With so many ways to market a product or service, how do you know which one is the best for you?
In short: For any small business with a limited budget, social media can be a very cost effective way of attracting new customers or clients quickly, without having to invest in a website, advertising or other more costly marketing activities. So, it’s a great starting point!
Ideally, you would implement social media marketing in combination with other marketing channels (particularly a website). For those that can’t yet spare the budget to hire a web developer, or have a website in place already, then social media is likely to give you the best return on investment (ROI). This does of course mean investing your time in building an engaged social media following who are likely to buy from you, but there are so many excellent free tools available that you can get the word out about your brand to the right people for very little financial investment.
It is important to remember that you need to have a strategy in place to ensure you do not just waste your valuable time. I’d recommend setting out with specific goals in mind and figuring out exactly who your ideal clients are and where they are likely to spend their time. This will help you work out how you are going to reach these people and what types of messaging and content to offer them. A few things to consider…
- Target demographic? Are they predominantly male or female? What is the age range? Do they live in any particular area?
- What are their interests – not just related to your product or service, but anything that might interest them?
- What are their pain points?
- How can your offering help?
- Which magazines and newspapers do they buy?
Download worksheet for these and other suggestions to help you figure out who your ideal clients.
When you’ve documented this information (also known as defining buyer personas), it’s time to decide which social media channel is likely to yield the best results. Just concentrate on one or two platforms initially and do them well. It’s tempting to hedge your bets and start building your marketing campaign across all of the major platforms, but I’d advise against this initially unless you have all the time in the world!
Here’s a short run-down of who is using each platform and what they are good for…
- Twitter – 12.6 million UK users. Favoured by 25-34 yr olds. Slightly more popular with men than women.
- Facebook – 30 million active UK users. Favoured by 25 – 54 year olds. Best platform for reaching over 45 year olds.
- Instagram – 17 million UK users. Favoured by 18-34 year olds. Fastest growing platform at the moment.
- LinkedIn – 21 million UK accounts. Favoured by 25 – 44 year olds. Business orientated. More usage by males than females