Social media marketing is a must these days as most businesses, large and small, are finding the need to reach the masses to be competitive. There is both an art and a science to creating a successful presence in the social media realm…. something our own small business financing organization has experienced as we grow our clientele. It’s not too late to get on board; here are a few thoughts we actually learned from our SBA 504 small business borrowers!
First, find your comfort level with an outlet that you can maximize, like Facebook, which has an estimated 1.8 billion monthly users worldwide, and according to the Pew Research Center, 68 percent of all U.S. adults use Facebook. For many, logging onto the social media platform is a daily habit— used for entertainment, news and connecting with friends and family.
Folino Estate is a great example of a small business that I would title the “master of social media marketing.” This winery/restaurant/event and banquet facility has been at the social media game since early 2015, months prior to opening the doors of their business. During the construction phase, Facebook was utilized to share the project development and provide future expectations the business had to offer. Since opening in late 2015 they post multiple times a day on social media to share about exciting daily specials, weekly and future happenings plus small group events, many times to a sellout crowd. They contribute much of their fast paced growth and success to social media. Pintrest, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIN are all outlets they use successfully.
Second, Strategy Matters! Your business has to compete with lots of other businesses for a customers’ attention. The goal is to post eye catching, valuable information and build relationships with your followers. It also builds your brand.
Keys to Fitness, a fitness center focusing on small group and personal instructional fitness training does just that. They utilize their existing client’s fitness stories to inspire and reach new customers as they post wins and losses… that would be weight losses! True inspiration for any potential customer!
Third, assess what your customer’s respond to and deliver that value through your social media posts. Try a variety of different types of posts; establish your business as a leader in what you do.
B- Tec Solutions, a world-wide manufacturer of metal parts, recently discovered on line sales drives more of their business and is more efficient than a large scale sales staff. The Internet reaches a broader audience and more specifically that customer can search and shop when they are ready to buy, not when you call on them.
Fourth, variety is the spice of life! Don’t just limit social media marketing to Facebook. Many small businesses successfully utilize LinkedIN, Twitter, Pinterest and even Snap Chat. Yelp provides a rating site where customers score businesses and post their own photos of their experiences. Many of our SBA 504 borrowers in the restaurant businesses utilize rating sites to build their brand and reputation. The feedback allows for real customer insights, good and bad.
Lastly and most importantly drive them where they can get more info… on your website!
With so many individuals and businesses posting, a lengthy post can get lost or skipped over while competing for your customer’s limited attention span. Include a link to your website… drive them to a place where they can get more details, actually purchase a product and schedule a service.
I recently read in a Manta poll that 51 percent of business owners rely on social media as their top marketing tactic, with only 52 percent believing they get a positive return on investment from social media advertising… somewhat disappointing! However, like with most things in life, practice makes perfect. Social media marketing takes time, consistency and in many cases a little help. You can always seek assistance from a pro, there are so many resources out there (even free) with beginner tutorial programs or webinars that can lend some advice… or perhaps you have a savvy millennial on staff that could use an extra responsibility!
It’s always a thrill to learn when one of our SBA 504 Small business borrower’s discover our financing option via social media or an internet search experience! We hope you will too… SBA 504 financing… it is an entrepreneur’s perfect tool.
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