As digital marketing students we understand the importance of using social media to create strong relationships with customers. However after doing the company report I realised how many small business owners don’t know how to use social media to their advantage. We consistently see examples of large companies running great social media campaigns such as Dove, Coke, Lorna Jane etc but what about the small businesses? I chose a small local restaurant for my company report so I set up a meeting with the owner to find out information on their marketing strategies. He informed me he knew the importance of social media, but he didn’t know where to start. He didn’t know what he could post to keep customers interested, so he decided to stay away from social media altogether. This is very common of small businesses as they don’t have as much content to share as large businesses (Investopedia). A common misconception small businesses have is that they can only post promotional messages (Moz). This is very limiting and largely unnecessary, marketing has changed so it is not all abut pushing the product, rather it is about building trusting, strong relationships (Moz).
Small businesses can post many different types of content in conjunction to promotional messages such as:
Adjacent content- This is content which is relevant to your business or something which would be a common interest among your audience (jobsync). Eg The local restaurant I choose was a small Asian eatery. A common interest customers may have could be healthy eating. Therefore this restaurant could post recipes with a high nutritional content.
Non promotional information- Small businesses can post photos which are “behind the scene” to the business has a more human quality to it (jobsync). The restaurant I chose engages in community service activities such as donating food. This can be promoted on social media to show how the business adds value to society. Consumers will be more likely to view the business favourably as they are engaging in CSR.
Responses- Customers may be posting similar messages on your social media page. These posts can be used as a basis for conversation. All posts don’t have to be unique, small businesses can look for trends occurring within their customers and post information relevant to that (Forbes).
Source: Forbidden Foods
A small business who has excellent social media use is Forbidden Foods. They post on their Facebook page on a daily basis with recipes their products can be used in, promotions on their products and restaurants that offer different culinary experiences (Forbidden Foods).
Social media can benefit small and large businesses. Small businesses in particular need to understand the importance of posting varied content which will be of value to customers. It is important to realise that marketing is now about connecting with customers rather than pushing products on them.
Do you agree that some small businesses stay away from social media because they don’t know what to post? What other content do you small businesses can post?
Forbes. (2013). Making social marketing make sense for small business. Retrieved May 20, 2015, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/meghancasserly/2013/06/07/making-social-marketing-make-sense-for-small-business/
Forbidden Foods. (2013). Forbidden Foods | Facebook. Retrieved May 19, 2015, from https://www.facebook.com/forbiddenfoods?fref=ts
Investopedia. (n.d.). Implementing A small business social media strategy. Retrieved May 20, 2015, from http://www.investopedia.com/university/implementing-small-business-social-media-strategy/
Jobsync. (2014). Social media campaigns | A starter’s course! -. Retrieved May 19, 2015, from https://www.jobsync.com.au/social-media-campaigns-starters-course/
Moz. (n.d.). Social media best practices – The free beginner’s guide from Moz. Retrieved from https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-social-media/best-practices