Social Media Trends that can Grow Your Business

Small and medium businesses sometimes struggle to compete with large competitors. This is due to many reasons including budgets, human resources, and other factors. Social media, however, has allowed small and medium businesses to offer customers online customer service and interactive content in an affordable way. Here are some of the latest trends in social media that can help SMBs compete with their larger competition.

Social Media for SMBs

About 80 percent of Inc 500 companies have a social media strategy in place, while more than half say they have integrated social media into their marketing or business plans. Of the popular social media platforms available to SMBs, LinkedIn is the most popular followed closely by Facebook and then Twitter. Google+ is also popular, and since its introduction in 2013, it is the fastest growing social media platform.

When it comes to conent for social media, there are some mediums that are more popular than others. Blogs are one of the core social media content types, followed by video content. Most professionals recommend that businesses use a variety of content types in their social media to keep customers engaged and interested. This may seem like a daunting task, but there are many simple tips for SMBs to incorporate social media trends into their business strategies. These tips are set forth below.

Incorporate a Call to Action in Content

Just like traditional sales, social media content should ideally include a call to action. You can incorporate a call to action easily in all different forms of content. A video can include a discussion near the end urging customers to purchase a product. A blog can have an engaging question at the end of the text that encourages readers to buy something. A photo can include a comment that will inspire others to check out a product. Every call to action should be contextually relevant, so it flows naturally and makes sense in the surrounding content.

Use Original Content

Not only is original content the most interesting and engaging to viewers, it will also help SMBs get ranked with search engines like Google and Bing. Original content is wonderful when it’s created by SMBs themselves. However, those SMBs who do not have time or skill necessary to create certain types of content can hire others to create it for them. Many internet sites offer original content to businesses looking to purchase it. This way, even SMBs without a team dedicated to social media can get original content for their social media accounts.

Schedule Your Content Creation

SMBs can use a calendar to plan their schedule for content creation. SMBs should schedule when content is to be published, and also promotions and special events they will host through social media. Creating a schedule in advance will make managing social media easier and ensure that the business sticks to the plan. Having such a schedule in place can also help businesses evaluate the effectiveness of certain promotions at a later date, and determine whether they want to do something similar in the future.

Create a Distribution Plan

SMBs should carefully consider the distribution of their social media content, making sure it’s reaching the inteded audience. For example, those looking to reach working professionals may want to target LinkedIn as a social media platform. Those looking to connect with a younger crowd may use Facebook and rely on a lot of video and photo content. The targeted social media platform will also vary by the type of business. Some business products rely heavily on visual content to be successful, while others may do well with written content.

Monitor Your Brand and Competitors

Social media can be a great way to monitor your brand’s success. There are many online analytical tools that will help SMBs measure traffic and the popularity of certain posts and content. SMBs can also monitor their business online by viewing the way customers are interacting with their content through comments, shares, likes and other activities. Likewise, SMBs can get a lot of information on their competition by viewing their social media profiles. This is an easy way to keep track of what the competition is doing and whether it is effective.

SMBs should keep these trends in mind when they are devising their social media strategy. Taking advantage of these trends can help SMBs provide top notch customer service and spread the word about their business.

Sources:

http://heidicohen.com/small-business-social-media-trends-2014-research/

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