Why a small business owner needs to invest in social media advertising
8 min read
8 min read
by Aleksandra Stamatović
Are you having trouble raising your brand’s awareness and increasing your sales? If so, perhaps the time has come to seriously consider promoting your products or services by utilizing paid advertisement and even partnering up with influencers.
Did you know that 4.6 billion people out of the entire population are on social media? And how about the fact that this number doubled over just five years? That is a good enough reason to get you on social media as a small business owner.
Still, everyone knows a pure social media presence won’t cut it. You will need to gear up your social media advertising strategy to build brand awareness, develop strong customer relationships, and even make direct sales within social media platforms.
There’s purely organic reach and an option of investing in paid advertising on social media. Today, we will why you should consider both and share our tips on how to spend your budget wisely.
Don’t shoot yourself in the foot.
Many small businesses steer clear of social media simply assuming that it’s a game for big players to play and tens of thousands of dollars to spare. On the contrary, social media grants small business owners and their brands a chance to grow and build tight communities of both present and potential customers.
Investing in social media promotion shouldn’t be taken lightly. After performing research to establish the target audience and check what competitors are doing online, one should carefully analyze to let a marketing specialist or a marketing agency even help you with this endeavor. Alternatively, let a marketing specialist or agency help you with this endeavor.
Another critical component of social media promotion is creating suitable content in various formats, such as videos and photos, that do justice to what you’re offering and enhance your chances of finding someone interested in it on the other end of the screen. Choosing this means partnering up with graphic designers, video editors, copywriters, and social media specialists who can help you get the best version of your product or service. And last but not least, deciding on the channel to make the promotion go live and conquer.
Choosing suitable social media channels is crucial when starting a promotional campaign.
Nowadays, after years and years of updates and newly added features, platforms resemble one another. You can use Stories, Reels, Videos, Photos, and many different formats for your promotional campaign. But, you likely don’t need to use all of them when starting with your social media presence.
You should base your decision on the nature of the product or service that you’re promoting. Is your product something you can introduce via video footage or a static visual? Have you considered how a bundle of blog posts might be the best choice?
For the sake of clarity, let’s look at two made-up examples here.
Say Anabel is a small business owner who sells unique, handmade, ethically sourced jewelry. Anabel has a few options here. She has the possibility of partnering up with an Instagram influencer. They could promote her accessories via video footage of themselves unpacking the newly received piece of jewelry. They could share a post showing how to combine this piece of jewelry with different outfits. They could film a reel tagging Anabels’ brand and recommending it to their followers. She could also reach out to some fashion bloggers who could try the jewelry and then write short blog posts as a review. She has an option of giving them a discount code to share with their readers, which will allow her to see which collaborations are fruitful and how to allocate her promotional budget moving forward.
On the other hand, we could have Javier. He is an entrepreneur and has a company that offers language-learning services for a long list of languages and all student levels. Javier could choose TikTok for promotional purposes, having snippets of his teams’ work filmed emphasizing the quality of their work, agility, and variety of languages the company has in its catalog. Videos with tips & tricks, learning techniques, and team discussions will show off his team’s quality level and certainly get some learners to check out the school’s website and sign up for a demo lesson.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to social media marketing, and that’s a good thing here! Otherwise, brands would copy one another and be omnipresent without figuring out what works best for them.
So give it some thought – if you can make entertaining videos showing off your products or services, maybe you’ll choose Instagram Reels or TikTok for your next social media promotion. And if you have some graphic design skills or know someone who can give you a hand with this, give Instagram photos a try. If two or more options sound like a good idea for your brand and your budget can handle it – split it out and test them all. Looking at the analytics after a few weeks or months will show you what your ROI stats are showing.
Promoting content that encourages UGC or user-generated content is fool-proof and highly-unlikely to go wrong.
Research has shown that UGC has a direct impact on consumers’ buying decisions. And on top of being a more reliable strategy, it will additionally help by building brand awareness.
Let’s go back to Anabel’s ethically sourced jewelry quickly here. Let’s say she’s just starting on social media and has a minimal budget. Anabel decides to run a contest on Instagram where anyone who participates gets a product from her staple collection for free. Still, they are expected to post a certain number of pictures featuring the jewelry. This way, Anabel’s investment stays relatively minimal, limited to packaging, shipping, and delivering the pieces to the contestants but exposes her almost instantly to a relatively broad audience. Anyone following users who enter the contest will immediately get introduced to Anabel’s brand. Not all will immediately follow Anabel, but some will check out her profile, some will go a step further and check out her linked website and some will even make a purchase. It’s, without a doubt, worth trying out.
Influencer marketing is also the fastest-growing online customer acquisition method. It surpassed organic search, email, and traditional paid advertisement.
The fundamental principle of influencer marketing is to partner up with people who can increase your brand’s credibility.
By now, you should already know that an assumption of a small business owner not being able to afford the implementation of a strategy like this is you shooting yourself in the foot. It’s a general misconception that social influencers are only celebrities.
Micro-influencers, who have deceptively small numbers, can add much more to your credibility than a celebrity making mind-boggling figures per post.
There are still plenty of influencers with a considerable follower base who can be helpful for your brand. The key here is not to look at their follower base; you need to partner up with people who can truly appreciate your product and share it further with like-minded folks, thus creating momentum and consistently expanding your customer base.
Imagine Bella, a small business owner who sells painting supplies. Partnering up with a fashion blogger with over 200k followers would probably be a shot in the dark for them. On the other hand, partnering up with someone who enjoys painting, has 5k followers, and frequently shares Reels of their work could potentially blossom into a fruitful collaboration.
When opting for an influencer collaboration, choose wisely and keep in mind that the number of followers is just one tiny piece of the puzzle.
Leaving you with food for thought
Small businesses have numerous ways of utilizing social media to stay relevant in today’s day and age. Gone are the days when simply having a Facebook profile for your brand was acceptable if you wished to maximize your social media presence.
It’s essential to put some serious thought into the channel suitable for your brand, the kind of strategy that will deliver meaningful results, and the format in which you can showcase the best possible version of your offering to the target audience.
Even if you feel compelled to get right into investing in your social media advertising, don’t rush it. Take the time needed to develop a tailored strategy that will align with your long-term marketing goals.