According to the third annual State of Small Business Report, small to medium-sized businesses in the USA are pretty optimistic about their future. However, some are dealing with financial issues, declining sales, and rising costs more than they had in previous years. The COVID-19 pandemic has now changed the dynamic of the digital marketing world. It has caused a lot of changes for the decision-makers and owners of small to medium-sized businesses.
There are a lot of marketing tactics that businesses use. A few of them include the following:
- Offering sales or deals on products or services to appeal to new customers
- Implementing new digital marketing technologies to target the right audiences better
- Using social media marketing to increase customer engagement and traffic
- Using social media “storefronts” or “shops” to allow consumers to buy products or services directly via social platforms
- Establishing partnerships with complementary businesses to drive awareness and customer acquisition.
Almost 6 in 10 confirmed using digital tools and technologies in the past 2 years to improve customer experience and sales. On the other hand, 56% agreed that they had purchased digital tools and technologies to create better opportunities for their businesses to make money in the past 2 years.
The most common digital tool many business owners and marketers use is “Social Media Marketing.” According to the report, 59% are either currently using social media marketing or have used it to get more online traffic and increase customer engagement. Another 19% said that they haven’t yet used social media marketing but are considering doing so in the future. On the other hand, there are only 17% who are not planning to use it, while the other 5% don’t have an opinion about it or aren’t aware of using it properly.
The other marketing tool on the rise is “Social Commerce.” One-third, that is, 33% of small to medium-sized businesses, have either already used social media “storefronts” or “shops” to allow their consumers to buy products and services directly via social media platforms or currently using it. The other 21% of SMBs consider it a suitable option to use in the future. On the other hand, 37% of the owners or marketers still don’t have any such plan to implement. Another 9% either don’t know about it or have no opinion to share.
Regarding social media platforms, Facebook has been the most popular among small to medium-sized businesses. It is followed by Instagram and LinkedIn, which many marketers have started considering now. Although TikTok proved to be the most widely used social media platform that can easily engage its users, SMB owners and marketers are still not using it as much as other established social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
The following marketing tactic after social media is “offering sales and deals on products and services to appeal to new customers.” 48% of SMBs are either currently using promotional deals, sales, and other attractive offers to appeal to new customers to buy their products and services or have done it in the past. Another 20% haven’t done it in the past but are considering doing so in the future. On the other hand, 26% are not even thinking of doing so, and 6% don’t know about it or have no opinion.
Meanwhile, some small to medium-sized businesses plan to implement new digital marketing technologies to target the right audience. The key motivation for the companies was to connect with the existing audience, which caused them to add to their technology infrastructure. Almost 39% of SMB owners are currently implementing new digital technologies or have done so in the past. Another 28% haven’t yet implemented any new digital technology but are planning to do so in the future. On the other hand, 23% do not consider it a suitable marketing option, and 9% don’t even know about it or don’t have any opinion regarding it.
Which Social Media Marketing Strategies Should SMBs Use?
As evident from the above statistics, social media marketing has become a widely used tool among small to medium-sized businesses. Here are some bonus marketing tips and strategies to help them.
Produce Diversified Content
You don’t necessarily have to post stories on Instagram and tweets on Twitter. You can also post other forms of content like blog posts, threads, videos, and infographics on the most popular social media platforms. It would help ensure that your audience doesn’t get bored. Also, it would keep the audience engaged as they would react more enthusiastically to unique or different types of content.
Educate Your Audience
Be a credible source of knowledge and information for your audience. If you keep updating them about their topics of interest, they will come back to you for more information. This way, you can get a lot of loyal customers.
Taking the educational approach isn’t a bad option. However, if you want to attract new customers, you can use the power of storytelling. You can bring different characters and situations to life to evoke an emotional response in the audience.
Capitalize on Customer Loyalty
Your loyal customers can turn out to be the best brand advocates. They can spread good words about you on social media, increasing the probability of attracting more potential customers. However, find a good strategy to motivate them to help you. For example, you can offer your loyal customers special offers, discounts, or giveaways. Ask them to give a review after every purchase, or onterview them to share their experiences and stories with the world. It is the best way to make your loyal customers do social marketing for you.
Social media marketing is one of the most effective tools to increase customer engagement and traffic. The statistics show that many small to medium-sized businesses are interested in social media marketing. A lot of them have already started using it to promote their businesses. However, they must also consider using smart marketing tactics and strategies to make the best use of social media.