforms. Melbourne SMB owner, Shelby Sherritt, showcases this through her extremely successful TikTok and Instagram accounts for her ceramic business. With 1.9M followers on TikTok and 340k on Instagram, Shelby films herself making her products from scratch and talking through the process – from mugs and bowls to ornaments and vases. A brilliant example of fostering trust and personal connections with customers, her brand has benefitted from the human-touch behind her brand, storytelling, and regular content that builds a sense of intimacy with her followers.

To create valuable content that engages an audience, it’s essential to gain a deeper understanding of points, needs, and interests. In doing so, SMBs can tailor content to address these, whether it’s products providing practical solutions, offering industry insights, or simply entertaining and inspiring, content that speaks directly to the audience can foster a sense of connection and affinity with the brand.

In essence, building a community and fostering brand loyalty through content creation is a multifaceted venture that requires understanding of the target audience, platform-specific strategies, and compelling visuals. What’s more – using VistaCreate’s Brand Kit tool makes it easy to keep all brand elements and templates in one place, such as consistency with logos, fonts, and colours when creating visuals. By utilising this to deliver relevant, useful, and engaging content, SMBs can cultivate a loyal following, expand their reach, and drive meaningful interactions that contribute to long-term success.

The power of social media commerce

In today’s digital age, the integration of social commerce has revolutionised the way businesses can engage with customers and drive sales. Social media platforms have evolved beyond networking and marketing channels, now serving as powerful e-commerce platforms where SMBs can showcase products and facilitate transactions directly within platforms.

By leveraging features such as shoppable posts, product tagging, and in-app checkouts, businesses can provide a frictionless shopping experience that encourages customers to make purchases on the spot – enabling SMBs to capitalise on impulse buying and spontaneous decision-making. Moreover, by facilitating direct engagement with customers on platforms, social commerce creates an opportunity for personalised interactions, product recommendations, and post-purchase support – further enhancing brand loyalty.

The impact of influencers and authentic online endorsements

One of the other great benefits of social media is the ability to partner with influencers, a trend that continues to surge in popularity. Unlike traditional celebrities, influencers often cultivate highly engaged and loyal followings based on shared interests, passions, or expertise, making their recommendations and endorsements particularly impactful.

Partnering with influencers gives SMBs access to niche audiences that are aligned with their brand values which can help amplify their reach, drive brand awareness, and foster trust and credibility among their audience. Australian owned skincare and cosmetic brand, Esmi Skin Minerals, took advantage of this when they were established in 2017. They partnered with an array of influencers and users to share reviews, posts, and experiences with their products on Instagram. By 2020, the brand grew online revenue by 80 times and achieved an impressive 25% month-on-month revenue growth. This is one of many great examples of how a business can tap into social media, brand advocacy, and customer loyalty to great effect.

With majority of Australians active on social media, the power lies in not only its ability to reach and engage with audiences but also in its capacity to drive meaningful connections, foster brand loyalty, and fuel business growth. By embracing the multifaceted advantages of social media platforms, SMBs can position themselves for success in today’s competitive landscape to achieve their business goals efficiently and effectively.

Check out some more benefits of social media here alongside more of Vista’s tips here.

Contributed by Marcus Marchant, CEO of VistaPrint Australia and New Zealand

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